Doctor Who News no image

Published on September 21st, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

A Big Blue Parcel…

The BBC has confirmed that production has started on the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas Special in which the Doctor (Matt Smith) finds himself in war-torn England embarking on a magical and mysterious adventure with a young widow and her two children.

They’ve pulled together a fantastic guest cast that includes Claire Skinner (Outnumbered), potentially great Doctor-of-the-future Bill Bailey (Black Books), former Big Finish Doctor Who Unbound female Doctor Arabella Weir (The Fast Show) and Alexander Armstrong (Armstrong & Miller, The Sarah Jane Adventures‘ Mr Smith). These names and others will be joining Matt Smith in the emotional festive special, packed full of Christmas thrills and chills.

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer:

“The Doctor at Christmas – nothing is more fun to write. Maybe because it’s so his kind of day – everything’s bright and shiny, everybody’s having a laugh, and nobody minds if you wear a really stupid hat. Of all the Doctors, Matt Smith’s is the one that was born for this time of year – so it’s the best news possible that he’s heading back down the chimney.”

The special, set during the Second World War, sees Madge Arwell and her two children, Lily and Cyril, evacuated to a draughty old house in Dorset, where the caretaker is a mysterious young man in a bow tie, and a big blue parcel is waiting for them under the tree. They are about to enter a magical new world and learn that a Time Lord never forgets his debts.

Used to dealing with unruly children in Outnumbered, Claire Skinner said:

“I am thrilled to be in Doctor Who playing Madge who is a bit of super-mum. It’s a magical part.”

Matt Smith’s second Christmas special will follow hot on the heels of the successful 2011 series, which ends in just ten days time…

Filming on the Christmas special will continue until mid-October 2011.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

5 Responses to A Big Blue Parcel…

  1. avatar ChrisL says:

    It’s amazing how your eyes can play tricks on you.
    For a moment I thought you were proposing Bill Bailey as a “possible great Doctor of the future”.

    Luckily, I then realised it must be one of those occasional typos we discussed earlier.

    As a comedian, or musician, a musical comic, or even a comical musician, Bill Bailey is one of the best, but a future Doctor? Really?
    Unless we want to return to the nadir of Colin Baker’s tenure, I really hope this doesn’t happen.

    • avatar ChrisL says:

      I feel I need to expand on my previous comments about Colin Baker etc.
      I felt during his particular era The Doctor was bordering on becoming a bumbling idiot and this undermined the whole show. His demeanour along with his ridiculous attire made a mockery of it all.
      Unfortunately, and I expect to get hate mail for suggesting this, I can see parallels in the Eleventh Doctor. He too wears clothes that single him out in a crowd and he also has moments of buffoonery that make me cringe.
      I reckon a Doctor played by Bill Bailey would have similar characteristics. His crazy hair along with his habit of acting with a permanently surprised expression would once again reduce The Doctor to the level of village idiot.

  2. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    although it’ll be great to see another Christmas special, I am not looking forward to the giant expanse of Who-less TV for 9 or 10 months. I think that’s going to be the biggest gap since the show came back in ’05. Even in 2009, the gap between Planet of the Dead and Waters of Mars was 8 months. Guh.

    • avatar Spaceman says:

      Though there’ll be news, starting February (apparently) of Matt’s third year/season. And the studio move to the new premises (already done?)

      For me the wait will be a long one.

      So is it a case of rewatching Matt’s first two years on a weekly basis which covers about 7 months (approx). That and some classic Who/Torchwood every Saturday evening. With Sarah Jane stories every Sunday afternoon…..
      That or this way madness lies…..

      • avatar stlshawn says:

        Nine Months! People can have babies in that time frame ya know! Entire lives can go in strange and unexpected directions! There could be political shifts, worldwide war, famine, drought, irons sleeping with lamps, who knows what else could happen in those times!

        Ah but it’s back, and we should be thankful. I remember when i discovered Big Finish in 02, It was such a beacon of hope that quality entertainment still existed. That was also when i started buying DVD’s of classic DW to show my children why i had this strange looking scarf hanging in my closet, and what the blue box on my dresser was all about. Ah, absence may make the heart grow fonder, but must it hurt so much?

        Did anyone at BBC consider “at home with the Williams?”. During the RTD era, at one point, we had SJA, Torchwood, and NuWho. I wonder why they don’t have anything with the same sort of magic available to us today? Even the K9 Project was interesting.

        Well looks like Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy are going to have twice a week showings at my house for the foreseeable months. And i’ll probably get into some other show as well. I’ll post on the forum for suggestions.

Please be aware that all comments are subject to adherence to our comments policy.
Back to Top ↑