One of the joys of Doctor Who Magazine is the monthly Letter from the Showrunner, initiated by Russell T. Davies back in 2005 when he brought back the show. The tradition has been continued by Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall ever since, and now Davies is back writing them. He is especially adept at dropping teasers for the upcoming return of Doctor Who. So in the spirit of the holidays, he's written a Christmas countdown, and here are some takeaways.
We're not quoting Davies' editorial directly. You can buy Doctor Who Magazine for his exact words. We're summing up and providing a bit of commentary.
The Christmas Specials are Back
We've already reported on Davies bringing back the Christmas Special, and the next season has eight episodes and the Christmas special, which is the standard for streamer seasons these days, give or take the Christmas Special, for not all of them have one.
Doctor Who will be on every year; no more year-long absences that make viewers who aren't hardcore fans lose interest or even forget the show exists. As it is, the show will be back in eleven months with the three David Tennant specials, then in 2024 with the first full season starring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson and streaming on Disney+, and possibly spinoffs.
The Fifteenth Doctor Will Appear in a Whole Different Setting
"Now someone tell me, what the hell is going on here?" Gatwa's first line, at the end of the teaser trailer will be altered when the special he appears in airs. The word 'now' has been removed, because the top of the shot is on the move. And that dark and stormy sky behind the Doctor was invented just for the trailer. Everything was CGI'd. The final version of that scene will have a different background since the actual location of that scene would give too much away.
An Eight-Word Title for the First Special
The first special has an eight-word title, whatever that is. The first special with Tennant and Catherine Tate contains the line, "Oh, Nerys and her big mouth!" So Nerys (Krystal Archer), Donna's "friend" that she used to insult all the time, will be back too.
Six Cryptic Words from the Second Special
Davies offered six words from the second special: wild, Southampton, vegetable, Flux, bean, and starlight.
The Diamond Logo is Here to Stay
The new diamond-shaped logo for Doctor Who might have been created for the show's diamond anniversary, but it's here to stay for the foreseeable future as the new brand symbol for the show. It's a take-off of the show's old diamond-shaped logo from the 1970s.
Did Doctor Who Stop Boris Johnson's Run for Prime Minister Again?
"Three primes-a-ministering!" That's right, the United Kingdom went through three Prime Ministers in three months, all of them terrible. On the night "The Power of the Doctor" was broadcast, the production had recorded an interview with David Tennant hoping to make the BBC One news. David secretly recorded the segment in a London hotel on Saturday, 22 October, in between performances of his West End play, Good by CP Taylor. All set for transmission "unless something happens." And then… something happened. At 9.00 pm, as Jodie Whittaker changed into Tennant, walking human shambles Boris Johnson suddenly announced he was pulling out of the race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and, thus, Prime Minister again. It looked like the Tennant segment would be bumped to breakfast TV. Then they extended the programme and news correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti is standing next to a huge image of Jodie Whittaker's face, so Doctor Who gets to be on the news when it should be to continue the momentum of attention for the show leading up to its return next year. Did Doctor Who save the country from a second Boris Johnson term? Not even Davies could possibly comment, but the confluence of events often suggests there are no coincidences when it comes to Doctor Who. It's all timey-wimey after all.
The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine is out now.