The Christmas Special is an honored TV tradition (in the UK, at least), and Whovians worldwide look forward to the festive adventures of the Doctor each December. This year, fans of Doctor Who are especially excited to see the Doctor return, as season 10 of the series was delayed until 2017, making this the only time that we'll see our favorite Time Lord in 2016. As a result, the Christmas Special is an even bigger deal than usual, and will be getting a special theatrical release so that Whovians can watch the standalone episode on the big screen.
So far, we've seen a few sneak peeks at the upcoming episode 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio', including a behind-the-scenes look from NYCC and a trailer that aired as part of the BBC's Children In Need 2016. Now, BBC America has released a few further details as well as some brand-new poster art for the episode.
The poster is clearly connected to the same scene that we got a sneak peek of during Children in Need, and shows Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, Matt Lucas back as Nardole, Charity Wakefield as journalist Lucy Fletcher, and Justin Chatwin as Grant, aka The Ghost. Chatwin takes center stage on the poster, breaking through a window in full superhero gear while the other three heroes look on in surprise. The poster comes with a short episode description for 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' which hints that our superhero may not be all that he seems:
This Christmas sees the Doctor join forces with a masked Superhero for an epic New York adventure. With brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious figure known only as The Ghost. Can the Doctor save Manhattan? And what will be revealed when we see behind the mask?
This isn't Lucas's first time on a Doctor Who Christmas Special - he's reprising the role that he played in the 2015 special 'The Husbands of River Song'. Nardole is a cyborg who worked for River in last year's episode, and is back this year to help the Doctor once again -- and presumably to bring a little extra comic relief to the proceedings. Both Lucy Fletcher and Grant/Ghost are new characters to the show, with Lucy presumably taking on the role of temporary companion for the episode. 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' is written by Steven Moffat and directed by Ed Bazalgette.
It's great to see the comedy stylings of Matt Lucas returning to the world of Doctor Who, and we're excited to watch Moffat's take on the superhero trope this Christmas. The description promises much of the same sci-fi goodness that makes Doctor Who such an incredible show, as Capaldi's Doctor has to battle once more to save the world from an alien threat. The New York setting makes a bit of a change for the British show which often finds the Doctor's big showdowns happening in London, and this change will definitely be an interesting one -- we can't wait to see what this particularly caustic incarnation of the Time Lord has to say about the Big Apple at Christmastime!
It looks like bad news for Clara fans, however, as there is no sign of the Doctor's most recent companion returning for the special this year (as companions have done in the past). This is also going to be a one-off appearance for the character of Lucy, before the new companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) makes her season 10 debut. Some may also be less-than-thrilled to see the show hopping on the superhero trend, although we're fairly certain that this Ghost will turn out to be some kind of alien/cyborg/other-dimensional being in line with Doctor Who tradition. Whatever happens in 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio', it's sure to be brimming with a special kind of Gallifreyan magic.
The 2016 Doctor Who Christmas special airs on BBC America in the U.S. and BBC One in UK on December 25th. It will get a brief theatrical release in the U.S., with screenings on Tuesday, December 27 and Thursday, December 29.
Source: BBC America