Doctor Who Christmas 2013: The Time of the Doctor

by SteveRogerson

This year's Doctor Who Christmas Sepcial will see Matt Smith regenerate into Peter Capaldi. The episode will be shown on BBC One on Christmas Day.

The Christmas Day episode of Doctor Who has become an institution in its own right. But this year viewers are in for a treat as the episode marks the last for Matt Smith and the first proper for Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. But it will also feature four of the most popular villains - the cybermen, daleks, weeping angels and the Silence.

Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman in "The Time of the Doctor"
Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman in "The Time of the Doctor"
Photo from the BBC

The 2013 Doctor Who Christmas special will mark the end of Matt Smith’s reign as the timelord as he bows out in this sixty minute episode to be replaced by Peter Capaldi. And what a send-off has been planned with the Doctor having the face the cybermen, daleks, weeping angels and the Silence. The episode will be shown on BBC One on Christmas Day at 7.30pm.

“It’s his final battle and he’s been fighting it for a while,” said writer Steven Moffat. “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.”

The episode will also feature Irish actress Orla Brady as galactic nun Tasha Lem. Brady is no stranger to genre television having played Elizabeth Bishop in Fringe, Catherine in The Deep and Taryn in Sinbad.

“The Doctor goes to see Tasha as they are old friends,” said Brady about her character. “He needs her help and knows he will find it with her as although she is fearsomely powerful, she is loyal to her friend.”

Current companion Clara, played by Jenna Coleman, will be helping the Doctor. She was emotional about it being Matt Smith’s last episode.

“It was a very emotional read-through,” she said. “Just going through the process of saying goodbye was difficult. The script itself is very emotional, but also joyous. But saying those words and saying goodbye was never going to be easy.”

 

Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi won an Oscar for the 1995 short film Franz Kafta It’s a Wonderful Life, an award he shared with Ruth Kenley-Letts. That film also earned him one of his three Baftas, one of the others being for playing Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, a role that also saw him nominated for another three Baftas. His recent role as Randall Brown in The Hour also earned him a Bafta nomination as did The Cricklewood Greats and The Field of Blood. His first Bafta win was in 1993 for playing Gavin Bellini in Soft Top Hard Shoulder.

His acting career dates back to the early 1980s. He played George Harrison in the 1985 TV movie John and Yoko: A Love Story. His first recurring TV role was as Zeno Vedast in the 1990 three-part Ruth Rendall Mysteries “Some Lie and Some Die”.

More recently he was Doctor Ronnie Pilfrey in Fortysomething, Gordon Flemming in Sea of Souls, Lucien Calvin in Waking the Dead, Mark Jenkins in Skins, King Charles I in The Devil’s Whore, Peter Healey in Getting On and Balthazar in The Nativity. Next year will see him as Cardinal Richelieu in The Musketeers.

This is not his first time in Doctor Who as he had the role of Caecilius in the 2008 episode “The Fires of Pompeii”. And he was John Frobisher in the 2009 Torchwood mini-series “Children of Earth”.

 

Team Behind “The Time of the Doctor”

“The Time of the Doctor” was written by Steven Moffat, directed by Jamie Payne and produced by Marcus Wilson. The executive producers were Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin.

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Updated: 12/20/2013, SteveRogerson
 
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SteveRogerson on 12/27/2013

Hi Jo, yeah, I've watched it twice now, and I really enjoyed it. The second time was better because I spotted things I missed the first time round. Sure, they packed a lot in, but I think that helped make it a good episode. And that was the first time I felt sad at seeing a cyberman die.

JoHarrington on 12/27/2013

I've read so many reviews about this episode being too rushed, but I didn't find it so at all. I loved every second, BOTH times that I watched it. And tears came, of course.

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