Doctor Who Christmas special scrapped after bosses ‘run out’ of ideas – but there is good news for fans
The massive shake-up means Doctor Who won’t have a Christmas Day outing for the first time since 2005.
Doctor Who will not have a Christmas Day outing this year for the first time since the reboot in 2005.
Instead, 13th Time Lord Jodie Whittaker will have an hour-long special which runs at New Year – with a storyline that relates to the arrival of 2019.
The move comes after bosses claimed they had “run out” of Yuletide storylines following 13 years of making them.
The decision to shift the special from Christmas to New Year came from showrunner and writer Chris Chibnall, who confirmed this summer that an “11th episode” was being made for the BBC while attending Comic Con in San Diego.
“We seem to be filming 11 episodes, and it’s only a series of 10,” he said.
Carefully not using the word Christmas he added: “I would definitely think there’s another episode after the end of the series.”
Chibnall’s predecessor Steven Moffat had suggested the slot was a huge headache after more than a decade of festive stories.
These have included killer snowmen, evil robot Santas and even homicidal angels aboard the Titanic.
“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.”
His final special last year saw the regeneration of Peter Capaldi into Whittaker.
One source said: “BBC bosses have already made the bold move of shifting the entire series from Saturday to Sunday nights so they won’t be scared about moving the festive special from Christmas to New Year.”
The episode is likely to be the ONLY outing for Doctor Who next year, with fans facing a “gap year” until 2020.
Filming on Jodie’s second series has been pushed back to early 2019, meaning the series is unlikely to be finished in time to air in the autumn.
The hour-long special has been a stalwart of the BBC’s Christmas Day schedule ever since the sci-fi hit returned to screens in 2005.
This year its absence will free up an hour-long family slot around 6pm amid the usual offerings of EastEnders, Call the Midwife and Mrs Brown’s Boys.