As the clock prepares to strike midnight on Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor on Doctor Who, fans of the show have come to expect certain things. One last big adventure with The Doctor and her companions, along with a huge regeneration into a new face. While we can still expect both of those pieces in Whittaker’s final episodes, it seems like the regeneration will break from NuWho patterns as the show switches up once again.
The Director Speaks
Speaking with Radio Times, the director of the finale episode for Jodie Whittaker, Jamie Magnus Stone indicated that he and the production team wanted to switch things up from previous regenerations. Since Doctor Who’s revival in 2005, every incarnation of The Doctor has regenerated in the same place.
In moments made to feel rather intimate, we usually see The Doctor regenerating in the main console room of the TARDIS. From Christopher Eccleston’s exclamation of “You were fantastic. And you know what? So was I” to Matt Smith’s declaration that he will never forget when The Doctor was him, all his moments of saying goodbye occurred in the comfort and safety of that amazing blue police box. However, this time the regeneration sounds like it will occur outside the TARDIS.
The director Jamie Magnus Stone stated…
“We shot the last-ever scene in the TARDIS, and said goodbye to the TARDIS, and then there were some tears. And then we went out to film, basically, her regeneration. And the last shot that we did, I think, will be the last shot in the episode as well. So it was really nice to do things in sequence. And it was mostly Jodie and Mandip’s scenes on that last day. So it was just super-emotional.”
So it sounds like Whittaker’s goodbye to her TARDIS and the scene where she regenerates into the next Doctor are two different scenes. However, what would pull her from her ship to regenerate somewhere else is unknown. Though perhaps it’s tied to Sacha Dhawan’s rumored return as the Master in her final episode.
Regardless of how she regenerates, it’s clear that there are a lot of changes that are happening in front and behind the cameras. And something that Stone said in that quote to Radio Times caught my attention. In the above quote, Stone states that Whittaker’s regeneration scene will be the last shot in her final episode. However, we usually get a small scene with the new Doctor as they adjust to their new body. So what does this mean if this last Jodie Whittaker episode ends with her final scene?
It could mean nothing, but come on! Where is the fun in that? This change could mean that Russell T Davies and the BBC haven’t yet picked their new Doctor so they were unable to film a new scene. It could mean as well that the BBC really wishes to put space between what came before and what they are working on now, therefore wishing to keep the new Doctor’s first appearance for his or her own series.
Or perhaps the new face of The Doctor is too recognizable and they didn’t want it spoiled before they were ready to announce it. This pairs nicely with recent rumors of David Tennant’s return. But what do you think? Are they just looking to switch up the status quo, or is there more to the changes of this Doctor’s regeneration?
Doctor Who returns in 2022 with two specials. Check out the teaser below for the next episode expected in Spring 2022, “Legend of the Sea Devils.”
Source: Radio Times