New Year Special

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A promotional image for Resolution (2019).

A New Year Special is a special episode in the Doctor Who series which airee outside of the regular run on 1 January.

Four New Year Specials aired from 2010-2022. The first time a Doctor Who special aired on New Year's Day was The End of Time: Part Two, which aired in 2010 a week after Part One, the 2009 Christmas Special.

For series 11, showrunner Chris Chibnall made the decision to cut the yearly Christmas Day tradition, which had been ongoing since 2005 when BBC Wales' Doctor Who began, in favour of New Year Specials. Resolution, the 2019 New Year Special, was the first to be primarily set on New Year's Day. (The End of Time: Part Two had previously featured a short scene near the end, set on 1 January 2005.) Resolution was also the first seasonal special to be primarily produced by BBC Studios instead of BBC Wales.

Two further Dalek-focused specials, namely Revolution of the Daleks and Eve of the Daleks, followed Resolution, in 2021 and 2022, respectively. These formed a trio of sorts, strung along the Thirteenth Doctor's era, between main series runs. At the start of the Fifteenth Doctor era, and a month after the second Russell T Davies production era first aired, the Christmas Specials resumed beginning with 2023's The Church on Ruby Road, over a year and 11 months after Eve of the Daleks.

The New Year Specials have, along with the Christmas Specials, sometimes been collectively referred to as Festive Specials.

List of New Year Specials[[edit]]

Doctor Who[[edit]]

The Sarah Jane Adventures[[edit]]

Other candidates[[edit]]

In Doctor Who spin-offs, the very first episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures (Invasion of the Bane), as well as the Torchwood series 1 finale (Captain Jack Harkness / End of Days), premiered on 1 January 2007. Invasion of the Bane, both produced and broadcast separately from the rest of its season, might be considered the first New Year Special among the Doctor Who "family" of shows.

Though not a television special, the very first episode of Doctor Who to premiere on 1 January was "Volcano", very nominally the eighth part of the 1965-66 serial The Daleks' Master Plan. The first parts of the 1972 serial Day of the Daleks and the 1977 serial The Face of Evil also premiered on 1 January, although, while the episode of The Daleks' Master Plan actually celebrated the occasion, the latter two were just a case of the calendar happening to fall on that date and made no mention of it within the story itself, much like the fourth episode of The Invasion falling by pure happenstance on the show’s 5th anniversary yet letting the occasion pass without celebration.

Part One of Spyfall, the opening episode of series 12, premiered on New Year's Day 2020. Although not promoted as a special, the episode was purposefully aired outside of the series' usual time slot in order to coincide with the date due to that year's omission of an actual Special.