There’s always huge optimism whenever a new era of Doctor Who begins. But to quote the Fifth Doctor, it “feels different this time."
Arguably, Doctor Who has never been in better health, nor has it ever been better equipped to succeed. This is largely thanks to the two new parties now involved in the show: Bad Wolf and Disney.
Whereas Doctor Who has been produced ‘in-house’ at the BBC for all of its run so far, production has been moved to Bad Wolf for RTD2. The BBC has also managed to acquire a streaming partner, with all new episodes (from the 60th anniversary onwards) releasing on Disney+ outside the UK.
This bolstering of the show has involved an influx of money – which has, in turn, allowed things to be more ambitious than ever before in terms of casting, storytelling, and marketing.
And with returning creatives in front of and behind the camera, a wealth of new talent, and the promise of more Doctor Who than ever before, the show is truly ready to compete on the global stage.
By all accounts, a new golden age is about to begin.
10. The Return Of Christmas Specials
From 2005 to 2017, every series of Doctor Who was accompanied by a Christmas special. From then on, these extra episodes were rebranded as ‘festive’ specials, and were broadcast on New Year's Day rather than Christmas Day.
Former showrunner Chris Chibnall has since confirmed that the decision to move away from the Christmas slot was part of the BBC's strategy to keep the show feeling fresh, rather than any anti-Christmas agenda.
But now the specials are back, with Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson’s first episode together set to air in December 2023. And though, in truth, the Christmas specials had probably grown a bit stale by 2017, after six years without them, we’re well and truly ready for their return.
In today’s TV landscape, the idea that Christmas Day is a “better” slot than New Year's Day is largely subjective – after all, lots of big dramas premiere on New Year's Day, like Sherlock and Happy Valley. But Christmas Day feels like more of a "stay inside and watch telly" kind of day, especially for family shows, which will allow Doctor Who to capture lots more casual viewers.
There's also something right about having Doctor Who on at Christmas. The specials were a big part of what made RTD1 so successful, and we’re sure they’ll do the same for RTD2.