Jodie Whittaker will star in Doctor Who over the Christmas period - but in a surprise this time it will be on New Year's Day

The Doctor Who Christmas special is one of the traditional highlights of the BBC’s festive line-up and this year’s, featuring Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Time Lord, promises to be an absolute cracker – but it won’t be on Christmas Day!

There’s been a special every year since 2005 on Christmas Day, but the BBC has now officially confirmed reports that this year’s hour-long episode will instead go out on New Year’s Day.

In another twist, it’s also thought it won’t have a festive theme and instead will see the Time Lord face a new alien threat.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall declares: “We’re thrilled to be starting the New Year with a bang on BBC1, as Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and friends face a terrifying alien threat in an action-packed, hour-long special adventure for all the family.”

So, when will the Doctor Who Christmas episode be shown?

It will be on New Year’s Day – but the BBC hasn’t announced at what time yet.

Doctor Who Christmas Day 5.30pm

Peter Capaldi makes his final appearance as the Doctor in the 2017 Christmas special

Of course, Jodie made her debut as the Doctor in last year’s Christmas special, falling from the TARDIS moments after transforming into the Time Lord. In the actress’s native Yorkshire accent, Jodie’s Time Lord said, “Ahh brilliant” as she got her first glance of the TARDIS controls.

Doctor Who new logo

The Doctor Who logo

What’s happening in the Doctor Who New Year’s Day special?

The only plot details we have so far is “a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history”. It’s also been confirmed that Jodie’s co-stars – Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole – will feature. The trio are playing the Doctor’s “companions” Graham, Yasmin and Ryan.

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Doctor Who New Year’s Day special – Jodie’s Time Lord will be joined by her trusty companions

It’s also been revealed that the episode is penned by Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip.

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, says: “We’re delighted the Doctor and her companions will be welcoming BBC1 audiences into 2019 with this exciting new episode. The Doctor’s fans are in for a special treat on the first day of the new year.”

We will update this article when we know more about the Doctor Who Christmas special…