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Chris Chibnall confirms extended 70 minute Doctor Who festive special

The showrunner added that the episode was "an epic, emotional rollercoaster".

Doctor Who Special 2020 - Revolution Of The Daleks
Published: Monday, 30th November 2020 at 10:00 pm

Showrunner Chris Chibnall has revealed that the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special will be a bumper 70-minute episode.


The special, titled Revolution of the Daleks, will air on BBC One on New Year's Day 2021, and it looks like fans have got an especially exciting adventure to look forward to.

"It’s probably about 70 minutes long," Chibnall told and other press, before going on to describe the special as "epic."

"It often is epic. An epic, emotional rollercoaster," he explained.

Festive editions of the popular sci-fi programme tend to be a bit longer than regular episodes, and this one comes in at five minutes longer than 2019's New Year special Resolution, while it's also five minutes longer than series 12 finale The Timeless Children.

Chibnall has also confirmed some more details about the plot of the episode, which sees the Doctor locked away in an alien prison following the events of the last series.

"We pick up with the Doctor in prison," he said. "She’s been taken by the Judoon at the end of the last series, and we’ll be picking up with her. Some time has passed. She has been in prison for a very long time, and she’s struggling there.

Jodie Whittaker Doctor Who
Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor in Revolution of the Daleks (BBC) BBC

"And then back on Earth, Yaz and Graham and Ryan, who were dumped back on Earth at the end of the last series, are struggling to figure out their lives without the Doctor.

“It’s been 10 months for them since they’ve seen the Doctor. And at the beginning of this, they discover the presence of a Dalek."

And Jodie Whittaker added that a particularly exciting part of the episode concerns the slightly different format – with the Doctor forced to take a rather more backseat approach than we're used to.


“I think what’s interesting about the start of this is that the discoveries and the journeys that we all go on aren’t necessarily Doctor-led, in a way," she said. "That’s what makes it really exciting as well – it’s definitely a team effort throughout.”

Doctor Who Christmas special Revolution of the Daleks airs on 1st January 2021 – check out our guide to the best Christmas TV or see what else is on with our TV Guide


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