Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor will encounter the First Doctor – the original, you might say – in the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special “Twice Upon A Time.” It’s sure to be a dramatic meeting of the Time Lords (well, two versions of one Time Lord), as both incarnations will be on the cusp of regenerating into a new body in the episode.
According to David Bradley – who’s taking on the role of the First Doctor from William Hartnell – the Doctors will find each other when they’re suffering from “a personal crisis,” with both struggling to come to terms with their impending “deaths.”
“It brings together these two Doctors, who are both going through a personal crisis about [whether they should be] regenerating, or just ending it all there. And they’re both on this parallel journey of doubt and fear and everything.”
Fans will remember that Doctor No. 12 was fatally injured during a battle with the Cybermen in the season 10 finale, fittingly titled “The Doctor Falls.” He ended the episode fighting back against the process of regeneration, deciding that he couldn’t go through the trauma of changing his whole identity again. By the end of the outing, he had arrived in the Antarctic where he discovered his older self, who was heard muttering “I will not change, I will not!”
Of course, we know that both Doctors will make the decision to regenerate and continue saving the universe, as the First Doctor became Patrick Troughton’s second incarnation and Peter Capaldi is set to be replaced by Jodie Whittaker. So, it seems that, through their Christmas adventure, the two Doctors will manage to convince each other to accept the change and move forward.
Typically, when two Doctors meet they don’t tend to get along (the brilliant bromance between the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors notwithstanding). In “Twice Upon A Time,” though, Bradley thinks there’s a “mutual respect” between Doctors One and Twelve. Something he suspects comes from his warm working relationship with Peter Capaldi.
“There’s a kind of mutual respect, I like to think, which grows through the story. Reflected in Peter and I’s relationship – we just got on right from the word go. He made me feel so welcome… We had a great time together, and it was a great experience. I hope it won’t be the last time we’ll work together.”
Though Capaldi is hanging up his sonic screwdriver after this Christmas special, Bradley is avidly looking to return to Doctor Who again. And with his glowing words about Jodie Whittaker, maybe he’ll get to team up with the Thirteenth Doctor some time in the future.
Doctor Who returns on Christmas Day.