Since 2005, when Doctor Who returned to TV with a new series, there’s been a holiday tradition: the Doctor Who Christmas special.
For the first time in the show’s current incarnation, Christmas is canceled — but there will be a New Year’s Day special, Doctor Who Magazine has revealed.
BBC America will air all the previous Doctor Who Christmas specials starting at noon Dec. 24, then will marathon Doctor Who episodes with Peter Capaldi, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant at Matt Smith in the lead-up to the new New Year’s special.
The special will cap off Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the Thirteenth Doctor, which is the 11th season of the modern version of Doctor Who. The official season finale airs Dec. 9 on BBC America. According to the network:
The all-new episode is written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip (Preacher, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency). As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. Will the Doctor, Ryan (Tosin Cole), Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Yaz (Mandip Gill) be able to overcome this threat to Planet Earth?
The BBC has a bit more information and some analysis of this news. This includes the possibility that there will otherwise be no new Doctor Who until 2020, which means the move to New Year’s at least brings some mainstream Who content into 2019.
— Doctor Who on BBC America (@DoctorWho_BBCA) November 15, 2018
This isn’t, however, the first Doctor Who New Year’s special — that was in 2010, when the second part of David Tennant’s final regular episode as the Tenth Doctor aired, following the first part, which served as the 2009 Christmas special.
So, what about it all you Whovians in Who-ville: How do you feel about this break with a 13-year tradition for the Doctor Who holiday special?