The Thirteenth Doctor regenerates tonight! But we still don’t know whose face the Doctor will be wearing afterwards!
It’s never happened before. Not in sixty years (almost) of Doctor Who. Not in all of time and space. The Doctor is about regenerate, tonight, on BBC One around, ooh, 8.52ish. And when the familiar golden cascade of light obscures Jodie Whittaker’s features, we don’t entirely know whose face we’ll see when the glow recedes. Ncuti Gatwa, our new Doctor, or David Tennant our… well, nobody’s quite sure what’s going on with him either. Yes, the Thirteenth Doctor era has been full of firsts. And it looks like it will still be delivering them right up to the closing moments of The Power of the Doctor.
Ncuti Gatwa has been unveiled as our new Doctor. But what about fellow Scot David Tennant, who stars the 60th Anniversary specials?
At least we can say that Whittaker is definitely regenerating into a Scottish actor. Ncuti Gatwa is one of them and officially our next Doctor in the sense of being the show’s new lead actor in Series Fourteen. Publicity material has shied away from dubbing him ‘the Fourteenth Doctor’ by number, though. But perhaps that may just be because the numbering game is increasingly messy these days. It could just about be because they’re slipping a temporary incarnation in the form of Tennant between the two. But would Russell T Davies really kick off this brave new era without giving his new lead his moment receiving the baton from Whittaker?
But if the Thirteenth Doctor doesn’t regenerate into Tennant that raises more questions than answers. How on Earth is he running around saving the universe in next year’s 60th Anniversary specials? Well, some have speculated that we’ll get a ‘regeneration gone wrong’ story. One with Whittaker turning into Gatwa and then Gatwa turning into Tennant. That would mean part of the arc of the specials would likely be Tennant trying to become the man he’s supposed to be.
We’ll find out the answer to the mystery tonight… probably
It’s also worth noting, however, that publicity has been equally low key about describing David Tennant’s character as the Doctor at all. We’ve seen him in a revamped tartan take on his old look. And he’s certain doing a hell of a lot of running with Donna Noble in and out of the TARDIS. So he must be our favourite Time Lord, right? Unless he’s the Doctor from a parallel world, or even an imposter. Perhaps Gatwa has even filmed his own scenes for the specials behind closed doors and the two meet. Whatever he is, it does seem conceivable that Russell T Davies will want to preserve the mystery about it a little longer. So perhaps The Power of the Doctor will end in a way that still keeps viewers guessing.
Blogtor Who’s guess? Well, if you put a sonic screwdriver to Blogtor’s head and made him bet his TARDIS key, perhaps something like this. The Thirteenth Doctor regenerates into the Fourteenth, played by Ncuti Gatwa, and we get the usual first lines and moments of charm from the new incarnation. Maybe he even changes into his new costume. He heads out through the TARDIS doors, ready for his new adventure and…
…David Tennant steps out of the Police Box, catches sight of himself reflected in a shop window.
“What? What?! WHAT?!”
One way or another, we’ll soon know for sure…
Doctor Who returns tonight with The Power of the Doctor at 7.30pm on BBC One and 8pm ET on BBC America