DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special Gets Title, Poster, Synopsis; Moffat Re-Numbering the Doctors

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The Doctor Who news just keeps rolling out, and we here at SciFi Mafia couldn’t be happier. Amongst the latest news (watch for more later today) is the release of the title of the 2013 Christmas special, along with a poster and synopsis. Geronimo!

Here’s the full version of the poster:

Doctor Who Christmas 2013

And here’s the synopsis released by the BBC:

Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars – and amongst them, the Doctor.

Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.

oooOOOOooo! Might that “backwater planet” be Trenzalore? Of course we know that this is when we’ll see the last (other than future specials) of Matt Smith‘s Doctor, so keep your box o’ tissues handy.

Speaking of which, showrunner Steven Moffat has tossed the Doctor Who mulitverse into an uproar by an interview he gave to Mark Jeffries of the Daily Mirror over the weekend. As most classic Whovians know, and reboot Who fans are learning, canon was set in the 1976 episode “The Deadly Assassin” that a Time Lord can only regenerate twelve times in a cycle, allowing thirteen lives, or in this case, 13 Doctors.

Matt Smith has been referred to by all as the 11th Doctor. Of course. Until Saturday. Moffat told Jeffries that “Matt is actually the 13th and final doctor. John Hurt is officially now a doctor and David Tennant used up an extra regeneration during his stay.”

Anglophenia reminds us that the Metacrisis Doctor was generated when the Tenth Doctor was shot by a Dalek and he diverted the excess regeneration energy into his own severed hand. That must now count as one regeneration, and now so does the War Doctor, per what I am calling the new Moffat Numbering System.

Moffat went on to tell Jeffries:

The 12 regenerations limit is a central part of Doctor Who mythology – science fiction is all about rules, you can’t just casually break them. So if the Doctor can never change again, what’s Peter Capaldi doing in the Christmas special?


The 2013 Doctor Who Christmas Special, Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor, starring Matt SmithJenna Coleman, and likely at least a brief glimpse of Peter Capaldi, airs December 25 on BBC America.

Erin Willard
Written by Erin Willard

Erin is the Editor In Chief and West Coast Correspondent for