top of page


Doctor Who specials were a staple of BBC One's Christmas Day schedule for 13 years.

Christmas specials were ditched in 2018 by showrunner Chris Chibnall as part of a wider overhaul of the show, which included a shorter ten-episode series and a move to Sunday nights rather than the show's traditional Saturday teatime slot.

Last September, it was announced that former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies would be returning to Cardiff once more to take the reigns for the show's 60th Anniversary in 2023 and beyond, with Bad Wolf on board as co-producers.

A wave of announcements came in May when it was first announced that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa would be the 'new Doctor' under Russell T. Davies. One week later, it was announced that David Tennant and Catherine Tate would both be returning to the TARDIS for the 60th Anniversary year.

Ncuti Gatwa is understood to begin filming his inaugural series of Doctor Who later this year and into 2023. Could Ncuti's arrival as The Doctor see the return of the much-loved Christmas specials?

'The Christmas Invasion', broadcast in 2005

A total of 13 Christmas specials have broadcast since the show was revived in 2005, with the seasonal episodes attracting huge viewing figures, guest stars and families around the TV on Christmas Day.

TV Zone understands that there's internal talks taking place between the Doctor Who production team - headed up by Russell T. Davies - and BBC bosses about the show potentially returning to its Christmas Day slot for the first time since 2017.

It's understood that the proposal would see Doctor Who begin an annual run of Christmas specials from 2023 onwards, which would follow on from the three Tennant-Tate specials broadcast as part of the show's 60th Anniversary earlier in the year.

'Twice Upon A Time', broadcast in 2017

The BBC declined to comment when approached by TV Zone. Talks are understood to be ongoing, meaning nothing is confirmed at this stage.

Before then, Doctor Who returns for a blockbuster, feature-length, special this October with a host of characters and villains returning for Jodie Whittaker's final outing at The Doctor.

The currently untitled special will air as part of the BBC's centenary celebrations. More details on the centenary special can be found here.

Doctor Who is available on BBC One and BBC iPlayer [UK].

bottom of page