First Photos from 'Doctor Who' Christmas Special 'The Time of the Doctor'

It’s a bit of a bittersweet time to be a Doctor Who fan. We’re all still basking in the joy generated by the fantastic 50th anniversary celebrations and looking forward to the bonus of another new episode airing at Christmas. Yet, the excitement is also tinged with a hint of sadness, as the arrival of the holiday special means that we’ll be officially saying goodbye to Matt Smith and his Eleventh Doctor. Oh, and we’re also all pretty excited to see incoming Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi at the same time. Like I said, it’s a complicated time to be a Whovian.

But, let’s focus on the joy for now, at least – and the excitement that comes with new Who goodies to share. BBC America has helpfully released some new photos from the upcoming Christmas special, entitled The Time of the Doctor.  The episode will air on Christmas Day in both the UK and the US, which means that us Americans will only have to manage to avoid the internet for about 5 hours. Whew.

The synopsis for The Time of the Doctor is as follows: Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them – the Doctor.  Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.

Take a look for yourselves below.

Nothing says “holiday season” like a sonic screwdriver! 

The Doctor and Clara investigate what we presume are Christmas shenanigans. 

Clara’s holiday companion outfit is very festive:

But Clara herself looks pretty pensive:

Possibly because of this? Look who’s back! Daleks! 

And also Cybermen! 

But they aren’t the only enemies the Doctor must face. (Okay, so this unidentified person may not actually be an enemy, but she seems rather surrounded by soldiers, so it’s a shot in the dark.)

This is definitely an enemy though – even if it’s one we haven’t seen before. Yes, that certainly looks like a wooden Cyberman. Which kind of goes against the whole concept of Cybermen, since wood isn’t very cyber-anything, let along upgradeable. But, intriguing! 

Clearly something big must be going on with the Cybermen – here the Doctor’s clearly carrying the head of one around: 

But back to fun – just look how festive the TARDIS looks:

Doors on doors on doors: 

More Daleks! And also what I hope is another Derren Brown joke in our future: 

And, finally - how awesome is this theatrical-style poster? 

Who knows what’s going on with any of this – but it certainly looks action packed!

Any theories about what Doctor Who has in store for us with this special?

(All photos credit: ADRIAN ROGERS, © BBC/BBC Worldwide 2013)