DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special + NYCC Tidbits

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I don’t know about most of you, but I can’t believe Christmas 2016 is a few short days away! While some of us are still hopeful of what presents we COULD be getting… one thing is for certain: We WILL be getting a new Doctor Who Christmas Special, this coming Sunday on BBC America! Off the heels of the (to steal line from the Ninth Doctor) “absolutely fantastic” Christmas Special from last year, this year’s was definitely worth the wait. Having had zero new Who episodes this past year, plus a few more months of wait for the (hopefully not too tentative) Spring 2017 release of Series Ten, this special should be something to look forward to, as well as whet our appetites in between the gap.

Months prior to this special, BBC America was gracious enough to hold an event at Madison Square Garden, during New York Comic-Con. Even more gracious, they allowed us to chat with the cast and crew of the show, including Showrunner Steven Moffat, Producer Brian Minchin, as well as stars Pearl Mackie (who will be newest Who companion, Bill) and the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi. While at the time both the Christmas Special as well as the still in-production Series Ten seemed ages away, there was not much regarding to ask the Who Crew. Still, there were still some bits and bites we grabbed regarding Steven’s eventual exit from the show at the end of Series Ten, some of Peter’s experiences thusfar, as well as how Pearl’s character fits into the equation.

Steven Moffat’s Exit

Steven hasn’t been thinking much (if at all) about the end of his tenure, as there is still plenty of time until his final series is released. He does feel that realizing his part in the show is over is the one thing he dreads, considering the show will continue. Despite this, he believes that his eventual ending to Doctor Who won’t be a big finish, as its just the end of his era, and of course, he’d like to see the show “power-on” well after he’s gone. When asked if there were any stories that never made it to an episode, he was adamant that anytime he had an idea he “did it,” to which Peter proclaimed that anytime he’s had a script to an episode read to him beforehand, it was a rather entertaining experience in the way that Steven details every aspect of the episode.

Steven attributes the longevity of the show to both Doctor Who’s “long-standing tradition:” how decades of fans have passed the show along to their children/grandchildren/etc., as well as how the show has changed since its inception, and is perpetually new. He goes on to say, that in contrast to a show like The West Wing (one of his favorites) where the characters go to a hallway and talk to each other (essentially giving the general idea of each episode)… in Doctor Who, the TARDIS appears, the characters bolt out, and start a new adventure based on an invention, monster, or some various plot.

Peter’s “Doctor”

Peter told us the challenge in playing the Doctor was that he is entertaining both kids and “hipsters,” while at the same time keeping the doctor mysterious. He says the great thing about the show proper is it’s always emotional on set for one reason or another, and especially sad when people have to leave, much like when Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) bowed out in Series Nine. When asked about his upcoming companion Bill, he was very excited and explained that while Clara was with the Doctor every step of the way, Bill is new to the universe and is “invigorating” to the entire experience. Her curiosity is piqued, and she responds differently to what the Doctor is accustomed to, as evident in the trailer.

When asked what he’d like to see the Doctor do that he has yet to, Peter said that he love to do an episode where he wakes up and is trapped inside a TV show OF Doctor Who. From the sound of it, Peter is definitely enjoying his time as the Doctor. He says when kids meet him and call him “the Doctor,” it’s the best feeling ever, especially when he’s having a down moment.


Exciting, to say the least. But if up until now it hasn’t or you want more info… here’s the trailer and synopsis for the Christmas Special, titled “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” which premiers this Sunday, December 25, 9/8c on BBC AMERICA.



This Christmas sees the Doctor join forces with a masked Superhero for an epic New York adventure. With brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious figure known only as The Ghost. Can the Doctor save Manhattan? And what will be revealed when we see behind the mask?

Peter Capaldi stars as the Doctor, Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids, Little Britain) as Nardole, Justin Chatwin (Orphan Black, Shameless) as Grant and Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall, The Player) as an investigative journalist.

The special is written by Steven Moffat, executive produced by Brian Minchin, produced by Peter Bennett and directed by Ed Bazalgette (Poldark). It was shot in Cardiff at BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios.

In the days leading up to the new Christmas Special, BBCA will air a Doctor Who Takeover Marathon. The new season of Doctor Who will premiere alongside the Doctor Who spin-off Class in Spring 2017 on BBC AMERICA.

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The Author

John J. Galbo

John J. Galbo

New York-based John J. is Contributing Editor for Agents of Geek. He is also Creator/Chief Operating Officer of [adult swim] central and co-founder of ACPN.
He co-hosts The Swimcast and Adventure Club Podcast, among others.