While Doctor Who isn’t landing the Tardis at Christmas this year, the New Year’s Day special that’s replacing the usual Yuletide adventure doesn’t seem to be abandoning the trappings of the season.


At least, it certainly looks that way in new first-look images from the episode, where you’ll find Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor in some appropriate winter attire – a scarf – that also evokes one of Doctor Who's most famous Time Lords.

While it’s not quite the iconic, lengthy knitwear favoured by Tom Baker’s beloved Fourth Doctor, Whittaker’s new rainbow-coloured accessory is a great addition to her outfit while nodding to the series’ past – and based on the fireworks behind her, this particular New Year episode is set to be explosive.

Whether the fireworks will be literal or metaphorical, however, is more of a mystery. We still don’t know how New Year’s-themed the story is set to be, though some clues now seem to suggest the auspicious airdate will at least be nodded to in the episode.

And speaking of clues, another newly-released image from the New Year’s Day episode gives us a big clue about what we can expect from the plot.

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While we’ve previously been told that the New Year’s episode finds “a terrifying evil” stirring “from across the centuries of Earth’s history” we’re now getting a better sense of just how history factors into the story, with a new image showing Whittaker’s Doctor as she pours over some excavated human remains – including a skull – while Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh) watch on.

Doctor Who New Year's special, BBC Pictures

Given that the bone fragments are numbered, it suggests some sort of organised investigation, but is it the Doctor’s or someone else’s that she’s stumbled on? Who do the bones belong to, and are they ancient remains or the result of a more recent crime?

And possibly more pertinently, why is the Doctor so much more interested in what looks to be a small glass cube in her hand than the bones in front of her? Is it a piece of evidence to how these people were killed, or a bit of alien tech helping her investigate?

Until we get closer to the episode’s release (and, probably, until we see the final two episodes of this year’s Doctor Who series) we won’t know for sure – though we’re hoping that whatever she faces, the Doctor will still be able to save the day for a VERY Happy Who Year.


The Doctor Who New Year’s special will be released on January 1st 2019