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Top 10 Doctor Who Christmas Specials

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
You’ll struggle to find a family who don’t sit down to watch these together every year. Welcome to WatchMojoUK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 “Doctor Who” Christmas Specials. For this list, we’re looking at the nation’s favourite Time Lord’s best Christmas adventures. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Doctor Who Christmas Specials

You’ll struggle to find a family who don’t sit down to watch these together every year. Welcome to WatchMojoUK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 “Doctor Who” Christmas Specials.

For this list, we’re looking at the nation’s favourite Time Lord’s best Christmas adventures.

#10: “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”

Superheroes aren’t necessarily what we immediately associate with Christmas, but that didn’t stop comic book history being pilfered to make this memorable episode. The Twelfth Doctor busies himself trying to thwart a scheme to implant alien brains into the planet’s leaders, while in the background a Lois Lane/Clark Kent esque romance plays out between superhero the Ghost – AKA Grant Gordon – and his love interest, Lucy. Suffice it to say, the Doctor and the Ghost save New York City from certain doom and they all get their happily ever after.

#9: “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”

The Eleventh Doctor’s attempts to give a pair of Second World War evacuees a Christmas to remember go predictably awry when the show dips into “The Chronicles of Narnia” territory. Two children missing their pilot father, who has gone mysteriously MIA, find themselves journeying through a portal to a strange winter planet full of living trees. But reuniting the kids with their dad and saving the lives of the trees isn’t the most moving thing about this episode; instead, we’re treated to the Doctor joining Amy and Rory for a poignant Christmas dinner.

#8: “The Time of the Doctor”

Regeneration episodes will always pull at the heartstrings, and Eleven’s last episode is no exception. Ducking out of a disastrous Christmas dinner at Clara’s new flat, in which she is seen to be utterly incapable of cooking a turkey, they follow a mysterious signal to the planet Trenzalore. They find the town of Christmas, under siege from alien armies, and the Doctor stays there protecting it for centuries. As he nears the end of his life, Clara manages to convince the returning Time Lords to grant him more regenerations, assuring the show’s continuation.

#7: “A Christmas Carol”

It was only a matter of time before they got around to paying homage to one of the most influential Christmas stories in history. To save a crashing ship, the Doctor poses as the Ghost of Christmas Past to change the ways of miserly old scrooge Kazran. The Doctor melts Kazran’s heart by helping his younger self fall in love with a cryogenically frozen girl called Abigail, and the special ends on a bittersweet note with the spaceship rescued but Kazran and Abigail forced to say goodbye forever.

#6: “Twice Upon a Time”

We said farewell to showrunner Steven Moffat and Doctor Peter Capaldi in 2017’s Christmas special, and a chaotic hello to Jodie Whittaker. But before that, this episode made “Doctor Who” history by bringing back the First Doctor – albeit played by David Bradley instead of William Hartnell. Both fighting off their looming regenerations and featuring footage from the First Doctor’s genuine final appearance in 1966, this episode is truly one for the books, as the Doctors are both forced to confront their own inevitable futures.

#5: “The End of Time”

The only two-part Christmas special saw the departures of Russell T. Davis and David Tennant, as well as a return of the acclaimed John Simm as the Master. After stopping a rogue sect of Time Lords led by Rassilon from destroying Earth, the Doctor is forced to absorb a fatal dose of radiation in order to save the life of Donna’s grandad, Wilf. Knowing his death is nigh, Ten gives Donna a winning lottery ticket, sees off a pesky Slitheen for Mickey and Martha, sets up Jack on a date, and wishes Rose a happy new year.

#4: “The Husbands of River Song”

Three Doctors in a row have had run-ins with the enigmatic criminal-slash-archaeologist-slash-wife River Song, and her adventure with Twelve came on one cold, Christmas evening. Their beloved bickering comes full circle in what is likely the final time we’ll see Alex Kingston in this iconic role, and after the Doctor helps River steal an indescribably valuable space-diamond from the head of Greg Davies. The episode ends with their often-alluded-to final date on Darillium, where one night lasts for an entire twenty-four years rather than hours.

#3: “The Runaway Bride”

Donna Noble became such a popular character in her Christmas debut that Catherine Tate was brought along full-time in series 4. Pulled onto the TARDIS by huon particles right as she walks down the aisle on her wedding day, Donna and the Doctor don’t initially see eye to eye. But once we get to know her and discover the betrayal of her fiancé Lance, who may or may not be in a romantic relationship with a giant, evil spider woman, Donna becomes the one we root for.

#2: “The Christmas Invasion”

It’s a shame that for his first ever outing as the Doctor, David Tennant spend most of his time asleep and burping regeneration energy – but that didn’t stop Rose, Mickey, Jackie, and a returning Harriet Jones, Prime Minister from doing their best to save the day. Once the Sycorax show up with a plot to make humanity into their slaves, it’s all hands on deck to stop them. Despite Harriet mercilessly blowing up the retreating Sycorax ship, we still enjoy a warm Christmas dinner with the Doctor and the Tylers.

#1: “Last Christmas”

It was only a matter of time until “Doctor Who” deigned to include the big man himself in one of its specials – and Nick Frost’s Santa Claus definitely does not disappoint. After landing on an understandably-shocked Clara’s roof, she’s whisked away by the Doctor to visit a space base under attack from facehugger-like “Dream Crabs.” In a mind-bending twist that would put Christopher Nolan to shame, it turns out that the events of the entire night have been part of a dream, including Santa himself and an eighty-something-year-old Clara.

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