25/12/2017 18:28 GMT | Updated 25/12/2017 18:30 GMT

'Doctor Who' Christmas Special - HuffPost Verdict

🚨 Spoilers ahead 🚨

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K E Y   P O I N T S

  • The 12th Doctor’s final episode began in the South Pole, where he met his former self, the First Doctor, who was also reluctant to regenerate 
  • A glitch in time left a Captain from WWI marooned with them
  • The episode ended with his return to the battlefield for the Christmas truce of 1914
  • Bill Potts returned and was revealed to be working for Testimony, a kind-hearted project that uses memories and time travel to “help the dead speak again” 
  • A visit to Rusty, “the good dalek”, uncovered Bill’s secret role and it was up to her to persuade both Doctors to regenerate 
  • The Captain (Mark Gatiss) was later revealed to be Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart, who must be a relative of Alistair Gordon, one of the Doctor’s greatest friends 
  • Clara Oswald and Nardole (Jenna Coleman and Matt Lucas) reappeared to say goodbye to the 12th Doctor 
  • The closing seconds saw Capaldi regenerate into the 13th Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. 

S N A P   V ER D I C T

With the first ever female Doctor incoming, plenty of fresh eyes will have been on the Christmas special, but longtime fans weren’t forgotten.

An appearance from Rusty, goodbyes from former companions - “Hello, you stupid old man” - and The Captain’s identity added an extra layer of emotion for the show’s devotees, while the central story provided a reminder that it is Christmas after all.  

There were plenty of highlights, though these took the form of small comments and asides rather than spectacular battles. ‘Twice Upon A Time’ - to use the episode’s full title - was a fitting reminder of why Capaldi’s Doctor is one of the best as he swerved between dark-yet-humourous comments, contemplating the past and learning a final, vital lesson from Bill Potts. 

The Doctor also chastised his predecessor for sexist comments, with his rebuttals also sending a clear message to any viewers who remain uncomfortable with the fact a woman will take control of the TARDIS next year. 

And it isn’t just Capaldi who was taking his final bow either, as Pearl Mackie’s appearance as Bill was her last, though her Testimony role means there’s every chance we may see her again in the future.

Showrunner Steven Moffat handed over the reins at the exact moment the regeneration took place and will surely be delighted with his final decisions in the writer’s room. The countdown to series 11 can officially begin. 

B E S T   L I N E S

The 12th Doctor:  

We have a choice. Either we change and go on, or we die as we are."

Peter Capaldi’s final words: 

Laugh hard, run fast, be kind. Doctor, I let you go."

Jodie Whittaker’s first line:

Oh brilliant.

W H A T ′ S   N E X T ?

Fans are in for a long wait before Jodie’s first full season of ‘Doctor Who’, as it’s not set to air until Autumn 2018. 

When the Doctor does return, she’ll have three companions alongside her in the TARDIS, played by Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh.

The series will consist of one 60-minute instalment, followed by nine 50-minute episodes.