Doctor Who Christmas Special 2017: What ‘Twice Upon A Time’ Really Means

1. Enter The Thirteenth Doctor


According to the viewing figures, the Christmas Special spiked during the last ten minutes, as viewers specifically tuned in to see the much anticipated entrance of Jodie Whittaker. Other than the confirmation that she will be adopting her natural Northern accent, there really is little to go on as to what kind of Doctor she will be. Even David Tennant had a few more words to say on his entrance. But the wide eyed, opened mouth look of joy as she sees her reflection and utters a spontaneous “oh, brilliant!” suggests that the Doctor’s insatiable curiosity and love for life will continue to charm audiences.

Moffat teased that the regeneration would be handled slightly differently this time, but in many ways it fitted the pattern of recent years – a standing, arms outstretched position against the backdrop of the TARDIS malfunctioning. Jokes about female drivers are about as appropriate and outdated as the First Doctor’s lines in Twice upon a Time, but they are certainly misplaced in this context. The newly regenerated tenth Doctor crashed the TARDIS into the Powell Estate, the Eleventh Doctor hung on for dear life as she span out of control over London, and the Twelfth Doctor had to ask Clara how to fly the thing.

Things do however look even bleaker for both the Thirteenth Doctor and the TARDIS with the episode ending with her free-falling out of the ship. We know that the two will eventually be reunited from the publicity shots of Whittaker in costume besides a newly designed TARDIS exterior, but there have also been rumours that Chibnall’s first series will see the Doctor stranded on earth, so it may well take a while for the two to come together again.

Twice upon a Time was all about the ending and Jodie Whittaker’s sensational entrance, but what a fitting send-off too not only for Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi, but also the musical talents of Murray Gold, who graced the episode with many of his best loved themes. Alongside Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas and Jenna Coleman, two of Moffat’s most trusted writers also took their bow, with Mark Gatiss and Toby Whithouse dusting down their not inconsiderable acting shoes to play their part in this charming and emotional farewell.

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Paul Driscoll is a freelance writer and author across a range of subjects from Cult TV to religion and social policy. He is a passionate Doctor Who fan and January 2017 will see the publication of his first extended study of the series (based on Toby Whithouse's series six episode, The God Complex) in the critically acclaimed Black Archive range by Obverse Books. He is a regular writer for the fan site Doctor Who Worldwide and has contributed several essays to Watching Books' You and Who range. Recently he has branched out into fiction writing, with two short stories in the charity Doctor Who anthology Seasons of War (Chinbeard Books). Paul's work will also feature in the forthcoming Iris Wildthyme collection (A Clockwork Iris, Obverse Books) and Chinbeard Books' collection of drabbles, A Time Lord for Change.