The Twelfth Doctor will be introduced to the world in a live television special Sunday evening, the BBC announced Friday. The identity of Doctor Who’s newest Time Lord has been hotly anticipated since the current doctor, Matt Smith, announced that he would be leaving the show after this year’s Christmas special. “The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the TARDIS,” said executive producer Steven Moffat. “For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking 12.”
The news will be announced in a thirty-minute live special on BBC1 and BBC AMERICA this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. BST, (American fans, that’s 2:00 p.m. EDT and 11:00 a.m. PDT). The show will be hosted by Zoë Ball and feature interviews with Smith and Moffat as well as appearances from celebrity fans of Doctor Who and previous incarnations of the Doctor. The show’s official Tumblr confirmed Friday that the special would air simultaneously in Britain and America.
The BBC has gone to great lengths to keep the show’s new star a secret, drama head Ben Stephenson said, revealing that even within the corporation, executives have been using the codename for the new Doctor to deflect suspicion. “We can’t wait to unveil the next Doctor with everyone live on BBC1 on Sunday night,” Stephenson said. “Amongst all the speculation and betting, there has been lots of fun and intrigue at work as we’ve been using the codename ‘Houdini’ as a decoy.”
“It’s the biggest secret in showbiz, even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12th incarnation.”
BBC America released this teaser trailer Friday:
Three audition scripts for the Twelfth Doctor, written by Moffat, were published in the newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. The first scene shows Clara and the Doctor interacting after his regeneration:
THE DOCTOR: Right then, eyesight. Not bad, bit blue. Ears – not pointy, right way up, more or less level. Face – well I’ve got one. Oh, no – French!
THE DOCTOR: I’ve deleted French! Plus all cookery skills, and the breast stroke. And hopping. Never mind hopping, who needs to hop. Ohh, the kidneys are interesting. Never had that before – interesting kidneys.
CLARA: Are you all right?
THE DOCTOR: I don’t know, do I look all right?
CLARA: I don’t know.
THE DOCTOR: How’s the face? Seems all right from the inside. Nice action, responsive. Bit less heft on the chin. How is it?
CLARA: It’s… okay.
THE DOCTOR: Okay?
CLARA: It’s a bit… you know.
THE DOCTOR: No I don’t, I haven’t seen it yet.
CLARA: Maybe it’s just new.
THE DOCTOR: Have you changed height?
THE DOCTOR: You sure?
CLARA: It’s you, your height, you’re the one who’s changed.
THE DOCTOR: And look at your nose.
CLARA: What about my nose?
THE DOCTOR: It was really cute, I loved your nose, you should’ve kept it.
CLARA: I did, it’s the same nose, it’s the same all of me. You’re the one who’s… regenerated, whatever you call it.
THE DOCTOR: Are you wearing a smell?
CLARA: Do you mean perfume?
THE DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose it could be perfume.
CLARA: You’ve always liked that perfume, you said so.
THE DOCTOR: No I didn’t, that was the Doctor.
CLARA: You’re the Doctor.
THE DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose I am. That’s going to take a bit of getting used to.
CLARA: Yeah, it really is.
The second scene takes place on a space ship bridge in flames:
2. INT. SPACE SHIP BRIDGE
The Doctor is facing down the Cyberleader, who stares balefully down from the screen. The bridge around the Doctor is burning, ruined.
THE DOCTOR: Ah, Cyberleader, hello!
CYBERLEADER: Do you have a response, Doctor.
THE DOCTOR: Yes, I do. Definitely got a response. And here it is. Yes, your ears look big in that! Sorry, did I misunderstand the question?
CYBERLEADER: You will return the stolen cargo.
THE DOCTOR: Yeah, well, two points. One, I didn’t steal it. No, actually, I did steal it, I was just hoping if I said that I’d think of a really good excuse before the end of the sentence. Didn’t happen, never mind. Point two – well, point one, second attempt – that isn’t cargo. Those are human beings.
CYBERLEADER: They are primed for conversion.
THE DOCTOR: I’ve unprimed them.
CYBERLEADER: You will return the cargo.
THE DOCTOR: No, I won’t.
CYBERLEADER: Then the cargo will be taken.
THE DOCTOR: Not going to happen, and do you know what’s going to stop you?
CYBERLEADER: We will not be stopped. The Doctor raises a finger.
THE DOCTOR: Tell it to the finger. See this finger? See what I’m doing with this finger right now. The Doctor moves to the screen. Starts drawing a line across.
