Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi’s Regeneration Is A “Tour-De-Force”


Much of the chatter about the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, titled “Twice Upon a Time,” is to do with the fact that it’ll feature a rare return for the First Doctor (as played by David Bradley) and that Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor will make her debut in the episode’s final moments. However, let’s not forget that it also marks Peter Capaldi’s final bow as the Time Lord.

Speaking to the Radio Free Skaro podcast, Rachel Talalay, who helmed the special, teased what we can expect from Capaldi’s regeneration. The director called the scene “absolutely a Peter tour-de-force, as you can imagine.” She also explained how Capaldi spent a lot of time preparing for and perfecting the moment to ensure he got it right.

“When it came to the regeneration in the Christmas episode, Peter has a big scene about it, as one would expect. And he and I spent some time alone on the Tardis, which is his place to sit when he wants to be quiet. We just sat there, in that space, alone, talking through that whole scene. Talking through in his happy space. He had a hundred notes on his script. Again, I view myself as a guide. But he was deeply into it.”

After Capaldi filmed his last scene, Whittaker’s first work on Doctor Who was shot on a different day. As this portion was overseen by incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall and his new production team, Talalay wasn’t sure if she would be invited back to complete the episode. However, Chibnall said that he wanted “no one else” to shoot the scene. This presented an “interesting, fun challenge” for the director, as she had to give both halves of the regeneration a different flavour.

“The thing I would love to talk about, and look forward to talking about in the future is how I planned Peter’s portion of the regeneration versus how I planned and shot Jodie’s. Because as a director, that was a really satisfying, interesting, fun challenge, and I’m really pleased with both sides of it.”

We’ve previously heard that a whole day of filming was given over to the regeneration to make sure it was perfect. Capaldi has also described the experience as “emotional” and claimed that writer Steven Moffat has penned a “very beautiful” final scene for his Doctor.

Thankfully – or maybe tragically – we haven’t got long to wait until get to see it for ourselves, as the Doctor Who special arrives in just over a month.