The Time of the Doctor is nigh, but not quite nigh enough. Having survived The Day of the Doctor, Whovians now turn their attention to the upcoming Christmas special, which was revealed to be titled The Time of the Doctor earlier this week. That special will see the end of Matt Smith’s tenure in the role, handing the TARDIS keys off to Peter Capaldi. We also heard some pretty crazy rumors about what exactly will happen in Time of the Doctor, and now another batch of rumors seems to be lining up pretty closely to the first, suggesting the Christmas special will be eventful indeed.
Here’s the official BBC synopsis for Time of the Doctor, then the spoilers will get heavy after that:
Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars — and amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.
This time the scuttlebutt comes from The Sun, admittedly not the most reliable of sources. However, they do seem to jibe with what Bleeding Cool was reporting earlier this week, and Bleeding Cool does have a solid track record when it comes to Who news. So what does The Sun say we’ll have in store when we tune in to The Time of the Doctor? Via MTV News:
Matt Smith will apparently be seen growing into an old man and losing a leg in a clash with the Weeping Angels — before his regeneration.
And the plot will reportedly see him ‘fighting a 300-year war’ against the Angels, Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans in an effort to protect Christmas Town on the planet of Trenzalore.
Assistant Clara, played by Jenna Coleman, will be confined to the Tardis so that she doesn’t grow old as well — only emerging when needed by the Doctor.
Bleeding Cool hinted that “the episode will be nine hundred years long,” which certainly tracks with the idea of the Doctor growing old while fighting a war on Trenzalore. We know from the brief Time of the Doctor teaser (below) that the Daleks, Cybermen, and Weeping Angels will figure into the story somehow. We know that the Doctor is fated to die on Trenzalore, in a war. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine that war might involve those three of the Doctor’s most iconic enemies.
The Sun isn’t the only British publication tossing around crazy Who rumors of late either. The Mirror claims that The Time of the Doctor will reveal that Matt Smith’s Doctor is not the Eleventh, not even the Twelfth, but rather the Thirteenth — and final — Doctor.
So, if that’s the case, he’s on a collision course with his supposedly unavoidable death on Trenzalore. And he’s out of regenerations, meaning that death will be the real deal. Except Peter Capaldi will be playing the next incarnation of the Doctor, one that was namechecked as the Thirteenth during his Day of the Doctor cameo. So how the hell do those seemingly contradictory ideas coexist? I’ve got no clue. But showrunner Steven Moffat has repeatedly insisted that the whole 12-regeneration rule is indeed still a rule. Which, given how Moffat usually works, means he’s come up with a way of leaping over, tunneling under, or generally sidestepping that rule in a way that the Doctor will be freed up to continue on through another 50 years and another dozen faces. It’s a problem and no doubt a solution that will be very, very Doctor Who.
The Time of the Doctor premieres on Christmas Day. Hash out your theories in the comments below. Silence will fall…