THE DOCTOR: I’m drawing a line between this ship and you. Between all these people and all your metal men. And this line, it’s a magic line
CYBERLEADER: Magic is not logical
THE DOCTOR: I know – isn’t it great? Because I’ll tell you what. All these people on this ship are now, officially, under the protection of the magic line. Now, I’ll be honest, these guys in here are a bit annoying. They keep having their own opinions, and sometimes they take turns talking instead of me, which is just boring for everyone. But facts are facts, they’re behind the magic line, and that’s the way it is now. And to be clear, so we all understand the deal here, if any of your handle-heads happens to cross the magic line, even by accident, do you know what will happen to you then?
CYBERLEADER: What will happen?
THE DOCTOR: Me
The third scene features the Doctor and a little boy:
3. The Doctor and a little boy. They’re sitting in the little boy’s bedroom.
THE DOCTOR: Does everyone tell you it’s going to be all right?
LITTLE BOY: Yes.
THE DOCTOR: Do you believe them?
LITTLE BOY: No
THE DOCTOR: Good man. Tell me what happens when the lights go out.
LITTLE BOY: No.
THE DOCTOR: Because you’re scared? (Silence) Because you think I won’t believe you. Because you think I’ll tell you everything’s fine, when you know it isn’t, and leave you alone like all the other grown-ups?
LITTLE BOY:… yes.
THE DOCTOR: Look at me. Am I grown up?
LITTLE BOY: Yes.
THE DOCTOR: Good! You’re the very first person I’ve fooled. Look, what if I promise I won’t tell you it’s okay. What if I just listen, and then try my best to help, and never tell you that I know better. How about that?
LITTLE BOY: …okay.
THE DOCTOR: Okay. So. You turn the lights out -then what?
LITTLE BOY: The room… changes. In the dark.
THE DOCTOR: You mean the room is different when you can’t see it.
LITTLE BOY: Yes.
THE DOCTOR: Every time?
LITTLE BOY: Yes.
THE DOCTOR: Different how?
LITTLE BOY: It’s wet. When 1 touch the walls, they’re all wet.
THE DOCTOR: Like damp. Like water running
LITTLE BOY: No. Wet like a mouth.
So who will the next Doctor be?
People have been placing bets on who will replace Matt Smith on Doctor Who for months. Here are bookmaker William Hill’s top candidates with their current odds.
What you know him from: Capaldi played Malcolm Tucker in the BBC series The Thick of It and the movie In the Loop (the two inspirations for the HBO series Veep, all from Armando Iannucci). He also played Randall Brown in the BBC’s The Hour.
Why he’s a favorite: Steven Moffat sparked rumors that the Twelfth Doctor might be older than the Tenth and Eleventh when he told reporters at Comic-Con that he had “never not considered an older Doctor.” Moffat hinted that a more senior Doctor was a strong possibility, saying, “It is completely on all the lists we make - there are absolutely older Doctors.” Furthermore, Capaldi is a huge Doctor Who fan — the Scotsman credits the show with inspiring his desire to work in television as a child.
What you know him from: Daniels played James Steel on Law and Order: UK from 2009 - 2011 and recently played Adam Galloway on Netflix’s House of Cards.
Why he’s a favorite: As stated above, Steven Moffat has fueled speculation that the next Doctor will be older than Matt Smith, who was 26 years old when he assumed the role. Daniels is also openly gay, which would provide an interesting dimension to the classic show.
What you know him from: Kinnear played Bill Tanner, M’s Chief of Staff, in the James Bond films Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.
Why he’s a favorite: Despite his appearances in blockbuster movies, Kinnear is far from a household name, which may help his chances. As a BAFTA winner, he certainly has the acting chops to assume such an iconic role.
What you know him from: Whishaw played Q in the James Bond movie Skyfall and assumed the roles of multiple characters in Cloud Atlas. Like Capaldi, he also starred in The Hour.
Why he’s a favorite: Known for his intelligent and quirky roles, Whishaw could easily step into Smith’s shoes. Plus, he’s not very well-known, which has always helped Who candidates.
What you know him from: Harewood recently played David Estes in Showtime’s Homeland, but he left the show at the end of last season. In 2006, he played Captain Poison in Blood Diamond.
Why he’s a favorite: A fan of the show, Harewood has spoken about how “extraordinary” it would be to play the first black Doctor.
What you know him from: Although Elba is currently the star of the BBC’s Luther, he is best known for playing drug lord Russell “Stringer” Bell in HBO’s The Wire.
Why he’s a favorite: The talented actor has impressed fans around the world and casting him would mark a new direction for the show and the character — a tougher, more badass Doctor.
BuzzFeed will update the poll with new candidates as votes come in.