Why am I thinking about Christmas at the end of February? Siskoid did it.
DWM 442 looked at the episodes closest to Christmas and rated them for Christmassiness - a rare instance where The Horns Of Nimon gets a higher score then The End Of Time - but although some came rather close, none of them were built as Christmas Specials.
So what might Christmas Specials for the Second through Eighth Doctors look like?
I'm counting The Unquiet Dead for the Ninth Doctor, but not The Chimes Of Midnight for the Eighth as it was on radio. It’s great, though.
The Second Doctor: The Christmas Fairies
Patrick Troughton was always ready for a bit of panto, so perhaps we could have seen the travellers visit the Land of Fiction over Christmas 1968 instead of September and October. A powerful alien intelligence threatens to rob children all over the world of their imaginations, and only the Doctor and his friends can set things back on track, stopping the alien preventing the stories ever being written. For a bonus point, one of the stories involved is The Box Of Delights.
The Third Doctor: The Heralds
A Christmas party at UNIT HQ sees the Brigadier rather reluctant to don a red suit and white beard, so he is quietly relieved when an emergency call comes through. Glowing figures have been sighted across London, saving people from accidents and stopping criminals dead with an electrical touch. The Doctor recognises them as the Heralds, harbingers of a psychic invasion fleet. But why are they saving some people - including Sarah Jane - and killing others? And what did the Master send the Doctor as a present?
The Fourth Doctor: The Ghost Of Christmas Past
To explain Christmas to Romana, the Doctor takes her to a stable in Bethlehem. With no gift for the baby, the Doctor gives him one of his regenerations. Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam help Douglas Adams with the script. Mary Whitehouse explodes. And there was much rejoicing.
Okay, just kidding.
To explain Christmas to Romana, the Doctor takes her to an English country house in the late 19th century, where the celebrations are interrupted by a slightly convoluted alien invasion. The image of a robot assassin disguised as Santa will of course reappear in 2005.
The Fifth Doctor: The Miracle
A classic sees the Doctor, Nyssa and Turlough in the trenches in 1914 to witness the unofficial Christmas truce, and to prevent an alien warlord stopping it and worsening the war enough to set humanity back centuries.
The Sixth Doctor: Following Yonder Star
As much a panto as The Christmas Fairies, Following Yonder Star sees the Doctor and Peri caught up in an attack on the first Christmas in another solar system, in a space colony in the twenty-second century threatened by the Krotons. Now best remembered for the Doctor singing The Impossible Dream as Peri points out that it isn’t actually a Christmas song.
The Seventh Doctor: Silent Night
Harking back to the BBC’s classic Ghost Story For Christmas series, the Seventh Doctor and Ace find themselves in a country house on Christmas Day, 1888, abandoned for no apparent reason. But Ace can hear faint sounds, indistinct voices... And was that a cry for help? And was that a shadow moving...?
The Eighth Doctor: The Star
Izzy realises that she’s been on the TARDIS so long it should be Christmas, so she persuades the Doctor to try and meet Charles Dickens. A strange chronal signature drags them off course, landing on Christmas Day 1887. London is under attack without even knowing it, by glowing-eyed near-humans (disguised by black glasses) looking to overturn Queen Victoria’s succession and thus shatter world history. Cue a breakneck hansom cab chase, Izzy having to dress up and act a proper Victorian lady (“If Sandra saw me like this she’d be delighted - I look like a People’s Friend annual!”) as she saves - and fends off the advances of - the Prince of Wales, and a laser-firing space fighter battle over Buckingham Palace hidden by a fireworks display.