Matt Smith’s regeneration in “The Time Of The Doctor” closed out a spectacular year for doctor who, with the show celebrating its impressive 50th anniversary. After the leading role of Matt Smith in dragon House, viewers have been reflecting on its ending doctor who episode, which sees him defend a town called Christmas from various alien threats. Although “The Time Of The Doctor” is one of the most important installments in the series, there is still much that fans may not know about this magnificent final chapter in the life of the Eleventh Doctor.
“The Time Of The Doctor” has a fascinating behind-the-scenes story, revealing surprising details about the behind-the-scenes production of the Special. As one of Steven Moffat’s most ambitious scripts, there are plenty of interesting details to explore regarding this episode’s behind-the-scenes story, and the final episode was planned from Matt Smith’s debut, according to Doctor Who: The Complete Story.
Clara’s father was played by a different actor
“The Rings Of Akhaten” offers a revealing glimpse into Clara’s origins, showing how her parents first met. The Impossible Girl’s family later returns in “The Time Of The Doctor”; however, for this festive outing, the behind-the-scenes team decided to reprise Clara’s father, as mentioned in Doctor Who: The Complete Story.
While this important role is played by Michael Dixon in “The Rings Of Akhaten”, in “The Time Of The Doctor” James Buller takes over the role. His appearance is somewhat brief within the episode, though he helps ground the story’s more fantastical offerings as a depiction of Clara’s domestic life on Earth.
Ken Bones voiced the Time Lords
“The Time Of The Doctor” features the Doctor receiving a new set of regenerations from the Time Lords after a desperate plea from Clara. The Time Lord’s voice may sound familiar to fans, with Doctor Who: The Complete Story revealing how Ken Bones voiced this member of the Doctor’s species.
Previously appearing in “The Day Of The Doctor,” which is considered one of the best episodes of the Moffat era, Ken Bones’ vocal intonations bring pompous power to the Time Lords. The actor has a powerful presence as he grants the Doctor his new regenerations.
The red carpet in space
The Steven Moffat era is known for its rather wacky ideas, with the writer’s time as showrunner coming up with such crazy concepts as the Orient Express in space and living graffiti. “The Time Of The Doctor” originally included perhaps Steven Moffat’s strangest notion yet, featuring a pair of soldiers rolling out a red carpet in space for the Doctor and Clara to walk across.
As mentioned in Doctor Who: The Complete Story, this idea would have made for some truly spectacular visuals for Matt Smith’s regeneration episode, as the Doctor and Clara make their way through the space on the red carpet. Ultimately this aspect of the episode was dropped as a cost-saving measure, with the BBC favoring the much cheaper alternative of the TARDIS which simply materialized on the Papal Mainframe.
Rory Williams cameo
Matt Smith’s regeneration proved to be a sad occasion for many of the show’s viewers, with several fans devastated to see the actor depart the show. According to RadioTimes, Matt Smith recently commented that his final moments could have been “better.” Doctor Who Magazine arguably backs up this claim, stating how this sequence was initially planned to feature other characters returning from their time, along with Amy Pond.
Steven Moffat’s draft for the episode featured a number of friends of the Eleventh Doctor, with the likes of River Song, who has delivered some of the best lines, and Rory Williams gathered around the fallen hero. However, the writer later decided to remove this sequence, believing that these familiar figures would distract from Matt Smith’s final moments.
The Eleventh Doctor’s Broken Leg
As one of Britain’s greatest action heroes, the Doctor is often found running through the halls as he tries to outrun the latest alien threat. However, Moffat initially planned to immobilize the Time Lord during his encounter with the Weeping Angels on Trenzalore.
According to Doctor Who magazine, one of the early scripts for “The Time Of The Doctor” featured a weeping angel breaking the Doctor’s leg. The writer planned to use this element as an in-universe explanation for Matt Smith’s real-life injury, with the actor attending surgery for his broken leg. The Doctor was going to wear a wooden prosthetic leg before it was cut entirely from the episode, and the showrunner felt it was an unnecessary inclusion in the story.
The return of the cherubs
First appearing in Blink, which is considered one of doctor who is best episodes, the Weeping Angels are among the Doctor’s most fearsome foes. The Stone Angels make a brief appearance in “The Time Of The Doctor”, and were originally scheduled to be joined by Cherubs, as stated in Doctor Who: The Complete History.
Steven Moffat’s first script for “The Time Of The Doctor” involved the Doctor and Clara meeting Cherubs in the snowy forest of Trenzalore. The scene featured the Time Lord explaining to his companion that these were the descendants of the Weeping Angels; however, this cool “Angels Take Manhattan” reference was sadly dropped from later drafts.
Jessica Davies as Amelia Pond
Amy Pond is a particularly unique woman doctor who companion, as the Doctor knew her as a child before embarking on their adventures through space and time together. The younger self from the energetic kissogram makes a cameo during Matt Smith’s regeneration scene; however, for this scene, he recast himself and Jessica Davies took over the role.
With original actress Caitlin Blackwood having become a teenager since her last appearance as child Amy, the producers made the difficult decision of casting a new actor for the role. The behind-the-scenes team felt that Caitlin Blackwood now looked too old to play seven-year-old Amelia Pond, and settled on child star Jessica Davies for this brief scene.
Matt Smith’s parting gift
Throughout his three series as the Time Lord, Matt Smith became one of the show’s most beloved Doctors, amassing a huge fan base throughout his incredible era. As a thank you gift for his hard work, Steven Moffat and the doctor who The team chose to give him a parting gift, presenting Matt Smith with a sonic screwdriver accessory (Via Doctor Who: The Complete Story).
Matt Smith’s thoughtful gift was well earned, with his regeneration scene now considered one of the Eleventh Doctor’s saddest moments. Filming this sequence proved to be an emotional moment, with Steven Moffat declaring his leading man “the bravest and best Time Lord of them all”, while Matt Smith sadly mused that “all good things come to an end”. . (As quoted in Doctor Who: The Complete Story)
Handles River Song Print
As the flirtatious wife of the Time Lord, River Song is one of the Doctor’s closest allies. The time-traveling archaeologist was originally mentioned in the early draft of “Time Of The Doctor”, with Doctor Who: The Complete Story noting how Handles would directly recognize River during his travels with the Doctor.
The original scripts for “Time Of The Doctor” featured Handles taunting the Doctor regarding his wife. The highly intelligent Cyberhead would use some of River Song’s most iconic catchphrases, such as “Hello honey” and “Spoilers”, leaving his friend Time Lord very irritated by his actions.
Zarbi’s puppet show
The Siege of Trenzalore is one of the Doctor’s greatest battles, in which the legendary Time Lord finds himself protecting Trenzalore from several of his greatest enemies. The original script for “The Time of the Doctor” gave some intriguing glimpses into some of these off-screen encounters, with a puppet show featuring the Doctor facing off against various villains from the past.
Although the puppet show appears briefly in the episode, with a puppet Doctor fighting a monoid, Doctor Who: The Complete Story has revealed that this scene was initially going to be longer. The original sequence was to feature aliens, including Zarbi, Nimon, and Mykra, providing some fun callbacks to the classic era of the show.
Doctor Who is available to stream on HBO Max.
NEXT: 10 Memes That Perfectly Sum Up Doctor Who’s Eleventh Doctor And His Companions
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