With only a little more than three weeks to go until the first of star Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall's final three feature-length special episodes hits our screens, viewers are learning a bit more about what they can expect from the New Year's Day special "Eve of the Daleks." Previously, we learned that Aisling Bea (This Way Up), Adjani Salmon (Dreaming Whilst Black), and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted) would be joining the cast. Then we learned after the series finale for the BBC's Doctor Who: Flux the title of the special along with a teaser offering fans a glimpse of the "Groundhog Day" that Team TARDIS and their "guests" are facing. Trapped in ELF storage and stuck in a terrifying loop, will the Doctor, Yaz (Mandip Gill), Dan (John Bishop), and the others manage to avoid extermination and escape the storage facility in time to see out New Year's Day?
Thanks to the folks at Doctor Who Magazine (order a physical copy here and a digital copy here), we now have some clarity on those interesting new Daleks that were introduced in the teaser for "Eve of the Daleks." You know, the ones without the plungers? Well, Chibnall was kind enough to confirm to DWM that those are "Executioner Daleks," clearly differentiated from previous rollouts by its particularly nasty machine gun-like deal going on. "I think it's always good to delineate and make specific the Daleks we meet at any point," Chibnall explained to DWM. "These are the bronze Daleks, which we've only really glimpsed in recent years. But in this episode, we have an execution squad, armed with rapid-fire, multi-blast weapons that make them even deadlier than standard Daleks."
As for the special itself, Gill wants viewers to know that if they find themselves confused while watching it, she feels where they're coming from because filming was just as confusing. "We did a lot of running, and it got quite confusing at times," Gill explained to DWM. Being trapped in a time loop, repeating the same scenes as it gets closer and closer to midnight. But Annetta [Laufer], our director, was amazing. I kept having to ask her, 'Which version's this again?', and she just knew straight away." But it sounds like a little confusion was more than worth it for Gill, who added, "I'm excited to see it. When you read it on paper, it's hard to imagine what it's going to look like. But it was good fun to film. It was great having Aisling Bea with us. She's so funny. So funny. We had such a good time. Plus we get to fight the Daleks again!"
Sarah (Aisling Bea) owns and runs ELF storage, and Nick (Adjani Salmon) is a customer who visits his unit every year on New Year's Eve. This year, however, their night turns out to be a little different than planned as they find themselves joining forces with the Doctor, Dan and Yaz in a fight against the Daleks.
Following the New Year's Day special, fans should expect the second special in Spring 2022 (date still not known as of this writing), with the third & final special (when Whittaker regenerates into the new & still unannounced as of this writing Doctor) airing Autumn 2022 as part of the BBC's Centenary celebrations.