BBC America's 'Doctor Who' heading for a change of Doctor
By Tish Wells
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
There's nothing like having to go fight a galactic battle to get out of an awkward Christmas dinner.
The 2013 “Doctor Who” Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor,” will air at 9 p.m. Dec. 25 on BBC America.
It will be available for download on all of BBC America's digital partners starting Dec. 26.
In this long-lived BBC science-fiction drama, the Doctor (Matt Smith) — an alien Time Lord from Gallifrey who has been traveling through time and space in his 1960s-style police box TARDIS (spaceship) — has been invited to Christmas dinner with the family of his latest companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman).
A message calls him to an obscure planet and into a fight with some of his worst enemies — the metal-clad Daleks and Cybermen, stone Weeping Angels and the ominous Silence — to save the universe (a familiar theme in the Christmas specials).
It's widely known that this is Smith's last episode as the Doctor. His character will “regenerate”' into a new Doctor, played by a different actor, thus ensuring that the show gets a fresh leash on life. As he says, “Everything ends, Clara. And sooner than you think.”
Peter Capaldi will take over as the 12th Doctor.
The Christmas special comes in the shadow of the series' 50th anniversary special broadcast on Nov. 23.
In the special, show runner and writer Steven Moffat introduced a new War Doctor, which throws off the numbering. This matters mainly because, in an early episode, it was established that a Time Lord has only 13 regenerations. So, is Capaldi the 12th or the 13th? Or even ... the 14th?
Fans look forward to finding out how this is resolved, or whether it is even addressed.
Capaldi has been on “Doctor Who” before in a 2008 episode called “The Fires of Pompeii.” Outside of “Who,” he wrote and directed an animated short in 1995, “Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life,” which won an Academy Award.
BBC America plans a full day of programming leading up to the Christmas special. It includes a retrospective about Matt Smith's time as the Doctor, “Farewell to Matt Smith,” and a repeat of the 50th anniversary special, which was simulcast on 94 countries on six continents.
There is, as yet, no airdate from BBC America for the new season of “Doctor Who” with Capaldi.
The Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor,” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD with bonus features and “Behind the Lens” documentary on March 4.
Tish Wells is as staff writer for the McClatchy Washington Bureau.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- UFO, Bigfoot encounters to be discussed at Connellsville library program
- Donald turns down New York invite for NFL Draft
- Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
- Chat with Dejan Kovacevic: April 18, 2014
- ‘Going downtown’ with dad, mom in ’50s among Connellsville native’s treasured memories
- Crash victim dies day after ‘horrific’ wreck in Armstrong County
- Chef named for Pittsburgh’s new Kimpton hotel restaurant
- Kovacevic: Panic over Pirates? In April?
- Undersized rookie Gibbons is blur on ice for Penguins
- Champion church offers new sound effects for annual remembrance of Crucifixion