‘The Time of the Doctor’ — Time To Get Naked?

Doctor WhoIf any Whovians need another reason to watch “The Time of the Doctor” on Christmas Day, DOCTOR WHO show-runner Steven Moffat tells the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine that the special will feature “a fair bit of nudity.”

While visions of Jenna Coleman’s Clara and her sugar plums are dancing in your head, recall that the last time a story featured a lot of bare skin — season five’s “The Lodger” — the exhibitionist was the Doctor himself, Matt Smith!

Moffat also lets us in on a little secret about one of the Xmas story’s baddies, the new character Tasha Lem (played by Orla Brady):

“The Doctor meets an old friend. Someone from his distant past. Someone who knows him very well, but whom we have never met. She’s the ‘Mother Superious’ of the Papal Mainframe.”

Aha, so Tasha Lem is a ranking officer in The Church, the religious/military hybrid organization of the 51st century. That connects her to the Headless Monks (of “A Good Man Goes to War” in season six), who name-checked the Papal Mainframe, and to the Clerics (from “The Time of Angels”/“Flesh and Stone” in series five). Moffat has previously promised call-outs to all three of Matt Smith’s seasons as the Doctor, so this is obviously part of that.
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More Photos From the DOCTOR WHO Xmas Special

Here’s another group of photos — 21 of ’em — depicting a bit of what the 11th Doctor gets up to in Matt Smith‘s final story, “The Time of the Doctor.” The BIG shocker? The return — well, sort of  — of a totally and completely unexpected guest species!

The civilian costumes remind me of a Bavarian village; is this Earth or Trenzalore? And I must say Tasha Lem (Orla Brady) looks more Rani-like than ever. What could Silents, Weeping Angels, Cybermen and Daleks possibly have in common beyond a shared desire to destroy the Doctor? Why are they all in the same place? Have they been gathered by the (supposed) Rani?

And why is there a Monoid puppet and drawings? Is Trenzalore actually a renamed Refusis II? I doubt that, but how cool would it be if the 11th Doctor popped in to check on the Monoids he last saw in his first incarnation, back in “The Ark”?

More New DOCTOR WHO Christmas Snapshots

The latest batch of photographic teases from the BBC include two things we’ve never seen before: a Cyberman made of wood, and a new character called Tasha Lem. And then there are the usual Daleks and some regular Cybermen.

Tasha Lem, played by Orla Brady, is rumored to be someone from the Doctor’s past. Since he has quite a long past, she could someone totally new — but a lot of fandom is hoping she turns out to be the Rani (originally personified by Kate O’Mara). It seems to be a bit of wishful thinking (since show-runner Steven Moffat once vowed never to bring back the Rani) — however, someone clawed out of that Gallifrey Falls painting alongside Clara in “The Day of the Doctor,” and it certainly appeared to be a female hand. And Moffat lies. (Does he ever!)

And I certainly hope the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) doesn’t perish in that ridiculous caped get-up, waving that Dalek eye-stalk like a deranged Harry Potter wannabe!

We will all know soon enough: 9 p.m. on Christmas Day on BBC America.