BBC America is ditching its customary Christmas Day Doctor Who episode for a standalone hour show on New Year’s Day. According to showrunner Chris Chibnall, the Jan. 1 episode will feature Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor facing a “terrifying alien threat.”
The first-ever “Who-Year’s Day” special will start a new tradition for the show, and will follow a week-long marathon of Doctor Who Christmas specials. Courtney Thomasma, executive director of BBC America, added: “Jodie Whittaker and the dynamic new team have propelled Doctor Who to become TV’s fastest growing scripted series of the year. We can’t think of a better holiday gift to the fans than a week-long marathon of Doctor Who Christmas specials and fan-favorite episodes leading into 2019 with new traditions and our first-ever ‘Who Year’s Day’ special.”
The series, which casts a new central doctor every few years, is currently working with its thirteenth (and first female. The Whittaker-led Season 11 has been averaging nearly 1 million viewers, up 54 percent versus last season.
The season finale of Doctor Who is scheduled to air on Sunday, Dec. 9.