Regeneration. It’s the ability of a Time Lord to renew his physical form when facing death and results in a new face and a different personality — and allows DOCTOR WHO to continue to reinvent itself with every new lead actor. It’s about to happen again, and judging by executive producer/writer Steven Moffat’s hints, it appears that the 11th Doctor’s final story this Christmas will have some elements in common with the end of the 10th Doctor’s tenure: 11 will see the end coming.
Moffat tells Doctor Who magazine that the Matt Smith version of the Doctor also will contemplate the more unpleasant aspects of changing bodies and personalities:
“One of the horrors of regeneration is that a certain amount of his persona alters entirely. His appetites and his enthusiasms will change. And that’s sort of what I’m writing about now in Matt’s last episode, the fact that he’s terribly aware that he’s about to be rewritten. And it’s frightening.”
It definitely appears that 11 is not happy about confronting his mortality. He knows the end is near and he’s frightened by it. Does it have anything to do with the massive battlefield at Trenzalore?
The Christmas Special is designed to wrap up the Smith era as completely as possible, tying off any dangling plot threads. Says Moff:
“The special ties up stuff from all corners of Matt’s tenure – there are things I set in motion in Matt’s very first episode that I’m paying off now. It’s been a long game, but most of the questions that people ask will be answered.”
I absolute adored Matt’s first story, “The Eleventh Hour,” but I admit that I have always wondered about the Doctor commenting on the lack of ducks in the duck pond in Leadworth. (Is it anything like what happened when the 10th Doctor noted a dearth of bees?) Is that important enough to revisit? What about a reason for the TARDIS exploding during the transition from 10 to 11? That never happened before. And how did the crack in time connect Amy’s house to the prison holding Prisoner Zero, and why was the creature able to escape through it? And why did Prisoner Zero live in Amy’s home for a dozen years, anyway?