This is sort of a big one, guys. Steven Moffat has revealed something particular about the nature of the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special (the one that will see Matt Smith’s regeneration into Peter Capaldi) that will change the mythology of Doctor Who forever. It has to do with regeneration and the Eleventh Doctor’s position in that line.
SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.
According to Moffat, Matt Smith counts as the 13th Doctor.
Which means that he plans to tackle the “only 12 regenerations” rule at Christmas.
According to the Mirror, Moffat is taking the Doctor to the Fields of Trenzalore in the upcoming episode, where the Doctor will face his death and somehow get a new pack of regenerations. We assume. I mean, he is regenerating, so that does have to be addressed somehow.
But hold on, you’re saying—he hasn’t had that many regenerations yet!
According to Moffat, the human Hand!Doctor counts as one. This seems a very odd choice, seeing as that regeneration only occurred due to leftover energy in his cut-off hand and Donna’s instantaneous biological metacrisis. If it’s true that the hand was always an alternate regeneration waiting to happen, then shouldn’t it have just occurred any old time?
And since it is likely that John Hurt’s Doctor in the 50th Anniversary was originally intended to be played as the Ninth Doctor, this basically wouldn’t have been possible without the War Doctor’s appearance. At least, it sure does seem that way.
What do you think about the Doctor heading to Trenzalore already? It seemed as though the Doctor’s death could have been a long game play, something that wasn’t tackled for seasons, or even longer. Now we’re getting the resolution to the end of season 7 only two episodes later. That’s throwing a lot at your audience pretty damned fast, and it seems likely that it’s simply being done to make Matt Smith’s regeneration as emotional as possible—after all, for the first time, the Doctor is going to think that he’s actually dying for good.
Fingers crossed here. But it does seem a shame that this is the way poor Eleven has to go out.
Here’s a tiny teaser for the Christmas special to get your curiosity going: