Twice Upon a Time: Director Rachel Talalay Teases More Tenth Planet Reconstructions

Not only will this year’s Christmas special, Twice Upon a Time, bid a fond farewell to both Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor – not to mention the arrival of the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker – but it will also see the First Doctor return to the fold as David Bradley reprises his role from the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time.  

It’s the return of the First Doctor that has thrown up some interesting questions – and with the first trailer showing moments from the First Doctor’s final serial, The Tenth Planet, it also throws up the possibility of the show extending the recreation to a few more moments from the First Doctor’s last stand.

In a recent interview with the This Week in Time Travel podcast (via the Radio Times), finale director Rachel Talalay – who will also be departing the show after the Christmas special –  teased that she has become something of a ‘Tenth Planet expert’ in the build up to shooting this year’s special:

“I think I’ve watched Tenth Planet more than anybody.”

She then went on to tease:

“Sections of it I’ve watched over and over again for reasons that will become clearer over Christmas.

“And also different reconstructions and the animated reconstructions. So yeah – I’ve watched sections of it a LOT.”

It’s intrigue and perhaps means that we’ll be seeing more recreations of The Tenth Planet – although we hope they’ll not ‘morph’ in quite the same way as the trailer did – and maybe even his final moments. Either way, with Moffat and Capaldi such fans of the show, it seems likely that neither will be able to avoid meshing together two eras of the show and spinning a finale for two Doctors that ties opposing ends of the shows history together.

Doctor Who returns Christmas Day with Twice Upon a Time on BBC One.

  • The Lazy Womble

    This is supposed to be Peter Capaldi’s swansong and grand finale. I worry that too much reference back to Tenth Planet will lessen the strength. Two regenerations could diminish the important one.

    • Turd Ferguson’s Doggy

      Yes. I really don’t need to seen a Hartnell regen remake.

    • FrancoPabloDiablo

      Agree with you to an extent but for a lot of people it will also be the shows grand finale so it is quite poignant and appropriate that the show comes full circle with the first and last Doctors fighting side by side. To have the show end as it began with the first Doctor bookending the series I’m quite looking forward to. Am sure the amazing Capaldi won’t be sidelined in any way.

      • The Lazy Womble

        I have no quarrel with going back to the beginning. But Mr Moff needs to remember that this is also PC’s finale and showcase that. I hope that that is what we will get. PC’s abilities as an actor (immense obvs) are only one part of the picture.

      • Bob James

        If Chibnall really wants to break all ties with the past as has been rumoured, this would be good closure for anyone getting off the ride afterwards. 2005 brought a reinvigorated, updated resumption, but what happens next will be, arguably, a complete reinvention. There will most definitely be different definitions of what Doctor Who is for different people after this. Even though the BBC and the incumbent showrunner define it, there are those of us who will remain behind.

        • bar

          Not ‘behind’ or ‘in front’ Bob; in parallel 🙂

          • Bob James

            Thank you. A fitting and appropriate distinction.

        • Jack Ashcraft

          I can’t even fathom watching the Christmas special. I sincerely don’t want to support what is coming in any sense. It may seem selfish, but then again, to insist anyone should watch just for the sake of (fill in the blank) is selfish as well.

          Anyway, I really don’t expect it to last past one more season. The awful writing, agenda casting, violently changing the main character (as the gender swap has), and socio-political “in your face” rhetoric will kill it.

          • Bob James

            The last floating story/rumour I came across (encountered on Facebook, and unconfirmed by any valid source) suggests that the reason for Doctors One and Twelve to both be present has something to do with the new regenerative cycle the Time Lords granted the Doctor in TTOTD. The rumour states that One (as we are encountering him in “The Tenth Planet”, just prior to his regeneration into his second incarnation) will actually now regenerate into the Whittaker Doctor, who will effectively become the new Two, with the Twelfth Capaldi incarnation, already resisting and refusing to regenerate simply expiring. Effectively a mythology wipe, a complete reset, that will erase Doctors Two through Eleven (and Other/War) as we’ve known them. Chibnall has spoken openly about a radical shake up, a radical and complete reset, and as crazy as this sounds, I wouldn’t rule it out as possible. He claims to have run his game plan by the BBC and expected resistance, but was surprised when they green lit it. Again, a completely unsubstantiated story, a floating rumour. But admit it, in light of how this whole debacle is unfolding, would you be so surprised if this proved true?

  • Ranger

    I am looking forward to this, as I like David Bradley and am excited about him and Capaldi interacting. But I also agree that Capaldi needs to be the centre of attention and his regeneration must be the big finale (I have no doubt it will, merely because they won’t miss the chance to make a spectacular entrance for Jodie).

    • DonnaM

      I have more faith in the Moff getting things right, sadly, than I do in his successor – and I say that as someone who loathed the entire Eleventh Doctor era! The respect Moffat has for his leading man is obvious and I’m sure he won’t have let him down.
      My only hope is that he gets 59 minutes of the episode and Jodie the last few moments.

  • d0ct0rkev

    This going to be great, maybe they can reconstruct tenth planet 4 while they are at it. Also looking forward the great Jodie Whittaker