Exclusive: David Bradley Compares New 'Doctor Who' Christmas Special to a Holiday Classic

In just a couple of weeks, Doctor Who will usher in a new era which fans have been waiting for. This year’s Christmas Special will see the Twelfth Doctor come face-to-face with the First, and it will all lead into the Thirteenth Doctor’s historic debut. Earlier this year, ComicBook.com had a chance to speak with David Bradley about his part in the holiday special, and the actor had high praise for “Twice Upon a Time.”

“It’s full of good-heartedness. I would say even if you have never seen Doctor Who before, I think you will love it,” Bradley said of the show's impending special.

“It’s a story for me that is as heart-warming as It’s A Wonderful Life. I would say it has a heartwarming aspect of storytelling,” he continued. “It will be funny as well as heartwarming, and I think the fans will love it. I can’t wait to see it. I normally don’t get too excited about things I’ve done, but with the Doctor Who, I can’t wait to see it. I’m very excited.”

Of course, fans of Doctor Who will be familiar with Bradley as he dipped into the show’s most recent episode. The actor, who is known for his work in the Harry Potter franchise and Game of Thrones, stepped into William Hartnell’s shoes for the sci-fi series. Bradley was brought in to play the First Doctor for Doctor Who after he played Hartnell himself in a docudrama, and the actor told ComicBook.com how he came to join the series itself.

“I was checked out about a year ago to see if I were interested if they were going to write it," Bradley said. "They got the go ahead in about March or April, but I already said I would be delighted. After having had such a great experience on Adventure of Space and Time, I was happy to have a go at playing the Doctor as opposed to playing William Hartnell playing the Doctor."

“It was in many ways different and in many ways the same,” the actor continued. “I was familiar with the character and I did a lot of background work on him. I felt I was part of the way there with him vocally and physically. It was just a question of learning the thing because I got the script just a couple of days before the read-through.”

Doctor Who fans were elated when they learned the Twelfth Doctor’s final outing would feature the First Doctor. The juxtaposition between the two characters and their attitudes would be enough to make any fan laugh, and Bradley agrees. After all, the actor did admit the two Doctors do not see eye-to-eye when the Christmas special kicks off.

“Well, they don’t get off to a very good start,” the actor teased.

“I encounter him near the South Pole, and we’re both having a crisis of confidence. There’s a reluctance to regenerate, and he’s having the same crisis,” Bradley explained. “There’s a bit of tension to start between them before they realize they are actually one and the same person. There’s a conflict there, but it’s more of a humorous conflict because they are both coming from different backgrounds and sensibilities.”

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While Bradley couldn’t say much about the special itself, the actor did tell ComicBook.com the surprising episode had all the makings of an iconic one. “Twice Upon a Time” will pit two of Doctor Who’s most beloved characters together in an tundra just hours ahead of the holidays. With the heroes faced with regeneration, the Doctors will have only themselves to rely on as their closeout draws near. The special will have as many laughs as it does tear-jerking moments, so fans will want to come prepared. After all, if Bradley is willing to compare the special to one of the greatest holiday movies out there, then you know it will leave you feeling a certain kind of way.

The Doctor Who Christmas Special "Twice Upon a Time" airs Christmas Day on BBC America and at select theaters December 27th & 28th thanks to Fathom Events.