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Russell T Davies Promises Annual Doctor Who and the Return of the Christmas Specials

New showrunner, Russell T Davies, has revealed that Doctor Who Series 14 will consist of 8 episodes, but also promises “annual Doctor Who” and the return of the Christmas specials.

In the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, out tomorrow, he writes:

“Okay, that’s fewer episodes than the last full season. But give us time. We have plans, and that’s a promise!

“For the first time ever, I’m writing a Christmas Special… at Christmas! And this isn’t for next year, no, the 2023 script has been long since signed-off. The new one is for end-of-year 2024!”

What’s more, he promises that there will be “lots of content”, despite there only being a shortened season for Ncuti Gatwa’s’s first run of stories as the Fifteenth Doctor.

It might be worth noting that, if we include the planned Christmas special and the three 60th anniversary episodes featuring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, that brings the next production batch up to 12 episodes — a reduction on the 14 we expected during much of the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors’ eras, but roughly in line with the Twelfth Doctor’s era, and more than we got during the Thirteenth Doctor era. However, those 12 episodes are stretched across 2023 and 2024.

And actually, we don’t know whether Davies means there’s a 2023 Christmas special too; we’re inferring that he does because he says the “2023 script has long been signed off”. It’s great to hear that he’s working so far ahead of the schedule.

Russell goes on to say:

“That’s a serious plan: annual Doctor Who, no gap years, lots of content, on and on.”

And “lots of content” is a curious phrase. Perhaps this means spin-offs are coming…

Yes, we have a little while to wait for the 60th anniversary stories, but once Doctor Who comes to TV screens again, it sounds like it’ll rarely be off air.

Doctor Who Magazine is on sale tomorrow, 8th December 2022.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Russell T Davies Promises Annual Doctor Who and the Return of the Christmas Specials

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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