Peter Capaldi won’t film his final Doctor Who episode until this summer. But rumor has it he might be joined by a familiar face.
Thus far, the new season of Doctor Who seems pretty great. But despite all the fun elements about it, there’s a certain amount of sadness hanging over everything. Because we all know that at the end of it, we have to say goodbye to Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi. And this knowledge is enough to make even the most exciting episode at least somewhat bittersweet.
While production on season 10 has wrapped, Capaldi hasn’t quite hung up his sonic screwdriver just yet. He still has one more episode as the Doctor to go: The 2017 Christmas special. We know virtually nothing about this episode, but rumors have been flying for months. Some of them involve Capaldi’s replacement as the Doctor – who are they? When will we see them in this episode? Could we see them before then? And some involve the episode itself – is it a post-regeneration flashback? Will David Bradley somehow appear and stand in for William Hartnell’s First Doctor? There’s a lot of crazy speculation going around right now.
So here’s a bit more. According to internet scuttlebutt, former companion Jenna Coleman might also be popping by to say goodbye to Twelve, in some form or other.
According to Nerdist, this rumor appears to have started thanks to some behind-the-scenes maneuvering. The episode allegedly doesn’t go into production until July, but according to reports – some from the man himself – Capaldi has already filmed his regeneration. But that still leaves the rest of the holiday episode to go. And it looks as though some location scouting may be under way. If this report is to be believed, the booking of a certain location for summer filming lends some weight to the idea that Coleman might come back.
Per a tweet from one of the avid Doctor Who filming enthusiasts on Twitter:
"“Eddie’s Diner got booked by the BBC for filming in July for 2 days. Given the fact that my friend asked the owner about Doctor Who, and did his Doctor Who photos in the Diner, I’m sure that he means Doctor Who. I only got the date of July… No specific date was given.”"
For those that don’t remember, Eddie’s Diner most recently appeared in season 9 episode “Hell Bent.” Clara and her new BFF Ashildr (or Me or whatever you want to call her) have their own TARDIS and it’s disguised to look like this restaurant. According to spoiler hounds, the booking of this location serves as some form of confirmation that Clara will be returning for Capaldi’s swan song. (Take that, obviously, with a giant grain of salt.)
But you know what? She could be. It would make a certain amount of sense. All of the new Who Doctors save Christopher Eccleston had a moment or two to say their own goodbyes to previous companions. (And Nine regenerated in the middle of a conversation with his current – and only – traveling partner.) So it seems like a decent guess that we’ll at least get some sort of Clara appearance, even if its only for a brief moment.
By the time Christmas special filming begins this summer, Coleman should have wrapped production on the second season of her period drama Victoria. She’ll have the time. This is, of course, a separate question from whether we should see Clara again. Her exit sparked controversy among some fans, thanks its drawn-out nature. Well, that and the fact that it was yet another example of showrunner Steven Moffat killing off a character for emotional shock value without having the guts to actually make the death stick. (Sorry, Clara’s resurrection after her actions in “Face the Raven” is something of a sore point for me.)
And Clara’s ending – using her own TARDIS to travel time and space in the moment before her death – feels like it ought to be the final word on her character. There’s always the possibility that she could just appear in some sort of vision,. That’s what Karen Gillian’s Amy Pond did during Eleven’s exit. Or maybe this is just another wild and crazy rumor. Probably none of us have any real idea what’s going to happen during Capaldi’s last hurrah.
At least we still have nine more episodes in season 10 to go before we have to worry about it.
Doctor Who season 10 airs Saturday nights on BBC One and BBC America.