We’ve known for a while that the Thirteenth Doctor’s (Jodie Whittaker) time was coming to an end… but we sure didn’t know it was going to wrap up like this. The tiny teaser for Doctor Who’s Centenary Special gives us our first look at Thirteen’s regeneration—and brings back not just Sacha Dhawan’s Master and a host of classic Who enemies, but two of the Doctor’s companions from the ’80s.
How do Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Ace (Sophie Aldred) wind up here? Only showrunner Chris Chibnall knows, at least for now. It’s been decades since either of them spent time with the Doctor—Tegan with Four and Five, and Ace with Seven. Doctor Who does love to bring back characters, but characters from a whole different era of the show? That’s a big one. In a recent interview, Chibnall said, “There are some treats—Easter eggs and kisses to the past.” The appearance of Tegan and Ace certainly falls into that category, but you kind of have to assume Who isn’t going to show its entire hand in a 30-second teaser.
But this is it for Whittaker, one way or the other. “This is the day you die,” says the Master, who looks a bit conflicted about it. The summary says simply, “The Thirteenth Doctor faces the forces that mass against her in her final adventure.” We don’t know yet who is stepping into her shoes, but we do know that previous showrunner Russell T. Davies will return to take the reins.
Thirteen’s last adventure is coming sometime this fall.