Ever since the 2005 revival of Doctor Who, Whovian’s have had an annual visit from The Doctor every Christmas.

The Christmas specials of Doctor Who have been a tonally mixed bag. Whovian’s have watched Doctor’s come (The Christmas Invasion) and Doctor’s go (The Time of the Doctor), and witnessed everything from comedy to tragedy on that special day. Whether stressing the importance of family (The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe), or the void felt when we don’t have one (The Snowmen, A Christmas Carol), Doctor Who has managed to show the meaning of Christmas time and time again.

Of course, Who’s Christmas’ have occasionally taken a shine to putting a Who twist on well known properties: Titanic and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Next in the firing line are superheroes with this years Christmas Special: The Return of Doctor Mysterio. Below is everything we know about the upcoming episode.

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 - The Return of Doctor Mysterio (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 – The Return of Doctor Mysterio (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: – (C) BBC – Photographer: Ray Burmiston

The Beginning of Moffat’s Doctor Who Finale

Whether you have enjoyed Moffat’s era or would prefer a change, one would be hard pressed to argue against the quality of his Christmas Specials.

After all, where Russell T Davies’ Christmas Specials often centered around festive comedy, Moffat’s were grounded in emotional nuance. Davies’ Doctor often spent his Christmas in variations of London, but Moffat taught us more firmly that Christmas can be anywhere, anytime.

Christmas Specials in Doctor Who are always emotional under Moffat’s reign, and it’s a safe bet to assume that both tears and laughter will flow. This is something his frequent collaborator Mark Gattis has confirmed, saying it’s: “one of Steven [Moffat]’s best ever scripts, absolutely beautiful. It made me cry.” We know that Peter Capaldi will be headlining 2017’s series 10, so the source of this beauty will undoubtedly be found in the Christmas shenanigans; not a meaningful death…we hope.

Matt Lucas as Nardole - Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 - The Return of Doctor Mysterio (c) BBC
Matt Lucas as Nardole – Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 – The Return of Doctor Mysterio (c) BBC

Matt Lucas Returns

Little Britain star Matt Lucas is set to have his second go as fan-favourite Nardole, and like Capaldi and Moffat, will return for the 2017 series.

Nardole debuted in last years Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song, and Lucas has said that his return “was great fun” to film. Obviously fun is something a Christmas Special needs a sense of. Along with the approval of one of Britain’s best comics, the episode looks set to be a festive blast.

After all, Lucas is known for his comedic timing and this is something we can expect to see in a only a months time! Christel Dee on the Doctor Who Fan Show teased of Nardole that “he’s almost like an anti-companion. He’s kinda like ‘can we not? Doctor, don’t do that. No.’ But not in a horrible way – in a really, really funny way. They make such a great double act that’s going to make for a really funny Christmas special.” No doubt his character will bring a lot of Christmas warmth in his reappearance. Lucas and Capaldi will ricochet off each other bombastically.

Even More Great Casting!

‘The Ghost’ will be played by Justin Chatwin of ‘War of the Worlds’ and ‘Orphan Black’ fame.

Chatwin commented that “working with the amazing people at Doctor Who has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of being involved with.” Big words from Chatwin, who has worked alongside the likes of Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning. Chatwin has stellar acting chops, and praise from a Hollywood actor speaks volumes for the quality of Doctor Who.

Furthermore, BBC Children In Need just gave us a full look at Chatwin in action; and a lot of action there is!

Though the starring roles of Who are important, it is nothing without its guest stars. The sneak peak informs that Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall) will be playing Lucy Fletcher, a secretive reporter for the Daily Chronicle. Aleksandar Jovanovic (Close to the Enemy) features in the sneak peak as the gun-toting villain. Rounding out the cast are Adetomiwa Edun (Lucifer) and Logan Hoffman – all exciting additions. At the present time, news on their roles is kept to a bare minimum. Doctor Who secrecy is water tight as we all know, and a few surprises will no doubt be lying in wait. Fans of the show can guarantee that their performances will be one of them!

A bevvy of behind the scenes shenanigans: 

With every exciting production comes a boat load of behind the scenes footage!

Showcasing everything from bloopers to brilliant scenes, fans are rewarded for their long wait for more Who. Check out the videos straight from the Doctor Who team below!

High Expectations:

Blogtor Who’s very own poll is a suitable indicator of high expectations, and you can check out the results below!

Roughly 210 of the 339 voters can’t wait to see what The Doctor has up his sleeve this Christmas time.

Of course, the remaining voters are ‘not keen’. However, if Doctor Who does anything well, it is taking what sounds to be a head-scratching concept and making it visceral and marvellous. Consequently, the Christmas Specials always look to be putting particular emphasis on the ‘special’.

After all, if prior to 2010 Whovians were informed that The Doctor would be tracking The Master alongside Wilfred Mott, we’d all be in stitches. And what a great, festive episode that turned out to be!

Concluding thoughts

Christmas is a time of understanding and empathy, something which our divided planet needs after a turbulent 2016 – what better way to find this than through the superhero medium?

After all, this theme looks to resonate throughout the episode. Moffat stated at New York Comic Con that he: “always loved superheroes and this Christmas Doctor Who dives into that world. My favourite superhero is Clark Kent. Not Superman, Clark Kent.” Beneath the flashy exteriors of wonderful and powerful beings, are people who simply want to be.

This is what establishes the powerful connection between Doctor Who and Christmas. No matter where you are, who you are or what you are, Christmas is for all.


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