Mark Gatiss ("The Captain"), Peter Capaldi (Twelfth Doctor) and David Bradley (First Doctor) in the "Doctor Who" Christmas Special, "Twice Upon a Time"
Mark Gatiss ("The Captain"), Peter Capaldi (Twelfth Doctor) and David Bradley (First Doctor) in the "Doctor Who" Christmas Special, "Twice Upon a Time" BBC

“Doctor Who” needs the First Doctor to help the Twelfth accept his regeneration. The Christmas Special, titled “Twice Upon a Time,” will reveal the reason One (originally played by William Hartnell but is now played by David Bradley) and Twelve (Peter Capaldi) meet at an exact moment in time. Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) will also appear to say her final goodbye to the Time Lord.

At the “Doctor Who” panel in Comic-Con on Sunday, outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat said that the First Doctor’s appearance will be important to Twelve’s exit. The cliffhanger finale of “The Doctor Falls” saw Twelve refusing to regenerate, stumbling outside his TARDIS only to encounter someone who claimed he was the “original” Doctor. As it turned out, Twelve stumbled in Antarctica, where Hartnell’s last episode from 1966’s “The Tenth Planet” was set.

“He’s refusing to regenerate too,” Moffat told the crowd, referring to the First Doctor. It can be recalled it was in the Classic Who episode that One regenerated into Two (Patrick Throughton). Both One and Twelve refuse to regenerate, and perhaps that is why they need each other to come to terms with their end.

Mark Gatiss, who write occasionally for the show, will also play a character known only as a World War I soldier called “The Captain.” What his role entails and how he will affect the Doctors are yet to be revealed.

Meanwhile, Mackie will be back for her final appearance as the inquisitive Bill Potts, who, in the last episode, was saved by her potential love interest, Heather, from a life as a cyberman. In the trailer for the Christmas Special, it is seen that Bill gets to hug Twelve as she learns that he is still alive. BBC stopped short of revealing how she will make her return, though.

The trailer also briefly shows Polly (original played by Anneke Wills), the companion of the First and Second Doctors who was present during the Time Lord’s first regeneration. It’s unclear if there would be an appearance from Ben Jackson (first played by the late actor Michael Craze), who was also a witness to the First Doctor’s regeneration to the Second.

There have been speculations that former companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) will make a cameo to bid Twelve goodbye. It’s unconfirmed but also not unlikely. After all, the past companions of the revived series have, in one way or another, joined their respective Doctors before their regeneration.

“Doctor Who” Christmas Special will star Capaldi in his final appearance as the title character. The episode will also see the Twelfth Doctor regenerate into the Thirteenth Doctor, who will be played by Jodie Whittaker, the first female actor to do so.

Watch the trailer for ‘Twice Upon a Time,’ the ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special

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