The importance of change is built into the DNA of Doctor Who, but that doesn’t make it any less sad when it occurs. While fans are always left more than a little bereft after a companion takes their last spin in the TARDIS, there is always a deeper pang when a Doctor says goodbye. From Nine’s ultimately hopeful assurance in his own fantastic nature to Ten’s heartbreaking “I don’t want to go,” it’s hard (i.e. impossible) to watch a regeneration without shedding some tears.
Whovians are already bracing themselves for the impending exit of Peter Capaldi, the Twelfth Doctor who has been flying through the wibbly wobbly realms of time and space for the past two seasons. While he’s got one more season (premiering on Saturday) and a Christmas special up his rock star sleeve, Capaldi has begun his goodbye tour, stopping by The Graham Norton Show to confirm that he had already filmed his “death” scene, despite the fact that they still needed to film the Christmas special. The latest trailer for season ten alluded to the regeneration with the familiar golden glow, but how the special will fit in remains to be seen.
Capaldi also took the time to address his exit, further proving that it’s best to leave on your own terms instead of sticking around past your welcome.
“Doctor Who is a great job, but it is a bit of a television factory. You do twelve episodes a year, and I just worried that I wouldn’t be able to continue to do my best work. I like to be able to learn the lines and do some preparation and come in and give it some vigor and not hate it. I just figure, while you’re enjoying it, leave.”
While it took some time for the Twelfth Doctor to settle in, season nine truly had some of the best episodes of the reboot. Hopefully showrunner Stephen Moffat has written him a gangbusters ending.