With the BBC confirming that the Doctor Who centenary special will air this October, here are some predictions for the Thirteenth Doctor’s last adventure!
Now, before we start (and before we get tweets) we are well aware that the Doctor Who centenary special is in fact celebrating the BBC’s centenary and not Doctor Who‘s – although it would be epic if Doctor Who had started airing before the launch of commercial television(!) In addition, these predictions are just for fun and aren’t to based on actual knowledge / mysterious sources / friends of friends of (former) friends at Outpost Gallifrey. As such, they’re not to be taken too seriously.
So with all that said, let’s begin…
1) The regeneration will be very different from previous ones
Traditionally, particularly with New Who, the Doctor Who regenerations have taken place inside the TARDIS. This makes sense for a number of reasons. First, it’s logical that the Doctor would retreat somewhere safe at their most vulnerable moment. Second, it helps the script writers (and the viewers) to transition into a new era; things can get complicated if a brand new season / story / iteration of the show takes place on a random planet midway through a story. (Although you could argue that ‘Logopolis‘ and ‘Castrovalva’ managed this without too many issues…)
But the director of the Doctor Who centenary special has already confirmed that Jodie Whittaker’s regeneration doesn’t take place inside the TARDIS this time, saying: “”…we shot the last-ever scene in the TARDIS, and said goodbye to the TARDIS, and then there were some tears. And then we went out to film, basically, her regeneration. And the last shot that we did, I think, will be the last shot in the episode as well.”
Moreover, we know that David Tennant will be returning immediately after the Doctor Who centenary special, so our prediction is that Whittaker will regenerate into Tennant after something strange happens to time. And this brings us on to our second prediction…
2) The universe will be rebooted in the Doctor Who centenary special
If you’ve seen Doctor Who: Flux, you will remember that the universe was left ravaged and mostly destroyed in its final episode – and at the time of writing, it still hasn’t been repaired.
So what will this mean for the Doctor Who centenary special? Well, presumably the adventure will take place within this devastated universe that still needs putting back together. So could this mean (a la Series Five’s ‘The Big Bang’) that the Doctor will have to, somehow, reboot the universe from scratch? If so, this could have untold consequences on the timeline and could mean that, by the end of the episode, the incumbent Doctor is David Tennant. Perhaps, in this rebooted reality, the Tenth Doctor didn’t perish in ‘The End of Time’ but continued his travels with Donna Noble?
After all, the Master says in the trailer for the Doctor Who centenary special that, “This is the day you die” before later adding, “Welcome to the end of your existence…” In a rebooted universe, it may well be that the Thirteenth Doctor never existed and, in repairing the universe, she inadvertently erases herself from reality.
Of course, this is something that would have to be put right later (perhaps during the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations) to hasten the arrival of the Fourteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa.
3) There will be lots of cameos
We already know that Ace, Tegan, Kate Stewart, the Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen are all returning for the Doctor Who centenary special, but it’s worth remembering that this adventure is also building up to Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary in 2023. And if the 50th anniversary is anything to go by, there are likely to be a few other cameos before we reach the anniversary date.
The 2013 episode ‘The Name of the Doctor’ is a good point of comparison here. This was the episode that immediately preceded the 50th anniversary special, and the production team were able to include appearances from many past Doctors using CGI wizardry, colourisation techniques and body doubles. And if (as we previously speculated) the Doctor Who centenary special involves the collapse / rebooting of time in some way, it could be a good opportunity to bring back some past Doctors, perhaps by incorporating footage from classic episodes.
And then there are the companions. We don’t know the circumstances that have brought Ace and Tegan together, but could other Doctor Who companions be involved too? Certainly, any companion could be on the cards right now, although my personal vote would be for Romana (one of the Doctor’s Time Lord companions) and Susan (the Doctor’s granddaughter.) Who would you like to put in an appearance?
4) The Doctor’s memories will be addressed
In Doctor Who: Flux, you may remember that the Doctor was able to recover some of her forgotten memories from the villainous Tecteun, all of which had been stored within a Gallifreyan fob watch. But the Doctor stopped short of accessing these memories, deciding instead to store them deep within the TARDIS for safe keeping.
So will this plot detail be returning for the Doctor Who centenary special? It’s possible. The fob watch, after all, relates to one of the defining moments of the Chris Chibnall era – ‘The Timeless Children‘ – which rewrote the Doctor’s entire backstory and changed Doctor Who canon. And whilst fandom was divided in its response to this episode, there is no denying its significance to Jodie Whittaker’s tenure, and it would be surprising if those plot threads didn’t rear their heads in some way.
At the same time, much of the appeal of Doctor Who is its enigma (it’s literally in the title!) so it would be surprising if much any of real significance was revealed. But at the same time, the Doctor Who centenary special will be a landmark episode for both the BBC and the franchise, so it would be a timely moment to reveal some key details about the Doctor’s past…
5) Title predictions for the Doctor Who centenary special
Finally, with the Doctor Who centenary special now a matter of weeks away, we will soon be learning the title of Jodie Whittaker’s last adventure. Based on what we’ve been discussing in this article, ‘The End of Time’ could make a good title, although Russell T Davies has already pipped the production team to the post on that one! ‘The End of Her Existence’ could be a powerful alternative, linking to the Master’s ominous comments in the trailer. Or ‘The End of the Universe’ could work too – although we can’t be too specific given that we still don’t know what the episode is about!
Whichever way it goes, it would certainly be appropriate if there was an air of finality to the title, with this being the last outing for both Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall and, presumably, the companion line-up of Yaz Khan and Dan Lewis.
What do you think the Doctor Who centenary special will be called? And what are your predictions for the Thirteenth Doctor’s final adventure? Let us know in the comments below.
Thirteenth Doctor scarf – order now from the Lovarzi shop!