'Doctor Who' Featurettes Show How The New Year's Special And The New Dalek Were Made

The annual Doctor Who holiday specials are always a blockbuster-level event, with the BBC pouring all its money and resources into making this one-off episode as action-packed — but still family-friendly — as possible. This year's New Year's Day special was no exception, even as the special episode moved from its usual Christmas slot to the first of January. But that scheduling move turned out to be a boon for Doctor Who, which turned out one of the best episodes of season 11 yet, featuring the exciting return of the Doctor's most fearsome foes: the Daleks. To continue the New Year's festivities that the New Year's special, titled "Resolutions," kicked off, BBC has released two new Doctor Who featurettes that delve into the making of this explosive episode and the new makeover for the Daleks.

Doctor Who Featurettes: New Year's Special

Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor found herself facing an old foe in "Resolutions" which revolved around an ancient evil that has remained buried on Earth since the 9th century — until now. Directed by Wayne Yip (Preacher) from a script by showrunner Chris Chibnall, "Resolution" saw the return of the Daleks, the Doctor's oldest enemy that was first introduced in the series in 1963. It was the first time the series had brought back a classic monster all season, sticking by Chibnall's early promise that season 11 would feature all-new monsters. But the episode was a delightful marriage of the old and the new, setting the holiday special on a different day for the first time since the show's 2005 revival, and bringing an old monster back with a freshly terrifying new look. I was pleasantly surprised by the zippy and emotionally-driven "Resolution," which finally brought the shaky season to solid ground.

Miraculously, the episode made the Daleks truly frightening for the first time since 2005's "Dalek." It was a long-awaited return for the alien monster, which hasn't made an appearance in the series since 2014 (not counting that cameo from Rusty in "Twice Upon a Time") and it had to come back with a brand new look, which merges steampunk chic with Sheffield steel.

Doctor Who won't return until 2020, so until then, enjoy watching the New Year's special along with its making-of featurettes in the meantime. It'll be the closest we have to actually having a time machine.