This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, “Twice Upon a Time,” will mark the end of an era for the BBC series in more ways than one. Not only is Steven Moffat leaving his gig as showrunner behind, but Peter Capaldi will say his final goodbyes as the 12th incarnation of the beloved Time Lord, with Jodie Whittaker stepping in as the 13th Doctor.
Frequent Doctor Who collaborator Mark Gatiss (Gatiss wrote several episodes over the years and had a few guest-starring stints) will also share in Capaldi’s final adventure (as per Moffat's personal request) in the role of a World War I captain who finds himself aboard the TARDIS alongside Capaldi, David Bradley's First Doctor, and companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie).
In a recent interview with EW, Gatiss opened up about the yuletide special, revealing some intriguing tidbits about the 12th Doctor's mindset coming in: “As we discovered at the climax of the last season,” Gatiss said, “the Doctor is about to regenerate, but doesn’t want to. Not because he doesn’t want to change his face, but [he thinks] maybe this is time to finish it. And then unexpectedly, out of the snow, arrives his very first incarnation, now played by the great David Bradley.”
The Sherlock co-creator also opened up about his mysterious character known only as The Captain and teased the type of episode “Twice Upon a Time” will be. “I play a captain from the First World War who is kind of plucked out of time and then gets involved with the Doctor’s adventures,” Gatiss revealed about the Christmas special. “So it’s essentially a kind of chamber piece of David, and Peter, and Pearl, and me, and this strange mysterious threat. But really it’s about the wonderful interplay between the two Doctors. Both Doctors are about to regenerate, one of them for the first time, one for the 13th, or whatever it is now. [Laughs] It’s a very charming, funny, and rather moving script, and it was just a privilege to be part of it.”
Doctor Who’s “Twice Upon a Time” will air on Christmas Day on the BBC, BBC America, and Space.