Doctor Who Logo 'The Time of the Doctor'
(Story Code 7.15)

by Steven Moffat
The Time of the Doctor...

And now it's time for one last bow,
Like all your other selves.
Eleven's hour is over now,
The clock is striking Twelve's.

- Extract from 'Thoughts on a Clock' by Eric Richie, Jr.

A mysterious message is transmitted from a quiet backwater planet, sent out to all intelligent creatures in creation. Those races capable of space travel journey to the planet, but their occupants are unable to investigate further as an impenetrable force shield surrounds the world below… Materialising aboard one of these vessels is the Doctor, dressed in a cape and wielding a severed Dalek eyestalk; unfortunately the Time Lord’s attempt to learn more about the message fails as quickly as it began, as he quickly finds himself confronted by a squad of Daleks! Hastily transmatting back inside the TARDIS the Doctor berates the creature responsible for choosing the Dalek ship: ‘Handles’, the mechanical remains of a severed Cyberman head, which has been wired up to the ship’s console to aid the Doctor in his efforts to decipher the message. The Doctor then receives a call on the TARDIS’ telephone: it’s Clara, who is not only panicking over the huge task of cooking Christmas dinner for her dad, stepmother and gran, but who also needs the Doctor to pretend to be the boyfriend she has invented to placate her family. The Doctor curtails their conversation, preferring instead to investigate a newly arrived spaceship; unfortunately his second attempt goes as badly as the first when he discovers he has arrived inside a Cybership, whose occupants have been reactivated by the signals coming from their decapitated comrade. Quickly transmatting back aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor sets the ship on an evasive course away from the Cybership as it opens fire… At her tower block flat, Clara’s concerns over Christmas dinner are curtailed by the sound of the TARDIS arriving outside; Clara races downstairs to the ship, where to her surprise she finds a completely naked Doctor! After explaining that he was going to church, the Time Lord dons holographic clothes to save Clara from blushing any further; however, only Clara can see his outfit – which becomes all too apparent when he meets Clara’s family! Angrily dragging the Doctor into the kitchen, Clara shows him the undercooked turkey causing her undue stress. Realising she has a time machine at her disposal, Clara talks the Doctor into using the ship to help cook her meal, using the time winds inside the vessel’s central console. Just then the Cyberhead announces that it has identified the planet where the message originated: Gallifrey; however, the Doctor refuses to believe these claims – the planet below doesn’t look like Gallifrey, which is now known to be lost in another universe. Hearing a klaxon emanating from outside, the Doctor and Clara see a huge vessel appear in orbit around the planet: the Church of the Papal Mainframe has arrived. Telling Clara that they are going to meet his old friend, the Church’s Mother Superious Tasha Lem, the Doctor gives her a set of holoclothes… Inside the Church, the Doctor and Clara meet Tasha and her entourage of clerical soldiers. While the Doctor retires to the Mother Superious’ chapel for a private chat, Clara waits in the corridor outside – and comes face to face with several of the sinister creatures known as Silents; but when she looks away, Clara instantly forgets the threat approaching her… Tasha tells the Doctor that the Church shielded the planet below to protect the human settlement there from any bloodshed that the congregated aliens above would cause. Tasha also offers the Doctor the opportunity to go down to the surface first, but she is then interrupted by the arrival of Clara, who instantly forgets the menace that she is fleeing from. On the conditions that the Doctor has only one hour to find the message and that he hand over the TARDIS key, Tasha uses her personal teleport to send the Time Lord and Clara to the outskirts of the colony. The duo materialise in a snow-bound wood, where Clara is glad that her holoclothes also provide heat. Investigating a stone hand protruding from the snow, Clara is shocked when it crabs her ankle. Realising that they are facing a Weeping Angel, the Doctor frees his friend and tells her not to blink; as more Angels rise up from the snow around them, the Doctor deduces that the stone assassins have been able to sneak past the Church’s force field. Reaching under his hair, the Doctor pulls out another TARDIS key and uses it to contact his ship; Handles then materialises the space-time vessel around the Doctor and Clara, just as the weeping Angels close in. Seeing the Doctor’s bald head - shaved as part of a cunning plan to outwit Tasha - Clara urges him to put his wig back on. After donning real clothes this time, the two time travellers use the TARDIS to travel safely into the middle of the town; here they meet two of the locals, who explain that the town is called Christmas, and that a ‘truth field’ emanating from the town’s clock tower prevents anyone from lying. Entering the tower, the Doctor discovers an all-too familiar crack in the wall – the same crack in the fabric of the universe that he originally saw in Amelia Pond’s bedroom [’The Eleventh Hour’], and again in Room 11 of the Minotaur’s hotel [’The God Complex’]. When Handlesreiterates that the message is coming from Gallifrey, the Doctor connects the automaton’s brain to a Seal of the High Council of Time Lords, which he once stole from the Master in the Death Zone on his home planet [‘The Five Doctors’], to enable the Cyberhead to decode the message emanating from behind the crack in the wall. When Handles warns that decoding the message will allow it to also be heard by the assembled alien forces in orbit, the Doctor doesn’t care. The Time Lord listens as the message is finally revealed to be the Oldest Question in the Universe: “Doctor who?” The Doctor is faced with a dilemma: if he answers the question the truth field around Christmas will make him say his real name, which will not only prove to his people that he is really there to save them, it will also mean that all hell will break loose, as every ship around the planet will open fire on the returning Time Lords. Entrusting Clara with a device, the Doctor sends her to the TARDIS; but it is a ruse: the ship dematerialises and takes Clara back to her block of flats, leaving her stranded as it returns to the Doctor. In the skies above Christmas appears a huge projection of Tasha Lem, calling for the Doctor; she confirms that the planet is Trenzalore, and warns that if the Doctor answers the question he will start the Time War anew. Ringing the clock in the tower, the Doctor assembles the townsfolk and assures them that he will protect them. Meanwhile, aboard the Church’s spaceship, Tasha declares the start of the Siege of Trenzalore and then informs her clergy of a change in their faith: the Church of the Papal Mainframe has now converted to ‘The Silence’, on a mission to prevent the Doctor from ever saying his name; throughout the ship, the assembled forces of the Church take up Tasha’s chant of “Silence will Fall”…

