Doctor Who Holiday Special release date & title leaked by Disney

Leon Miller
A promotional still for Doctor Who Series 14 featuring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson.

Disney’s new festive season-themed watchlist has revealed the Doctor Who Holiday Special’s title and release date.

Doctor Who specials timed to coincide with Christmas are a long-running tradition, particularly following the BBC show’s 2005 revival. While the Ninth Doctor didn’t take part in any seasonal escapades, the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors’ respective tenures all included Yultide-inspired bumper episodes aired on December 25.

The Thirteenth Doctor’s stint in the TARDIS bucked this trend, however, shifting its specials to New Year’s Day. There is only one other instance of this happening in the modern era of Doctor Who: the two-part special “The End of Time,” which aired its second installment on January 1, 2010.

Given the franchise’s recent trend away from Christmas Day releases, many Doctor Who fans have been wondering whether the 2023 Holiday Special headlined by Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor will drop before or after December 25. Now, thanks to the franchise’s new international distributor Disney, they appear to have the answer.

Doctor Who Christmas Special release date & title leaked by Disney

As highlighted by TV critic Scott Bryan, the “Season’s Streamings” watchlist posted by the official Disney+ X/Twitter account seemingly gives away the Doctor Who Holiday Special’s title and release date. According to the watchlist, the special is called “The Church on Ruby Road” and it will debut on December 25.

No other information about the Doctor Who Holiday Special, such as an official synopsis or runtime, is provided by the Disney+ X post. Even so, it’s reasonable to assume that the “Ruby Road” element of the special’s title is connected to the Fifteenth Doctor’s companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson), whose identity the BBC first revealed back in November 2022.

That said, it’s worth noting that this is pure speculation for now, and it’s entirely possible that the apparent overlap between Ruby Sunday and “Ruby Road” is simply a coincidence.

The Toymaker looms large in new Doctor Who poster

Fans will have to wait until December 25 to know for sure, and fortunately, they’ll have plenty of new Doctor Who adventures to tide them over until then. This includes the three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, which are slated to air on the BBC (UK and Ireland) and Disney+ (internationally) in late November and early December.

The latest official poster for the trio of specials recently surfaced on X. It spotlights returning stars David Tennant (The Fourteenth Doctor) and Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), as well as franchise newcomers Neil Patrick Harris (The Toymaker) and Yasmin Finney (Rose Noble).

For all the latest Doctor Who content, be sure to check out Dexerto’s full coverage here.

Related Topics

About The Author

Leon is a freelance Movies and TV writer at Dexerto. His past writing credits include articles for Polygon, Popverse, The Escapist, Screen Rant, CBR, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more. Originally from Australia, Leon is currently based in the UK.