Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Doctor Who Christmas special!

Peter Capaldi returns for his third festive episode as The Twelfth Doctor, but this time he’s not the only hero in town. The Return of Doctor Mysterio is part Doctor Who, part superhero blockbuster, complete with its very own caped crusader. Enter Grant, better

Doctor Who Xmas Special 2016 - Charity Wakefield as Lucy and The Ghost - BBC - Photo: Simon Ridgway
Doctor Who Xmas Special 2016 – Charity Wakefield as Lucy and The Ghost – BBC – Photo: Simon Ridgway

known by his alter-ego The Ghost, who spends his days flying around New York fighting crime. Without question, it’s an unusual and unexpected premise for a Doctor Who story. But, even if it does sound extraordinarily bonkers, it actually works surprisingly well.

As per Christmas tradition, Earth is under attack by yet another alien invasion. A returning enemy is back, this time with a more dastardly plan than ever before – and it’s up to The Doctor and The Ghost to stop them before it’s too late! What follows is a rip-roaring comic book caper filled with tongue-in-cheek humour and super-heroic action. It’s an adventure where the impossible feels achievable, woven into a tale as magical as it is superhuman. By the end of the hour, you’ll truly believe a man can fly…

This is a special that also has a firm focus on its characters, and rightly so. Peter Capaldi

Doctor Who Xmas Special 2016 - Matt Lucas as Nardole - BBC - Photo: Simon Ridgeway
Doctor Who Xmas Special 2016 – Matt Lucas as Nardole – BBC – Photo: Simon Ridgeway

and Justin Chatwin give standout performances, supported by a similarly impressive supporting cast. Charity Wakefield as Grant’s love interest Lucy is simply superb. Meanwhile, Matt Lucas as the returning Nardole provides a more nuanced (if still comical) turn as The Doctor’s sidekick. And yes, don’t worry, his comeback does receive an explanation.

So, fear not everyone: Doctor Who’s hiatus is over, and the long and painful wait was worth it. You’re in for a super-duper festive treat this Christmas. Dust off your capes and brush up on your Marvel and DC knowledge. Doctor Mysterio is very nearly here, and his return is nothing short of super…

Doctor Who Xmas Special 2016 - Peter Capaldi as the Doctor - BBC - Photo: Simon Ridgway
Doctor Who Xmas Special 2016 – Peter Capaldi as the Doctor – BBC – Photo: Simon Ridgway
Synopsis

In this year’s Xmas special, The Doctor join forces with a masked Superhero for an epic New York adventure.

With brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious figure known only as The Ghost. Can the Doctor save Manhattan? And what will be revealed when we see behind the mask?

The 60-minute special is written by Steven Moffat, Executive Produced by Brian Minchin, Produced by Peter Bennett and Directed by Ed Bazalgette (Poldark). It was shot in Cardiff at BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios.

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