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We Finally Know When Doctor Who Will Return

And it's not for a Christmas special

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Kaitlin Thomas

Amelia Pond (Karen Gillan) might have waited longer for her Raggedy Doctor (Matt Smith) than we've waited to find out when Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor will return for more adventures in the TARDIS, but it certainly feels like we've been waiting years and years. That's why we're so excited that BBC America finally announced on Monday that Doctor Whowill return for Season 12 on New Year's Day at 8/7c. The season will kick off with a two-part episode titled "Spyfall." After the premiere, new episodes will air Sundays at 8/7c.

Although this is obviously very good news, it brings with it the sad realization there won't be an annual Doctor Who Christmas special -- making this the second time in as many years that Whovians have had to do without one, after the long-running sci-fi series opted for a New Year's special last season instead.

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Doctor Who Season 12 Trailer Teases the Return of Another Old Foe

However, when the new season debuts, it will be with a few really cool faces in tow. Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry will both appear in the Season 12 premiere alongside returning cast members Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley Walsh. (Honestly, it's hard to believe Fry had a recurring part on Bonesbefore he made his first appearance on one of the most iconic British television shows in history.) Goran Visnjic will also appear this season. The first full trailer for the season confirmed the return of the Cybermen, among other old foes.

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The premiere date announcement was accompanied by a new trailer that shows the Doctor warning of a "big, serious crisis" -- and signing off with "kisses!" (Business as usual.)

Additionally, it was announced BBC America has partnered with BBC Studios and Fathom Events air both the premiere episode and an exclusive early unveiling of the season's second episode on the big screen in theaters nationwide. After the screening, audiences will be treated to a live Q&A with Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill, transmitted from The Paley Center for Media in New York. Tickets and a list of participating locations will be available beginning Friday, Dec. 6 at the Fathom Events website.

Doctor Who Season 12 premieres Wednesday, Jan. 1 at 8/7c on BBC America. New episodes will air Sundays at 8/7c starting Sunday, Jan. 5.

Jodie Whittaker, Doctor Who

BBC America