The Doctor Who Christmas special is an annual tradition now, and one which fans thoroughly enjoy since, broadly speaking, the specials are lighter in tone, more comedic, and an all-round enjoyable standalone episode. This year's special will no doubt be greeted eagerly since Doctor Who has been off of our screens since the end of season nine, with season ten not set to air until spring 2017. We already know that the new companion, Bill (Pearl Mackie), won't make her debut this Christmas, and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) will be sharing his festive adventure with a temporary companion (thought to be Matt Lucas as Nardole), but beyond that, we don't know much else.
Until now, that is. Tying in with their appearance at New York Comic-Con, Capaldi and Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat, appeared on CTV's Your Morning in Canada, where both revealed another important detail about the Christmas Special; it will feature a Superhero. The news was also confirmed on BBC America's Twitter account, who posted an image of a Superhero logo that bears a remarkable resemblance to Superman's badge (see the image below).
Confirming previous rumors, Capaldi gave away exactly who will be playing the Superhero role in the show, and added that it's full of Holiday Spirit:
"We’ve got a wonderful Canadian actor – Justin Chatwin – who’s in it. He told me if I mentioned his name I’d get a free drink! [Justin’s] in it, which is brilliant. We just finished filming it on Friday. It’s very festive. I don’t know quite what I can say about it."
Moffat added: "It’s a blockbuster. Justin is a superhero – as all Canadians are obviously."
Previous reports stated that Chatwin's character would be an American with a brash personality, though it was also thought that he might be a character with superpowers rather than a costumed superhero like, say, The Flash. But the tweet seems to suggest that that might not be the case and we could well be seeing a costumed character after all; complete with a logo. While it won't be any Superhero we recognize, it'll still be fun to see the Doctor sharing a screen with another otherworldly character.
The Christmas special will lead into season ten which will be the last under Moffat's leadership; after that, Doctor Who writer Chris Chibnall will take over as showrunner. Again, no details of season ten are available yet, but a sneak peek is expected to be shown this weekend at NYCC. In an interview with The Guardian, Mackie praised Capaldi's Doctor, saying he was "wacky and wonderful." She also gave the first real insight into Bill's character, calling her "wicked" and adding that she's "fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in".
It'll be a change in dynamic to the previous TARDIS pairing of the Doctor with Clara, who was familiar with time travel and alternative universes. Bill is new to the game and her inexperience will be an interesting angle to see explored on the show, when season ten returns in 2017.
The Doctor Who 2016 Christmas Special will air on BBC 1 in the UK and BBC America this Holidays. Season 10 of the TV series will air in Spring, 2017 on BBC 1 and BBC America.