Our First Look at Doctor Who's New Year's Day Special Includes a Truly Fabulous Scarf

Looking good, fam. Err, gang. No wait, team!
Looking good, fam. Err, gang. No wait, team!
Photo: BBC

Seems like Team TARDIS got some nice new clothes for Christmas.

After it came to light recently that Doctor Who would be forgoing its usual Christmas special—a tradition it’s kept going since 2005—in favor of an adventure on New Year’s Day instead, the BBC has now revealed the first fleeting details about an event it’s desperately trying to convince people to call “Who Years Day.”


The actual title of the episode—which will be penned by Who showrunner Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip—has yet to actually be revealed, but the first synopsis has been released alongside the above image of the Doctor and her friends investigating a strange new threat:

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 threat to planet Earth?

Nothing says ringing in 2019 like a terrifying evil! But hey, let’s talk about the real excitement in all this.





As if reading our minds, the official Doctor Who twitter account also shared a new picture of the Doctor’s seasonally-appropriate attire update:

It’s brilliant, honestly. I’m already a big fan of the 13th Doctor’s look as is, but there’s something that feels right about the addition of the scarf to it all, that wraps the whole getup together—both conceptually and literally! I almost don’t want it to go away after New Year’s.

The Doctor Who New Year’s special is set to air on—duh—January 1, 2019.

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I’m by no means a staunch Christmas-time traditionalist (I’m not even Christian!), but I don’t like the idea of an ongoing “New Year’s Episode” that’s thematically tied to welcoming the New Year. The fact is, Christmas is tailor-made for the Doctor — it’s whimsical, very British, colorful, child-like and nostalgic all at the same time. It’s imagery and music is also mostly consistent around the world. To me, ringing in the New Year does not evoke the same magic as Christmas as does (again, coming from a non-Christian!). Whereas the New Year mostly involves drinking champagne while wearing crappy hats from Party City.

I don’t mind that BBC is cancelling the Christmas special. It’s been said before that the Christmas episode is both a financial and time burden on the cast and crew — and I’m not surprised if that’s exacerbated under the new series. But, to try and pretend that the New Year is thematically equal in any way to Christmas is humbug.