‘Doctor Who’ Christmas special trailer teases Matt Smith’s goodbye

Dec. 18, 2013 | 5:05 p.m.

Matt Smith in "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

"The Wooden Cyberman" in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

"The Wooden Cyberman" in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Daleks in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

The Doctor (Matt Smith) faces off against Daleks in "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Matt Smith in "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Matt Smith in "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Cybermen in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Orla Brady as Tasha Lem Cybermen in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Orla Brady as Tasha Lem Cybermen in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Jenna Coleman as Clara in "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Rob Jarvis as Abramal, left, and Tessa Peake-Jones as Marta in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Rob Jarvis as Abramal, front left, and Tessa Peake-Jones as Marta in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

The Doctor (Matt Smith) and the Daleks in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Orla Brady as Tasha Lem Cybermen in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Artwork featuring the Doctor and some of his friends and foes in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Artwork featuring the Doctor and some of his friends and foes in a scene from "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Jenna Coleman as Clara in a poster for "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

Matt Smith in a poster for "The Time of the Doctor," the 2013 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (BBC America)

A poster for "The Time of the Doctor" features Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. (BBC America)

A new trailer for the “Doctor Who” Christmas special is out, teasing Matt Smith’s final episode as the show’s star.

The trailer, released Wednesday, features Orla Brady as mysterious villainess Tasha Lem, a figure from the Doctor’s distant past.

“The Time War will begin anew,” she declares. “The siege of Trenzalore has now begun!”

Trenzalore was teased throughout Matt Smith’s tenure as the Eleventh Doctor and eventually revealed in last season’s finale as the site of the Doctor’s grave.

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The trailer also shows the Doctor crashing a Christmas dinner, presumably that of companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). The episode also brings together a plethora of classic “Doctor Who” aliens, including Daleks, Cybermen, the Silence and the Weeping Angels. Other guest stars include Rob Jarvis and Tessa Peake-Jones.

“Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them – the Doctor,” reads the episode’s official description. “Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.”

The Christmas special marks the Doctor and Clara’s last adventure together. Scottish actor Peter Capaldi, best known from his work on the comedy series “The Thick of It,” will be taking Smith’s place in the TARDIS and is expected to make his debut in “The Time of the Doctor” when Smith’s Doctor regenerates.

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A poster for "The Time of the Doctor" features Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. (BBC America)

A poster for “The Time of the Doctor” features Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. (BBC America)

The episode follows November’s simulcast of “The Day of the Doctor” — a feature-length 50th anniversary special starring Smith, Tennant and John Hurt, who played a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor and revealed new aspects of the character’s past. The special made use of archival footage of previous Doctors, and Capaldi and Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor, made guest appearances.

Smith, who took over from David Tennant in 2010, has seen the show skyrocket in popularity, especially in the United States, during his tenure as the time-traveling alien.

“I’d have very happily done another year,” Smith said earlier this year. “It’s a wonderful show. But I think you gotta go when you gotta go, and for me, it just felt like the right time to move on.”

BBC America is celebrating Smith’s tenure and marking his departure with a full evening of “Doctor Who” programming on Dec. 25, ending with the Christmas special. At 6 p.m. ET the network will air “The Night of the Doctor” — a six-minute 50th anniversary special prequel starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor — followed by the special, “The Day of the Doctor.” At 8 p.m. ET comes the “Farewell to Matt Smith” hour-long retrospective documentary, narrated by Alex Kingston (River Song) and featuring interviews with the show’s cast, crew and other commenters, including myself. The Christmas special airs at 9 p.m.

What are your expectations for Smith’s final episode? Let us know in the comments.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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"Doctor Who" star Matt Smith. “I think what he brought back to the role is the absolute nuttiness of the Doctor,” Moffat said. “Matt’s Doctor is basically insane. You put him in a normal situation, and you realize he’s an absolute lunatic.” (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)‘Doctor Who’: For Matt Smith, it’s been a ‘nutty’ ride

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