As if the “Doctor Who” regeneration mystery couldn’t get more difficult to follow, showrunner Steven Moffat is talking again — and he’s making matters even more confusing.
While speaking to the Radio Times, Moffat says that Matt Smith is the 13th and final Doctor, after counting John Hurt’s War Doctor and David Tennant using up one of the regenerations during his stint.
That makes Smith regenerating into Peter Capaldi during the Christmas special a bit problematic, because the Doctor doesn’t have any lives left. “The 12 regenerations limit is a central part of ‘Doctor Who’ mythology — science fiction is all about rules, you can’t just casually break them,” Moffat says. How another Doctor will fit in there is anyone’s guess.
According to the Radio Times, Smith’s Doctor will give a speech about “dying” during the Christmas special. Perhaps if the Doctor dies after his final regeneration, and is brought back to life, he gets to start over from scratch?
Any other show could easily just ignore this sort of limitation, but Moffat won’t stop talking about it, so he must have a pretty clever loophole to introduce Capaldi. It won’t take long to find out exactly that that is, as the “Doctor Who” Christmas special airs at 9 p.m. ET Dec. 25 on BBC America.