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Doctor Who Is Trading Its Christmas Special for a New Year's Special

Get ready for Who Year's Day!

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Amanda Bell

UPDATE: BBC America has confirmed earlier reports that Doctor Who would be forgoing its traditional Christmas special in favor of a New Year's Day-themed special. But that doesn't mean Whovians can't still get into the holiday spirit with the Doctor.

Leading up to the first-ever "Who Year's Day," BBC America is airing a Doctor Who marathon. The network will kick things off with all the previous Christmas specials beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 24 and running right through Christmas itself. Afterward, the network will air a marathon featuring all the Doctors, beginning with Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor, followed by Christopher Eccleston's 9th Doctor, David Tennant's 10th Doctor and Matt Smith's 11th Doctor. (What a weird order.) This will lead straight into the New Year's Day special on Tuesday, Jan. 1.

The special was written by showrunner and executive producer Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip (Preacher, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency). The logline for the special is kind of vague, so make of this what you will: "As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth's history. Will the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Ryan (Tosin Cole), Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Yaz (Mandip Gill) be able to overcome this threat to Planet Earth?"

We're gonna go out on a limb and say probably.


Doctor Who and Christmas go together like, well, Santa Claus and Christmas, but there's reason to believe the 13th Doctor will be changing the rules yet again this year.

The U.K.'s Mirror reports that Jodie Whittaker's season may bypass all the jingle bells and one-horse open sleighs this year in favor of a New Year's-themed special. It'd be the first time since 2005, when the show was rebooted, that the series wouldn't go ho-ho-hopping through time as a gift to its fans, but apparently, showrunner Chris Chibnall is simply out of yuletide-related ideas and wants to explore something new this season.

Former executive producer Steven Moffat previously hinted at having a bit of Christmas fatigue when he said, "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."

Already, Whovians have a lot to say about the potential news that they're getting a proverbial lump of coal this year.

What say you? Would a Doctor Who New Year's special make up for a lost Christmas episode? Or is the show going on your naughty list for this?

Doctor Who airs Sundays at 8/7c on BBC America.