News, TV

The Annual DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special Will Be On New Year’s Day Instead


Since the relaunch of the series in 2005, there has been a Doctor Who special on Christmas Day. Some episodes are better than others, but a tradition was born.

But all things must come to an end, and this year there will be no new Doctor Who episode on Christmas day for the first time since 2004. Instead, the special will shift to New Year’s Day instead, in a move branded “Who Year’s Day.

“Jodie Whittaker and the dynamic new team have propelled Doctor Who to become TV’s fastest-growing scripted series of the year,” said Courtney Thomasma, executive director of BBC America, in a statement. “We can’t think of a better holiday gift to the fans than a weeklong marathon of Doctor Who Christmas specials and fan-favorite episodes leading into 2019 with new traditions and our first-ever ‘Who Year’s Day’ special.’”

The reactions to this have been mixed. Some people like that they don’t have to make their Christmas Day plans around the episode. Others are upset because for the last 13 years, that has been their Christmas plans.

Chris Chibnall is probably the one who made this decision, and he comments on the move too:

“We’re thrilled to be starting the New Year with a bang, as Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and friends face a terrifying alien threat in an action-packed, hour long special adventure for all the family.”

Here’s the thing. Originally, Peter Capaldi was set to regenerate into Jodie Whittaker at the end of season 10. There was to be no Christmas special in 2017, in preparation for the new season. Former showrunner Steven Moffat did not want Doctor Who to lose its Christmas Day slot. So he changed the ending of his finale, and had Peter Capaldi regenerate Christmas Day instead.

Well, it was all for naught, because they moved the special anyway.

Every Christmas episode was set at Christmas. But that didn’t have to be important to the plot. Audiences are intelligent enough to watch a News Years themed episode a week earlier.

If there is another logistical reason that this move happened, I would like to know. While I do miss the tradition, I am not as upset as I thought I’d be. We are still getting a special, and any new Doctor Who is good news.

The 1996 TV Movie starring Paul McGann focused on saving New Year’s Day on Y2K. David Tennant’s final episode “The End Of Time Part 2” aired on New Year’s Day 2010, though the beginning of that story was indeed on Christmas Day in 2009. So this isn’t unprecedented, but it’s still uncommon.

So it’s time to make new Christmas Day plans, but while you are nursing a New Year’s Eve hangover, the Doctor will make a house call!

Doctor Who airs on Sundays BBC One and BBC America.

Source: BBC America


Matt Vernier

Lifelong geek who is passionate about movies. I review things on my blog: Find me on Twitter! @MattV525 - Inquiries:

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