The 12th version of Time Lord known as the Doctor might find his new face sooner than expected. The latest trailer for Doctor Who Season 10 gives a quick glimpse at the telltale gold regeneration energy and its crackling around Peter Calpaldi’s weary body.
BBC released the new Doctor Who trailer early on Monday in the UK, and though the vast majority of the aliens and planets had been glimpsed before, the Radio Times noticed a very brief shot of what looks like the Doctor getting ready to regenerate into his next incarnation. Of course, fans have already known the Doctor will regenerate sometime this year, since Peter Capaldi announced in late January that he was leaving the role. But, ever since David Tennant said “I don’t want to go!,” the Doctor has tended to regenerate into the next Doctor during the Christmas Special. Could Capaldi’s regeneration happen earlier? Could the face of the 13th Doctor be seen before Christmas?
When it relaunched in 2005, Doctor Who ended its first season with a regeneration. After a short run, Christopher Eccleston became David Tennant before the first Christmas special in 2006. Since then, Doctor Who has had a few fake-out regenerations in addition to the real ones. The Season 4 episode “The Stolen Earth” ended with the 10th Doctor regenerating only to resolve in the very next episode, “Journey’s End,” as being a regeneration without a face change. Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor almost regenerated in “The Impossible Astronaut” at the start of Season 6, but then was shot dead by said astronaut with a green ray gun. So, is this glimpse of regeneration energy legit or a fake out?
It’s tough to say at this point. But, since the classic Cybermen from the ‘60s are returning this season, it’s possible the 12th Doctor’s regeneration could mirror the same way his first incarnation changed: after battling the Cybermen. In fact, it’s even possible that the 12th Doctor could visit the 1st Doctor this season to close the time loop set up in “The Day of the Doctor.” (How did the 1st Doctor know about the Time War anyway?)
Watch the trailer here:
Doctor Who returns to BBC and BBC America on April 15, 2017.