It really isn’t Christmas without the Doctor saving the day. While there may not be a Christmas special next week, she still found time to help out Santa.
In a cute, animated video released on Twitter by the official Doctor Who account, the Thirteenth Doctor comes to Santa’s aid when his sleigh breaks down. The short is narrated by Bradley Walsh (who plays Graham) and is the perfect little holiday story.
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) December 18, 2018
This story is a reunion of sorts between the Doctor and Santa. They previously worked together to save a group of strangers from face hugging aliens in “Last Christmas” and, in the process, bring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald back together.
Whovians were miffed to learn that a traditional Christmas episode would not air this year. The Doctor Who Christmas Special has become a staple of Christmas Day and nearly every Doctor has gotten at least one (except for Nine, poor fella). At the time of the announcement, there was a lot of complaining in the comments and pointing of fingers. Almost immediately, the news came that Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor would have the series’ first New Year’s Day special instead.
It’s unclear why this change was made for Whittaker’s first season. Showrunner Chris Chibnall has been clear on several occasions that he wanted to make Season 11 easy for anyone to jump into without needing knowledge of previous Doctors, monsters, storylines, or seasons. Is it possible the switch from Christmas to New Year’s is for similar reasons?
There is strong evidence that we may see a classic Doctor Who villain return in the New Year’s Day special, “Resolution.” The TARDIS Team returns to earth to find it under threat from “the most dangerous creature in the universe”. That certainly sounds like a Dalek to me!
A New Year’s special does provide incrementally less time between the holiday special and the next full season but not by much. Season 12, with Whittaker, Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill all returning, is not set to air until early 2020.