It’s the end – but with the casting of Peter Capaldi, the moment has been prepared for.
Nevertheless, Steven Moffat has hinted that the meta-crisis regeneration and the reveal of the War Doctor has pushed back the Doctor’s ability to survive his impending death.
Doctor Who‘s mythology was enhanced in 1977 serial The Deadly Assassin in which it was established that Time Lords can only regenerate 12 times – after this, it really is the end.
With the 2008 meta-crisis regeneration in 2008 (The Stolen Earth, Journey’s End) and the addition of John Hurt’s War Doctor in The Name of the Doctor/The Day of the Doctor, the man we’ve called Eleven since 2010 is in fact number thirteen – and the last of the Time Lords has no more regenerations to cheat death.
Says a BBC source:
There have been two David Tennant Doctor Whos technically and with John Hurt playing another Doctor in the film, it basically means he can’t regenerate again.
The riddle of the regeneration problem, something fans have talked about for decades, will be faced head on at Christmas. There is going to be another huge cliffhanger and somehow Peter Capaldi has to join and the series has to continue.
The show’s big fans, known as Whovians, won’t believe their eyes at Christmas.
So, that must mean the end of Doctor Who, right?
Well, of course it doesn’t. There’s another Doctor waiting, a new face ready to emerge at Christmas.
Not convinced? Well, here’s what the Moff had to say:
The 12 regenerations limit is a central part of Doctor Who mythology – science fiction is all about rules, you can’t just casually break them.
So if the Doctor can never change again, what’s Peter Capaldi doing in the Christmas special?
It looks as though there will be a fascinating story ready to play out – and we’ll learn a little bit more about that tomorrow…
(Via The Mirror)