A trailer for the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special, ‘Twice Upon A Time,’ was recently unveiled. Three writers give their reaction to the video, which features two Doctors in the forms of Peter Capaldi and David Bradley, Mark Gatiss as the Captain and a reappearance by Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie).
In the aptly named ‘Twice Upon A Time’ trailer, we finally get a taste of the upcoming Christmas special – Capaldi’s last episode no less, as well as the reintroduction of the First Doctor shortly before his own regeneration. Going by the trailer we can expect another pitch-perfect Hartnell impression from David Bradley – that opening black and white shot morphing into a colourised Bradley was wonderfully done. Also in the trailer, brief as it is, are the mandatory multi-Doctor gags, time playing up yet again and bizarrely regular Who and Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss along for the ride as a WW1 soldier. In a surprise twist, we will also have Pearl Mackie back as Bill – although this will somewhat dampen her supposed exit in ‘The Doctor Falls,’ it was nonetheless delightful to see her return announced. All things considered, this looks to be a corker, and a landmark episode of Doctor Who.
If I’m honest, my initial reaction to the trailer for ‘Twice Upon a Time’ was irritation at Mark Gatiss casting himself in Doctor Who for the second time, after Series 3’s ‘The Lazarus Experiment’. It feels a bit like ‘jobs for the boys’ courtesy of his Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat. Otherwise, the special looks very promising: David Bradley’s First Doctor is as eerily accurate as in An Adventure in Space and Time, while the return of Bill is welcome: her departure in ‘The Doctor Falls’ felt slightly rushed, particularly her goodbye to the Doctor. I’m particularly keen on the possibility of a double regeneration, with both One and Twelve’s times being near. Here’s hoping for a shock cameo from the Second Doctor – played by a new actor of course.
Steven Moffat just won’t let a character go, will he? After the Bill cheap out at the end of last season, I was a bit disappointed to see that she’d be coming back again – I was looking forward to a two Doctor adventure. It was a similar feeling of let-down when I saw Mark Gatiss cropping up again, this time with a daft moustache. We seem to have confirmation of things the cliff-hanger hinted at – it’s likely that this story will be set during ‘The Tenth Planet,’ the First Doctor’s regeneration story, for example, and that Peter Capaldi and David Bradley will be magnificent – but it otherwise gives little away. Please, Beeb, let’s keep it that way until Christmas Day!