The Doctor Who Christmas Special has a title! It’s called “Twice Upon a Time”, and will mark Peter Capaldi’s final appearance as the Doctor. It will also feature Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, thought to have departed the series for good. The news was revealed at the Doctor Who cast panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
The title could refer to the fact that the episode will be a multi-Doctor tale, with TWO incarnations of the Time Lord appearing. The finale of Season 10 saw Peter Capaldi’s outgoing Twelfth Doctor come face-to-face with the First, who is played by David Bradley.
Departing showrunner Steven Moffat confirmed in a special Facebook Live broadcast by the BBC that Bradley’s First Doctor would indeed return in the Christmas Special. The duo will team up for the story.
Traditionally, the Christmas Special is used to introduce any incoming Doctor in a regeneration sequence, so we will also see Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor for the first time. Not counting the BBC’s reveal footage, of course, which aired immediately following the Wimbledon Tennis Men’s Final 2017.
In the same Facebook Live event, Moffat also confirmed that Bill Potts was now a Cyberman for ever more, and Mackie’s emotional response certainly suggested a finality.
However, in the Season 10 finale, we saw Mackie as Bill Potts, despite the fact the character became a Cyberman. The show presented her in the image of Bill to signify that she was unable to mentally process the ‘conversion’. Following this, we also saw her transformed by Heather, who we last saw in the season’s opening episode, into a creature like her with the ability to take human form whenever she likes. Since the Christmas Special looks like it will pick up straight after the events of that finale, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the character again in this way.
It was also announced that Mark Gatiss will co-star in the episode in a guest role. He’ll play a WWI soldier known only as ‘The Captain’. Gatiss is no stranger to Doctor Who, having appeared previously three times in different roles and serving as a writer on the series.
Finally, the panel unveiled the first teaser trailer for “Twice Upon A Time”.