DOCTOR WHO Features Shocking Regeneration Twist As First Look At Christmas Special Is Revealed - SPOILERS

DOCTOR WHO Features Shocking Regeneration Twist As First Look At Christmas Special Is Revealed - SPOILERS DOCTOR WHO Features Shocking Regeneration Twist As First Look At Christmas Special Is Revealed - SPOILERS

The Doctor Who franchise has been turned on its head thanks to "The Giggle," and a huge regeneration twist sets the stage for what promises to be an exciting new era which kicks off on Christmas Day...

By JoshWilding - Dec 09, 2023 07:12 PM EST
Filed Under: Doctor Who

And with that, the Doctor is in. Well, perhaps that should be Doctors

Yes, Doctor Who just delivered its first "bi-generation" in a game-changing twist that's bound to be divisive among fans. A clash with the villainous Toymaster culminated with the Fourteenth Doctor being gunned down, prompting him to regenerate. However, instead of becoming someone new, the Time Lord split in two, leaving us with two individual Doctors. 

Russell T Davies previously confirmed that, following this year's Christmas Special, Ncuti Gatwa's stint as the Doctor will launch with season 1 and we now know why.

The Fourteenth Doctor chose his previous appearance (as the Tenth Doctor) because, subconsciously, he wanted to return to Donna and find peace after years of death, loss, and trauma. Now, he's able to "retire," still using the TARDIS - that too "bi-generates" - but not for crazy adventures or battles to save the universe; instead, he finds peace as part of Donna's family, and is given time to heal...while leaving the door open to returning to what he does best, of course. 

As for the Fifteenth Doctor, released from the burden of that trauma, he's quite literally a new man. He has all the same memories and is the Doctor, but the split means he can now move forward, embarking on new journies and essentially freed from the baggage which has come to define the character since he was reintroduced in 2005. 

It's a smart way to give the Doctor Who franchise a fresh start, all while preserving its history...and leaving the door open for Tennant to continue playing the time-traveller in a spin-off or future team-up. There are also some exciting hints about the future, including The Master's possible return. 

A trailer for this year's Christmas special has also been released, and while we're sure some will choose to focus on the fact the Doctor appears to be wearing a dress, it looks like an absolute riot.

"Little is known about Ruby Sunday as she was abandoned on Christmas Eve as a baby," reads a brief synopsis for the episode titled 'The Church on Ruby Road.' "Now living with her mum, Carla and grandmother, Cherry her world is about to be turned upside when she encounters the Doctor and the two set off on their first adventure together..."

You can watch the "bi-generation" and that festive sneak peek in the X posts below (via

MORBIUS Star Matt Smith Teases Possible DOCTOR WHO Return And Reflects On How BBC Series Impacted His Career

MORBIUS Star Matt Smith Teases Possible DOCTOR WHO Return And Reflects On How BBC Series Impacted His Career

DOCTOR WHO Star David Tennant Addresses Return/Spin-Off Claims: The Fourteenth Doctor Is Retired!
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DOCTOR WHO Star David Tennant Addresses Return/Spin-Off Claims: "The Fourteenth Doctor Is Retired!"

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dorritosaur - 12/9/2023, 7:38 PM
Apophis71 - 12/9/2023, 7:57 PM
@dorritosaur - If you haven't seen yet and able to, there is an additional sneak peek of the Christmas Special on the latest Dr Who unleashed
HashTagSwagg - 12/9/2023, 7:38 PM
This level of BS writing would make the MSHEU blush
BLEECH - 12/9/2023, 7:58 PM
@HashTagSwagg - "MSheU"

Tell me you've never felt a woman's touch in your life.
Batmangina - 12/9/2023, 8:28 PM
@BLEECH - How do you know they like women? It's awfully inconsiderate of you to assume their gender and orientation.

dagenspear - 12/9/2023, 9:54 PM
@HashTagSwagg - MHeU.
philinterrupted - 12/9/2023, 10:39 PM
@HashTagSwagg - are you mad about the science of the bi-regeneration?

