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December in

the DWU • production history • vital statistics • releases





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On Earth, December was the twelfth and final month of the year. (TV: The End of Time [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2009 and New Year Special 2010 (BBC One, 2009-2010).)


December contained the holiday of Christmas (TV: Born Again [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who (BBC One, 2005).) and the phenomenon known as the winter solstice, the moment where daylight would reach its lowest amount and increase afterwards. As a consequence, it contained the exact mid-point of winter and therefore the instant when people were, in the words of Kazran Sardick and the Eleventh Doctor, "halfway out of the dark". (TV: A Christmas Carol [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2010 (BBC One, 2010).) During the early 21st century, the time around Christmas was often subject to alien invasions. (TV: The Christmas Invasion [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas special (BBC One, 2005)., The Runaway Bride [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2006 (BBC One, 2006). et al.)

December also contained "Krampus nacht" on December 5th. This day was once attended by the Eighth Doctor, Liv and Helen. (AUDIO: Better Watch Out [+]Error: Code 2 - no data stored in variables, cache or SMW., Fairytale of Salzburg [+]Error: Code 2 - no data stored in variables, cache or SMW.)

By year

20th century

The abdication crisis in the United Kingdom reached its climax in December 1936 with the abdication of King Edward VIII. (PROSE: Wolfsbane [+]Jacqueline Rayner, BBC Past Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 2003).) The Players had sought to use the crisis to spark a pro-Nazi coup in Britain before losing the King as a pawn. (PROSE: Players [+]Terrance Dicks, BBC Past Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 1999).)

After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Reactive Automated Trail Seekers infiltrated Admiralty House in search of the Gallifreyan Augur's Stone. When they recovered it, it destroyed them, despite the efforts of the Ninth Doctor and Winston Churchill. (AUDIO: The Oncoming Storm [+]Phil Mulryne, The Churchill Years: Volume One (The Churchill Years, Big Finish Productions, 2016).) By this time, luxury items were becoming harder to obtain in Britain. (PROSE: All I Want for Christmas [+]Error: Code 2 - no data stored in variables, cache or SMW.)

In 1940, Manchester was struck by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz. Free Trade Hall was destroyed. (AUDIO: The Vardan Invasion of Mirth [+]Error: Code 2 - no data stored in variables, cache or SMW.) 29 December saw the worst night of the Blitz, with the Second Great Fire of London stirred up to tear through much of the city. (PROSE: A History of Humankind [+]Official Guides (BBC Children's Books, 2016).)

In 1941, the United States of America joined the war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December. (PROSE: Only Connect [+]Error: Code 2 - no data stored in variables, cache or SMW.) Japan followed this up with an invasion of the Philippines on 9 December. (PROSE: Happily Ever After Is a High-Risk Strategy [+]Blair Bidmead, Tales of the City (The City of the Saved, Obverse Books, 2012).) Germany ran into setbacks in their campaign against the Soviet Union before reaching Moscow. US entry into the war further over-extended their war effort. (PROSE: Just War [+]Lance Parkin, Virgin New Adventures (Virgin Books, 1996).)

Germany launched their final offensive of the war on the Western Front in 1944. (PROSE: Autumn Mist [+]David A. McIntee, BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 1999).) The Eighth Doctor met with Alan Turing at Bletchley Park in his ongoing investigation of the Markebo incident. They were joined by Graham Greene on an intelligence mission to Paris. (PROSE: The Turing Test [+]Paul Leonard, BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 2000).)

The Great Smog of London killed between 4,000 and 12,000 Londoners from 5 to 9 December 1952. (PROSE: Amorality Tale [+]David Bishop, BBC Past Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 2002).)

In 1965, the First Doctor's TARDIS materialised in the yard of a police station in Liverpool, its scanner malfunctioning. After some initial fears the polluted atmosphere of the 20th century might harm his companions Steven Taylor and Sara Kingdom (who had grown up in the clean air of the future) and some trouble with the local police, the First Doctor repaired the scanner and the TARDIS departed. (TV: "The Feast of Steven" [+]Part of The Daleks' Master Plan, Terry Nation and Dennis Spooner, Doctor Who season 3 (BBC1, 1965-1966).)

1986 December 1986

A calendar showing December 1986 (TV: The Tenth Planet [+]Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, Doctor Who season 4 (BBC1, 1966).)

While travelling with Rose Tyler, the Ninth Doctor took a quick break to deliver a red bicycle to an 11-year old Rose in 1998. (PROSE: The Red Bicycle [+]Gary Russell, Twelve Doctors of Christmas (2016).)

In 1999, the Seventh Doctor landed in San Francisco trying to stop the Old Master but was gunned down by a teenage gang. After minor surgery went wrong, due to the doctors not realising his Time Lord origins, he died and later regenerated in the hospital morgue. The Eighth Doctor struggled to regain his memories with the help of Grace Holloway as the Master stole a new body and tried to steal the remaining lives the Doctor possessed before he was sucked into the Eye of Harmony. (TV: Doctor Who [+]Matthew Jacobs, Doctor Who Television Movie (Fox Broadcasting Company, 1996).)

