The time of the episode has yet to be announced, but will slot into the usual late afternoon/early evening line-up, which this year includes the Pixar Oscar-winning film Up as well as the usual instalment of Walford mayhem in EastEnders. The prime-time 9:00pm slot this year falls to the popular new series Call the Midwife, which is expected to go head-to-head with the ratings winner of last Christmas, ITV1's Downton Abbey. The main evening viewing on BBC1 is rounded off with The Royle Family at 10:00pm.
The as-yet-untitled hour-long special set in Victorian times will be Matt Smith's third Christmas outing, and sees the debut of Jenna-Louise Coleman as the new regular co-star; the episode also guest stars Richard E Grant. In addition, the episode will see the return of several of the Doctor's compatriots from last year's A Good Man Goes To War, with Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart and Dan Starkey reprising their roles of Vastra, Jenny and Strax respectively. The episode is written by Steven Moffat and directed by Saul Metzstein.
Into 2013 ...The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has summarised the expected running order of the remaining eight episodes of the current series to be broadcast in 2013, and also confirmed that fantasy author Neil Gaiman - who suggested he was writing a script last month - has indeed done so.
|2013 #1 |||Steven Moffat |||Colm McCarthy|
|2013 #2 |||Neil Cross |||Farren Blackburn|
|2013 #3 |||Mark Gatiss |||Douglas Mackinnon |||David Warner and Liam Cunningham|
|2013 #4 |||Neil Cross |||Jamie Payne |||Dougray Scott and Jessica Raine|
|2013 #5 |||Steve Thompson |||Mat King |||Ashley Walters|
|2013 #6 |||Mark Gatiss |||Saul Metzstein |||Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling|
|2013 #7 |||Neil Gaiman |||Stephen Wolfenden|
|2013 #8 |||Steven Moffat |||tbc|