[SPOILERS for Doctor Who ahead.]
While most of us are still recovering from Clara Oswald’s (Jenna Coleman) departure in the latest Doctor Who episode, ‘Face The Raven’, the BBC is looking to the future; Christmas, to be precise. With just two more episodes left to air in this current season of Doctor Who (‘Heaven Sent’ and ‘Hell Bent’), the synopsis for this year’s Christmas special has been released, along with further casting details and the first image of the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) reunited with Professor River Song (Alex Kingston).
Along with the synopsis the first image from the Doctor Who 2015 Christmas episode has been released, giving us our first look at Capaldi’s incarnation of the Doctor with Kingston’s River Song. This will be the first time River meets the twelfth Doctor, and as detailed below, she won’t recognize him (not immediately, anyway).
First up; the official synopsis for the Doctor Who 2015 Christmas special, which reads as follows:
“It’s Christmas Day on a remote human colony and the Doctor is hiding from Christmas Carols and Comedy Antlers. But when a crashed spaceship calls upon the Doctor for help, he finds himself recruited into River Song’s squad and hurled into a fast and frantic chase across the galaxy.
King Hydroflax is furious, and his giant Robot bodyguard is out-of-control and coming for them all! Will Nardole survive? And when will River Song work out who the Doctor is?
All will be revealed on a starliner full of galactic super-villains and a destination the Doctor has been avoiding for a very long time.”
Two British actors and comedians join the cast for this Doctor Who festive special; Greg Davies (Cuckoo, The Inbetweeners) plays the part of King Hydroflax while Matt Lucas (Little Britain, Alice in Wonderland) takes on the role of Nardole. There isn’t any word on if either of their roles are comedic, but it seems almost inconceivable to assume that their talent for laughter will not be used in some capacity; it is Christmas, after all.
Along with the synopsis the first image from the episode has been released, giving us our first look at Capaldi’s incarnation of the Doctor with Kingston’s River Song:
Showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed to the Radio Times that in River Song’s timeline, this Christmas Special takes place immediately after the events in ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’, meaning River has already seen the Doctor lose Amy and Rory. Whether they are married or not in this time frame remains to be seen but earlier in the year when Kingston was announced in the Christmas line-up, Moffat did tease the pair as “Mr and Mrs Who,” and added there was likely to be a sex storm if the pair were on screen together.
River’s reappearance might be just the thing to cheer the Doctor after the loss of his companion. Moffat has promised fans a cheerful, festive-themed “romp” through space and time, which might be just the thing to cheer us up after Clara’s death too. Coleman does not make any appearance in the Doctor Who Christmas episode – the first time since 2011 – and it’s very likely that the new companion is not introduced either, so it will be good to see the Doctor having some company in the TARDIS even if only for a brief time.
We are intrigued by the “destination the Doctor has been avoiding”; we know it’s not Gallifrey because he returns there for the season finale, so where exactly can he be going? As for the ‘comedy antlers,’ no doubt we can expect to see the Doctor sporting a pair at some point during the holidays.
Doctor Who continues with ‘Heaven Sent’ this Saturday, November 28th on BBC1 and BBC America. The Christmas special will air on Christmas Day, December 25, on BBC1 in the U.K. at a time to be confirmed.