The latest Doctor Who Christmas special had a lot going for it. It was Peter Capaldi’s final hour, it saw him team up with David Bradley’s First Doctor, Pearl Mackie’s Bill returned and there was even a guest role for Mark Gatiss. Despite all that, however, the biggest talking points were that one, we finally saw Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Thirteenth Doctor in the episode’s last few moments, and two, a very special individual returned to see Number 12 off.
Yes, as you no doubt know, Jenna Coleman returned to reprise her role of Clara Oswald in a rather touching, and far too short cameo. Though the surprise had been spoiled ahead of time, seeing the character back on the show was a huge treat for fans and definitely made the Christmas special that much more memorable. But according to now former showruner Steven Moffat, it almost didn’t happen.
Speaking in a recent interview, the writer revealed that Coleman’s brief appearance was very complicated to arrange, due to her busy schedule:
“I had to phone Jenna, who was incredibly busy on Victoria,” said Moffat. “Incredibly busy. A ridiculous schedule. I mean she was well up for it, but it was complicated to arrange.”
Thankfully, everything worked out in the end and Clara was able to be there for her Doctor’s final hour, along with other companions like Bill and Nardole. Now that Capaldi’s Time Lord has regenerated though, it’s unclear if we’ll ever get to see any of those aforementioned characters again. After all, a new era has begun for Doctor Who.
We’ve got Jodie Whittaker as the latest Doctor, along with a different showrunner in the driver’s seat: Chris Chibnall. Not to mention the new companions have already been cast and from everything we’ve heard, it very much sounds like things will be drastically changing on the show. As such, this new regime may want to cut all (or at least, most) ties with the past.
Chalk that up as speculation for now, but fans can at least rest easy knowing that Peter Capaldi’s final outing on Doctor Who was certainly one to remember.