Before the identity of the next Doctor is revealed in a highly-anticipated announcement that’s set to take place on Sunday July 16th, let’s first look ahead to the Doctor Who Christmas special in which the new Time Lord will debut.
Even prior to the Thirteenth Doctor’s arrival, there will be two Doctors on show in this episode. That’s because Peter Capaldi will be joined in his swansong by Harry Potter star David Bradley, who will be playing the First Doctor – originally portrayed by William Hartnell from 1963-66.
We’d already seen two promo images from the special, but now, Entertainment Weekly has provided us with our first proper look via the photo below. It sees the First and Twelfth Doctors meeting in the snow – just as was glimpsed at the end of the recent season finale. The image probably comes from near the start of the episode, too, as Doctor No. 12 looks like he’s still coming to terms with meeting his former self.
In addition to debuting the photo, EW also spoke to writer Steven Moffat, who talked about how much he believes they’ve perfectly recreated Hartnell’s original incarnation:
“We’ve authentically re-created the First Doctor. We could put it out in black-and-white, and you would think it was William Hartnell. There’s new monsters, there’s new jeopardy. But what’s fascinating is the First Doctor confronting the superhero he’s going to become, with his supersize TARDIS and all that.”
Moffat’s comment about the “supersize TARDIS” refers to the fact that the prop used for the Doctor’s time machine has gotten a lot bigger since the show’s beginnings. For reference, here’s a shot snapped during the filming of the special that depicts the original and modern TARDIS parked next to each other.
The showrunner also spoke about how the changeover to his successor Chris Chibnall is handled:
“It’s my show up to the point Mr. Capaldi regenerates. Then it passes to Chris, and he worries about the last section.”
Doctor Who returns for its Christmas special on December 25th, while the announcement of the Thirteenth Doctor will take place tomorrow. Stay tuned!