21st century

In 2006, the Tenth Doctor recovered from his regeneration at the Powell Estate. Sycorax intercepted Guinevere One and sent a threatening message to Earth. The Sycorax ship's pilot fish landed. The Doctor stopped them from taking his regeneration energy. Prime Minister Harriet Jones sought help from UNIT as the Doctor was still in bed at the time, though she wasn't to know that until later. (TV: The Christmas Invasion [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas special (BBC One, 2005).) During the alien encounter, the Third Doctor briefly arrived to try to help, but he eventually left; realising that he has arrived to late to be anything of meaningful assistance. (PROSE: The Christmas Inversion [+]Jacqueline Rayner, Twelve Doctors of Christmas (2016).)

In 2007, Donna Noble's wedding to Lance Bennett was interrupted by the Huon particles inside her system (put there by Lance) dragging her into the Doctor's TARDIS. After being attacked by Roboforms at the wedding reception, the Tenth Doctor, Donna and Lance went to H.C. Clements' basement. There, they travelled to a Torchwood base on the Thames Flood Barrier. The Empress of the Racnoss force fed Lance Huon energy to awaken her children, killing him. She also sent her Webstar to attack London, but the Doctor killed the children by draining the Thames into them and the British military, ordered by Minister of Defence Harold Saxon, blew up the webstar. (TV: The Runaway Bride [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2006 (BBC One, 2006).)

In the 2000s,[nb 1] the Tenth Doctor, after repairing a hole in space-time with the help of his fifth incarnation, (TV: Time Crash [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who Children in Need Special 2007 (BBC One, 2007).) found himself aboard a space-faring replica of the Titanic in orbit around Earth. Some of the passengers (including the waitress Astrid Peth) briefly landed in the middle of London. As the two previous Christmases had been disrupted by the arrival of alien spacecraft over London, most residents of the city had left for the season so nothing devastating would ruin their holiday. Those choosing to remain in the city included Queen Elizabeth II and Wilfred Mott. A series of meteorites were deliberately allowed to collide with the de-shielded Titanic, causing the ship and its nuclear storm drive to hurtle towards Earth. Most of the survivors of this collision were killed by the Heavenly Host. After the Doctor used the Host's security protocol to find the man in charge, Max Capricorn, Astrid followed, killing Capricorn but dying with him. The Doctor piloted the Titanic to safety, just missing Buckingham Palace. The only survivors were Midshipman Alonso Frame, Rickston Slade, the Doctor and Mr Copper. Astrid Peth was partially revived as starlight. Mr Copper, having money for the first time in his life, retired to Earth. (TV: Voyage of the Damned [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2007 (BBC One, 2007).)

In 2016, Shoreditch was attacked by Corakinus and the Shadow Kin armies, as preparation for an all-out war against Earth. This attack resulted in several casualties (including Varun Singh and Vivian Adeola), and led to a showdown between them and the Coal Hill defenders at Coal Hill Academy. Despite the protestations of Matteusz Andrzejewski, the showdown forced the reluctant Charlie Smith to both shoot April MacLean to kill Corakinus and activate the Cabinet of Souls to destroy both the Underneath and the Shadow Kin. (TV: The Lost [+]Patrick Ness, Class television stories series 1 (BBC Three, 2016).)

In 2019, Chantelle dumped her boyfriend during what had been a "relatively warm" December. (PROSE: At Childhood's End [+]Sophie Aldred, Mike Tucker and Steve Cole, BBC New Series Adventures (BBC Books, 2020).)

Other references

The "Katy Manning" Iris once mused that her Celestial Omnibus might look more in place on "Regent Street in the pouring rain, pulling up at a bus stop on a dark December night". (AUDIO: Iris Wildthyme Speaks...! [+]Paul Magrs, Out of this World (BBC Radio 3, 2017).)


  1. Although Voyage of the Damned is supposedly set the Christmas after the 2007 setting of The Runaway Bride, the Doctor Who series which aired immediately before and after Voyage give contradicting dates for when their present day is set. PROSE: The Paradox Moon places Martha Jones' present day in series 3 in June 2007. AUDIO: Recruits dates it to March 2008. A newspaper clipping in PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters places Smith and Jones on a Sunday 4 June, which in the real world does not fall on a Sunday in either 2007 or 2008. Donna Noble's present day in series 4 is set in 2008 according to TV: The Fires of Pompeii, TV: The Waters of Mars, and AUDIO: SOS (and is heavily implied by TV: The Star Beast and TV: The Giggle), or in approximately April to June 2009, according to PROSE: Beautiful Chaos.