Because it’s not a real thing. It’s a science fiction tv show about an alien that travels in time and space and when they die they turn into new people.
HashTagSwagg - 12/9/2023, 10:50 PM
@philinterrupted - It's the writing, the lack of attempt to justify what they're doing, it's so transparent that it's almost impossible feel any immersion. I'm not seeing a story with character's, I'm seeing a stupid decision be enforced and writers who clearly don't care for what they're doing so they just hide behind the excuse of it all being "meta".
philinterrupted - 12/9/2023, 10:55 PM
@HashTagSwagg - you’re twisting it into something because you want to be mad about it.

I’m not saying the writing is perfect. They certainly can be heavy handed.

But using the “MsheU” term certainly says loads about your bias. Talk about being heavy handed.
IronMaiden33 - 12/10/2023, 6:16 PM
@HashTagSwagg - Honestly what the [frick] are you talking about? What the [frick] does mcu have to do with this?
WhateverItTakes - 12/9/2023, 7:39 PM
He's probably the kind of doctor being ok with giving kids chemical castration
TheFinestSmack - 12/9/2023, 7:49 PM
@HeWhoBeatsDames - "Chemical castration is cool"
Origame - 12/9/2023, 7:41 PM
Yeah pretty dumb. But also, OT, seeing some hypocrisy with disney compared to what their movies and shows are saying.
Apophis71 - 12/9/2023, 7:42 PM
Loved the episode, understand why some won't have, but thought it was brilliant... the clock starts to see if the 10th ends up becoming the Valeyard or some such like the curator but having watched the behind the scenes Dr Who unleashed it is confirmed by RTD we will only be following the 15th in the main show, Tennant is now grounded/retired.

Although obviously could turn up here and there in the future one way or another he is not getting his own continued series where he will be the titular lead.
Scarilian - 12/9/2023, 10:37 PM
@Apophis71 -
Sounds like a leaping off point.

Audiences that returned for Tennant won't bother with the Ncuti era because Tennant's still around - whether they pick that up or not.
ObserverIO - 12/10/2023, 4:24 AM
@Apophis71 - I love that the original Doctor retired as the 10th, since that was probably the fan favorite incarnation. Or at least tied as favorite with Tom Baker.
Apophis71 - 12/10/2023, 6:44 AM
@Scarilian - Can be a jumping on point too so we will wait and see...

...I'm sure some have already or could jump off and that is fine, each to their own and all that, open question which way overall long term numbers go after the initial fluctuations.
Apophis71 - 12/10/2023, 6:53 AM
@ObserverIO - Works well for a tad more significant reboot than the normal regenerations too. Sure the 15th still has the same memories up until the split but the concept feels like he is leaving most the emotional baggage from the cumlative traumas of the prior incarnations behind with Tennant. Allows the 15th to feel more fresh and young liberated from a lot of that to a large degree without it feeling as off that there is less of the darkness the Doctor has shown at times.

If that is a good thing or a bad thing, or if I am totaly wrong remains to be seen.
ObserverIO - 12/10/2023, 8:36 AM
@Apophis71 - I just read that when the split happened, the timeline split too, so he's still the 15th Doctor, but his past incarnations have completely different histories. They gave several examples such as Sylvester McCoy waking up in the morgue instead of Paul McGann.

So he's literally liberated from the history we know and it's emotional baggage. Of course he will undoubtably have his own set of personal baggage that we don't know about that will apparently be explored in a separate series, with old doctors presumably reprising their roles as variants in the new timeline.

Personally I would have had him be the new 1st Doctor and started with a freshly cleaned slate, still vaguely connected to the old, but that's just me and I can see how they can get a lot more bang for their buck doing it this way, in terms of franchise spin-offs exploring the past incarnations of the doctor, but free from continuity baggage.
dagenspear - 12/10/2023, 1:42 PM
@Apophis71 - Why is it brilliant?
Apophis71 - 12/10/2023, 1:54 PM
@dagenspear - Just my opinion and don't feel that going into specific of what I base that one should be required on a forum where some seem to take pleasure in picking apart any opinion be they good or bad :D
dagenspear - 12/10/2023, 4:11 PM
@Apophis71 - Why post here if you don't want to go into specific?
Apophis71 - 12/10/2023, 4:48 PM
@dagenspear - Why not, however I used to all the time but certain users who are very vocal would pull apart all the reasons I liked or disliked a thing in such a way that it made being here at all extremely unpleasant thus deleted my ID...

