Ranking All 10 Doctor Who Christmas Episodes So Far (PHOTOS)

Aubry D'Arminio

Simon Ridgway/BBC

The Doctor Who Stole Christmas

Doctor Who is a well-aged tradition. But the annual Christmas special, which began in 2005 and airs this year on December 25, is a fairly new custom. The tone may vary, but all the specials adhere to one rule. “A Doctor Who Christmas special needn’t be jolly. It can be sad, scary, or exciting,” showrunner Steven Moffat says. “But it must be Christmasy. There will be decorations. There will be snow.” Just don’t be surprised if it’s carnivorous snow. We've made a list (and checked it twice) of the Time Lord's twisted holiday adventures so far, ranked them, and included a few tidbits that might interest you (consider them your Christmas crackers).


#10 - "The Time of the Doctor" (2013)

Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor spends his final few centuries protecting the town of Christmas on the planet Trenzalore.
Introducing: Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi makes his first full-bodied appearance.
League of doom: Eleven’s greatest foes—the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Weeping Angels, and the Silence—appear in the same episode for the first time.


#9 - "Last Christmas" (2014)

For once, Santa (Nick Frost) isn’t a robot in theDoctor Who Christmas installment. He's the real flesh and blood thing. Sort of. He comes to the Doctor and Clara in a reverie caused by Dream Crabs, monsters who feed on human brains.
Surprise cameos: The man behind Strax (Dan Starkey) appeared as one of Santa's elves, and one of Patrick Troughton's (the Second Doctor) sons played Professor Albert Smithe.
Faux farewell: Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) almost left at the end of of Season 8 but chose to stay on, so Moffat rewrote the ending with Clara as an older woman.


#8 - "The End of Time: Part 1" (2009)

The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) learns his end is nigh right before discovering archenemy the Master (John Simm) has been resurrected.
Wait for it: Part 2, Tennant’s Shakespearean farewell episode (which features more than a dozen cameos from former cast members), aired the following New Year’s Day.

#7 - "Voyage of the Damned" (2007)

The Doctor alights on a luxury space liner called the Titanic right before it’s about to…well, you know.
Pop stars: Aussie songstress Kylie Minogue appears as waitress Astrid Peth, whose atoms the Doctor spreads across the galaxy.


#6 - "The Next Doctor" (2008)

In December 1851, the Doctor finds a London schoolteacher named Jackson Lake (The Walking Dead’s David Morrissey), who claims to be his next incarnation.
False alarm: With the news of Tennant’s imminent departure, the misleading title implied Morrissey would be Eleven. Gotcha!


#5 - "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe" (2011)

The Doctor repays a resilient London housewife for her unquestioning kindness by trying to give her children the perfect Christmas during World War II.
No peeking: The Doctor thinks a portal to another universe is an appropriate gift—until inquisitive young Cyril (Maurice Cole) opens it early.


#4 - "The Snowmen" (2012)

Eleven has retired to Victorian London, where the precipitation is transforming into man-eating snowmen.
Introducing: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) becomes the Doctor’s next companion.
The voice: The deep tones of the Great Intelligence (who is behind all the icy shenanigans) belong to Oscar nominee Sir Ian McKellen.


#3 - "The Runaway Bride" (2006)

The Doctor battles the Racnoss Empress, a semi-humanoid spider creature with 10 razor-tipped red limbs.
Introducing: Future traveling companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) is mysteriously transported from her wedding to the console of the TARDIS spaceship.
Bad Santas: The Empress’s minions are a horde of robotic Father Christmases.


#2 - "The Christmas Invasion" (2005)

The evil Sycorax want to enslave humans and trample earth.
Introducing: Tennant debuts as the Tenth Doctor.
Fir is murder: The first holiday special begins Who’s custom of terrifying Yuletide accoutrements; in this case, robotic St. Nicks and a possessed Christmas tree.


#1 - "A Christmas Carol" (2010)

The Doctor must convince bitter moneylender Kazran Sardick (Michael Gambon) to help him save best friends Rory (Arthur Darvill) and Amy (Karen Gillan), and 4,001 other passengers on a plummeting spaceship.
Sharknado too: Kazran controls the city of Sardicktown by letting airborne fog sharks terrorize the citizens.
The Doctor’s wife: While celebrating Christmas with Kazran in 1950s Hollywood, the Doctor inadvertently marries Marilyn Monroe.

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