Actor Peter Capaldi fell in love with Doctor Who in the ’60s, when the titular Time Lord was played by the late William Hartnell. So it’s appropriate that Capaldi’s swan song as the Twelfth Doctor on this year’s special Christmas episode finds his character teaming with that First Doctor, now portrayed by David Bradley (Game of Thrones). “We’ve authentically re-created the First Doctor,” says showrunner Steven Moffat of the episode, which airs Dec. 25. “We could put it out in black-and-white, and you would think it was William Hartnell. There’s new monsters, there’s new jeopardy. But what’s fascinating is the First Doctor confronting the superhero he’s going to become, with his supersize TARDIS and all that.”
The Rachel Talalay-directed episode will see Capaldi’s Doctor “regenerating” into his successor, who will be played by an as-yet-unnamed actor. This is also a swan song for Moffat, who is handing over showrunning duties to Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall before the episode’s end, and claims even he doesn’t know the identity of Capaldi’s replacement. “It’s my show up to the point Mr. Capaldi regenerates,” explains Moffat. “Then it passes to Chris, and he worries about the last section.”
See an exclusive image of Capaldi and Bradley in the special Doctor Who Christmas episode, above.