It used to be that, across the pond in Englandbritlandershire, Doctor Who was a Christmas Day television fixture. The Christmas specials were frequently used for big episodes, such as those featuring a regeneration or the introduction of a new assistant. They were consistently one of the top rated shows on Christmas Day as families settled down in front of the TV to digest thr huge Christmas dinner and get stuck into the sherry.
Of course, the BBC being an absolute disaster zone of idiocy, agendas and messaging, they managed to even screw that up. Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor was shunted to New Years Day, and then from the Christmas schedules completely.
This Christmas Day there was at least a tiny bit of Doctor Who on the television though. The trailer premiered for next years 60th Anniversary specials.
Returning showrunner Russell T. Davies is not stupid. He knew that after the shaky Whittaker and Chibnal era that Doctor Who might not survive rushing headlong into the Ncuti Gatwa era. So he pulled a masterstroke and had the Doctor regenerate back into the much loved former Doctor David Tennant, with Catherine Tate returning as his companion, Donna Noble.
The 60th anniversary will also mark the start of a new era for Doctor Who with Disney+ as the international distribution partner and also providing some funding.
The specials have all been shot already and will pave the way for the arrival of the new Doctor, with Ncuti Gatwa taking over as the Fifteenth incarnation and Millie Gibson as companion Ruby Sunday. They began shooting those episodes a few weeks ago and will premier in 2024.
The new trailer shows Neil Patrick Harris’ villain of the piece, who has not been named. Fans speculate he is a new version of the very first Doctor Who villain, The Celestial Toymaker. UNIT also return.
Yasmin Finney appears as Rose Tyler, so there is already speculation over how that will play out and if Billy Piper will appear in any way in the specials.
Rachel Talalay, Tom Kingsley and Chanya Button direct the episodes in turn. They are expected to air towards the end of the year, with the new Doctor appearing in what is potentially the return of the Christmas special.