So here's an early holiday gift for "Doctor Who" fans: The annual "Doctor Who" Christmas Special will air on BBC America on Christmas Day this year instead of the normal week-or-two behind its initial BBC airing!
BBC America announced the Christmas Day airing this week, and offered up some details about this year's special, which will be penned by "Doctor Who" showrunner Steven Moffat and feature the expected trio of The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy Pond, (Karen Gillan), and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill). They'll be joined by Michael Gambon ("Harry Potter") and opera singer Katherine Jenkins.
Along with revealing the title of the special — "A Christmas Carol" — Moffat promised that the special would feature "all your favorite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And the Doctor. And a honeymoon. And ... oh, you'll see."
Of course, I was sold on it from the moment they announced the air date, but that's not all the "Doctor Who" news that hit the wire this weekend (just in case you needed more convincing). Read on for the full announcement of the special, a behind-the-scenes photo from the set, and a great piece of "Doctor Who"-related video.
Here's the full announcement of the "Doctor Who" Christmas Special, which will air Saturday, December 25, at 9 PM Eastern:
Following Matt Smith’s appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Tuesday November 16, BBC AMERICA announces that the new Doctor Who Christmas Special will premiere in the U.S. for the first time on Christmas Day. The festive Dickens-inspired adventure, A Christmas Carol, is penned by award-winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock, Coupling) and premieres Saturday, December 25, 9:00 pm ET.
Newlyweds Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) are joined by Harry Potter’s Michael Gambon and Opera diva Katherine Jenkins, for what may be the Doctor’s most Christmassy adventure yet.
Lead Writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, commented on the upcoming special: “Oh, we're going for broke with this one. It's all your favorite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And the Doctor. And a honeymoon. And ... oh, you'll see. I've honestly never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April. My neighbors loved it so much they all moved away and set up a website demanding my execution. But I'm fairly sure they did it ironically.”
Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, added: “Doctor Who has become a key part of the BBC AMERICA schedule, and having the opportunity to air A Christmas Carol on Christmas Day is like receiving our very own holiday gift. The Timelord may travel through time and space, but he’s certainly found a home at BBC AMERICA.”
Doctor Who is currently filming in Utah for next season’s two-part premiere set in the U.S. during the late ‘60s. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston and guest star Mark Sheppard are all in production stateside. The next season premieres spring 2011 on BBC AMERICA.
In the run up to A Christmas Carol on Christmas Day, BBC AMERICA will be running a marathon of the series, beginning at midnight on December 24 and leading up to this year’s special. The marathon includes previous Christmas specials and a selection of favorite Doctor Who episodes from recent seasons.
Christmas Day will also see the premiere the Doctor Who Prom, a live concert featuring stars Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as hosts. The Doctor Who Prom was filmed earlier this year at the world renowned Royal Albert Hall and features appearances from the Weeping Angels, Daleks and the TARDIS. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, who record the soundtrack for the series, present a selection of intergalactic music – including Murray Gold’s music from the TV show, plus a selection of classical favorites.
Fans can catch up on the new Doctor’s first season with Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series Blu-ray and DVD, both are now available in stores.
That's basically the "Doctor Who" version of a Christmas miracle, folks.
BBC America also posted (via Twitpic) the following behind-the-scenes photo from the set of the Christmas Special:
And just in case you missed Matt Smith's appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson this week, make sure to check out the video below. If you're a "Doctor Who" fan, it's not to be missed.
How's that for a heaping helping of "Doctor Who" updates?
Christmas can't arrive soon enough...