Could this new Doctor Who prequel picture hint at a link to Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor?

That chalice in Peter Capaldi's hand looks uncannily similar to the one that transformed the Eighth Doctor into John Hurt's War Doctor...

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We’ve been given a first glimpse of Doctor Who series nine prequel The Doctor’s Meditation, and one of two teaser pictures suggest the return of a rather familiar object… 

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The mini-episode is currently due to be shown at a 3D screening of series eight finale Dark Water / Death in Heaven in the US on 15th and 16th of September. There’s no word yet as to whether it will be available for fans to watch in the UK, but RadioTimes.com has contacted BBC Worldwide for confirmation. 

The picture in question features Daniel Hoffmann-Gill as Bors, a character who appears to be some sort of Viking, and who will reappear in series nine opener The Magician’s Apprentice. And standing alongside him is Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, holding a chalice. 

But wait – doesn’t that chalice remind you of something…?

Yep, it looks exactly like the one that appeared in 2013 minisode The Night of the Doctor, the one that Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor drank from before he regenerated into the War Doctor. 

WHAT COULD IT ALL MEAN? Could the Twelfth Doctor himself be due for a regeneration? Could he be enlisting the help of the Sisterhood of Karn once again? (We know, after all, that actress Kelly Hunter, who played one of the Sisterhood, is returning at some point in the series). Or could it just be a leftover prop that’s being reused for the prequel? Who knows…

The second picture gives us a bigger look at where the mini episode is set, with the Doctor leading a gang of olden days types carrying spades. This certainty looks like medieval England, but why is the Doctor there? What is he going to dig up? And what has meditation got to do with all of this anyway? 

Even if it isn’t released in the UK, there’s a fair bet that we will all find out next month. This is the internet, after all, and this is Doctor Who… 

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Doctor Who series nine returns to BBC1 with The Magician’s Apprentice on September 19th