Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy Hogmanay!

That's how the last day of the year is known in Scotland, in case you are wondering. (And a very Happy New Year already to readers who are a few hours ahead of the UK).
We're used to Christmas Specials now, but only three stories over the years have specifically dealt with events at New Year.

The first was episode 8 of The Daleks' Master Plan, broadcast on 1st January, 1966. Titled Volcano, it featured the return of the Meddling Monk. He tried to sabotage the TARDIS lock on the volcanic planet of Tigus - hoping to strand the Doctor there. Unlike the previous week's festive episode, this one did actually feature the Daleks. They try to test their Time Destructor on the hapless alien delegate Trantis - but find that the Doctor has given them the fake Taranium Core. They exterminate Trantis anyway. The TARDIS meanwhile visits the Oval during a Test match - then the New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square.
Episode 3 of The Highlanders fell on New Year's Eve, 1966, but apart from the Scottish theme had nothing to do with Hogmanay.
The first part of Day of the Daleks was broadcast on New Year's Day, 1972, and The Face of Evil launched on the same date in 1977 - but had no connection with it.

New Year would not feature as a significant plot point again until The Movie in 1996. It wasn't just any new year - but the Millennium one, during which the Master planned to steal the Doctor's body for his own. The Doctor indicates that something bad will happen to Chang Lee at the same time the following year - so advises he be out of town.

New Year 2005 proved to be an unlucky one for the Doctor. It was the last time he saw Rose Tyler - a few months before they had ever met in her time-scale. She had all their adventures still in front of her - but for the Tenth Doctor the journey was at an end. Broadcast on January 1st, 2010, The End of Time Part 2 saw in a new year - and a new Doctor.
Here's to the 50th Anniversary Year! Slainte Mhor.

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