Watch the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special on Amazon Video


This year, though, the "special" took on greater significance, as it had the monumental task of saying goodbye to Peter Capaldi, while also welcoming incoming Doctor Jodie Whittaker, and, of course, affording long-time showrunner Steven Moffat his final turn as head writer. "As we discovered at the climax of the last season, the Doctor is about to regenerate, but doesn't want to".

As some pointed out, 11th Time Lord incarnation Matt Smith also crashed the Tardis after his regeneration. Usually a Doctor's first words are much-awaited and are super memorable, so fans may be eager to hear what the first Doctor played by a woman has to say. When Whittaker emerges, she looks shocked and says with a smile, "Oh, brilliant", before the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) explodes, propelling her character into space as the show fades to a title card that says "To be continued". "I've obviously seen her tiny bit at the end of the Christmas special". Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) will take over as Whittaker's era begins.

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In the absence of any substantial footage of Whittaker yet, we're left to speculate that perhaps the current Doctor had putting himself in a woman's shoes on his mind, so unremittingly unreconstructed were the 1960s-dwelling First Doctor's attitudes. Whittaker starred in Broadchurch as Beth Latimer, the mother of a child who is found murdered on the beach. She told the Radio Times in July that she hopes the show's longtime fans won't be "scared by my gender".

Actress Jenna Coleman returned as Doctor Who companion Clara Oswald in the Christmas programme alongside David Bradley, playing the part of William Hartnell's first Doctor, Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss and Pearl Mackie as companion Bill Potts. Cole, who appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will play Ryan. But really it's about the wonderful interplay between the two Doctors. Clarke has starred as Lola Griffin in the medical drama Holby City and has starred in many musicals and plays in London's West End.