Why Did BBC Cancel The 'Doctor Who' Christmas Special? Some Fans Are Upset By The Schedule Change

BBC

For many, a Doctor Who Christmas special is the highlight of the festive TV line-up. However, this year the millions who tune in for an annual special edition of the BBC show will be left disappointed, as it was announced there will be no Christmas Day episode. But why did BBC cancel the Doctor Who Christmas special?

Despite a flood of outrage from fans of the iconic science-fiction series, a special edition of Doctor Who will still air during the festive season, however this time the episode will air a week later than usual, on New Years Day. As is stands, there appears to be no specific reason for the rescheduling, however Bustle have reached out to the BBC for comment and will update you with any information once we have it.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the broadcaster and show makers are confident that the alternative air date will be the perfect way to bring in the new year. The BBC director of content, Charlotte Moore, said "We're delighted the Doctor and her companions will be welcoming BBC One audiences into 2019 with this exciting new episode. The Doctor's fans are in for a special treat on the first day of the new year." Adding to the BBC's excitement is Doctor Who show-runner, Chris Chibnall. He said: "We're thrilled to be starting the new year with a bang on BBC One, as Jodie Whittaker's Doctor and friends face a terrifying alien threat in an action-packed, hour-long special adventure for all the family."

Fans were hit with the shocking news that there would be no Christmas Day special over Twitter. The official Doctor Who fan account, known as Doctor Who Online, shared the announcement with their 130,000 followers. It read: "News Just In... The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine CONFIRMS there will be NO #DoctorWho Christmas special this year, and it will instead move to NEW YEAR'S DAY." The absence of the hit BBC series marks the first time in 13 years a Doctor Who episode will not air on Christmas Day, and distraught fans have gone to extreme lengths to hopefully change the show's New Years Day time slot.

One super fan, Niall Moran from Portsmouth, has set up a petition which demands that head writer, Chris Chibnall, should move the show back into the Christmas slot viewers have enjoyed since 2005. With the petition on change.org already reaching over 2,500 signatures, it appears that many likeminded "Whovians" are just as upset. Fans have also taken to social media to express their disapproval at the broadcaster's controversial decision.

Last month the 11th Doctor Who series opener, which saw actress Jodie Whittaker take on the Time Lord role, attracted a massive 8.2 million viewers. The impressive viewing figures certainly put to bed any concerns that a female doctor might not appeal to audiences, especially when considering that Whittaker's efforts drew in nearly double the amount of viewers managed by the previous series premiere, which starred her predecessor Peter Capaldi.

Although it might leave a big Tardis shaped hole in our Christmas television line-up, I'm confident that the New Years Day special will be equally as thrilling. And as the show's creators have promised, it will no doubt be the perfect way to kick off 2019.