The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and with it comes that annual nugget of science fiction excitement, the “Doctor Who” Christmas special. A new teaser video from BBC America gives audiences eagerly awaiting the Doctor’s latest holiday antics a glimpse of what to expect.
Year after year, each “Doctor Who” Christmas special has pulled out all the stops in one way or another, whether that be the spectacle of potential planetary annihilation at the hands of well-known antagonists—Cybermen, Daleks or the Master, take your pick—or reimagining classic holiday stories like “A Christmas Carol.” This year, the Doctor is wrangling with a decidedly modern oddity, the superhero.
The episode, titled “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” will team the Doctor with an investigative journalist and a superhero in New York City with the goal of thwarting an invading alien menace. The episode will be written by head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat.
“I’ve always been fascinated by superheroes,” said Moffat. “Where I think superheroes are at their best is in the secret identity. The most exciting superhero, of all time, is Clark Kent. He has to be a god and pretend he isn’t. It’s the best story ever.”
If the new video is any indication, Moffat will be drawing heavily from Superman’s mythology. In the trailer, a set of horn-rimmed glasses can be seen, and we get a glimpse of the superhero himself. Though we don’t have a name for the hero yet, we do know that he wears a shiny black suit of armor, a mask to obscure his identity and a giant, stylized “G” emblazoned on his chest. Not quite the Kal-El we know and love, but not a far cry either.
We’ll have to wait and see the exact origins of this hero’s superpowers, but a spinoff series, “Torchwood,” dealt with the ramifications of giving human beings access to superpowers (see: dangerous alien technology) in the past. Unsurprisingly, the results were less than ideal for those gifted with their newfound abilities, as well as those caught in the crossfire. Whether this hero’s powers are the result of alien meddling is unknown, but one scene shows him pushing a man a across a room so hard that he’s knocked unconscious — so at least we know he can hold his own.
The “Doctor Who” Christmas special will debut on BBC America this Christmas. Peter Capaldi will reprise his role as the Doctor and Charity Wakefield will play the investigative journalist. Justin Chatwin will play the superhero at the center of the episode, as well as his secret identity.
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