After the Twelfth Doctor was last seen preparing for his own death at the end of season 10, this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special was always set to be an emotional farewell to Peter Capaldi’s era of the show. However, some new comments from writer Steven Moffat suggest it might be a darker than usual episode as well.
While attending the London Screenwriters’ Festival (via Radio Times), Moffat was asked how he and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss approached balancing the detective’s anti-social behaviour with his fundamental nature as a hero. Despite the question not having anything to do with Doctor Who, Moffat ended his reply with an intriguing hint about the upcoming special.
“Why would Superman be good? Because kindness stops you being lonely, would be the answer. That’s what that’s about, for Sherlock Holmes. He’s good because for all he protests about it, there are people he cares about. So, kindness is what makes a unit of us. So if you are sane and rational, kindness is by far the best path. There isn’t anything rational about being vile and awful and evil. It’s not actually a good strategy.”
He then teased:
“Prepare for that to be contradicted on Doctor Who on Christmas Day…”
So, what could this mean for what lies in store for the Doctor in the special? Going by the rest of Moffat’s reply, it seems that he’s saying that the Doctor will forego kindness in his final episode and give being evil a try for a change. While that sounds unlikely on paper, it’s worth remembering that the Twelfth Doctor has always been “the dark one.” In particular, his first season dealt with him coming to terms with his morality in his new regeneration. As he often asked his friend Clara, was he a good man this time around?
With that in mind, it would be a clever move from Moffat to tackle this question again in Capaldi’s final story in a bid to bring the character’s arc full circle. Number Twelve will also be paired with the First Doctor (David Bradley) in the special, who was known for being crotchety and more brusque than most other versions. Maybe he’s a bad influence on his older self?
We’ll find out for sure when Doctor Who returns of Christmas Day.
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