The Doctor Who Christmas special is an institution. The holiday isn't quite complete until you snap your family out of their food comas and drag them in front of the television to visit with the guy who really knows if you've been naughty or nice this year. This year's episode will be a rough one, as we'll say goodbye to Matt Smith, but we're sure he'll have a worthy send-off. How do the other modern Who specials stand against each other? We've ranked them for you.
8. "The Next Doctor" (2008)
Yes, Walking Dead fans, that is the Governor. It's really too bad he was stuck in this ho-hum Tenth Doctor adventure which we almost always skip during the Christmas Day marathon.
7. "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe" (2011)
The Eleventh Doctor plays Father Christmas to a war widow who's trying to give her children one last happy holiday before she tells them their father is dead. "Because what's the point in them being happy now if they're going to be sad later. The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later." Merry Christmas, everybody!
6. "The Runaway Bride" (2006)
We get a preview of the fabulous fourth season when the Tenth Doctor meets certified queen Donna Noble on the day of her wedding. He saves her from marrying a slave to a giant alien spider; she sasses him at every opportunity.
5. "A Christmas Carol" (2010)
Eleven helps mean old scrooge Michael Gambon access his feelings — and accidentally gets engaged to Marilyn Monroe — while Rory and Amy are relegated to a subplot on a crashing ship. Some Time Lords have all the fun.
4. "Voyage of the Damned" (2007)
This is what a Doctor Who Christmas should be. Goofy, over-the-top, melodramatic, and packed with weird looking aliens, the ghost of Kylie Minogue, and finally — a guy named Alonso. And for bonus points, David Tennant wearing the hell out of a tux.
3. "The End of Time" (2009)
If you like a little angst with your eggnog, then we've got just the episode for you. It's the Tenth Doctor's farewell tour. And while it's not easy to watch, it's a tour-de-force in all aspects, especially his scenes with Wilf (Bernard Cribbins). Goodbye, Ten. We don't want you to go either.
2. "The Snowmen" (2012)
There's a TARDIS in the clouds, you guys. It's magical.
1. "The Christmas Invasion" (2005)
The 2013 special promises to be slicker than ever, but there's something so charming and comforting about "The Christmas Invasion" and its arts-and-crafts effects. (Remember the spinning tree?) And in his first full episode, Tennant endears himself instantly to a slew of skeptical fans who were assured that yes, this was still their Doctor.
The beloved TV and radio favourite was recognised for his services to drama and presented with the prestigious award by Princess Anne, Princess Royal on Thursday (03Nov11), during a ceremony at Windsor Castle in England.
Cribbins, who has enjoyed a career spanning over five decades, has appeared in British TV hits Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers and Coronation Street and he also narrated popular children's TV show The Wombles in the 1970s.
Cribbins also featured in a number of cult Carry On movies.
Now 82, he told reporters gathered at the castle he has no plans to retire: "I love it, I can't stop, why should I? I'm still able to read and write."
The Football Factory actor Dyer portrays a happily married bigamist in the forthcoming comedy, based on the stage show by Ray Cooney, who also takes charge of the big screen version.
The project also stars Brits Neil Morrissey, Denise van Outen and Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding, as well as uncredited cameos from more than 80 celebrities, including Richard and Harris.
And everyone involved has agreed to donate their fees to a theatre charity because of their close friendships to Cooney, reports the BBC.
Run For Your Wife originally starred Bernard Cribbins and ran for eight years in London's West End.
Model Sophie Dahl, funnyman Stephen Fry, veteran actor Bernard Cribbins, and former Doctor Who Peter Davison have also signed up to the fundraising drive by The Cure Parkinson's Trust.
They have each etched their own design for unique, one-off candle holders made of bone china, which will be auctioned off in aid of the charity via the eBay website.
The 10-day sale, which begins on Tuesday (22Feb11), also includes signed photos from other stars including Sir Michael Caine, opera singer Katherine Jenkins, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, and Little Britain creators Matt Lucas and David Walliams.
And Gervais is urging fans to support the charity's efforts to raise awareness of Parkinson's disease, writing on his blog: "Please bid for my little doodle in an auction for Parkinsons."