‘Doctor Who’ star says New Year special is ‘a romcom with Daleks’

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 19:20:01 on 05/12/2021 - Programme Name: Doctor Who Festive Special 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Doctor Who Festive Special 2021 - Iconic (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 19:20HRS SUNDAY 5TH DECEMBER, 2021* Dan (JOHN BISHOP), Yasmin Khan (MANDIP GILL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Sarah (AISLING BEA), Nick (ADJANI SALMON) - (C) BBC Studios - Photographer: James Pardon

Shortly after season 13 — the miniseries Flux — wrapped up at the beginning of the month, Doctor Who is returning to our screens this New Year’s Day for its annual winter special. For the third year running, this one is another Dalek-centric episode, titled “Eve of the Daleks.” The twist this time, though, is that the story will feature a Groundhog Day-style time loop storyline. Not to mention some holiday romcom vibes.

While speaking with RadioTimes.com, guest star Adjani Salmon previewed what we can expect from his character, Nick, who he reveals is secretly in love with Sarah, as played by Home Sweet Home Alone‘s Aisling Bea.

“I guess it kind of starts off with Nick as an introverted, kind of lovesick guy, who’s really just trying to say: ‘This year will be better,'” Salmon explained. “He’s planning to tell Sarah, which is Aisling Bea’s character, how he feels, and ask her out. To build up that courage, just to see, you know, will it be this time?” he added. “But I guess the Doctor shows up, and there’s chaos.”

He went on to sum up the special as a “romcom,” just with some merciless cyborg exterminators added into the mix.

“It is a weird, little romcom with Daleks, which is fun. I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”

Director Annette Laufer promised RT that “Eve of the Daleks” will be a “very Doctor Who episode” that should act as a welcome palette-cleanser after the complex, interconnected Flux.

“It has all the elements of the fun, the comedy, the fear, the threat, the excitement, the action, Laufer said. “And I think they’ll come away really excited by having, again, a standalone episode as well, so that they can see it right to the end.”

“Eve”, as the title suggests, takes place on New Year’s Eve and follows Sarah, who owns and runs ELF storage, and Nick, a loyal customer who visits his unit every December 31. This year, however, things will go a little differently when the pair find themselves joining forces with the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her friends Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) after the Daleks invade the facility.

This episode marks the beginning of the end of Whittaker’s tenure as the Time Lord. After this one, two more specials will follow in 2022 before the actress regenerates into the as-yet-unknown Fourteenth Doctor in her final episode, with the show’s new era then kicking off in 2023. Current showrunner Chris Chibnall is also bowing out at the same time before former EP Russell T. Davies returns to the fold.

Doctor Who: “Eve of the Daleks” airs on BBC America this New Year’s Eve.