Doctor Who Makes Christmas Super Merry With ‘The Return Of Doctor Mysterio’

Before diving into our recap, watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special right here.

Being the ultimate Christmas orphan, every December 25, the Doctor is made to find someone else’s holiday disaster to crash. (If he’s spending it on Earth, that is—he’s been away for awhile.) This year, the Doctor revisited Grant, a head-cold-ridden New York kid he’d met one Christmas Eve approximately 24 years ago (our time), given a lozenge-like gemstone that grants its owner his or her deepest desires, and then took off again, leaving the comic-book-obsessed kid to try to manage his new superpowers (flight, super strength, the ability to change clothes really, really fast… the usual).


High school wasn’t easy for Grant (adolescence is bad enough without uncontrollable x-ray vision) but as an adult he’d succeeded in getting his life under control—if living a complete lie as a nanny for the woman he’s been in lifelong unrequited love with while moonlighting as Manhattan’s one-man emergency services department can be called “under control” (thank technology for long-range baby monitors).

Re-enter: Doctor Mysterio, who’s thrilled to have met someone in the universe worse at relationships than he is.


Grant (The Ghost), Mysterio (the Doctor), Nardole (recently excised from Hydroflax), and Lucy (single mother/intrepid reporter/object of Grant’s affection) all cross space/time paths at the New York headquarters of Harmony Shoal, a global mega-corporation with deep-pocketed alien investors and a plan to body-jack Earth’s political and business elites as a soft launch takeover of the entire planet. The plan has been in the works for years, its executors are ruthless, and conceal and carry laws simply don’t apply to them.


Is Earth finally screwed or can Mysterio and the Ghost team up to pull the us back from the brink of a (super gross blue mucusy) invasion? Of course they can—we’re in America, it’s Christmas, and this is Doctor Who, not some Cold War-era Soviet sci fi film that doesn’t feature even one superhero (looking at you, Solaris).


The special, written for you this holiday season by Steven Moffat himself, ties up tidily like a professionally gift-wrapped present: aliens near-defeated with UNIT closing in, star-crossed lovers uncrossed, baby freshly diapered, and the Doctor having found a temporary (maybe) companion in Nardole—because a) he can’t be alone; and b) no one should be on Christmas.