The Doctor Who Christmas Special on Wednesday gave fans of the long-running show a chance to say goodbye to latest Time Lord Matt Smith, while ushering in the new one in the form of Peter Capaldi.

There’s a town called Christmas on the planet of Tranzalore. A signal from the town repeats, “Doctor who?” and leads the Cybermen and Daleks and other Doctor nemesis of yore to wage a war upon each other. Ultimately, the Doctor feels he has no choice but to step in and gets the assistance of the Church of the Papal Mainframe.

It’s learned that after “The Day of the Doctor,” the Time Lords became trapped on the planet Gallifrey and that they’re trying to get through the Crack. If the Doctor says his true name, it’ll let them return to the universe – but in turn cause the Time War to begin again. If the Time War were to reignite, it could mean the end of reality altogether. The Church and its offshoot the Church of the Silence make it their mission to make him keep his name secret.

Over the next several hundred years, the Doctor fights the Cyberman and Daleks. He then needs the help of the Time Lords to regenerate. Although Time Lords can only regenerate twelve times, Clara’s plea allows him the chance to regenerate and for the Time War to be squashed. Former companion Amy then bids him goodbye, saying, “Raggedy man… good night.”

“I will always remember when the Doctor was me,” he replied.

Taking Smith’s Doctor’s seat in the TARDIS is Capaldi, who hasn’t yet mastered operating the vehicle. “Just one question,” the new Doctor asks Clara. “Do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”

– Chelsea Regan

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