About Christmas TV History

Saturday, July 28, 2012

List of Doctor Who Christmas episodes

This past week during SCI-FI Christmas in July, guest bloggers have shared their thoughts on favorite Doctor Who Christmas installments.  Someone asked me how many Doctor Who Christmas episodes are there?  So here's a list.  If you're so inclined, this may make a very satisfying viewing marathon for next Christmas time.

~~The Unquiet Dead (2005) Though it didn't originally air in December, this episode's story takes place on Christmas Eve 1869 and includes the Doctor meeting Charles Dickens at a public reading of his popular work A Christmas Carol.

~~The Christmas Invasion (2005) The newly regenerated Doctor faces the Sycorax, an alien race come to earth at Christmas time.

~~The Runaway Bride (2006) The Doctor meets Donna, a bride that pops into the TARDIS.  Together they face the Empress of Racnoss from an eight-pointed star in the night sky.  This particular episode's story is re-visited in the later episode Turn Left in 2008.

Fans of the series know that The Runaway Bride's Donna Noble ends up becoming The Doctor's companion later in the series.

~~Voyage of the Damned (2007) The Doctor is aboard a luxury cruise spaceship named the Titanic.

~~The Next Doctor (2008) The Doctor returns to London on Christmas Eve 1851 where he meets another man claiming to be The Doctor.  Together they face down the Cybermen's latest attempt to dominate with the Cyberking.

~~The End of Time (2009) The Doctor faces another time lord, The Master, as well as his own mortality as predicted by the Ood.

~~A Christmas Carol (2010) The Doctor uses time travel to encourage Sardick to change his Scrooge-like ways.  This planet has an unusual atmosphere that includes fish swimming in its fog.

2010's A Christmas Carol guest stars: Michael Gambon as Sardick and Katherine Jenkins as Abigail.

~~The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe (2011) The Doctor returns to England at Christmas time 1941 to help two children have a merry holiday despite the presumed death of their father.  They journey to a beautiful world of snowy trees.  Unfortunately, the trees are being threatened by harvesting.

~~Best of the Christmas Specials (2011) This is a clip show with celebrities commenting on their favorite moments during the past Christmas specials.

If you are into watching the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood, you may also enjoy watching another Christmas episode:

~~Out of Time (2006) This story takes place over Christmas time as accidental time travelers from 1953 arrive in 2006 and find they must adjust to modern life.

And, Old School Doctor Who fans may be interested in watching the failed spin-off K-9 and Company which includes an unusual Christmas/Winter Solstice story.

~~A Girl's Best Friend (1981) The Doctor's former companions Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 spend the holiday at Sarah Jane's Aunt Lavinia's home where they discover the rural community is conducting black magic rituals including human sacrifice.

Wow!  That's a lot of Doctor Who Christmas watching.  Have I missed anything?  Have you seen all these installments?  Do we need to jump into the TARDIS to go directly to December and make this viewing marathon happen?


  1. Great list! I didn't know about the K9 and Company one. There's also a long lost first Doctor episode 'The Feast of Steven' which aired Christmas Day 1965. The filmed version doesn't exist anymore (lots of early episodes are gone) but someone has kindly reconstructed an approximation of the episode from clips, photographs and the audio track for torrented download, and there's an animated version on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WeakujB2nA). It takes place at Christmas, but there's few references to it. It does have a young Jean Marsh in it, but it's most notable because it ends with the Doctor breaking the fourth wall by turning to the camera and wishing the viewers a "Happy Christmas to all of you at home"!

  2. Thanks. Yeah, I talk about this in my book 'Christmas TV Companion.' Great addition.

  3. were there any Christmas specials in the old series?

    1. As mentioned above--1965's "Feast of Steven" but it is one of the many videotaped episodes that have been lost because the original videotapes were erased. Audio of "Feast of Season" can still be found however.

  4. Wish you had included season/episode numbers... My cable OnDemand doesn't list titles, the jerks! Nothing I can't figure out with a little googling, I guess. :)

  5. I am glad to know that the new Doctor Who is Jodie Whittaker because it will be an interesting experience to watch a female doctor in action.