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'Twas "The Time of The Doctor," and all through the house, not a Whovian was stirring — not even a mouse! Sonic screwdrivers were placed in the stockings with care, in hopes that Peter Capaldi soon would be there. If you weren’t anticipating this year’s guaranteed to be epic Doctor Who Christmas Special, “The Time of The Doctor,” BBC America’s brand-spanking-new extended trailer is sure to get you there. Because it’s the end of Matt Smith and the beginning of Peter Capaldi, which makes the doozy-status of this last episode of the year to be an all-but-certainty. Geronimo, folks!

But before you go wrapping yourself up in Four’s scarf to bawl yourself to sleep, take heed: there’s a pay-off in store, one that’s years in the making. According to showrunner Steven Moffat, “There are also elements from every series of Matt’s Doctor, which will come to a head in this special. Things that we’ve laid down for years are going to be paid off.”

Which is certainly an exciting prospect, given there were so many curiously epic and interesting stories to have taken place during Matt Smith’s tenure as The Doctor.. And it’s always nice to get a bit of pay-off before a series bitch-slaps you in the face with the feels. And something tells us Smith’s departure will be very, very feel-y. More evocative than even that Wholock mash-up clip, we imagine.

Though we can’t help but get hung up on some of the similarities between the description of the special to “The Pandorica Opens.” Take, for instance, this quote: “It’s his final battle and he’s been fighting it for a while,” explained Moffat. “The Doctor is facing the joint challenge of a mysterious event in space that has summoned lots of aliens to one place and helping Clara cook Christmas dinner.”

Summoning a bunch of different aliens to once place for some mysterious event? Yeah, sounds like straight-up Pandorica to me. As does this bit from the show’s description: “Now facing his very last adventure, the Eleventh Doctor receives a signal that brings him face-to-face with a massed force of the universe’s deadliest aliens.”

However there’s a feeling that these doubled-up occurrences are on purpose — the echoing and all that — as a way to illustrate the uncertainty of his future, and the importance of Eleven’s tenure. Perhaps, considering the events of “The Day of The Doctor,” all of these adventures that we’ve seen throughout Smith’s tenure are actually culled from two timelines: what happened if he did and did not save Gallifrey. It’s an interesting thought, if only nothing more than a thought (at least… for now).

And saying goodbye to Smith is sure to be a heart-stomper. “I think possibly the beginning of the end is more emotional than the actual end. It was the same with ‘The Angels Take Manhattan,’ when Karen and Arthur left,” stated Moffat. Which — oh great. Tears. All of the tears! We’re really in for it, aren’t we? I mean, they’ve put together a farewell special — “Farewell to Matt Smith” — so there’s no shortage of glum nostalgia to be had.

And it is to be on the fields of Trenzalore that all will be set aflame, thanks to — at least from the moments in the trailer — this mysterious old friend of the Doctor’s, Tasha Lem (played by Fringe’s Orla Brady) a so-called galactic nun of fearsome power but honorable allegiances to our favorite Timelord. Because let’s face it, in the end, we will always need a friend.

Doctor Who’s Christmas special, “The Time of The Doctor” airs December 25 at 9PM on BBC America.
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