Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and her companions Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) will face off with the Daleks once again in the standalone New Year’s Day special.
What's more, episode director Annetta Laufer has revealed a new twist on the familiar time loop format, which she says kept the production team on their toes.
The episode will see the Daleks trap the trio in a festive time loop from which there is ostensibly no way out but, as usual, there’s bound to be a number of twists and turns.
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The trailer for the upcoming New Year's Day special teases a "time-loop with killer robots", in what promises to be Doctor Who's "funniest episode" yet, with comedian Aisling Bea starring in a pivotal role.
Jodie Whittaker's Doctor gets exterminated, but luckily the episode is centred around a big time loop which gets reset anytime someone meets their maker.
Speaking about the upcoming episode, Whittaker told press including RadioTimes.com: “When I read this episode for the first time and in one of the opening moments get exterminated I genuinely thought, ‘Somebody has decided to write me out a bit sooner than I thought!’
“It’s brilliant to play because the first time, for the Doctor, it’s as if you’re grasping at those seconds and that realisation that it could be your last moment. And for you to be killed by a Dalek would be so horrendous! But then once you realise you’re in this time loop the anticipation of the pain and the fun that can be had with that… it’s the first time in my career I’ve died so many times in an episode, there’s always a first! ”
Laufer exclusively told RadioTimes.com: “I think with any time-loop kind of structure, you need to set the rules, and you need to set the rules at the beginning so that the audience will know: ‘We’ve gone into a new loop,'”
“And the loop is always defined, usually, by something happening in the same way. And so the character then goes, ‘Hang on a minute!’ – and then sort of diverts, or does something different.
“Chris [Chibnall] added the extra ‘losing a minute’ per loop,” Laufer explained. “Normally, in these sort of stories you just have the loop, or you go back to the beginning, and you start again, and then something different happens.
“But he added an extra complication. So we had to really keep an eye on: ‘Well, OK, time-wise, where are we?’ Which was fun, but also, yeah, quite complicated at times."
The special, which is entitled Eve of the Daleks, is the first of three airing in 2022, marking Whittaker’s final moments as The Doctor before she regenerates into her next incarnation. Chibnall’s tenure as showrunner is also set to come to an end.
The previous three New Year’s Day episodes were entitled Resolution (2019), Spyfall: Part One (2020), and Revolution of the Daleks (2021). Expect this outing to conclude an unofficial Dalek trilogy for New Year’s Eve.
So, without further ado, what can fans expect from Eve of the Daleks? Read on for all we know about the instalment including the latest air date and plot information.
Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks air date
The Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks airs at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Saturday 1st January 2022.
The special serves as the third and final New Year's Day special episode for Jodie Whittaker, although series 12 opener Spyfall also aired on New Year's Day.
The episode will be available on BBC iPlayer live, and then following the airing of the episode it will be available to watch on catch-up.
The Doctor Who special serves as part of the BBC’s festive TV line-up for the Christmas season.
Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks cast
Jodie Whittaker will be back once again as the Thirteenth Doctor, after having grappled with the Flux for six episodes of series 13.
The Doctor will be joined by companions Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill) and Dan Lewis (beloved comedian John Bishop) to try to save innocent lives from alien threats once again.
The guest cast for the episode has also been confirmed by the BBC and they appear in the trailer for the special too.
Aisling Bea as Sarah
Irish comedian, actress and writer Aisling Bea plays the pivotal role of Sarah in the special.
Bea is best known for her Channel 4 comedy series This Way Up, her various panel show appearances, and roles in sitcoms such as Trollied, The Delivery Man and Living with Yourself.
Adjani Salmon as Nick
The Dreaming Whilst Black writer-star Adjani Salmon returns to our screens in the role of Nick for the new special.
Could Nick and Sarah find romantic happiness in the special?
Father Ted actress Pauline McLynn is part of the cast for the special in a mysterious role.
McLynn is best known for numerous comedy roles but also for her turn as Yvonne Cotton in EastEnders and a recent turn in the horror film Last Night in Soho.
Finally, of course, we have the Daleks making a comeback so look forward to Nicholas Briggs voicing the villains once gain.
Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks trailer
We now have a trailer for the upcoming New Year's Day special, Eve of the Daleks, which show the TARDIS crew and the two guest characters caught in what appears to be a time loop.
The clip sees various characters being exterminated by the Daleks before facing the same events once again.
Will everyone in the episode survive the evil Daleks' dangerous threats?
Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks plot
Fortunately, we now have an idea of what to expect from the festive outing.
The BBC press release for the episode reads: “Sarah (Aisling Bea) owns and runs ELF storage, and Nick (Adjani Salmon) is a customer who visits his unit every year on New Year’s Eve.
“This year, however, their night turns out to be a little different than planned…”
In addition to the festive theme, the new instalment serves as the first of the final three Doctor Who instalments to feature Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.
A second special will air in spring 2022 before it is followed by a third in autumn 2022.
This third episode will see Whittaker depart the series, along with showrunner Chris Chibnall.
This final episode of Whittaker’s run also coincides with the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.
Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks airs on 1st January 2022 on BBC One and on BBC iPlayer.