I have a lot to cover concerning the 50th, but before we could even exhale from the special they released details and an image from the upcoming Christmas special, the name of which was also revealed, "The Time of The Doctor." A teaser trailer is also here for you to watch, and I do mean teaser.
So what do we know about the episode? We already know there will be a regeneration and we will see the departure of Matt Smith as well as the introduction of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor. In the teaser we see Daleks, Weeping Angels, The Silence and learn The Doctor's location, Trenzalore. In the new promo image above we see a tiny bit more. Behind and on either side of The Doctor's left hand there are two faces in the flames. One is Peter Capaldi, no big surprise. The other is a mystery, because it's Paul McGann! Will he make yet another appearance in Who this year, and if so in what capacity? There was that time in "The Night of The Doctor" prequel where we don't see Paul regenerate fully, and then he is asked if it is finished. I figured this was because they made him regenerate into a young John Hurt. What if something happened in between?
UPDATE! Scratch that about Paul Mcgann. There's another image that's similar that has what looks like the same face and they both look like Peter Capaldi to me.
What else? Well, I'll tell you what else. A BBC source, which makes me wary anyway, says that the 12 regeneration limit issue will be faced at Christmas. The claim is that they are counting the meta-crisis regeneration at the beginning of "Journey's End" is a regeneration, and I agree with this if it's true. With John Hurt's regeneration in place that makes Matt the 13th incarnation. (Moffat has already said the Doctor numbering stays the same so no need to get into all that mess.) Certainly he won't find Gallifrey that quickly. My guess is the return of the sisterhood of Karn.
Then there's one more thing that just came out. Actress Orla Brady (I only know her as Peter's mother on Fringe) has told Digital spy in an interview here that she is in the special as a character from The Doctor's past. What's more is the plot is supposed to revolve around her. Who could this mysterious person be? The names Romana, Jenny and The Rani have been batted about. I would love to see The Rani, but think that would make it a bit villain heavy. Jenny is quite likely in my opinion, given Moffat asked Russell not to kill her off. I do like the Romana angle, now that Gallifrey is back somewhere. In the Big Finish audio plays she is Lord President of Gallifrey, a post I'm sure will come to The Doctor yet again at some point.
I'm excited but still it's hard to decipher rumor from fact yet, let alone piece together a picture of what will happen, so I'll just leave you with one more piece of the puzzle, the BBC synopsis of the episode:
"Orbiting a quiet, backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out of the stars. And amongst them - The Doctor. 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."