The time has finally come: the twelfth Doctor will be revealed this Sunday in a special one-off live show on BBC1. The half hour show, which will air at 7pm, is to be hosted by Zoe Ball who will unveil Matt Smith’s replacement in an interview in front of a live studio audience.
The announcement, which has been long-awaited by fans, will also be backed up by special guests including old Doctors, companions and celebrity fans, who will speculate and recall their favourite Time Lords from across the show’s 50 year history.
Current Doctor Matt Smith and show-runner Steven Moffat will also both give interviews about what has become one of the biggest roles in television. The latter says of the special, “The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the Tardis. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.”
Ever since Matt Smith announced his departure from the show in June, speculation and rumour has raged around who will take his place after he regenerates in the Christmas special. Names mooted for the role has included Rory Kinnear, Peter Capaldi and Ben Wishaw. There has also been fierce debate on whether the next Doctor should be a woman.
Steven Moffat had previously called the search for a twelfth Doctor "terrifying", saying, "There’s a very big range of people who could play it and different ways you could go with it. We must get this right. One false move and the show’s over.”
The decision to reveal the twelfth Doctor on live television in front of a studio audience is a far more lavish announcement than Matt Smith: who was revealed on a special ‘Meet the New Doctor’ edition of Doctor Who Confidential. Considering that Smith was a relatively unknown name when he was unveiled in January of 2009, it could be inferred that the new Doctor is a bigger name to warrant such fanfare.
Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said of the announcement: “We can't wait to unveil the next Doctor... Amongst all the speculation and betting, there has been lots of fun and intrigue at work as we've been using the codename Houdini as a decoy! It’s the biggest secret in showbiz, even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12th incarnation."
The secret will be simulcast live on BBC America.