In the months that follow the alien forces around Trenzalore attempt to breach the force field surrounding the planet; but their efforts are thwarted by the military forces of the Church of the Silence, who maintain the peace by blasting any intruders out of existence. Now using a walking stick, the Doctor also protects Christmas from any attacking forces, on one occasion tricking a low-tech wooden Cyberman into turning its weaponry against itself. Over the years the Doctor becomes the saviour of Christmas, and the grateful townsfolk celebrate his victories with food, drink and even a puppet show, and children paint pictures of his many battles and adventures…

After three hundred years, an elderly Doctor is pleased to at last see the reappearance of the TARDIS – although he is less than happy to find Clara clinging to the ship’s door handle. Clara is equally furious, having endured a trip in the space time vortex, protected by the TARDIS’ force field after the Doctor tricked her. But like the Doctor she can’t stay mad for long, and the two friends enjoy a happy reunion. The Doctor takes Clara to his home in the clock tower, where the room with the crack is now festooned with children’s pictures of the Time Lord and his victories over the invaders. At the top of the tower, the elderly Doctor and Clara see in the dawn toasting mashmallows over a blazing fire; ‘Handles’ the Cyberhead is also with them, but the Doctor is saddened when he develops a fault and finally shuts down. As the sun rises, ushering a brief time of daylight, the Doctor tells Clara that he has actually reached the last of his incarnations: Time Lords can only regenerate twelve times, and although he calls himself the Eleventh Doctor, he is actually the Thirteenth, due to the existence of the ‘War Doctor’ and the half-human metacrisis version of his Tenth incarnation. Clara urges the Doctor not to give up, but he knows that the Battle of Trenzalore is approaching, when he is fated to die. As night falls again their conversation is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a huge hologram of the ever-youthful Tasha Lem, who calls for a parley with the Doctor. Materialising the TARDIS aboard the Church’s spaceship, the Doctor and Clara walk past clerical soldiers and confessional priest Silents to join Tasha in a private talk in her chapel rooms. But the duo are unaware that they have walked into a trap: the Church of the Silence has been taken over by Dalek nanites, and as eyestalks burst from the skulls of their victims, the Daleks receive confirmation that their targets have been ensnared. Tasha reveals to the Doctor and Clara that the Church’s Kovarian Chapter broke away from the Silence, and that it was they who were responsible for blowing up the TARDIS, causing the explosion that created the cracks in the universe [’The Pandorica Opens’], and also for engineering River Song as an assassin to kill the Doctor [’The Impossible Astronaut’, etc.]. After warning that the Daleks are massing for war, Tasha lets slip that the enemy forces took over the Church of the Silence three days ago, slaughtering everyone on board – including her. As the Doctor and Clara look on a Dalek eyestalk emerges from Tasha’s forehead, just as a squad of Daleks bursts into the room. Tasha grabs Clara and threatens to kill her, but both the Doctor and Clara call her out, knowing that far more important lives hang in the balance. This act of self-sacrifice breaks Tasha’s conditioning and she turns on her Dalek masters, shooting them down; after a quick snog with the Doctor she then teleports him and Clara back to the TARDIS. Finding that the turkey has at last finished cooking, Clara returns to find the console room deserted; she steps out of the ship with the cooked bird, but instead of Christmas she finds herself back on Earth at her housing estate – just as the TARDIS strands her again. Back on Trenzalore, the force field protecting Christmas has been deactivated by the Daleks, allowing the forces parked in orbit to freely attack the town. A terrible war begins, a battle that rages for many years, as the Doctor and his new allies, the Silence, stand against the invading forces; eventually every race but one are defeated – all except the Daleks…

