With Stephen Moffat set to step out of the role of Doctor Who showrunner come the end of 2017, there’s plenty of speculation over what surprises he has in store for fans of the popular BBC sci-fi drama before he leaves. Some fans have even gone on to suggest that the final Peter Capaldi episode could feature a double regeneration.
Fans have been eagerly speculating that the upcoming Christmas Doctor Who episode might give us a new perspective on the First Doctor’s regeneration. Fans have been picking throught he trailer for the episode, and believe that the setting and effects used point to a double regeneration.
The original Doctor Who Hartnell ended his run with the show during “The Tenth Planet”, set in the South Pole during 1986. The speech that The First Doctor gives over the start of the trailer is also from that episode – right before he regenerated into the Second incarnation of the character. While unconfirmed, fans believe this may be the shows first double regeneration. Why use all this if its not going to play a part in the episode – a lot of it is too obscure to modern audiences who won’t have watched the classic Doctor Who episodes.
For what it’s worth, David Bradley is keeping quiet about the idea. Speaking at London Film & Comic Con at the end of July, he stated;
“It’s something that I never imagined when I did my Dinosaurs on a Spaceship about five years ago… I thought ‘wow, that’s the Tardis, wow, that’s the police box, well this is my Doctor Who experience and that’s gonna be it but that will be fine’. And then eventually Space and Time came up, but after that I still couldn’t call myself the Doctor – I was William Hartnell and his version of the Doctor – but I was told that [after the Christmas special] I can now join the ranks of the legends.”
Personally, I don’t mind them using some kind of standin for Second Doctor Patrick Troughton if it fits the narrative. After all, the episode is about Peter Capaldi’s Doctor coming to terms with his own imminent change – so there’d be no better moment of reflection than seeing the original regeneration play out.
Plus there are plenty of ways the show can hide whoever stands in for Patrick Troughton. Cutting away at the right moment or making clever use of CGI could be enough to make the moment special for fans. It’s what they did when Christopher Eccleston opted to not return for the fiftieth anniversary.
Right now it’s all speculation – but there’s certainly an interesting theory at play.
Would you want to see the original Doctor regenerate?