There might be 154 shopping days until Christmas but the BBC have released a Doctor Who Christmas Special trailer already! What next? Christmas trees in the shops at Hallowe’en? Regent Street lights at Easter? Hippie wigs in Woolworths?
After showing William Hartnell seamlessly morph into David Bradley, the trailer goes on to show The First and The Twelfth Doctor trapped inside one moment in time during World War One.
On the Somme battlefield, they find one German and one British soldier frozen in time, guns cocked like flies in amber. If prehistoric flies had tiny, tiny guns.
The Englishman, who joins them in the original TARDIS, is known only as The Captain and is played by Mark Gatiss, co-creator (alongside Stephen Moffat) of both Sherlock and the soon-to-be-unveiled Dracula.
Ever since the famous England v Germany Christmas Day ceasefire football match in no-man’s land, the trenches will forever be associated with the festive period (even used in a beautifully shot but shamelessly exploitative seasonal advertising campaign by Sainsbury’s) but the location also promises at least a some moments of sombre, thoughtful remembrance – just what you need when after a jolly good stuffing.
These look to be off-set by some spiffing comedy from The Captain who looks as happy to be involved as an E.M. Forster character discovering his gay lover has a double-barrelled surname like… oh erm… just off the top of my head, Lethbridge-Stewart.
If all this doesn’t excite you enough, how about the return of Bill Potts after she seemed destined to forever wander the universe with soaking wet goddess girlfriend Heather? Happy now?
The Two Doctors certainly look to be involved in a crossover with the 1966 Mondasian Cybermen story The Tenth Planet in which The Doctor went missing for an entire episode before regenerating in the next.
Speaking of which, the element I’m most intigued by is footage of his first regeneration as he stands next to assistant Polly in The Tenth Planet.
We can’t make out a whole lot but we can tell it isn’t colorised footage because it’s too clean and the BBC geniusly lost those rolls of film. So why reshoot this seminal scene and include it in the trailer – it must be pretty damned important to the storyline, right?
My first thought when seeing David Bradley regenerating is that he, and not David Capaldi, will regenerate into Jodie Whittaker, not Patrick Troughton. I know it doesn’t make much sense but who knew there was a War Doctor between Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston?
If Twice Upon A Time does include The First Doctor’s regeneration, The Second Doctor must also surely appear with Reece Shearsmith reprising his An Adventure in Space and Time role where he appeared alongside David Bradley? Incidentally, he’s also a League of Gentlemen alum, just like Gatiss.
If this is the case, we’ll be treated to FOUR doctors in The Christmas Special.
I genuinely think Moffat will pull something huge out of the bag for his last ever episode, a game-changer that might mean we haven’t seen the end of Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. Game-changing is, after all, how you leave a legacy as a writer.
The Doctor Who Christmas Special airs on BBC1 on… you guessed it; Christmas Day.