...ended up with a sizeable block list but that caused a whole load of other issues trying to read the discussions... I choose not to go there again and keep opinions on like/dislike minimal.
Scarilian - 12/13/2023, 7:10 PM
@Apophis71 -
True, but given the nature of the special relying on you to be familiar with a lot of prior events to justify the previous incarnation 'retiring' in order to explain Ncuti's introduction, Tardis and potentially his mindset it's a bit tricky using it as a jumping on point.

I'd guess maybe the Christmas special will fill that role, but if they delve into his Tardis being a 'prize', bring back the Toymaker or explore anything that was teased/set-up over the course of the three specials then it'll be confusing to new watchers.

As for viewership of the show as a whole, consolidated for the second special is in... and it's not looking good.

Special 1: 5.08m Overnight, 7.61m Consolidated
Special 2: 4.83m Overnight, 7.14m Consolidated

This means total views lost between the first and second special is 470,000. It's possible some of the consolidated for the first special was inflated due to rewatches, we'll have to wait till potentially after Christmas for the consolidated for the third special.
Apophis71 - 12/14/2023, 4:17 AM
@Scarilian - Folk never have to know about something from decades past to understand a thing if the thing is explained in a well crafted story when it crops up again.

Those numbers even if they went down are still considered a huge hit for the UK and told you I'm done debating all that. If you have a population of 67m with over 200 free TV channels, total of 480 and the hihest live viewing figures of any drama for the yeat that is HIGH numbers not troubling ones.

Consolidated numbers in the UK do not work the way you think they do, they are calculated in a way where individuals watching multiple times don't inflate them due to iplayer accounts linked to physical address and TV licence (why it takes a couple weeks to verify and publish them) and as I say done with your trolling on this.
Scarilian - 12/14/2023, 8:36 AM
@Apophis71 -
The specials were not well crafted and they've already retconned the events to happen differently.

BEFORE: Flux destroyed the ENTIRE universe other than Earth, we see it destroying our solar system, due to shit writing at the time they forgot to have the Doctor fix everything at the end and then pretended it did not happen. They showed a restored universe in the next episode.

NOW: The specials claim the Flux destroyed HALF the universe and it, along with other events, have been eating the Doctor up inside emotionally/mentally which is why the Doctor needs to retire. Nonsense.

They drop a line that the Doctor is not from Gallifrey and has no idea where he's from. That does not work without the context of why he thinks he was from Gallifrey and the context of why he's actually not from Gallifrey - hence needing viewers to watch The Timeless Children.

We know the Ncuti Christmas special doubles down on this concept and has him bonding with someone primarily because both of them were 'abandoned' and don't know their real parents or home.

"Those numbers even if they went down are still considered a huge hit for the UK"

I'm discussing consistency. Losing nearly half a million viewers between your first and second episode is not good. If it's not consistent then it will not remain a 'huge hit' as you claim it to be.

It is perfectly reasonable to have both these viewpoints at the same time, they do not contradict.

"Consolidated numbers in the UK do not work the way you think they do"

Views are counted as being on the episode for more than 1 minute. I don't feel this is a worthy judge of viewership as if someone turned the show on during the last minute (primarily credits) in order to wait for the next show then it artificially inflates the shows viewership.
r1g0r - 12/9/2023, 7:44 PM
In other words, they're unsure of what direction to take the story from here.

Let's go in 2 different directions, and see what's more popular.
TheFinestSmack - 12/9/2023, 7:48 PM
@r1g0r - Oh no...this is a failsafe. If the 15th Doctor crashes and burns, they just shift focus back to 14 which people somewhat like.
Scarilian - 12/9/2023, 10:53 PM
@r1g0r -
It's going to backfire on them also.

