Normally, Doctor Who specials are broadcast on Christmas Day. However, this time around, it’ll be shown at 6:45 PM GMT (1:45 PM EST / 10:45 PM PST) on January 1 instead, putting an end to a 15-year tradition. The 2020 holiday special is subtitled Revolution of the Daleks and looks set to be a memorable experience both for long-term fans and those who started watching more recently. Take a look below to find out how to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special online.
It’s important to note that we’re only recommending official sources. Using these guarantees you the best-possible video quality, and removes any chance that the stream will be taken offline for copyright violation. Additionally, Revolution of the Daleks will be shown in several countries around the world, and you can watch for free in many locations, meaning there’s no reason to resort to shady, unreliable sources.
The Doctor Who special will only be shown on geo-restricted platforms. As such, if you’re traveling abroad this holiday season, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to watch on your usual services.
How to live stream the Doctor Who Christmas Special from abroad
Luckily, accessing region-locked services is very easy with the right VPN. Read on for a quick, five-step guide to streaming Doctor Who abroad.
Here’s how to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special online from anywhere:
- Start by choosing a suitable VPN. We recommend NordVPN but Surfshark and ExpressVPN are two fantastic alternatives.
- Next, download the app, making sure to install it on any device you plan to stream on. Usually, you’ll be permitted five simultaneous connections, but this number varies.
- Decide which of the official Doctor Who broadcasters you’d like to access.
- Connect to one of your VPN’s servers in the required country. You’d use a British server to unblock BBC iPlayer, for instance, or an Australian server to watch ABC iview.
- Finally, try watching something. Your video should load right away but if it doesn’t, clear your cookies and try again. If problems persist, switch servers or contact your VPN’s support team for more in-depth advice.
The 2020 Doctor Who Xmas special will be broadcast live, which is why we recommend making sure your VPN works properly ahead of time. By spending a few minutes testing things in advance, you can avoid missing the start of the episode due to last-minute technical trouble. Many major VPNs offer around-the-clock support via live chat in case you need help troubleshooting.
How to watch the Doctor Who Xmas special for free on UK TV
The BBC produces Doctor Who, so it should come as no surprise that the holiday special will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer. The new episode will be shown live and made available on demand shortly after airing. As such, there’s no need to worry about missing it if you have other plans on New Year’s Day.
This service is completely free to use, although you will have to create an account before you can watch anything. Doing so only takes a minute though, and while you’ll be asked for a UK postcode, any will work. Currently, all 12 newer seasons are available on-demand in case you’d like to catch up ahead of the special episode.
Perhaps the holiday special has you nostalgic for the old days of the series? If so, you’ll find 26 seasons of classic Doctor Who on Britbox. Normally, you’d have to pay £5.99 per month to watch, but there’s a 30-day free trial included. As such, you can sign up, watch your fill, and cancel to avoid being charged.
BBC iPlayer and Britbox are both geo-restricted. However, with a VPN, you’ll be able to access them as normal from abroad. NordVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to try it completely risk-free. If you’re not impressed, just cancel for a full refund.
Where else can I stream the Doctor Who Christmas Special online?
Whovians around the world won’t have to wait too long, since this year’s festive episode will be released almost simultaneously in multiple countries. Here’s how to watch wherever you are:
The 2020 Doctor Who Christmas special will be shown on BBC America at 8 PM EST (5 PM PST) on January 1. You can sign in with your cable provider details to watch at no added cost, but don’t worry: there’s also a way to stream the Doctor Who special for free without cable.
BBC America lets you sign in with a fuboTV, YouTube TV, or Philo account. These services are an expensive way to watch one episode, though, considering their prices range from $20–65 USD per month. However, each comes with a one-week trial period (two weeks for YouTube TV). This allows you to sign up, watch Doctor Who, and cancel before your payment method is charged.
Want to watch older episodes ahead of the special? You’ll find all 26 seasons of classic (pre-2005) Doctor Who on Britbox. This costs $6.99 per month and includes a seven-day free trial. The 12 newer seasons are exclusive to HBO Max, which costs $14.99 per month and no longer offers any kind of trial period.
All of these streaming platforms are geo-restricted and only available in the US. However, by connecting to an American VPN server, you should be able to access them from anywhere.
Doctor Who fans in Canada can stream the Christmas special at the same time as it’s shown in the US: 8 PM EST on January 1. There’s a catch, though: it’ll only be shown on CTV Sci Fi. This is unfortunate, since at the moment, CTV does not support any over-the-top streaming services and cannot be watched online without a cable TV subscription.
On the other hand, Crave has all of the previous Christmas specials (and the 12 most recent seasons), so it’s not a huge stretch to imagine that Revolution of the Daleks will be added at some point too. Prices start at $9.99 CAD per month, but there’s also a seven-day trial that will allow you to watch for free whenever the new episode is added.
CTV and Crave are usually only accessible in Canada. That said, after connecting to a Canadian VPN server, you’ll be able to use these services as normal, wherever you are.
There’s a slight delay for Australian viewers, with Revolution of the Daleks arriving on January 2. This episode will be streamed live on ABC iview, but will be added to the service’s on-demand library shortly afterward, so don’t worry if you miss it. ABC iview is free to use, and you don’t even have to create an account before streaming.
The only downside is that it has a poor selection of previous episodes; essentially just whichever reruns were shown on TV recently. Stan ($10 AUD per month, 30-day free trial) has seasons 1–11, but unfortunately, the only way to watch season 12 online is to buy it on platforms like Google Play and iTunes.
ABC iview and Stan are region-locked, meaning you’ll need a VPN to access them from outside of Australia.
What can fans expect from the 2020 Doctor Who holiday special?
As ever, the BBC has released a trailer that gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect from this year’s Doctor Who special. The biggest announcement is, of course, the return of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), who now boasts godlike abilities. These will be exceptionally helpful, especially considering the trailer shows Daleks causing chaos down on Earth while the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) languishes in an intergalactic prison. Will Yaz, Graham, and Ryan be up to the task of stopping the Doctor’s oldest enemy? You’ll have to tune in to find out.