With Doctor Who about to return for its first Christmas Day special since 2017, we took it upon ourselves to find out which episode fans think is the show's very best festive special.


In a poll conducted on Twitter, which has recently been rebranded as X, we asked fans to choose their favourite from the Doctor Who festive specials, including the Thirteenth Doctor's New Year episodes.

The first round, in which they were split by Doctor (with the Tenth Doctor getting two separate polls due to the vast number of his specials) saw The Runaway Bride, The End of Time Part 2, A Christmas Carol, The Husbands of River Song and Eve of the Daleks all sail through.

Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol still showing Matt Smith and supporting cast looking up at a snowfall
Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol. BBC

Meanwhile, in the second round, it was just The Runaway Bride and A Christmas Carol which made it through, with the former going on to take the crown, with 53.4 per cent of the final vote, against the latter's 46.6 per cent.

This means that Donna Noble's first episode, The Runaway Bride, has been crowned the best ever Doctor Who festive special - hardly surprising given the duo's enduring popularity, as seen by their return for the 60th anniversary specials.

Of course, in future polls we'll be adding The Church on Ruby Road into the mix, with Ncuti Gatwa's first full episode airing on Christmas Day at 5:55pm this year.

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The special, which will also introduce us to new companion Ruby Sunday, as played by Millie Gibson, has been called a "complete reinvention" by showrunner Russell T Davies, although he was quick to note that it's "not a reboot".

He also teased that the show is "taking a sly step towards fantasy" in its new era, with this being immediately apparent in the Christmas special, in which the enemy is goblins.

Davies said: "The show is taking a sly step towards fantasy, which will annoy people to whom it’s a hard science-fiction show. Episode two next year is wildly fantasy. Completely making up scenarios on-screen that we’ve never been able to show before.

"But the following episode is proper hard science-fiction."

Doctor Who will return for The Church on Ruby Road on BBC One at 5:55pm on Christmas Day. Previous episodes are available on BBC iPlayer and on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what’s on.


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