There’s a combination of good news and bad news on the horizon for Doctor Who fans. For starters, the BBC series appears to be breaking from tradition and scrapping the Christmas special this year. As every long-term Doctor Who fan knows, the series has aired a Christmas special episode on Christmas Day every year since the 2005 reboot.
According to the Daily Mirror, it isn’t all bad news as the traditional Christmas special is simply getting replaced with a New Year special instead. For Doctor Who fans who enjoy a good holiday-themed episode, the New Year special is slated to have the same feel as the traditional Christmas specials have in the past. In fact, the episode is set to have a plot involving the dawn of 2019.
Naturally, the biggest question Doctor Who fans have is simple – why? Why did the series decide to axe the Christmas special after 13 consecutive years of having a Christmas special episode? According to the Daily Mirror, the blame was placed on a “lack of original ideas.” Showrunner Chris Chibnall is credited for making the official decision not to have a Doctor Who Christmas special this year.
Unsurprisingly, Doctor Who fans have been quick to hop on Twitter – and other forms of social media – to express their thoughts regarding the lack of a Christmas special. And, for the most part, they aren’t happy. Some have said they might as well “cancel Christmas.” Others claimed the decision “ruined Christmas” for fans of the series everywhere.
Some fans have even gone as far as to take issue with the fact that the first time the Doctor is a woman instead of a man is coincidently the same year they decide to scrap the Christmas special.
So I tweeted @bbcdoctorwho & @BBC about the fact that Doctor Who wasn't given a Christmas special this year & it's been deleted. I guess they didn't like that I was angry that since 2005 every doctor has had a special & now our own female Doctor isn't going to be included. 1 of 2
— Yvonne Diane (@yvonnedianeque) November 3, 2018
One fan claimed Chibnall was either an “egomaniac or stupid” to make so many changes to the series.
#doctorwhochristmas @bbcdoctorwho @DoctorWho_BBCA no Christmas special. This is insane…you cast a great new doctor and take away 1) music 2) plot that finishes the emotional scene 3) the TARDIS and now 4) Christmas. Could Chibnall explain? He must be an egomaniac or stupid…
— stacylynn (@lynnmariehaley) November 2, 2018
Some long-term fans even pointed out the Doctor Who Christmas episodes were also a family tradition in many households. Some fans claimed to have watched the Christmas episodes since their children were born.
Chris Chibnall!! @bbcdoctorwho has been a Christmas Tradition since my kids where born. I don't have many left before they turn to teenagers and don't want to watch with me any more so can we try to not cancel #DoctorWho on #Christmas please!
— Jenn Lilia (@LillySnoWolf) November 3, 2018
Erm… why is @bbcdoctorwho not on on Christmas this year??? What is happening to the world. A Christmas tradition since I was a kid ruined ????
— Alisha Hesketh (@AHesketh01) November 3, 2018
As those who have been watching Season 11 of Doctor Who know, this change is just another notch in the overwhelming number of changes fans have had to endure as of late.
There is a chance the writers really just need a year off to get ideas brewing and plan on starting up Christmas specials again next year. It is also possible the higher-ups plan on starting a new tradition with New Year specials instead.
— The Independent (@Independent) November 2, 2018
Either way, Doctor Who fans everywhere are not happy with this news.