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An Advent in Space and Time

The Time Lord technology of the TARDIS allows it to traverse more than just time, space and dimensions. It can also cross television and radio genres, materialising at any point in the schedules as a  xture of festive family fun…

A OCTOR WHO MAGAZINE __ s the festive season approaches, Doctor Who is often peppered through popular programming. Tuning our time-and-space visualiser across six decades of seasonal silliness reveals how the TARDIS has criss-crossed Christmas television and radio. There’s a highlight for each of the December dates leading up to the big day…

1 December

2015 “There once was a sprout who loved to give/Looking for friends to spend Christmas with,” intones Peter Capaldi as the festive schedule gets underway with the animation Sprout Boy. Ignored by baker, toymaker and woodcutter, the unloved Brussels sprout is discovered by a cartoon incarnation of the Twelfth Doctor and invited to a tableful of Christmas chums, ranging from veteran cook Mary Berry to non-nonsense cop John Luther. Pulling a cracker with Dot Cotton of EastEnders, the Doctor adds: “Together as one is what it’s about/And at Christmas, everyone loves a sprout!” The message is clear: “For Christmas together… BBC One!”

2 December

2005 “SOMETHING’S COMING…>” declares a blinking on-screen cursor, with not even a programme title needed for this BBC One teaser. A Christmas tree comes to life, first with festive lights and then by contra-rotating the lower two levels of its sharp, needle-covered limbs at increasingly dangerous speed. On the soundtrack, the menace is underlined as Jingle Bells segues into Murray Gold’s arrangement of Ron Grainer’s famous theme, prefiguring one of the menaces soon to face a newly regenerated Doctor in The Christmas Invasion.

3 December

1980 “Today the friendly old Pebble Mill lobby is suddenly filled with menace,” explains presenter Donny MacLeod as he’s stalked by a battered blue Dalek but moments later rescued by the TARDIS, piloted by Doctor-inwaiting Peter Davison. Guesting on BBC1’s live lunchtime magazine from the BBC’s Birmingham studios, the actor is ostensibly promoting his new sitcom Sink or Swim. He spends much of his time instead debating viewers’ ideas on how to portray the Time Lord… including dressing as a waiter with a sailor-suited chimpanzee as a companion. Peter promises to take note of all the suggestions and says he’ll “put them on the producer’s desk tomorrow morning”.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEWS OF THE NEW SERIES OF DOCTOR WHO! Highlights of this issue include: • An exclusive interview with showrunner Chris Chibnall, plus his latest Production Notes. • The directors of Series 12 speak exclusively to DWM. • Exclusive previews of the first two new-series episodes: Spyfall Parts One and Two. • Tosin Cole answers questions from the TARDIS Tin. • An Advent in Space and Time: six decades worth of festive Doctor Who TV and radio highlights. • DWM revisits the ‘Doctor Who pantomimes’ of the 1980s. • The final part of a candid interview with former script editor Andrew Cartmel. • Broadcaster Ian Collins recalls playing a Haemovore in 1989’s The Curse of Fenric. • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2012 Christmas Special The Snowmen. • Doctor Who Magazine’s annual Christmas Quiz. • Part Four of Mistress of Chaos, a new comic-strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • An exclusive preview of the Season 26 Blu-ray box set. • Audio and book reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!