Doctor Who season 11 episode 1 review

Doctor Who Is Forgoing a Christmas Special for a New Year’s Day Special

One more thing to look forward to in 2019.

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What better way to celebrate the new year than by spending it with the first female Doctor? BBC America is planning the first ever “Who Year’s Day” in lieu of their traditional Christmas special, but don’t worry, there will be plenty of Doctor Who Christmas cheer to go around.

The network is airing a Christmas special marathon starting on December 24th and going into Christmas day. Following the holiday specials will be another Doctor Who marathon, which begins with the Peter Capaldi seasons, followed by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, and culminates in the New Year’s special. This will be the first time in 13 years that the long-running series will not have a Christmas episode, which has been a staple of the show since 2005.

Executive Director of BBC AMERICA Courtney Thomasma said, “Jodie Whittaker and the dynamic new team have propelled Doctor Who to become TV’s fastest growing scripted series of the year. We can’t think of a better holiday gift to the fans than a week-long 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.”

BBC America released a synopsis for the special episode: “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 episode is written by showrunner Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency).

“Who Year’s Day” will follow the current season finale, which airs on December 9th. Series 11, which introduced the world to Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor, has been a ratings success. Viewership has grown 54% from last season, with new viewers tuning in every week, making it the fastest growing scripted series of 2018. The new Who has also been a ratings success, with critics and audiences alike enjoying the hopeful tone, the lush cinematography, and Whittaker’s charismatic turn as the Doctor.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall said, “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.”

Are you excited for “Who Year’s Day”? What’s your favorite Doctor Who Christmas special?

(via Deadline, image: BBC America)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.