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Why You Shouldn’t Trust DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special Cancellation Rumors

It started as a quietly reposted article on a few sites, picked up a lot of steam,  spilled over into the fan reaction video sphere and is now being taken as fact. I fell for it myself for a second so I’m as guilty as any. But I’m here to reassure you that the time for panic is not yet at hand. Currently, no, the Doctor Who Christmas special has not been officially moved to New Year’s Day. 

As of this publishing, all of the articles and reports you’re seeing on this topic are all resharing the same original source, which doesn’t cite anyone involved currently working on the show or the BBC. We reached out to the BBC to confirm or deny the move but have not heard heard back at the time of publication.

The big quote getting recirculated, and which has been perhaps mistakenly attributed to current showrunner Chris Chibnall, is this:

“I sort of think we might have mined, and possibly overmined, every single thing we could about Christmas in Doctor Who and the last time we more or less ignored it.”

The problem is, that’s not a quote from Chris Chibnall. It’s a quote from previous showrunner Steven Moffat who was discussing his own work on last year’s Christmas special, “Twice Upon a Time.” Moffat produced the episode as a courtesy to Chibnall and team so that they wouldn’t have to begin their run of Doctor Who with a special.

 All that Chris Chibnall has said about it is that there is another episode set to air after the season ends, in that cheeky “no spoilers” way that Chibnall has defaulted to using whenever talking about the show.

“We seem to be filming 11 episodes, and it’s only a series of 10,” Chibnall commented at a press conference during San Diego Comic-Con back in July. “I would definitely think there’s another episode after the end of the series, yeah.”

Now, it is worth noting that Chibnall doesn’t mention which holiday the special falls on, but I don’t think it’s time yet to read into that as a confirmation that it won’t be on Christmas, especially considering that the same information was used by to confirm that it actually would be. Yes, this has certainly been a season of change, but keep in mind that the Broadchurch veteran is no stranger to keeping information about his show from the media, even when it feels like obvious stuff. He was so tight-lipped about the fact that the TARDIS would appear in the second episode of series 11 that it led some of us to speculate that it may not appear for the entire season. (Spoilers: It has.) 

If you’re looking for further assurances that the Doctor Who holiday special will likely stay right where it belongs, on Christmas Day, let’s consider the last time that an unconfirmed Doctor Who story spread like this without any commentary from the BBC. Those who feverishly study Doctor Who coverage might remember a moment in April of 2017 when the next Doctor was declared: Kris Marshall of Love, Actually and Death in Paradise fame. Not only was Kris Marshall reported as cast in the role, but it was further speculated that he had actually begun filming during Peter Capaldi’s final season.

Spoiler alert: Peter Capaldi finished out his final season and Jodie Whittaker is currently starring as the Thirteenth Doctor.

Images: BBC

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