Could Doctor Who's New Year's Special Bring The Daleks Back?

Daleks Doctor Who BBC America

Rumors have been swirling for a while now that Doctor Who is planning on bringing back a classic villain of some sort for its New Year's Day (and not Christmas) special. With the trailer teasing one of the deadliest creatures in the galaxy, some have hoped the holiday one-off will be how Chris Chibnall introduces Daleks into his run as showrunner. Star Mandip Gill was recently asked whether or not those Dalek rumors were true and, of course, she was cryptic.

Well, like you say, they're just rumors, aren't they? We've managed to get this far keeping everything a secret. Now, how would we let that slip?

So, Daleks may be coming to Doctor Who's New Year's special "Resolution," or maybe not. Mandip Gill isn't telling either way, but her response to EW certainly makes it seem like there is something secret planned for the holiday special. Otherwise, why not just deny it and move on?

If there will be yet another new enemy popping up, it may behoove the cast and crew to admit it now. It would allow those who aren't so fond of all the changes to air their grievances ahead of time.

Mandip Gill didn't really say squat about Daleks, but she did say that Doctor Who's only episode in 2019 will be "scary" and "explosive." The latter was evident in the trailer, although there wasn't much in the way of spookiness. Gill also stated the special "ties up a lot of loose ends," which may mean it will finally establish a full story arc for the Doctor and her "fam."

Speaking about the show's ambiguous plot thus far, Mandip Gill expressed her thoughts on keeping things hidden from fans, and she believes it's working for the long-running franchise.

This series, we're just not telling people what's going on. I think it's really working out to hold stuff back. It just means everyone's much more excited to watch the show. But I'm really excited to go back and just do it all over again, but even bigger.

It sounds as though "Resolution" may assert the path that Doctor Who will head down in Season 12. If a Dalek is indeed returning, perhaps Mandip Gill's tease means that Chris Chibnall fully intends on bringing more classic villains into the storyline in future episodes. That said, Gill admitted she hasn't seen any scripts for the upcoming season yet, so it's hard to say how much of Doctor Who's future plot she's actually aware of.

Things are looking positive, but Doctor Who viewers shouldn't get all their hopes up for Daleks aplenty or any other classic villains appearing just yet. Season 11 did magnificently in the ratings with these new enemies, especially when compared to Peter Capaldi's final season as the Doctor. Other factors beyond unfamiliar baddies have almost certainly played into that viewership bump, of course, but if Chris Chibnall wants to keep Daleks, Cybermen, and others out of the mix, he has the stats to support it.

Doctor Who's New Year's Day special airs on BBC America on Tuesday, January 1. For a list of other shows coming to television before and beyond that date, visit and bookmark our fall and midseason premiere guides.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.