'Doctor Who' Christmas special axed for the first time in 13 years in favour of New Year episode

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor (Credit: BBC)

The annual Doctor Who Christmas episode has been axed for the first time since the show was rebooted in 2005.

According to reports, there will be an hour-long special New Year episode to usher in 2019 instead.

“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,” a source told The Daily Mirror.

The possibility of a non-Christmas instalment has been in the air for a while.

The show’s new boss Chris Chibnall, the writer behind Broadchurch, has previously hinted that there will be a an extra episode following the current 10-episode series, but has, perhaps purposely, never specifically mentioned ‘Christmas’.

“We seem to be filming 11 episodes, and it’s only a series of 10,” he said at Comic Con in San Diego this summer.

“I would definitely think there’s another episode after the end of the series.”

(Credit: BBC)

Meanwhile, Chibnall’s predecessor Steven Moffat has said that the format of the annual Christmas episode had got a little tired over the years.

“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,” he said.

Christmas specials have taken in such villains as killer snowmen and evil robot Santas, while last year’s special was used to regenerate Peter Capaldi’s Doctor into Jodie Whittaker, a move which won’t be necessary this year.

According to reports, the filming of Whittaker’s second series as the Time Lord has been pushed to early 2019, meaning that after the New Year episode, the series won’t return until at least the Autumn.

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