The classic series of Doctor Who, has never had an actual Xmas episode special. Unlike, it’s nu-Who counterpart’s yearly turn.
Whilst many of it’s episodes, have themselves – ran over the Xmas period. They have always maintained – a distinctly non-Xmas theme.
Classic Who did however, (only once) include a direct Xmas special. Featured within another episode; the epic Hartnell, 12-part serial; The Daleks’ Master Plan – episode 7 – individually titled; The Feast Of Steven“.
Sadly, most of The Daleks’ Master Plan is missing (including part 7). Due to the Beeb’s 60’s practice, of taping over the original mastertapes. Hope springs eternal though, that export copies might turn up from some far flung exotic TV studio – one day.
Some short clips and stills – do remain of “The Feast Of Steven” which aired on 25 December 1965. In what was a branch-and-break, from the The Daleks’
Master Plan main Dalek plotline.
The Doctor (Hartnell), Steven (Peter Purves) and temporary companion – Sarah (Jean Marsh), take a brief rest-bite from fighting the Daleks. To travel back to Earth, England – and visit a 1960s Liverpudlian police station. Here they are mistaken for special branch – “G Division”. The trio then travel to a 1920’s American ‘silent’ film-set. Where they meet a pre-fame Bing Crosby – and Steven doubles as an impromptu stuntman.
The 25-minute adventure, ends with the trio making a drink’s toast inside the Tardis. The Doctor then “breaks the fourth wall”; by directly addressing the audience and wishing them a ‘Happy Christmas’.
“The Feast Of Steven” was added to The Daleks’ Master Plan as an after-thought. It was hastily written by The Daleks’ Master Plan director Douglas Camfield – and was meant to be a direct cross-over special, with Z-Cars (a popular Liverpool based 60s cop-show). However, this was abandoned but the set was still used – for filming the first half.
Following the end of “The Feast Of Steven“, the Doctor, Steven and Sarah returned – to resume their adventure with the Daleks; in the main storyline of The Daleks’ Master Plan.
“The Feast Of Steven” has never been that highly thought of and viewed more as a curiosity/oddity. International exports of The Daleks’ Master Plan removed “The Feast Of Steven” episode 7 – altogether.
It does however, stand – as the only direct intended Xmas tspecial ever attempted in the classic show’s history – until Nu-Who. It is a shame, it is currently (and ironically) lost to the annals of time.
Wishing You All A Merry Xmas – In Space And Time.