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‘Doctor Who’ New Year’s Special recap: “Eve of the Daleks”

Doctor Who New Year’s Special recap: “Eve of the Daleks,” Aired Jan. 1, 2022

Happy New Year’s Day, Whovians – or should I say Groundhog Day? 

The Doctor has a bad habit of coming up against daleks on New Year’s, and this year is no exception. I figure, whatever 2022 brings, at least we didn’t start the year being repeatedly exterminated by daleks. 

“Stuck in a time loop with a killer robot”

Welcome to ELF Storage, where Sarah works and Nick visits every New Year’s Eve. Team TARDIS ends up at ELF Storage, unable to use the TARDIS as it resets itself, and unfortunately for them, it’s no day at the beach. 

Within the first 10 minutes, Sarah, Nick, and all of Team TARDIS are exterminated. Good thing our heroes get a second chance at New Year’s Eve – and third, and fourth, et cetera. I started to keep a tally, and I think the characters were killed a total of 8 times before the end of the special. 

The Doctor realizes the time loop they’re all stuck in gets a minute shorter every time it resets. It takes them to 8 minutes to midnight, then 7, then 6, and so on and so forth. Each time the loop resets, the daleks have less time to exterminate them. Of course, gang also has less time to figure out how to stop them. 

“Eve of the Daleks”

In true Doctor Who fashion we learn a lot from the Doctor’s enemies. A dalek tells the Doctor the time loop was set by the TARDIS, and the daleks recognized the energy and are there to kill her. Her death is dalek priority No. 1 because of her part in using the Flux to wipe out millions of daleks. Guess she should’ve known massacring an entire enemy fleet would catch up with her. It was a very un-Doctor move, and the daleks aren’t the only enemies she took out. Maybe we should expect visits from the cybermen and Sontarans, too. 

In the (anti-climactic) end, Team TARDIS worked with Sarah and Nick to destroy the daleks in the warehouse – thanks to some forbidden items stored without Sarah’s knowledge – and escape the time loop. And we even got fireworks! It was New Year’s Eve, after all. And speaking of fireworks…

“Good-hearted weirdos”

How are you doing, Thasmin shippers? On the one hand, Dan got Yaz to admit to herself she has feelings for the Doctor. On the other hand, nothing really comes of it. I know a lot of you have been waiting a long time for something, anything to happen between the two of them. Maybe 2022 will be your year? I just wonder how far they’re going to take things considering Jodie Whittaker’s upcoming regeneration. 

The Sarah/Nick romance was there from the beginning, and it was always going to happen. It was cute, but predictable and inevitable, even.


I thought that episode was super solid. After all the madness of Flux, it was so nice to have a special with just Team TARDIS and only a couple other characters facing off against an oldie-but-goodie enemy. I could follow the story easily, and each of the characters had their starring moments. “Eve of the Daleks” was thoroughly engrossing, and I consider it one of the best of the Thirteenth Doctor’s time.

And I can’t end the recap without praising the performance of the special. Aisling Bea really shined as Sarah. 


I’m very excited by the teaser for next time. We’re bringing back the sea devils! Until then, have a great beginning of 2022!

Next time:

What did you think of “Eve of the Daleks”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!


Jordan Alperstein

Jordy has a degree in English literature and communication studies. When she isn't attending concerts, she's watching way too much TV for her own good and fangirling over fictional characters. Jordy is a self-proclaimed optimist and bookworm, and she's a sucker for fantasy, superheroes, and good old-fashioned villains.

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