‘Doctor Who’ news summary: Everything we know so far about the Christmas 2013 special

xmas promo

Following the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special in November, Matt Smith returns as the Eleventh Doctor for one final adventure at Christmas.

> Order ‘The Time of the Doctor’ on DVD on Amazon.

> Order ‘The Time of the Doctor’ on Blu-ray on Amazon.

This news summary will be updated regularly as more details are revealed, with the latest updates at the top of each section. Rumours and unconfirmed reports will be marked with a *.

Episode title: ‘The Time of the Doctor’

Written by: Steven Moffat
Directed by: Jamie Payne

Filming: Sunday 8 September 2013 to Saturday 5 October 2013

Regular cast: Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, Jenna Coleman as Clara, Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor

Guest cast: Orla Brady as Tasha Lem, James Buller as Clara’s dad, Sonita Henry as Colonel Meme, Kayvan Novak as Handles’ voice, Tessa Peake-Jones as Marta, Mark Anthony Brighton as Colonel Albero, Rob Jarvis will play Abramel, Jack Hollington as Barnable, Tom Gibbins as Young man

Villains: Cybermen, Daleks, Weeping Angels and the Silence

Official synopsis: “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.”

Length: 60 minutes

Air date: Wednesday 25 December 2013, 7.30pm on BBC One

Steven Moffat: “Regeneration scenes are the toughest but most exciting part of Doctor Who – you don’t really know the show until you’ve written one. Previously, I’d only written Matt [Smith]’s end of David [Tennant]’s regeneration – this is the first time I’ve actually killed off a Doctor. It feels like a very wrong thing to do to your childhood, not to mention one of your friends!”

Steven Moffat: “There’s a lot of humour in this one, because Matt’s Doctor has been a funny Doctor, and if you’re going to make people miss him then just remind them how funny he is. Certainly the first 20 minutes or so are very funny.”

Steven Moffat: “It will be tying up various elements of the Eleventh Doctor’s story, some of which people have asked about before, some of which people haven’t bothered to ask about!”

Steven Moffat: “There’s a scene at the beginning where we kept joking, “We should have a live studio audience for this bit”, because it was very much Doctor sitcom. I thought if you were going to say, “Here’s your last go at the Eleventh Doctor” he should be as he was, and what you will miss is not him crying – I think the danger is if you cry the audience don’t.”

Steven Moffat: “If you’ve been sitting there saying, “Who blew up the TARDIS?” then you’ll get it.”

Steven Moffat: “I was trying to think about [regeneration] from the point of view of what it would be like if someone told you, “When you wake up tomorrow morning, you’ll still be alive, but you won’t be the same. You will like different things, you will sound different, you will look different, and have a different temperament.” That would be utterly terrifying.”

Steven Moffat: “It’s his final battle and he’s been fighting it for a while. The Doctor is facing the joint challenge of a mysterious event in space that has summoned lots of aliens to one place and helping Clara cook Christmas dinner. There are also elements from every series of Matt’s Doctor, which will come to a head in this special. Things that we’ve laid down for years are going to be paid off.”

Jenna Coleman: “The script itself is very emotional, but also joyous. But saying those words and saying goodbye was never going to be easy.”

Orla Brady: “…along comes a call to play a galactic nun and whizz around the universe with Matt Smith. The Doctor goes to see Tasha as they are old friends. He needs her help and knows he will find it with her as although she is fearsomely powerful, she is loyal to her friend.”

Jenna Coleman: “I think there had to be a sense of mystery last year to make the plot work. What’s really interesting is that it does feel like we’re starting again and we get to see [Clara’s] home life as well as her life with the Doctor.”

Matt Smith: “It was a great shoot – a sad one for me, but I think it’ll be a fitting send-off and a fitting introduction for Peter.”

Orla Brady: “Matt Smith was as full of energy and inventiveness as someone on their first day and it was truly good to be around.”

Steven Moffat: “I’ve had the vague storyline in place for a long while.”

Orla Brady will play “someone from the Doctor’s past, with the plot of the festive episode revolving around her.”

Steven Moffat: “It’s a proper finale to Matt Smith, it’s the story we’ve been telling since he put the bow tie on. A lot of stuff we’ve left hanging, we tie up there. And it’s Trenzalore!”

Steven Moffat: “…[Peter Capaldi] leaps around the place probably more than any other Doctor in that first scene. But that’s not how he’s gonna play it, he’s in a state of post-regeneration madness.”

Steven Moffat: “It’s a terrific episode, and Matt’s performance in it is mind-blowingly good. It’s the best one he’s ever done, and a contender for the best performance ever by anyone as the Doctor.”

Jenna Coleman: “So I read 10 pages [of the Christmas special script] on the tube and I stopped, and then I picked it up again the other day and finished it. I was an absolute mess, an absolute wreck. But it’s good; it’s sad, but it’s what needs to happen. It’s perfect.”

Steven Moffat: “It’s hard to let [Matt Smith] go, watching him on set … he’s so heartbreakingly good. You get all excited about the new Doctor and then you go back and you see Matt on his first day back on set and you think ‘oh my God that’s what we’re losing’. He’s so brilliant and he’s at the height of his powers in the part, he’s so funny, so clever, so inventive.”

Filming pics gallery featuring Matt Smith’s wig.

Steven Moffat: “It’s the end of the Eleventh Hour. The Special ties up stuff from all corners of Matt’s tenure – there are things I set in motion in Matt’s very first episode that I’m paying off now. It’s been a long game, but most of the questions that people ask will get answered…”

Matt Smith: “I [cut my hair] for a film, but it means I have to wear a wig in Doctor Who, which is a nightmare. I’m excited… It’ll be sad – the end of a wonderful era!”

Stuntwoman Darrelle Parker: “Great to be stunting again for Dr Who in the Christmas special playing a Cyberman.”

Steven Moffat: “One of the horrors of regeneration is that a certain amount of his persona alters entirely. And that’s sort of what I’m writing about now in Matt’s last episode, the fact that he’s terribly aware that he’s about to be rewritten. And it’s frightening…”

Matt Smith: “The coif will be there for the [Christmas special] in some way, shape, or form, but I think it could be quite funny to have the bald hair. I’m sure Steven [Moffat] will come up with something.”

Steven Moffat: “Well, we are going to do it all [answering Series 5-7’s remaining loose ends]. It’s going to end at Christmas. Yeah, [there will be closure] … there’s a plan, and we will end the Eleventh Doctor’s run with the answers to some of those questions.”

Steven Moffat: “…so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break, as we say goodbye to number Eleven.”

Steven Moffat: “Of course, this isn’t the end of the story, because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now – all unknowing, just going about their business – is someone who’s about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! After 50 years, that’s still so exciting!”

Matt Smith: “We come back and shoot the Christmas special over the summer, then we go on to the next series, which will either start filming at the end of this year or at the start of 2014.”

What do you want to see in the Christmas special? Let us know below…

> Order ‘The Time of the Doctor’ on DVD on Amazon.

> Order ‘The Time of the Doctor’ on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Watch the 50th anniversary trailer…