Doctor Who Special: Revolution of the Daleks First-Look Pictures

The Doctor and her fam will be back for a one-off extended special featuring the return of the Daleks on Christmas 2020 or New Year 2021…

Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks
Photo: BBC

Series 13 may be a long way off yet (the BBC is still hopeful for a late 2021 air date, and hoping for filming to take place before the end of 2020, Covid-19 chaos notwithstanding), but it’s not long until Doctor Who will be back on our screens. As teased at the very end of the series 12 finale, “The Timeless Children,” the next episode will be one-off special “Revolution of the Daleks”, which is due to air over the upcoming festive period. 

Released as part of this year’s online New York Comic-Con panel, see below for a couple of first-look images from the episode.

Revolution of the Daleks First Look Images: Maroon is the New Black

Here’s our first look at a jumpsuit-ed Doctor inside that intergalactic prison, chalking up her days. Speaking at the NYCC panel, Jodie Whittaker told fans “Clue is in the photograph that I may have been there for a while!”

Doctor Who Revolution of the Daleks Jodie Whittaker

And here’s her trio of companions, trying an admin-based approach to defeating space evil. Again, speaking at the NYCC panel, Mandip Gill provided a bit of context for what’s happening: “We’re back in Sheffield, not knowing where she’s gone […] We don’t know where the Doctor’s gone, we don’t know if we’re now in Sheffield forever and if our journey with the Doctor is over […] Yaz is struggling with the idea of not being on the TARDIS anymore.”

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The companions stumble upon a plot that involves a Dalek, confirmed Gill and Bradley Walsh at the NYCC panel. “From way, way, way back, by the way,” teased Walsh. “What happens next is extraordinary.”

Doctor Who Revolution of the Daleks Graham Yaz Ryan

Revolution of the Daleks Air Date: Christmas 2020/New Year 2021

We can’t be more specific about the air date as the BBC remains coy about scheduling, confirming only that “Revolution of the Daleks will air during the upcoming festive period on BBC One.” That could mean either the previously traditional Christmas Day slot, or the New Year’s Day slot taken by the most recent festive Who special, “Resolution.”

Revolution of the Daleks Story: How to fight a Dalek without the Doctor?

Here’s the official BBC synopsis:

The upcoming festive special will see the return of one of the Doctor’s biggest and most feared enemies – the Daleks. The Doctor is locked away in a high-security alien prison. Isolated, alone, with no hope of escape. Far away, on Earth, her best friends, Yaz, Ryan and Graham have to pick up their lives without her. But it’s not easy. Old habits die hard. Especially when they discover a disturbing plan forming. A plan which involves a Dalek. How can you fight a Dalek, without the Doctor?

Entitled “Revolution of the Daleks,” the extended episode will see the Doctor once again go up against the mutant abominations. The race of foes last appeared in 2019 special “Resolution,” which featured guest star Charlotte Ritchie possessed by a Dalek that wreaked havoc in the city of Sheffield before it was sucked into a vacuum corridor in space. 

Previous to that, the Daleks also featured in Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat’s goodbye episode “Twice Upon a Time,” the last in the new series’ run of regular Christmas specials. Will either of those encounters have a bearing on the Doctor’s next adventure? 

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Before the Doctor can face Skaro’s most dastardly for the umpteenth time, there’s also the small matter of – spoilers – her escaping from maximum security space prison, the tricky situation in which the Doctor was left in at the end of series 12. A wave of the Sonic, some reversal of the polarity, and a winning grin could fix that, surely?

Writing about that cliffhanger in the official press release, showrunner Chris Chibnall exclaimed, “We can’t leave the Doctor there!

“Well, we did. But rest assured, the Doctor and her friends will be back for a one-off extended Special around Christmas and New Year. (I don’t know when they’re going to put it on yet, otherwise, we’d tell you!).”

Teasing what to expect from the next episode, Chibnall promised “There will be Daleks. There will be exterminations. Thrills, laughter, tears. You know. The usual.”

Revolution of the Daleks Writer and Director: Spyfall Part 2 director returns

Lee Haven Jones, who previously helmed part two of the series 12 opener “Spyfall” and “Orphan 55”, directed the festive special, from a script by showrunner Chris Chibnall.

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Revolution of the Daleks Cast: Graham, Yaz and Ryan report for duty

There’ll be a complete roster of companions, with Bradley Walsh’s Graham, Tosin Cole’s Ryan, and Mandip Gill’s Yaz all returning to join the Doctor after they arrived safely back in Sheffield following their Gallifreyan adventure.

Also listed on IMDb as appearing in the episode are John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, Nicholas Briggs (obviously) as the voice of the Daleks, Taggart and The Loch’s Gray O’Brien, and one Guillaume Rivaud. We’ll bring you more news once we have it.