Jodie Whittaker’s regeneration scene was written before the rest of the Doctor Who Christmas special
Twice Upon a Time was written to lead up to the Thirteenth Doctor’s grand entrance, Steven Moffat says
For many people, Jodie Whittaker’s debut in the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special was a highlight of the episode, introducing the Thirteenth Doctor in a literal blaze of glory as she crashed the Tardis through time and space.
And now, it’s been revealed that there might be a reason why Whittaker’s first scene stands out so well in Twice Upon a Time – because despite being filmed last, it was actually written by new showrunner Chris Chibnall before any of the rest of the episode.
“[Chris and I] talked quite early – I think that was actually the first bit of the script written!” Steven Moffat, who was in charge of Doctor Who from 2010 to 2017 and wrote the rest of the episode, told us earlier this week at the Radio Times Covers Party.
“So he said this is where he wanted Jodie to begin, or the new Doctor to begin, so he sent me those pages and I worked the script up towards it.”
And Moffat says he doesn’t mind taking a backseat as Chibnall and Whittaker’s new era begins – even if it does mean some of his creations (including the former Tardis set, which was recently dismantled) end up resigned to the past.
“You know, I’m happy to stand back and let everyone else make the decisions now,” he said. “I did the same thing ages ago.
“Doctor Who has to change radically all the time, not because it’s necessary, because it’s fun.”
Still, there’s one way in which Moffat has found it slightly harder to let go of Doctor Who, as he went on to reveal.
“I thought of a really good monster the other day, and realised we’re never gonna do it,” he said.
"So I suppose [I’m still coming up with ideas] a bit.
“But I used to make up monsters all the time when I was a kid watching Doctor Who, so that’s quite nice. Knowing I came up with a Doctor Who monster, and don’t have to have 12 million meetings about it. It just stays in my head.”
Sadly, that means fans won’t get to meet this terrifying hypothetical Time Lord foe either – but we’re sure Chris Chibnall will have plenty of ideas to keep us occupied instead.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn