BBC America is still shaking things up over on “Doctor Who”. The network will be moving the fan-favorite Christmas episode from Christmas to New Year’s Day this year. The move is probably for the best, while this means that the episode will probably not include a traditional Christmas theme, the Christmas episodes have just run the whole holiday plot-line into the ground at this point. The switch does mean a perfect start to the New Year for a Whovian, with marathons and a new episode.
The New Year’s Day special episode of “Doctor Who” will air on Tuesday, January 1st. That’s not all, leading up to the first-ever “Who Year’s Day,” BBC America will present a Doctor Who marathon, starting with all the Christmas specials at 12pm ET/PT on Monday, December 24th, going into the big day itself, Tuesday, December 25th. So you still get some Christmas Episodes for Christmas time, then a new episode to enjoy. After the Christmas marathon, it’s a marathon of all the Doctors, starting with Peter Capaldi, followed by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, leading straight into the New Year’s special on Tuesday, January 1st.
The all-new episode is written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip (Preacher, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency).
According to the network, “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?”
First I should point out that Jodie Whitaker has been an outstanding Doctor, even though the ‘monsters of the week’ episodes should really be pulling into a larger theme at this point in the season. It seems I’m not alone in my love for Whitaker, according to the network her debut as the first female Doctor has been a breakaway hit with viewers across the globe. In Nielsen live/same day ratings, the current season of Doctor Who is averaging nearly one million viewers per episode, up 54% from the previous season and ranking as the fastest-growing scripted series of the year across all key demos.
Courtney Thomasma, executive director of BBC America 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.”
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.”
The finale of the current season will air on Sunday, December 9th at 8pm/7c on BBC AMERICA.