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...can you supply the tenth?
1. The Unquiet Dead (set during Christmas, 1869) was initially entitled, ‘My Name’s Dickens... Charles Dickens’!
2. Dreaming of a Red Christmas? The November 2009 adventure, The Waters of Mars, was originally intended to be a Christmas Special and a few seasonal references survived, such as Bowie Base’s crew preparing for Christmas dinner. Its working title was the festive, Red Christmas.
3. Justin Chatwin plays The Ghost in The Return of Doctor Mysterio and he’s no stranger to superheroes… His very first onscreen appearance came in the pilot episode of Smallville, the US series that covered the early years of Clark Kent/Superman – one of the characters that inspired The Ghost!
4. Doctor Who was the first TV drama granted permission to film on top of the Tower of London. The scenes formed an important part of The Christmas Invasion and were shot in a sunny July, 2005!
5. What did you think of the Christmas Special, Miracle on Bannerman Road, from The Sarah Jane Adventures? Never heard of it? That’s because although the story was originally planned to round off the show’s fourth season, sadly it never made it to the production stage. The adventure would have riffed off Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and there was even talk of Tom Baker (seen below with Matt Smith) appearing in it!
6. And talking of Specials that never made it – Expelliarmus! Doctor Who’s former head writer and exec producer, Russell T Davies, wanted J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter books, seen below) to appear in a Christmas episode… The adventure would have seen the imagination of ‘good old JK’ not just become real, but transformed into a world that the Tenth Doctor would have to battle through!
7. Sheila Dunn played the wonderfully named Blossom Lefavre in the very first Christmas Special back in 1965. Sheila was the daughter of Bill Dunn, the famous engineer who designed the bulletproof engine of the plane seen in Victory of the Daleks – the Spitfire! Sheila returned to Doctor Who in The Invasion and Inferno (as seen below) and later found fame playing the mother of Harry Hill!
8. Douglas Camfield, who directed the 1965 Christmas Special, had wanted it to be Doctor Who’s first cross-over ep featuring characters and places used in the BBC police drama, Z Cars. But that show’s producer, David Rose, didn’t find the idea arresting (ouch!) and vetoed it!
Above: A moment from Z Cars - It Never Rains.
9. What do the evil genius Professor Kettlewell (from Robot) and the Doctor’s daughter (from err, The Doctor’s Daughter) have in common? Both were played by actors – Edward Burnham and Georgia Tennant, née Moffett – who were born on Christmas Day.
Have you got a tenth top trivia fact about the Doctor Who Christmas Specials? If so, tweet it using the hashtag #DWXmasFacts and we’ll retweet a few of our faves!
This Christmas a certain Time Lord swings back into action and guess what… We can’t wait! Here’s what we know about the highly anticipated Special – so far! Contains minor spoilers. Obvs.
Unless you’ve been trapped in the catacombs of Ribos for the past few months, you’re probably aware that this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special is called The Return of Doctor Mysterio! The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is joined once again by Nardole (Matt Lucas) and the episode is written by Steven Moffat who gave us a hint about what to expect… ‘I’ve always loved superheroes,’ he revealed, ‘and this Christmas Doctor Who dives into that world!’
Justin Chatwin (Orphan Black) stars as The Ghost and commented, ‘Working with the amazing people at Doctor Who has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I've ever had the pleasure of being involved with.’ Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall) is on board as journalist Lucy Fletcher and you can see them all in action in the clip below…
The cast also includes Adetomiwa Edun (Lucifer, Bates Motel), Aleksandar Jovanovic and Logan Hoffman. We also know it’s a 60 minute spesh directed by Ed Bazalgette who was previously at the helm for The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived.
Judging by the clip above, the Christmas Special is set in the present day and it’s been confirmed the plot involves New York being under threat from a deadly alien menace. We’ll keep you updated as more information comes in but for now, here’s another sneak peek into The Return of Doctor Mysterio…
Doctor Who’s relationship with Children in Need stretches back to 1983 and this year we were treated to a special preview clip from the Christmas Special!
What can we say about the sneak peek? Well, the Doctor is on top form and up to his attack eyebrows in trouble – no change there, then... Great to see Nardole back and we’re super-intrigued (no pun intended!) about The Ghost – the caped figure who can fly, withstand bullets and fire off a few wisecracks in case his arrival wasn’t memorable enough! We’re also looking forward to finding out more about Lucy Fletcher, the journalist who seems astonished by the fact she’s honest with the Doctor… How is she tied in with The Return of Doctor Mysterio?
We’ll be looking into the Christmas Special very soon but for now, enjoy the preview clip and if that’s not enough, check out what happened when the universe of Doctor Who collided with the world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them…
Back for the new series...
Next year’s series of Doctor Who has reached its fourth recording block, with Episodes 5 and 9 going shooting in Cardiff during November. The BBC Wales production team has revealed to DWM some exclusive news about these two episodes.
