Classic villain to return for Doctor Who New Year special

SPOILERS | Did you hear that one all-important word?

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Something’s been added to the teaser trailer for the Doctor Who New Year’s Day special. Just one word. But it’s all we need to tell us the identity of the villain the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends will be facing. Did you hear it…?

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“Exterminate!”

Yes, that final snarled electronic word confirms the rumour, and the long held hope, that the Daleks (or at least a Dalek) will be returning for festive special Resolution, meaning that Doctor Who – which is not due to return for a new series until 2020 – will at least go out with a bang.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall made much of the fact that his first series in charge would be all about new villains and monsters, and when questioned about a possible return for the Daleks, told RadioTimes.com in no uncertain terms that they would not feature… in that series

“There are no [Daleks]!” he said. “I don’t know how many times I need to say it. There are no old monsters this series. OK?”

Back in July, Chibnall was equally coy on the subject, telling an audience at Comic-Con “We’ve got two weeks left of shooting, and we haven’t seen them yet,” adding “it’s a lot of new stuff this year”.

Clearly, the key phrases were “this series” and “this year” – and since the New Year’s Day episode airs on the first day of 2019 and, as a special, is not officially part of the 2018 series, it technically falls into neither of those categories.

We kind of like this sneaky, cheeky side of the new showrunner – hopefully it means plenty more surprises to come during his tenure on Doctor Who. Even if a secret extra series next year is probably not one of them…

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The Doctor Who New Year’s Day special, Resolution, is on BBC1 at 7pm on Tuesday 1st January 2019