This year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special is not scheduled for Christmas Day, the first time that has changed since the series came back in 2005 with The Christmas Invasion. Instead it has been rescheduled for New Year’s Day. There have been lots of reasons given but Bleeding Cool has been given the real reason by well connected sources.
It’s so that the production team won’t have an entire year with no new Who. By dint of having an episode air on January 1st 2019. Because there’s no guarantee they’ll have a Christmas Special for 2019 either.
Instead I have been told to expect the twelfth series of the BBC’s science-fiction show to air in January 2020 at the earliest. Reasons given mostly revolve around production delays.
Rumours that showrunner Chris Chibnall was leaving and that new star of the show Jodie Whittaker was leaving in loyalty, have been dismissed by sources who put this down to one bad day. But that waters were smoothed over between everyone before it hit the headlines.
It may have also helped that UK viewing figures for the show have been up for 2018 – and so have international sales.
The revived series of Doctor Who has been on hiatus before, 2009 having a series of specials to fill the gap. 2016 also went past without new Who. And the scheduling between series has often been sporadic. If rumours are true, it will only be a gap of 13 months between series.
I am told to expect a BBC announcement to this effect very soon. Oh and not to expect Doctor Who to bow out this series without the return of some old favourites – despite how Chibnall and the BBC may have played cute with the press…