It appears the Grinch has steered his wayward sleigh into the Whoniverse and booted the eleventh episode of Doctor Who Series 11 into the next year.
A Doctor Who Magazine subscriber who received tomorrow’s issue #532 early today shared a photo of the back page which promises an “EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW OF THE NEW YEAR’S DAY SPECIAL”.
— Darren Purdie (@DarrenPurdie) November 14, 2018
As there were eleven episodes of Doctor Who filmed during the latest production run and the tenth is the series finale, the only episode available to air on New Year’s Day is Episode 11, leaving no episode of Doctor Who to air on Christmas.
The New Year’s Day Special was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip, double-banked (filmed concurrently) with the fifth filming block of Series 11. One of the guest stars is Daniel Adegboyega, who plays a character named Isaac Sinclair, possibly Ryan Sinclair’s father. Some photos from Doctor Who filming believed to be from the special can be found here.
CultBox has previously reported on the switch to New Year’s Day as a rumour, first reported by The Mirror.
The Mirror also claims that the New Year’s Day Special will be the only episode of Doctor Who to air in 2019.
The episode is likely to be the ONLY outing for Doctor Who next year, with fans facing a ‘gap year’ until 2020.
Filming on Jodie’s second series has been pushed back to early 2019, meaning the series is unlikely to be finished in time to air in the autumn.”
Is this part of The Mirror’s story true? Not necessarily. There are signs that Series 12 production will begin soon, as reported by CultBox. If production begins a bit later than it did for Series 11, it won’t necessarily take as long to film the next series with a crew, props and a TARDIS set already in place.
Doctor Who New Year’s Day Special update:
The BBC issued a press release about the hour-long Doctor Who New Year’s Day Special but did not reveal the title and gave scant details. The press release was covered by CultBox.
The vague synopsis released:
As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the [alien] threat to planet Earth?
So we know that Graham, Yaz and Ryan will survive the events of The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we find out more about the Doctor Who 2019 New Year’s Day Special and the Series 12 situation.