If you tuned in for Tennant, you'll have no reason to remain for Ncuti as Tennant has 'retired', You get a happy ending if you just quit the show at this point.

It'll be the MCU Endgame problem all over again, the story people are most interested in which was the Tennant Era is concluded and given a, somewhat, satisfying ending so there's no reason to continue watching.

Putting Ncuti up against the most popular and arguably well acted Doctor of the revived era also makes it difficult for Ncuti to really have an impact on the audience.

We'll get overnights fairly soon, maybe it'll benefit from being the regeneration episode and the last of the 'specials' but I think the viewership will continue to slide. I cannot see Ncuti's era performing particularly well with such a lead-in.

seismicblast - 12/10/2023, 10:57 AM
@TheFinestSmack - This is like Tennent's second backup. Isn't Tennent also the meta-crisis Doctor living on Pete's World?
dagenspear - 12/10/2023, 1:44 PM
@Scarilian - Unless some like that actor's performance?

This is as much a nothing issue as any regenerations.
Scarilian - 12/10/2023, 4:09 PM
@dagenspear -
Normal regeneration force you to accept the previous version of the character is gone and a new version of the character has progressed - the story is continuing for the character just with different attributes attached to them.

With this situation, the older version of the character is still canonically existing and around, just chilling having comfy adventures.

I'd rather go with such a jumping off point. It seems nice, it's a change of pace that would be greatly appreciated to explore - the Doctor actively travelling through time just to have fun, to see the sights, meet historical figures, etc...

The writers want to follow Ncuti's incarnation, to fall back into the same repetitive cycle of mysteries, monsters, etc... that the Doctor's been doing for 60 years.

The audience however want to follow Tennant's incarnation, to actually have a slice of life Doctor Who show where we get a break from the horrors of the universe. To explore the character dynamics that were teased by the Doctor meeting up again with Donna and old companions such as Wilf and Mel.
DocSpock - 12/9/2023, 7:45 PM

Yes Virginia, we all know why.

Batmangina - 12/9/2023, 7:47 PM
Wow. That sounds like total [frick]ing garbage.

At least with the new guy they can finally check off the last of the DEI boxes.

TheFinestSmack - 12/9/2023, 7:53 PM
@Batmangina - And if the new guy fails, they have the built-in failsafe of having "14" still around so he can come back if needed.
Batmangina - 12/9/2023, 7:59 PM
@TheFinestSmack - Exactly. The new guy will fail - just like the Chick Doctor.

Damn, the reboot had some of the best sci fi TV moments of the last 20 years and it's a [frick]ing Babylon Bee Instagram post now.
TheFinestSmack - 12/9/2023, 8:09 PM
@Batmangina - I'm wondering if the BBC made it so that 14 had to stick around in case 15 is terrible. Because they knew Jodie was a failure after a few episodes aired and they stuck with her for 2 more seasons and killed the series. I doubt they'd let it sink that far again. But so far it doesn't look good.
Batmangina - 12/9/2023, 8:26 PM
@TheFinestSmack - I would bet a kidney that is the case - the BBC has so totally [frick]ed themselves after they doubled down on the Chick Doctor that they went with not only two scoops of 'memberberries with 14 and Donna, they completely retrofitted and baked in the bullshit 100% all the while having the race card to pull when 15 fails abysmally.

If they wanted to score DEI points and make it badass at the same time, reboot the think Eccleston style and get Idris Elba or someone at that level to do ONE [frick]ING SEASON of superlative continuity UN[frick]ING stories and stop shitting the bed once and for all.

The idea that Davros makes people in wheelchairs feel bad is the most patronizing ego inflated virtue signaling horseshit I've heard this year.
dagenspear - 12/9/2023, 9:51 PM
@Batmangina - How do you know they will fail?
dagenspear - 12/9/2023, 9:56 PM
@Batmangina - Why does it sound like garbage?
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