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Doctor Who at Christmas Doctor Who

A collection of clips from several Christmas specials.

The Christmas Special was a yearly tradition for BBC Wales Doctor Who, beginning with 2005's The Christmas Invasion, all the way through to 2017's Twice Upon a Time. On 25 December, each year since the series was revived, a new special would air on BBC One.

Many Christmas Specials have introduced important plot points (e.g., new companion or a new incarnation of the Doctor) and were vital to series continuity. They were often the most-watched episodes of the programme in the respective years in which they aired. The Next Doctor, Voyage of the Damned and The End of Time were amongst the best-rated episodes of all time.[1]

Beginning with series 11, the annual Christmas Special was scrapped in favour of a New Year Special, 2019's Resolution. Like winter specials which came before it, the New Year Special took place on the holiday, and aired outside of the regular run.

Other examples[]

Though largely a phenomenon of BBC Wales Doctor Who, there were two minor precedents for the Christmas Special in the original era of the programme.

The very first episode to premiere on Christmas Day was "The Feast of Steven", very nominally the seventh part of the 1965-1966 serial The Daleks' Master Plan. It had almost nothing to do with the plot of that 12-parter, and was consciously written as a "Christmas sidestep" from the Dalek adventure. Indeed, it ended with a fourth wall-breaking "Happy Christmas" from the First Doctor to the audience.

Another example was A Girl's Best Friend, the pilot for K9 and Company. Though technically, therefore, not a "Doctor Who Christmas Special", it is now generally regarded as a part of "classic series lore". Its Christmas theme was not especially obvious until its ending scenes, where Sarah Jane is able to relax following her adventure, and K9 actually sings "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".

In the BBC's Christmas message of 1981, a small segment featured Doctor Who characters.

Additionally, the BBC produced a short sketch in 1978 called Merry Christmas Doctor Who. Not initially intended for public release, it was eventually included on the DVD of The Armageddon Factor.

A Christmas special of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Miracle on Bannerman Road, was planned to precede the fifth series. It was cancelled for various reasons.

List of Doctor Who Christmas specials[]