Doctor Who is a decidedly unique series due to the fact that it has proven capable of surviving even the departures of its lead actors over and over again. We're currently on our twelfth incarnation of the Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. Twelve will soon depart Doctor Who, but quite possibly not before reuniting with one of his past selves for one final adventure. Yes, the First Doctor and the Twelfth Doctor may team up for the 2017 Christmas special, and there's a twist.
The First Doctor was originally played by William Hartnell back in the 1960s, and Hartnell has since passed away. Luckily, Mirror reports that Doctor Who won't just bring the First Doctor back for a few scenes that could be cobbled together from existing footage of Hartnell as the Doctor; the First Doctor will be played by David Bradley of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Bradley played Hartnell's Doctor once before, in the An Adventure in Space and Time TV movie all about the story of Doctor Who's creation. The resemblance between Bradley and Hartnell was pretty uncanny, so he'd be the perfect person to bring the original Doctor back to the small screen for one more go.
The 2017 Christmas special will actually be Peter Capaldi's final outing as the Doctor, so it's bound to be a pretty important episode. If the report of David Bradley's appearance is accurate, the First Doctor will team up with Twelve in his last adventure, and they'll work together to try and save their home planet of Gallifrey from destruction yet again. This time, the Doctors will attempt to save Gallifrey by moving it to a whole other dimension, which definitely sounds like a job meant for two Time Lords.
It should be interesting to see how much we get of David Bradley as the original Doctor in the Christmas special. Pearl Mackie will be leaving her role as Bill the companion at the end of Season 10, and there's no saying at this point what will happen with Nardole. If Twelve is without any companions in the Christmas special, we'd probably see plenty of him interacting with his first incarnation.
In addition to the news of David Bradley reprising the role of the First Doctor, the unforgettable shot of Twelve's eyes in the 50th anniversary special is allegedly from the beginning of his own regeneration. We'll see the whole regeneration by the end of the Christmas special, at which point fans will need to say goodbye to Peter Capaldi as Twelve and Steven Moffat as showrunner.
Few episodes of Doctor Who outside of anniversary specials and regenerations feature more than one version of the Doctor, so it could be a real treat to see the First, Twelfth, and Thirteenth versions of the character in a single episode. We don't yet know for sure who new showrunner Chris Chibnall will pick to play the next Doctor, so we can only wait and see.