The television scene

A holiday gift for ‘Dr. Who’ fans

 

There’s nothing like having to go fight a galactic battle to get out of an awkward Christmas dinner.

Dr Who fans are getting a special gift this holiday: The show’s 2013 Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor, will air at 9 p.m.Wednesday on BBC America. It will be available for download on all of BBC America’s digital partners starting Thursday.

In this long-lived BBC science fiction drama, the Doctor ( Matt Smith) — an alien Time Lord from Gallifrey who has been traveling through time and space in his 1960s-style police box TARDIS (spaceship) — has been invited to Christmas dinner with the family of his latest companion, Clara Oswald ( Jenna-Louise Coleman).

A message calls him to an obscure planet and into a fight with some of his worst enemies — the metal-clad Daleks and Cybermen, stone Weeping Angels and the ominous Silence to save the universe (a familiar theme in the Christmas specials).

The show marks Smith’s last episode as the Doctor. His character will “regenerate”' into a new Doctor, played by a different actor, thus ensuring that the show a fresh leash on life. As he says, “Everything ends, Clara. And sooner than you think.”

Peter Capaldi ( In the Loop) will take over as the Doctor.

BBC America plans a full day of programming leading up to the Christmas special. It includes a retrospective on Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor and a repeat of the 50th anniversary special, which was simulcast on 94 countries on six continents as well as shown in selected theaters.

There is as yet no airdate from BBC America for the new season of Doctor Who with Capaldi.

Tish Wells

McClatchy-Tribune Media Services

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