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Watch a first sneak peek of Doctor Who's 2016 Christmas special

Watch a first sneak peek of Doctor Who's 2016 Christmas special


Featuring Matt Lucas, brains in jars, and a genuine American superhero

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Doctor Who has never exactly been a serious TV show, but it does tend to get particularly goofy with its Christmas specials — as the sneak peek above of this year’s offering shows.

It’s been a year since we last saw Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, and his previous appearance was in the similarly mad-cap Christmas outing, The Husbands of River Song. There seems to be a bit of continuity between these two episodes, with a return of UK comedian Matt Lucas as the dopey Nardole, and perhaps even some familiar villains. (Some people have pointed out that the creepy guy managing the brains-in-jars at the beginning of the clip look pretty similar to the Shoal of the Winter Harmony — a villainous humanoid race from last year’s Christmas special. Signage on the wall also says they're in somewhere called the "Harmony Shoal" research center.)

It looks like some fans will be disappointed with the tone of episode, which is really straining to drag some drama out of some cheap-looking special effects, but hopefully it’ll at least set us up for series 10 of the show. The Christmas episode, titled The Return of Doctor Mysterio, will broadcast December 25th in the UK, with the 10th series proper starting in April 2017.