A tabloid newspaper is reporting that Doctor Who will no longer be shown on Christmas Day on BBC1, citing a lack of festive ideas. Instead, the eleventh episode of Series 11, which we previously presumed would be the Christmas special, will be postponed until New Year’s Day – potentially making it the only episode to air in 2019.
The report reads:
“One source said: “BBC bosses have already made the bold move of shifting the entire series from Saturday to Sunday nights so they won’t be scared about moving the festive special from Christmas to New Year.”
“The episode is likely to be the ONLY outing for Doctor Who next year, with fans facing a “gap year” until 2020.
“Filming on Jodie’s second series has been pushed back to early 2019, meaning the series is unlikely to be finished in time to air in the autumn.”
If speculation is to be believed, this move partly comes because showrunner, Chris Chibnall has found it difficult coming up with new, original festive notions to fill a Christmas episode. If that is true (and we’re certainly not saying it is) it’s a little worrying – firstly because Chibnall is new to the role; secondly, ideas are what writer do; and also that episodes shown at Christmastime don’t even need to be infused with the season’s tidings.
Some have poured scorn on this rumour because it was broken by The Mirror; however, the newspaper has a history of getting stuff right, including that 2016 would be largely devoid of the show, and that Peter Capaldi would subsequently leave the series at the end of 2017. Let’s take this with a pinch of salt until anything’s confirmed by the BBC, but similarly, don’t be too skeptical.
It’s a massive shame if this is true. Doctor Who has maintained the Christmas Day slot since 2005, becoming a staple of many families’ festivities. Notable specials include The Christmas Invasion, The End of Time, A Christmas Carol, The Time of the Doctor, Last Christmas, and Twice Upon A Time – indeed, the latter was reportedly written by previous showrunner, Steven Moffat in order to keep the show in the Christmas schedule because Chibnall didn’t want to begin his era then.
What do you think, dear readers? A good move? Or a stupid one, given the increased audience on 25th December?