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Doctor Who festive special was almost axed

Doctor Who festive special was almost axed

The forthcoming 'Doctor Who' Christmas special was almost scrapped.

Steven Moffat - who is set to bow out as executive producer at the end of the year - saved the festive episode from getting the chop after he learnt that bosses were toying with the idea of taking it off the agenda this year because new show runner Chris Chibnall wanted to start in January with series 11 rather than pick up in 2017.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Moffat said: "There was one big glitch, which was Christmas. I was going to leave at the end of series 10 - I had my finale planned and what I wanted to do with it. I had a good notion of that. Then I learned at a drinks event that Chris didn't want to start with a Christmas, so at that point they were going to skip Christmas. There'd be no Christmas special and we would've lost that slot."

The talented writer - who has worked as executive producer on the show since 2009 - was concerned that the festive special would never make it back on to screen if they temporarily pulled the plug on it this year and, although he was willing to step in, he had to persuade Peter Capaldi to continue as the Time Lord for a few more months.

He explained: "'Doctor Who' would've lost that slot if we hadn't [done a special] because Christmas Day is now so rammed.

"So I said, probably four glasses of red wine in, 'I'll do Christmas!' and then had to persuade Peter [Capaldi] that's how we were leaving.

"Then I had to work out how you could get mortally injured in one episode and spend an hour regenerating on Christmas Day, which I hopefully have done!"

Although details of the Christmas special are being kept tightly under wraps, the episode will see Capaldi - who announced his decision to leave his role as the titular character earlier this after four years - hand over the keys to the TARDIS to the new Doctor, which will be played by 'Broadchurch' actress Jodie Whittaker.