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No Christmas with the Doctor this year: Doctor Who will move its yearly holiday special to New Year's Day

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Nov 14, 2018, 4:33 PM EST

It would seem that Doctor Who is not done changing itself around in almost every way possible, and the latest alteration to the status-who is a fairly large one. For years, Whovians have had an adventure with the Doctor as a vital part of Christmas Day. It's become almost as essential to the day as stockings and trees...but this year, there will no visit from the Doctor. Not on Christmas, anyway. 

According to DoctorWhoTV (via Doctor Who Magazine) the yearly tradition will shift to New Year's Day. This means that when Jodie Whittaker's first season in the TARDIS draws to a close, it will be the last time we'll see her in 2018. Thankfully, she'll join us in 2019 as soon as possible— January 1st. 

This is not the first time the Doctor has visited on New Year's— David Tennant's final 2-part episode, "The End of Time," finished on New Year's Day in 2010, though the first part of it was shown on Christmas, 2009. Since the show returned in 2005, there has always been a special episode on Christmas— some are among the best episodes that the series has ever done ("A Christmas Carol"), some are a bit silly ("The Return of Doctor Mysterio") and some contain major regeneration-driven story moments ("The Time of the Doctor", "Twice Upon a Time', the aforementioned "The End of Time"). Christmas night will be darker than usual this year without the Doctor (especially one that shines as bright as the 13th), but at least we'll be able to start 2019 off with a tremendously big bang. 

BBC America has sent out a press release, which details this new event, which they are calling, "Who Year's Day." They will be presenting a marathon of all the Doctor Who Christmas specials beginning on December 24th and going into the 25th. After that, they will be showing a "marathon of all the Doctors." All of this will lead right up to the new special, which they confirm will premiere on Tuesday, January 1st. 

The special will be written by new showrunner Chris Chibnall, and directed by Wayne Yip. According to the release, the story will be as follows: "As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth's history. Will the Doctor, Ryan (Tosin Cole), Graham (Bradley Walsh), and Yaz (Mandip Gill) be able to overcome this threat to Planet Earth?" Apparently such nefarious events aren't just relegated to Christmas anymore. 

Chibnall himself is quoted as saying, "We're thrilled to be starting the New Year with a bang, as Jodie Whittaker's Doctor and friends face a terrifying alien threat in an action-packed, hour-long adventure for all the family." The final episode of the new season will debut on December 9th, so there won't be long to wait. 

UPDATE: This story was updated at 7:45 pm EST with further details from BBC America.