It’d been rumored for a while, but this week we finally had it confirmed that the yearly Doctor Who winter special won’t air on Christmas Day as has been the case ever since 2005 and will instead be shown on New Year’s. That doesn’t mean we’re getting any less Who than usual, but fans are still quite upset about the change as it marks the end of a longtime tradition that would’ve reached 13 years in 2018.
Apparently, the writing team has run out of ideas for Christmas-themed episodes after producing so many and when you recall what ex-showrunner Steven Moffat once said about the specials, we really should’ve seen this coming.
“I sort of think we might have mined, and possibly over mined, every single thing we could about Christmas in Doctor Who and the last time we more or less ignored it.”
So, despite the response from fans, the BBC are indeed moving things to January 1st, though it looks like this may only be a one-off event. In a report published on Outpost Skaro, which dove into some of the specifics on season 12, the outlet alleged that the yearly holiday special will return to Christmas in 2019.
“Doctor Who will not only air series 12 in 2019 but also restore the Christmas Day special, which this year has been demoted to New Years Day,” says the article.
Though this has yet to be confirmed by the BBC, it’s still great to hear. After all, the Christmas special has been a fixture in Whovians’ lives for so long and though moving it back a week doesn’t really change things all that much, many folks enjoy having that extra bit of magic which comes along with the episode airing on December 25th. And that’s completely understandable.
Not to mention that if Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall really are on their way out after season 12, as has been rumored, it’d make sense that the BBC might want to return to some of the classic Doctor Who traditions that this new era has so far done away with.