Though Doctor Who season 13 – subtitled Doctor Who: Flux – still has a couple of episodes left in its story, we now know that we won’t have to wait very long to see the Thirteenth Doctor again once it’s concluded. Though this season is star Jodie Whittaker’s last “full” season in the TARDIS, she’s still signed on for a trio of specials slated to run at various points over the next year, until her regeneration during an as-yet-unscheduled installment slated to air next Fall as part of the BBC’s centenary programming. But, before that happens, we’ll ring in the New Year with Thirteen one more time.
During his time as showrunner, Chris Chibnall has deliberately eschewed the annual Christmas special episode, a Doctor Who tradition since the series’ return in 2005. Instead, he’s instituted a regular New Year’s Day installment, one that feels a lot more like a regular episode with maybe a slightly longer runtime and less like a cozy dose of holiday cheer. Such is the case again to kick off 2022, with the second and third of Whittaker’s final specials will air later in the year.
Though there’s very little information about the plot of the upcoming New Year’s “festive special” as yet, we do know that it will feature several notable guest stars, including This Way Up’s Aisling Bea, Dreaming Whilst Black’s Adjani Salmon, and Father Ted’s Pauline McLynn.
According to the official press description, Beal will play Sarah, who owns a storage facility and Salmon will play Nick, who is a regular customer.
"Sarah (Aisling Bea) owns and runs ELF storage, and Nick (Adjani Salmon) is a customer who visits his unit every year on New Year’s Eve. This year, however, their night turns out to be a little different than planned…The festive episode is the first of three Doctor Who Specials airing in 2022. The second Special airs in Spring and Jodie’s final feature-length Special (in where the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate), will transmit in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations."
Current companions Mandip Gil and John Bishop (who play Yasmin Khan and Dan Lewis, respectively). will also both be back for the holiday outing. (Huzzah for them both apparently surviving the Flux, I guess?)
BBC America shared a new promotional image announcing the date of the special (01.01.22, surprise!) which shows us a TARDIS that looks to be in fairly dire straits.
Those of you who have been watching Doctor Who: Flux are already aware that everyone’s favorite blue police box has been struggling for the past few episodes: Erasing its doors, manifesting black goo, and just generally behaving as though something is very wrong. And the very large cracks all over the TARDIS in this image certainly make it seem as though that particular problem will not be something that has corrected itself by the end of the season.
What’s going on? It’s likely we’ll have to wait until the conclusion of Doctor Who: Flux to fully grasp the set-up for the next holiday installment. But it’s certainly a relief to know that we won’t have to be without the Doctor for very long.
Doctor Who: Flux is currently airing Sunday nights on BBC America.