Back on Earth, Clara finally has her Christmas dinner, but is too upset by the Doctor’s fate to enjoy it. Clara’s tears are halted by the sound of the TARDIS materialising outside, but when she rushes into the control room she finds that the ship is being piloted by Tasha, who takes them back to Christmas. Walking through the ruins from the war that has waged for hundreds of years, the Mother Superious explains that she brought Clara so that the Doctor would not die alone. Racing to the clock tower, Clara finds an ancient Doctor sitting alone by the crack in the wall, as he crafts a child’s wooden toy. The Doctor is overjoyed to see his friend again, and with some help he pulls a Christmas cracker she has brought with her. As Daleks converge on the clock tower a massive spaceship appears over Christmas and blares out a summons for the Doctor. With no plan up his sleeve, the wizened Time Lord accepts his fate and bids goodbye to Clara, making his ‘Impossible Girl’ promise to remain in safety while he heads for the summit of the tower. While the Doctor confronts the Daleks above, Clara speaks into the crack in wall, imploring the Time Lords beyond to save her friends by changing his future – but the crack just seals itself shut. Atop the tower, the dying Doctor taunts his enemies, daring them to kill him. But as the Time Lord’s mortal enemies fly towards him and open fire, a giant version of the crack appears in the night sky above Christmas, emanating Artron energy that flows straight into the Doctor. As the crack closes the live-saving energy restores the Doctor’s vitality; as the clock strikes twelve he stands up and announces that the rules have been broken: he is regenerating again! The Daleks panic, opening fire on Christmas. Seeing the events unfolding around them, Clara urges the townsfolk and clerical soldiers to make for the safety of the clock tower; above them the Doctor turns the regenerative energy overwhelming his ancient body on his attackers, shooting down the Daleks and shattering their giant spaceship with a massive blast…

As the dust settles, Clara and the townsfolk emerge from the tower into the aftermath of the Battle of Trenzalore. Cautiously entering the TARDIS, Clara finds the floor strewn with the Doctor’s clothes and the remains of a bowl of fish fingers and custard on the console. Hearing footsteps she turns – and sees the Eleventh Doctor standing there, his body restored to its youth and vigour. However the Doctor explains that the effect is only temporary: his body has been reset by the Time Lords’ gift of a new regeneration cycle, and even now it is preparing to change form again. Setting the ship in flight, the Doctor turns away from Clara and sees a vision of a young Amelia Pond skipping through the console room, followed by the sight of her grown-up self as she bids goodnight to her ‘Raggedy Man’. Clara begs the Doctor not to change, but the next instant a different incarnation of her best friend is standing before her. As the TARDIS suddenly goes out of control, the confused Twelfth Doctor asks Clara if she can fly the ship, as he has forgotten!

Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Orla Brady (Tasha Lem), James Buller (Dad [Dave Oswald]), Elizabeth Rider (Linda), Sheila Reid (Gran), Mark Anthony Brighton (Colonel Albero), Rob Jarvis (Abramal), Tessa-Peake Jones (Marta), Jack Hollington (Barnable), Sonita Henry (Colonel Meme), Kayvan Novak (Voice of Handles), Tom Gibbins (Young Man), Ken Bones (Voice), Aidan Cook (Cyberman), Nicholad Briggs (Voice of the Daleks and Cybermen), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek), Ross Mullan (Silent), Dan Starkey (Sontaran), Sarah Madison (Weeping Angel), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Peter Capaldi (The Twelfth Doctor)

Directed by Jamie Payne
Produced by Marcus Wilson
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
25th December 2013 @ 7.30 pm

*Featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Clara and Handles, and introducing the Twelfth Doctor

*This special runs at sixty minutes long

*To find out why the Doctor has a limp and a walking stick, read 'Tales of Trenzalore'...

*Working title: 'Twelfth Night'