Though it’d been rumored for a while, this week brought with it confirmation that the yearly Doctor Who winter special won’t fall on Christmas as has been the case ever since way back in 2005 and will instead air on New Year’s Day. Of course, we’re not getting any less Who than usual, but fans are still pretty upset about the change as it marks the end of a tradition that would’ve reached 13 years in 2018.
From what we understand, the writers simply ran out of ideas for Christmas-themed episodes after penning so many and honestly, that kind of makes sense. Especially when you remember what ex-showrunner Steven Moffat once said about the specials.
“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 backlash from fans, the BBC are indeed moving things to January 1st and now, they’ve released a brief plot synopsis that teases what to expect from the episode, and it reads as follows:
“As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring, from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker), Ryan (Tosin Cole), Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Yaz (Mandip Gill) return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?”
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Sounds like your classic alien invasion storyline then, and though this synopsis is frustratingly vague, we’ll surely learn more in the coming weeks. Just don’t expect for the anger to die down. And really, we don’t blame the fans for feeling this way. I mean, the Christmas special has been a fixture in their lives for so long and though in reality the episode is just being moved back a week, a lot of people enjoyed the extra magic that comes with it airing on Christmas Day itself.
But this is a new era of Doctor Who, that much has been made abundantly clear, and along with all the other changes being made to the show, it seems the Christmas special is now yet another tradition we’ll have to kiss goodbye.