This post contains spoilers for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials.

After three (very delightful) zags into Doctor Who lore, the next Doctor is finally here.

When Jodie Whittaker‘s Thirteenth Doctor regenerated with David Tennant‘s (very handsome, but also familiar) face in last year’s “The Power of the Doctor,” fans wondered when Whittaker’s announced successor Ncuti Gatwa would take his place on the Tardis. Thanks to the magic of Bi-Generation (more on that in a second), Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor is ready to put on some trousers and go on his own adventures through space and time, beginning with the Doctor Who Christmas Special “The Church on Ruby Road.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the special:

When Does the 2023 Doctor Who Christmas Special Come Out?

For those in the UK, the 2023 Doctor Who Christmas Special, “The Church on Ruby Road,” plays on BBC One and on BBC iPlayer at 5:55 pm GMT on Monday, 25 December.

Those outside of the UK can watch the Special on Disney+ at the same day and time, 12:55 pm EST on Monday, December 25.

Below, you can check out a trailer for the episode:

And here’s a fun little clip, babes:

What Happened in the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials?

The three specials — “The Star Beast,” “Wild Blue Yonder,” and “The Giggle” — all written by returning showrunner Russell T Davies, dealt with the mystery of the Fourteenth Doctor’s regeneration. The Doctor matched his old face with an old companion, namely Donna Noble. Although Donna’s initial swan song in “The End of Time” stated that the Time Lord energy that made her into the DoctorDonna would destroy her human mind and body, “The Star Beast” reveals that she passed on the excess energy to her daughter Rose, allowing her to stay alive.

Together, the Doctor and Donna solved the mystery of the Fourteenth Doctor. In “Wild Blue Yonder,” a mind-reading shape-changer informed Donna about the Doctor’s profound loneliness, an emptiness that only grew after the end of the Doctor’s Thirteenth incarnation.

In “The Giggle,” the Doctor faced an old enemy in the form of the Toymaker (Neil Patrick Harris), a godlike being who toys with reality for his own enjoyment. The Toymaker exacerbated the Doctor’s loneliness by mocking the terrible fates that befell companions such as Rose Tyler and Bill Potts. With the help of UNIT and returning companion Melanie Bush (Bonnie Langford), the Doctor and Donna stood against the Toymaker.

As expected, the Toymaker dealt the Doctor a fatal blow, starting his regeneration cycle. But instead of just changing into Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor, the Doctor split into two people, keeping Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor while also manifesting Gatwa’s Fifteenth (albeit with one set of clothes between them, forcing the Fifteenth to do battle in his underwear). Together, the two Doctors challenged the Toymaker to a game of catch, which the villain eventually lost. According to the rules of his defeat, the Toymaker was trapped in a box, which UNIT promptly locked away.

With the threat stemmed and the TARDIS also splitting into two, the Doctors planned their future. The Fourteenth Doctor finally decided to stay still, settling down with Donna’s family (despite occasionally taking Rose on an adventure on his TARDIS). Meanwhile, the Fifteenth Doctor fired up his jukebox and set off on his own journeys, starting with the Christmas Special.

What to Expect in the Doctor Who Christmas Special

As anyone who’s been on the internet the past few days already knows, “The Church on Ruby Road” pits the Doctor against a horde of Goblins. Those Goblins have gone viral recently, thanks to the pop ditty they sing about the joy of eating babies, something the Doctor will stop… we hope.

The Special will also introduce viewers to the Fifteenth Doctor’s first companion Ruby Sunday, played by Coronation Street alum Millie Gibson.

“The Church on Ruby Road” will also start to address the series’ lingering mysteries, all introduced in the 60th Anniversary Specials. While UNIT took the Beep the Meep into custody in the first special, the villain warned of more dangerous threats yet to come. More importantly, the Toymaker revealed that he kept the Doctor’s old nemesis the Master trapped in his gold tooth. After the Toymaker’s defeat, some sneaky individual snuck onto the helipad of the UNIT building and stole the tooth for an as of yet unrevealed purpose.

The Christmas Special probably won’t answer all of the questions raised by those events. However, as we saw in Tennant’s first episode “The Christmas Invasion,” we’ll have so much fun getting to know the Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby that no one will mind waiting a bit longer for answers.

Ncuti Gatwa will next return as the Doctor in Doctor Who series 14 (or season 1 if you’re going by Disney+ numbering), which is slated for 2024.

The post Doctor Who Christmas Special 2023 Release Time and Recap appeared first on Den of Geek.

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