Doctor Ho! Ho! Ho! Viewers watching the rather bleak finale of Doctor Who series eight on Saturday night were given a last-minute injection of Christmas cheer as Santa Claus himself arrived unannounced in the Tardis.
Fans knew Nick Frost had been cast in the role in this year’s seasonal special but hadn’t been expecting to see him until 25th December. In fact, the cameo appearance had been such a closely guarded secret that it had even been held back from preview copies shown to reviewers.
lIn the post-credits scene, a pensive Doctor is sitting alone in his gloomy Tardis when there’s a knock on the door and a voice from outside says "Hello, Doctor. You know it can't end like that? We need to get this sorted, and quickly. She's not alright, you know, and neither are you.”
Santa then magically makes his way inside (does the Tardis have a chimney?), announcing to the astounded Time Lord “I knew I'd get around to you eventually. Now, stop gawping and tell me: what do you want for Christmas?"
We can only assume that Santa is referring to Clara and that we’ll find out exactly how he and the Doctor are going to “sort” the situation in the Christmas special.
The last-minute visitation will ring a Christmas bell with those who remember Catherine Tate’s unexpected introduction – in full bridal gown – at the end of David Tennant’s 2006 series finale.
We’re assuming the similarity will end there – Tate’s character graduated to full-time companion but we’re not sure even the Tardis is big enough to accommodate two such legends as the Doctor and Santa for an entire series...
Here's the Time Lord's reaction to the sight of Santa at the door...