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BBC America To Air ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special Dec. 25

The wait has moved from days to mere hours


Just because you’re an American doesn’t mean you should have to wait for “Doctor Who.”

In an effort to stamp out online piracy completely, BBC America says it will air this year’s Christmas special the same day actual BBC watchers across the pond get to see it: Christmas Day.

“‘Doctor Who’ has become a key part of the BBC America schedule, and having the opportunity to air ‘A Christmas Carol’ on Christmas Day is like receiving our very own holiday gift,” said BBC general manager Perry Simon. “The Timelord may travel through time and space, but he’s certainly found a home at BBC America.”

BBCA experimented with a quick turnaround broadcast last year with both the Christmas and New Year’s specials, both of which marked the highly anticipated departure of David Tennant. The move was meant to keep episode downloading to a minimum. Yet, some fans couldn’t even wait a couple of days, and piracy still remained higher than BBC would like.

This time, however, there should be almost no need for piracy, allowing Matt Smith’s Doctor to be watched on BBC in the United Kingdom, and BBCA for the United States. Showrunner Steven Moffat promises this will be one fans should tune into. Especially since it features Harry Potter star Michael Gambon.

“Oh, we’re going for broke with this one,” Moffat said in a release. “It’s all your favorite movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And The Doctor. And a honeymoon.”

Moffat says that he was “laughing madly” to Christmas songs while writing the episode last April.

“My neighbors loved it so much they all moved away and set up a website demanding my execution,” Moffat joked. “But I’m fairly sure they did it ironically.”

BBCA made the announcement following Smith’s American talk show debut on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” Tuesday night on CBS. Smith is in the United States along with Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill to film what is being described as “Doctor Who’s” first episode filmed in the United States. It guest stars Alex Kingston and Mark Sheppard, and will premiere next spring.

The Christmas episode will feature not just Smith and Gambon, but The Doctor’s companions Amy Pond (Gillan) and Rory Williams (Darvill). And to celebrate, BBCA will start a “Doctor Who” marathon on Christmas Eve, each episode leading right to the Christmas special.

BBCA also will premiere the “Doctor Who Prom,” the live concert that features Smith, Gillan, and Darvill as hosts. Music is performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, which provides the music for the series.

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