‘Doctor Who’: Preview Promises the Most Ambitious Christmas Special Ever

Kim Taylor-Foster
TV Doctor Who
TV Doctor Who

As anticipation for the Doctor Who Christmas Special builds, the BBC has released the official synopsis for the 60-minute episode.

Not only does the episode see the First and Twelfth Doctors team up — something fans already knew – but the synopsis also refers enigmatically to “enchanted glass people,” who pluck “victims from frozen time.”

It sounds as though these spellbound, see-through chaps — and/or chapesses — are being set up as the villains of the special episode. Although, there has been speculation that fans may also see Cybermen — since the story partly takes place during a Cyberman narrative strand from the 1960s — when William Hartnell played the First Doctor.

The synopsis seems to suggest that the aforementioned glass people will take Mark Gatiss’s World War I captain from a time-frozen battlefield – however, we don’t know yet how he fits into the story.

A Giant Undertaking

The episode, called “Twice Upon A Time,” will likely fill in some of the gaps from the First Doctor’s 1966 storyline in “The Tenth Planet,” which saw an unwell William Hartnell play a Doctor who was absent from the screen for prolonged periods. Harry Potter actor David Bradley is taking on the role of the First Doctor with Peter Capaldi reprising his role as the Twelfth.

All the evidence suggests that this could be the most ambitious Doctor Who episode yet and promises to be a humdinger of a way for Capaldi and exiting showrunner Steven Moffat to go out.

Doctor Who Xmas Special long crop
A new publicity image for the Doctor Who Christmas Special.

That Synopsis

Here’s that official synopsis in full, along with an all-new image (above) featuring the First and Twelfth Doctors alongside outgoing companion Bill Potts.

The magical final chapter of the Twelfth Doctor’s (Peter Capaldi) journey sees the Time Lord team up with his former self, the first ever Doctor (David Bradley — Harry Potter, Game of Thrones) and a returning Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), for one last adventure.

Two Doctors stranded in an Arctic snowscape, refusing to face regeneration. Enchanted glass people, stealing their victims from frozen time. And a World War One captain destined to die on the battlefield, but taken from the trenches to play his part in the Doctor’s story.

An uplifting new tale about the power of hope in humanity’s darkest hours, “Twice Upon A Time” marks the end of an era. But as the Doctor must face his past to decide his future, his journey is only just beginning…

“Twice Upon A Time” is written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay, and executive produced by Brian Minchin. The 60-minute special guest stars Mark Gatiss as The Captain and Nikki Amuka-Bird as the voice of the glass woman, and will see Peter Capaldi’s Doctor regenerate into the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker).

“Twice Upon A Time” premieres on December 25.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.