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With the exception of the Christmas special "The Return of Doctor Mysterio" and a guest appearance in Class, the Twelfth Doctor took 2016 off, but he's finally refreshed and ready for action. Doctor Who will make its triumphant return to television screens in less than two weeks, and the return marks the end of an era, as it will be Peter Capaldi's last season. Doctor Who Season 10 used its latest trailer to tease the Twelfth Doctor's departure. Check out the newest preview below, and pay close attention to the end of it.
This Doctor Who trailer had a lot of exciting and weird moments, from Missy doing The Dab (wait, seriously?) to the return of the original Mondasian Cybermen to companion Nardole being tossed one of The Doctor's old sonic screwdrivers. However, the biggest surprise is saved in the final seconds, when we see the Twelfth Doctor emitting regeneration energy. Thanks to the adventurous Time Lord being granted a brand new cycle of renegerations back when he was dying as the Eleventh Doctor in "The Time of The Doctor," viewers need not worry about him permanently perishing, as he'll just assume a new form and personality. That said, since Peter Capaldi has confirmed that he'll make his final Doctor Who appearance in this year's Christmas special, it's unusual to see the Twelfth Doctor seemingly regenerating while the normal season is still going.
The most likely explanation for what's going on here is that this is a misdirect. Maybe The Doctor is experiencing some kind of hallucination or simulation where he's been forced to regenerate, but in the real world, he's perfectly fine. If this is actually happening, it doesn't necessarily mean he'll change. David Tennant's Tenth Doctor was forced to regenerate at the end of "The Stolen Earth," but thanks to having his severed hand nearby (it's a long story), he was able to heal himself without changing into a new man. Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor also pretended to regenerate using the artificial Tesselecta body to fake his death, and even gave River Song some regeneration energy to heal her hand. So just because that yellow energy is being emitted doesn't mean that doom is near.
Peter Capaldi's departure isn't the only major change Doctor Who is in store for. Along with the regeneration, Steven Moffat will hand over showrunning duties to Broadchurch's Chris Chibnall when the year is over. It's also being reported that new companion Bill Potts won't return after Season 10 so that Chibnall can have a fresh slate with Season 11. But before any of that happens, the Twelfth Doctor has one more season of traveling through time and space to go through, this time with Bill and Nardole.