Doctor Who: 10 Behind The Scenes Decisions We Can't Forgive

9. Cancelling The Christmas Specials

Doctor Who Weeping Angel moving Flesh and Stone

For the first dozen years of the revived series, watching the Doctor Who Christmas special was a tradition for Who fans everywhere - as well as anyone else who was drunk, overstuffed, and sat in front of the telly at seven o'clock on December 25th.

From 2005's The Christmas Invasion to 2017's Twice Upon A Time, we were treated to 13 hour-long specials, and while not all of them leaned into the Christmas theme too heavily, there was something magical about getting to watch a brand-new Doctor Who story on Christmas Day, catching up with the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors after they'd been off our screens for quite some time. But those days are over.

Disappointingly, these Christmas episodes were dropped when Chris Chibnall took over as showrunner for Series 11. Instead of a 2018 Christmas special, we got a 2019 New Year's Day special (Resolution) instead, and the following year, things worsened significantly when the special episode was dropped entirely: for the 2019/2020 holiday period, the "big event" was simply the premiere of the latest series, Spyfall: Part One.

Considering the lofty heights Doctor Who's ratings achieved on Christmas Day, quite what motivated the decision to mess with the scheduling in this way is anyone's guess. It starts to look even more ill-advised when you compare the viewing figures for Resolution and Spyfall: Part One to something like Voyage Of The Damned, or even Last Christmas: they're good, but they aren't "Doctor Who Christmas special" good.

Doctor Who Voyage Of The Damned Christmas 2007

Granted, there are many other factors at play here, but it really does feel like Doctor Who belongs on Christmas Day, cemented by that aforementioned 12-year streak.

Chibnall didn't want to start his tenure with a Christmas episode - fair enough. But that Christmas Day slot is so important that Steven Moffat abandoned his plans to leave at the end of Series 10, and cobbled together Twice Upon A Time at the last minute. Unless upcoming special Revolution Of The Daleks surprises us with a Christmas slot, all that rushing about was for nothing, and Christmas will feel just a bit more empty.

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WhoCulture Channel Manager/Doctor Who Editor at WhatCulture. Can confirm that bow ties are cool.