"This years Doctor Who Christmas Special is evermore so special than usual," declared Head of BBC Wales productions Clare Hudson to an audience at a special preview of The Snowmen in Cardiff last week.
"It contains many firsts," she continued, "the first to feature the Doctor's new assistant Clara (played by Jenna Louise Coleman), the first to be filmed in the new Doctor Who studio situated at Roathe Locke (in Cardiff) and the first instance that the Doctor has declared he has retired."
There will also be several other firsts in The Snowmen, which will be broadcast on BBC1 this Christmas day at 5.15pm. However, my remit as an Argus previewer and life-long Doctor Who fan forbids me from revealing any surprises, Doctor Who producer and writer Steven Moffatt has in store for fans of the series. And rightly so, it wouldn't be Christmas if you didn't have a few surprises!
What I can reveal is that the events of The Snowmen take place on Christmas Eve, 1892. The Doctor (played by Matt Smith) is now residing in Victorian London, after the loss of his travelling companions Amy and Rory.
Trouble isn't far away though; London is under threat from an unusual and dangerous menace. The Snowmen has all the classic hallmarks of an exciting Victorian Christmas yarn. Steven Moffatt blurs his Dickens scenario with HG Wells Sci-Fi hallmarks which results in the perfect Christmas adventure that will appeal to Doctor Who fans young and old and even the casual viewer.
Matt Smith takes his Doctor onto another level for this story delivering a fantastic performance which bounces off the long awaited appearance of Richard E Grant as the villain of the piece.
With a generous sprinkling of snow, a fabulous first regular appearance of Jenna Louise Coleman and several surprises in store Doctor Who is the Christmas Special no-one should miss on Christmas Day.