Doctor Who may have been rested this year, but The Return of Doctor Mysterio will mark the twelfth consecutive Christmas Day special for the BBC's flagship show. Already pencilled in for the 2017 Christmas Day schedules, Doctor Who has become as much a part of the day as the Queen's Speech, the hour long soap specials, and It's A Wonderful Life.
The Doctor's Yuletide adventures are not meant to be your run of the mill episodes.
They need to appeal to a wider audience than usual, whilst at the same time not alienating invested fans of the show. To put it crudely, the Christmas Special is one of of most effective ways of marketing Doctor Who - the perfect opportunity for the producers to reel in the casual viewers.
So what gives the Christmas Special that all important X-factor?
It has to have that Christmassy feel - Santa Claus, Christmas Trees, and snow on snow; the big guest stars; thrills and spills with an overindulgence befitting of the feast; laughter (even if only on the level of a Christmas cracker joke); a feel good Christmas message; and conversely an element of tragedy, just like those disaster filled Christmas Day soaps.
With all that considered, which ones turned out to be Christmas crackers, and which are more like lumps of coal?