'Doctor Who' Season 11 Cancels Christmas for a More PC Holiday

Doctor Who Season 11 will break a tradition more than a decade old by skipping the annual Christmas Special in 2018, instead trading it in for a New Year’s Special. So Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor, and showrunner Chris Chibnall, continue the streak of delivering Doctor Who at its most politically correct (or woke, depending on who you ask).

Gizmodo reports that this month’s issue of Doctor Who Magazine, hints at an “Exclusive Preview of the New Year’s Day Special.” That may come as a surprise since The Doctor has celebrated Christmas in all sorts of ways over the years.

Considering how poor the last two Christmas specials were received, this feels like a tradition best left in the past, especially with a progressive new Doctor that’s bucking trends at every turn. Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor is the first female Doctor ever, the first modern-era Doctor to travel consistently with multiple companions, and this is the only season of the revived series to not feature any classic villians. The series also explores more human cultures outside of the U.K., most recently traveling to India in 1947 in “Demons of Punjab.”

Doctor Who is leaving its patriarchal, British-centric history behind it, so why not celebrate a more inclusive winter holiday?

'Doctor Who Magazine' confirms a New Year's Day Special for 'Doctor Who'
'Doctor Who Magazine' confirms a New Year's Day Special for 'Doctor Who'

In theory, if Season 11 were to continue without any breaks, then the finale should air on Sunday, December 9. That makes for a 22-day break until the New Year’s Day holiday special would air on January 1, 2019. Beyond that, there’s no official word about Doctor Who Season 12.

Digital Spy did report in July that Chris Chibnall teased some kind of bonus episode while at San Diego Comic-Con 2018.

“We seem to be filming 11 episodes, and it’s only a series of 10,” Chiball said when asked about a Christmas Special. “I would definitely think there’s another episode after the end of the series, yeah.” In retrospect, him coyly avoiding of the word “Christmas” should’ve been a hint that things were changing.

Is it possible that Jodie Whittaker will be the last Doctor to ever appear in a Christmas Special after her newly regenerated appearance in 2017? If we do get another one, it won’t be until at least Christmas 2019.

Doctor Who airs Sunday nights on BBC America at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Check out the teaser for Season 11, Episode 7: “Kerblam!”

Media via James Whitbrook / Gizmodo, BBC America