The blurb for the episode reads, “The special, set during World War II, 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 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…”
So, a “magical new world” world, but it’s hardly going to be an hour of snowmen and hot chocolate, so who could the villain be? There’s no better Christmas gift to the faithful than some had some classic Who monsters, but with the Cybermen, Daleks, Sontarans and Silurians all well established in New Who, here’s a run down of possible extraterrestrial Grinches be…
A robot built to deter trespassers from stumbling upon the Great Intelligence, perhaps a similar beast is causing trouble for Bill Bailey’s “futuristic space gardener”. But while he hunts down this cryptozoological terror across their snow-clad forest, a far more sinister plot is afoot.
Introduced: The Abominable Snowmen’ (1967)
Last seen: ‘The Five Doctors’ (1983)
Odds: 10 to 3
Getting nod in 2005’s ‘The Christmas Invasion’ and 2009’s ‘The Waters Of Mars’, and being the stars of BBC Books’ latest Who novel Silent Stars Go By, the reptilian rulers of Mars are definitely on the radar for New Who, and being as they like sub-zero temperatures, perfect Christmas special fodder.
Introduced: ‘The Ice Warriors’ (1967)
Last seen: ‘The Monster Of Peladon’ (1974)
Odds: 3 to 1
As we’re riffing on the vibes of The Chronicles Of Narnia, how about the Master Of The Land Of Fiction who was forced to write stories that came to life? It’s easy to imagine his world of make-believe appearing a treat to our Forties urchins as they watch wooden toy soldiers cavort and dance, and their favourite paperback adventurers lead them on a merry dance, until they discover their creative energies are needed to fuel these murderous tales.
Introduced: ‘The Mind Robber’ (1968)
Last seen: ‘The Mind Robber’ (1968)
Odds: 10 to 1
The Silurians returned in 2010’s ‘The Hungry Earth’, but what of their aquatic, turtle-lipped cousins? Archive footage of them from previous misadventures has featured in ‘The Eleventh Hour’, which introduced the 11th Doctor, and the Sarah Jane Adventures episode ‘Death Of The Doctor’, but it’s tough to imagine how they’d fit into the plot. Maybe they’re going to leave all the taps running and ruin Christmas by turning the wrapping paper funny.
Introduced: ‘The Sea Devils’ (1972)
Last seen: ‘Warriors Of The Deep’ (1984)
Odds: 6 to 1
What do you reckon?