“One Of The Maddest”: Doctor Who’s 2024 Seasonal Special Gets Intriguing Tease From RTD


Russell T Davies teases what audiences can expect from Doctor Who’s 2024 Christmas special, from its scale to how it builds upon season 14’s story for Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor. Gatwa’s debut season featured his incarnation and new companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) journey from the 60’s to Regency-era England, to far-off colonies across eight episodes. While Gatwa and Gibson will lead Doctor Who season 15 in 2025 alongside Varada Sethu’s new companion, the Time Lord will instead be joined by Nicola Coughlan as presumably a one-time companion in the seasonal special.

Davies revealed during a behind-the-scenes featurette released on the official Doctor Who YouTube channel what is next to come for the series. The showrunner teased that the seasonal special penned by returning writer and former showrunner Steven Moffat will feature the “maddest Christmas specials you’ll ever see”, featuring a grand scale in a story that questioned what the Doctor would do when left alone. Check out Davies’ response below:

Now the Doctor voyages forward, and guess what always happens to the Doctor every so often – Christmas! Here comes Christmas. I can’t give away much more but work has begun on it already, and it’s mad, it’s one of the maddest Christmas specials you’ll ever see. It’s epic, it goes to so many different places. And it’s a great story of who the Doctor is when he’s alone.

How Doctor Who’s 2024 Seasonal Special Will Carry On The Fifteenth Doctor’s Subtle Character Arc

The Doctor Has Been In A Similar Situation Before

The arc for the Doctor in 2024’s Christmas special sounds similar to 2006’s “The Runaway Bride” which saw David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor go through the grief of season 2’s heartbreaking finale, with the Doctor almost embracing a dark moment that could have ended in tragedy for the entire universe, had it not been for the intervention of Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). However, Davies’ second tenure is also approaching the series as a fresh jumping-on-point for newcomers. As such, it is unsurprising that he and Moffat would want to revisit a similar narrative.


However, while its themes are familiar, Doctor Who’s 2024 seasonal special’s focus on the Doctor traveling alone does carry over an arc that began in 2023’s “The Church on Ruby Road”. After rescuing Ruby from the Goblins, the Doctor is left questioning whether he brings people pain, with Doctor Who’s season 14’s two-part finale “The Legend of Ruby Sunday/Empire of Death” seeing the Doctor unwittingly playing a part in Sutekh’s (Gabriel Woolf) scheme through his travels. With the Doctor saying farewell to Ruby, he is left to grapple with whether his reckless travel has done good.

While Doctor Who season 14 placed heavy emphasis on the mystery surrounding Ruby, and her part in her relationship with the Doctor, the Time Lord himself had few opportunities to explore his character outside of their dynamic. As such, even with Davies teasing the spectacle of 2024’s seasonal special, many viewers may be more interested in seeing how Gatwa’s Doctor handles traveling alone. Though Gatwa and Gibson will reunite for new adventures in 2025, many may leave 2024’s Doctor Who seasonal special with a new perspective on the Fifteenth Doctor.

Doctor Who’s season 14 is available in its entirety on Disney+ and BBC iPlayer, while 2024’s Christmas special will air in December.