The age of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor is well under way. While we’re still months away from seeing his first episode, filming has commenced and we recently got to see the outfit his Doctor will be sporting throughout time and space. It’s exciting, and it feels like there hasn’t been as much mourning as there was after David Tennant left. That’s not to say Smith wasn’t beloved by fans, but his regeneration was less tragic, more thoughtful than the Tenth Doctor’s “I don’t want to go,” so I think it’s easier for many fans to embrace the new guy. But while we’ve already seen the Doctor regenerate into his new form, it turns out the Eleventh Doctor might have one last task to complete.
Bleeding Cool’s Lynda Matthews got to spy on the production shooting in Cardiff this week, specifically an outdoor scene where an emotional Clara receives a surprising phone call. As you might expect, it’s a bit odd to see your friend suddenly wearing an entirely new body, even if you knew it was coming. Apparently Clara is facing those doubts until she receives a phone call…from the Eleventh Doctor. See, the Doctor has been through this process many times before, so he decides to make the process easier by calling Clara — after he regenerates for her, but before from his perspective. Timey-wimey.
Here’s how Matthews describes the rest of the sequence:
Emotionally, [Capaldi] insists to Clara; he is the Doctor, he’s 2000 years old, and he’s standing right there, in front of her. Cautiously, Clara walks straight up to this strange, older man in front of her.
Inquisitively, she looks up straight into the Doctor’s eyes, inspecting them, looking for the man she knows. The Doctor looks down into his [companion’s] eyes curiously, like an owl bemused. Suddenly, Clara throws her arms around the Doctor. For his part, the Doctor awkwardly holds his arms out around her, fingers splayed and startled and uncomfortable.
Clara immediately then clicks back into her normal, bouncy self, asking the Doctor where they are. He replied Glasgow (although we were definitely in Cardiff, I double checked), and they continue to chat before the scene ends.
So it seems Matt Smith will has one last act as the Doctor, even if we’ll only hear him via audio. It’s a clever idea, and one that you’d think the Doctor would make standard operating procedure: leave behind a message for the companions, to make that whole regeneration process go a bit smoother.
But if you’re still craving a bit more time with the Eleventh Doctor, how about getting a more detailed look at how he spent those 900 years defending Trenzalore? You’re in luck, because an upcoming e-book called Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore will provide exactly that. Tales of Trenzalore is comprised of four different stories, all set within the Doctor’s centuries-long stand on the world where he was destined to meet his fate. Each story focuses on one of the Doctor’s foes: Justin Richards’ “Let It Snow” pits the Doctor against the Cybermen, George Mann’s “An Apple a Day” against the Krynoids, Paul Finch’s “Strangers in the Outland” features a return from the Autons, and Mark Morris’ “The Dreaming” involves the Mara.
Here’s the official blurb for the book:
As it had been foretold, the armies of the Universe gathered at Trenzalore. Only one thing stood between the planet and destruction — the Doctor. For 900 years, he defended the planet, and the tiny town of Christmas, against the forces that would destroy it.
He never knew how long he could keep the peace. He never knew what creatures would emerge from the snowy night to threaten him next. He knew only that at the end he would die on Trenzalore.
Some of what happened during those terrible years is well documented. But most of it remains shrouded in mystery and darkness.
This is a glimpse of just some of the terrors the people faced, the monstrous threats the Doctor defeated. These are the tales of the monsters who found themselves afraid — and of the one man who was not.
You can pre-order Tales of Trenzalore from BBC Books.
Filming photos by Ryan Farrell.