Last year on Christmas Day, more UK viewers tuned in for Doctor Who special "The Snowmen" than sat down to watch the Queen's Christmas speech. In her majesty's defense, this competition was somewhat unfairly weighted by the fact that the Queen doesn't own a time machine (that we know of).
This year, the Doctor Who Christmas special "The Time of the Doctor" is shaping up to be another heavy-hitter. Coming off the high of the recent 50th Anniversary Special, which performed impressively at the box office and broke BBC America's ratings records, "The Time of the Doctor" will see Matt Smith (who is either the Eleventh Doctor or the Thirteenth - it's complicated) bow out to make room for The Thick of It star Peter Capaldi, who will be taking over the role.
Perhaps out of complacency that every Doctor Who fan will be watching the episode anyway, the BBC has kept things pretty light in the latest preview for "The Time of the Doctor." Clara and the Doctor try to cook a turkey and hilarity ensues... sort of. The Doctor says that they need a time machine, but he already has a time machine. That is the joke.
Two other clips have been released in aid of "The Time of the Doctor," one of which is simply the second-long glimpse of Peter Capaldi that was shown in "The Day of the Doctor." The other is a transmission from everyone's favorite Sontaran, Strax, in which he gives his observations of the boring and battle-free holiday traditions of Earth (obviously he has never attended a Shaw-Williams family Christmas).
"The Time of the Doctor" will include a number of the show's more popular villains, including the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Weeping Angels and the Silence. The Doctor finds himself drawn to a planet that has summoned all of these baddies together in one place, and in the midst of the celebrations must fight his final battle. Current show head Steven Moffat has promised that the episode will see the culmination of all the plot threads that have been laid down over the course of Smith's turn as the Doctor.
Let's just hope he doesn't turn into an evil alien elf like the Ninth Doctor. That would be a sad end to the year.
The Doctor Who Christmas Special, "The Time of the Doctor," will air on BBC America @9/8c on December 25th, 2013.