Doctor Who Season 12 was a shock to the system, as showrunner Chris Chibnall used his second season to push the boundaries of where the show could go. He introduced a brand new Doctor from outside the current thirteen Doctor count as we know it. who is also the first woman of color, and referred to as Ruth-Doctor (Jo Martin). He brought back The Master (Sacha Dhawan), changing up the relationship between Doctor and Master, as well as challenging the generally accepted "long wait between Master appearances" conventional wisdom. And he rounded up old faces from earlier incarnations of the Doctor by bringing back Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), the first time in the Doctor Who reboot that a showrunner has brought back characters from other showrunner's eras.
With the coronavirus pandemic having both delayed and shortened the upcoming Season 13 - which still may not arrive until 2022 - the yearly "Holiday Special" is all fans have to tide themselves over during the show's long absence. It's not the first time this has happened. In the break during the Twelfth Doctor's run, there was an entire year where all fans got was a holiday special. (It was 2016, the year of "The Return of Doctor Mysterio.")
But there's good news for fans who fear this may be the only episode to arrive between 2020 and 2022. This one, entitled "Revolution of the Daleks," will bring back Captain Jack once more. Even better, according to Chibnall, it's going to be a feature-length special at that.
Check out his heartfelt appearance in the new teaser.
The new teaser also brings a synopsis for the special:
In the upcoming special titled "Revolution of the Daleks," Captain Jack will be on hand to help the fam as they discover a disturbing plan forming involving one of the Doctor's most feared and dangerous enemies, the Daleks. With the Thirteenth Doctor locked away in a space prison, will Captain Jack be able to help save planet Earth?
Unfortunately, that's all fans know for now. Previously, the series teased the companions, Yaz (Mandip Gill), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Graham (Bradley Walsh) stuck on Earth around the kitchen table, as the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) is trapped in the Judoon prison she was thrown in at the end of Season 12.
Fans wondered how the companions would figure out the Doctor was in trouble, let alone stage a rescue. It seems like the answer is that the old head of Torchwood will get involved and help save the day.
Barrowman, who starred as a companion during the Russell T Davies years and fronted the Torchwood spinoff, is clearly delighted to return once more. Along with the teaser, he put out a statement:
Putting on Jack's coat and setting foot back on the set of Doctor Who was just like going back home. It's always thrilling to play Captain Jack. He's a character very close to my heart who changed my life and to know the fans love him as much as I do makes his return even sweeter. I hope everyone enjoys Jack's heroic adventure with Thirteen.
The BBC has not yet confirmed if the Doctor Who holiday special will air on Christmas Day or New Year's. The former was the tradition since the show's return in 2005, but since Chibnall took over, the "Festive Specials," as they are now routinely dubbed, have become a New Year's treat.
The current run of Doctor Who episodes is available to stream on a variety of platforms, including both AMC+ and HBO Max, as well as BBC America's website.