The writer for Episode 5 is Jamie Mathieson, who has previously written three episodes of Doctor Who: the DWM season-poll-topping Mummy on the Orient Express (2014), Flatline (2014) and (with Steven Moffat) The Girl Who Died (2015).
Jamie's first episode was the thrilling, Mummy on the Orient Express.
An excited Jamie tells DWM, “I’m back baby, and beyond stoked to be once again putting words in the mouths of the TARDIS crew. So what can I tell you? Well, my episode this year is very, very scary. Like, seriously so. ‘Let’s go behind the sofa and just stay there until it’s over’ scary. It’s got more shocks and tense scenes than anything I’ve ever written. And that’s coming from a man who once wrote an episode of My Parents Are Aliens. It’s also a taut thrill ride, a gag fest, a pitch black satire and, for the first time – [notices Steven Moffat approaching with cosh marked ‘no spoilers’] – I’m writing for Bill and Nardole!”
The guest cast for Jamie’s episode includes Kieran Bew, Justin Salinger, Peter Caulfield, Mimi Ndiweni and Karen Brayben.
Episode 9 of Doctor Who’s 2017 series is written by Rona Munro, author of the very last Doctor Who story of the show’s original 26-year run – the seminal and highly acclaimed 1989 Seventh Doctor adventure Survival. Since then, Rona has gone on to become one of the most successful writers working in the industry, with countless theatre, television and radio credits to her name.
Watch a moment from Rona's first Doctor Who adventure: Survival.
Speaking to DWM, Rona reveals, “Writing Survival was my dream job, but it was a mournful time in the show’s history. This has been a very different experience. There’s more of everything; people, resources, confidence, success... but the same constantly renewing and indefinable wonder that is Doctor Who. When I was very small and watching the First Doctor, I had a special cushion known as ‘Rona’s Doctor Whocushion’. I would hide my face in it when the Daleks or other monsters appeared on screen! The Eaters of Light is my version of other stories that have haunted me for almost as long.”
Joining the regular cast for Rona’s episode are Rebecca Benson, Daniel Kerr, Juwon Adedokun, Brian Vernel, Ben Hunter, Aaron Phagura, Sam Adewunmi and Billy Matthews.
Once these episodes are in the can, the series reaches the mid-point of shooting, with Episodes 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 still to go before the cameras. The new series of Doctor Who – starring Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill and Matt Lucas as Nardole – will hit TV screens in spring 2017.
On Friday (Nov 18th) you’ll be able to catch an exclusive preview clip from this year’s Christmas Special – The Return of Doctor Mysterio! It’ll be shown as part of the BBC’s Children in Need night and continues a tradition that’s seen Doctor Who supporting and appearing in the charity’s big evening for over 30 years!
So we dipped into the TARDIS archives and present five of our favourite times that Doctor Who has materialised on Children in Need…
Time Crash! (2007)
The Tenth Doctor met the Fifth Doctor in the special minisode that showed both of them doing what they do best – showing off, trading quips and saving the universe! But it was also a lovely nod to the show’s past. ‘You know,’ the Tenth Doctor told his Fifth incarnation, ‘I loved being you… You were my Doctor!’
'To days to come...'
'All my love to long ago...'
The Great Detective (2012)
Things were looking bad for the Doctor in 2012. He’d lost the Ponds and had ‘retired’, sulking about Victorian London wearing a grim expression and a rather fabulous hat. But things were looking good for Doctor Who fans on Children in Need night that year as this special minisode, The Great Detective, caught up with the Time Lord and his old friends, Vastra, Jenny and Strax…
The Five Doctors (1983)
Doctor Who first got involved in Children in Need back in 1983 when the show’s twentieth anniversary special was broadcast on the charity’s big night. The Five Doctors featured Cybermen, a Dalek, a Yeti, old companions and (yep, you guessed it), five – count ’em – five Doctors! What a way to make an entrance…
Splendid fellows... All of them!
Meet the Tenth Doctor! (2005)
We’d glimpsed the Tenth Doctor at the very end of The Parting of the Ways, but a brief scene shown during 2005’s Children in Need properly introduced David Tennant’s take on the Time Lord. Ahh, memories… Allons-y!
New Doctor... New teeth!
'Hold on tight - here we go!'
Dimensions in Time (1993)
Okay. It was a bit nuts. Lots of returning Doctors, companions, the brilliant Brigadier and a bunch of familiar foes who are (Albert) squaring up to each other in EastEnders’ Walford. And if that wasn’t crazy enough, there was a bit of timey-wimey action going on as we zipped back and forth between 1973 and 2013. Sample dialogue from the Fourth Doctor: ‘…a renegade Time Lord known only as the Rani… She hates me. She even hates children!’ Come on… Where’s your sense of humour?!
And Coming Soon…
We nipped forward in time and had a gander at the exclusive The Return of Doctor Mysterio clip that’ll be shown on BBC One on Friday! And yes, we can confirm it’s now one of our fave Children in Need moments…