The Time of the Doctor

The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) in the promo photo from "The Time of the Doctor" Christmas 2013 special. (Ray Burmiston / BBC / November 26, 2013)

Christmas is coming, and in the Whoverse all that matters is the title of "Doctor Who" Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor."

BBC America released this promo photo and the title on the Doctor Who Tumblr Tuesday. The special will be broadcast on Christmas Day on BBC America. It will be Matt Smith's last hurrah as Doctor No. 11 (for now anyway) and introduce Peter Capaldi as the 12th incarnation of the Time Lord. Orla Brady will guest star in a new role as an old friend of the Doctor's.

The photo shows the Silence, a beheaded Cyberman and someone's arms sticking out of the snow. Matt Smith's Doctor and Clara (Jenna Coleman) also figure in the photo.

"The Time of the Doctor" reflects the title of the Season 7 finale, "The Name of the Doctor," the 50th anniversary movie, "The Day of the Doctor," and the recent minisode "The Night of the Doctor."

There's all kinds of speculation about whether Matt Smith is actually the 13th Doctor Who in the mythology. In the 1976 episode "The Deadly Assassin" it was established that Time Lords can regenerate only 12 times and live through 13 incarnations, which means Capaldi could be someone completely different.

I can't figure it out! If you have ideas, please share. Until the special airs, however, here's all we know from the official description:

"Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them--the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe."


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