Will Peter Capaldi be flying the TARDIS alone this Christmas?
While Doctor Who fans can’t wait for the next proper season in 2017 starring Capaldi and his new companion Bill — played by Pearl Mackie — 2016 will yield one new Who adventure: the annual Christmas Day episode. In previous years, these episodes tend to be standalone adventures and often feature guest stars as the “companion” rather than established characters from the Who-universe. Showrunner Steven Moffat previously stated that Peal Mackie’s Bill will make her debut in 2017, leading fans to conclude she definitely won’t appear in this year’s Christmas Special. But if she doesn’t show up, who will?
Maybe no one. The Radio Times ran an article earlier this week speculating on which characters might appear alongside Capaldi in the episode including fan-favorite Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) or perhaps even the recently-departed Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). But, one one of their more tantalizing theories is that this may be on another solo adventure, similar to last year’s critically acclaimed episode “Heaven Sent,” in which the Doctor was trapped inside of creepy labyrinth castle in outer space.
While we agree with the Radio Times that this is an unlikely outcome, it’s the direction we’re hoping for. The Doctor has recently lost his best friend Clara, and then said a final goodbye to his wife River Song. Capaldi is at his brooding best when he’s given dialogue that reads like frustrated Shakespearean soliloquies. And on Christmas this year, it might be appropriate to see our lonely Time Lord fighting aliens on his own, just before he acquires a new bestie in the form of Bill (Pearl Mackie) next year.