Since 2005 the Doctor Who Christmas Special has woven itself into British television traditions. It’s an honor not to taken lightly. However, in 2017 anyone, fan or casual viewer alike, can be forgiven for thinking that with 12, about to be 13, of these out in the world, they all get a little fuzzy and run together.
Tennant has five specials on his racket, Smith four, and Capaldi will soon have his fourth. The ‘shame’ of it all is that had Eccleston been a one-and-done today, he would have gotten his Christmas turn, but that decision was made well in advance of the initial 2005 offering The Christmas Invasion.
But for Doctor Who fans in particular, there’s also a bit of melancholy attached to these Christmas Specials. Including 2017, four of this baker’s dozen are either directly or tangentially attached to the regeneration of the Doctor, a big emotional pivot point for the show and fans. For this to happen on the most watched TV day of the year in England should not be surprising as it garners the necessary audience to keep the show moving and evolving as it must do. However, one can be forgiven for thinking it seems to happen a bit more often than that.
As this has been a staple of our Christmas run-up for the last ten years or so, you could cheat a little to see how our thinking has evolved on the subject … or you could wait until we compare the Tennant specials … next time.