Twelfth Doctor Debut in Christmas Special TARDIS Blue Christmas
It looks like it’ll be a blue Christmas for fans of Matt Smith, who plays the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who. Smith won’t be renewing his contract, which ends in November.

“Matt has told bosses he wants to bow out at Christmas,” an insider told the Sun.

The Twelfth Doctor would be the penultimate Doctor according to “The Deadly Assassin” which introduced a limit of 12 regenerations (i.e.; 13 incarnations). Of course, the Master has shown this rule can be circumvented.

Executive Producer Steven Moffat recently hinted at the possibility of a female doctor but what if there already is?

Smith’s fate on the show may be uncertain but the same can’t be said for his companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.

“I can say I will be in season eight,” Coleman told BBC Radio 5 Live.

I originally suspected the Doctor’s new companion Clara Oswin Oswald is River Song, which seems more likely now that it’s been revealed River Song (Alex Kingston) will return in the season finale, but Producer Marcus Wilson told TV & Satellite Week that who or what the impossible girl is impossible to guess.

“I defy anybody to guess it,” he laughs. “Steven Moffat [the shows’ executive producer and head writer] has found a way to lead everybody down the garden path and then knock them over with surprise at the end.”

Speaking at a Radio Times covers’ party, Moffat hinted, “And in the finale, the Doctor’s greatest secret will at last be revealed!”

“It will make viewers’ jaws drop,” says Wilson. “You thought you knew everything about the Doctor? Well, you never saw this coming.”

What could be more shocking than discovering the Doctor’s companion is a future version himself, who is a woman!

Beyond wild speculation just for the sake of it, there is actual evidence supporting this theory:

  • Clara has demonstrated the ability to revive herself like a Time Lord.
  • Clara Oswin Oswald spells “a window across all” which could suggest she is a mirror of the Doctors.
  • Commenter K-9 Mk.IV points out Oswald is an anagram of “also DW.”
  • The upcoming Christmas Special will be Clara’s 12th appearance, a perfect time to become the 12th Doctor.
  • In last year’s Christmas Special “The Snowmen,” a tombstone reveals her birthday is November 23, the same date as the Doctor Who debut and the upcoming of the 50th Anniversary Special.

Another theory that would fit with the dates is that Clara is Susan, the Doctor’s grand-daughter and his first companion but the open mouth kiss between the Doctor and Clara seems to preclude this possibility, Star Wars notwithstanding. Whereas kissing yourself is at least marginally less creepy. It’s not hard to imagine the Doctor saying something cheeky like ‘People have done far worse with themselves than I.’

Doctor Who - Clara Oswin Oswald tombstone

As for the “greatest secret” it’s apparently the Doctor’s name, a running gag on the show.

In “The Wedding Of River Song,” Dorium Maldovar recounts the Silence prophecy, “On the Fields of Trenzalore, on the Fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never ever be answered.”

Dorium warns the Doctor, “It’s all still waiting for you. The Fields of Trenzalore, the fall of the Eleventh, and the question. The first question. The question that must never be answered. Hidden in plain sight. The question you’ve been running from all your life. Doctor who? Doctor who? Doctor who?”

In “Forest of the Dead,” River gained the trust of the Tenth Doctor by reluctantly telling him his name. In fact, she actually apologizes for having to do it.

He gave an equally grave response, “There’s only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There’s only one time I could.”

Some fans think he’s talking about marriage but if that’s the case, then he would have said there’s only one ‘person’ not ‘reason’ or ‘time.’ The direness of their tone and finality of the wording suggest that the Doctor would only reveal his name as some sort of last resort. Furthermore, the prophecy implies it will also have negative consequences from the perspective of the Silence. In other words, a nuclear option.