Doctor Who Christmas Special
Doctor Who - The Christmas Invasion
Doctor Who returns to our screens this Christmas for a one-off special, starring David Tennant as the tenth Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler.
In this special episode, the Doctor and Rose return to Cardiff where the Doctor languishes in bed, recovering from the draining regeneration process, while Rose and Mickey battle sinister masked Santas, a killer Christmas tree and a plot to take over the world by the Sycorax, a monstrous alien race.
Billie Piper returns as Rose Tyler in Doctor Who – The Christmas Invasion
Billie Piper is still brimming with pride following her recent success at the annual National Television Awards, where she picked up the much deserved accolade of 'Most Popular Actress'.
The award was one of three that Doctor Who won, following its return to our screens earlier this year.
The other awards included 'Best Drama' and 'Most Popular Actor,' which Christopher Eccleston walked away with for his stellar performance as the ninth Doctor.
"It was the most amazing feeling," Billie smiles. "I was so terrified and really thought one of the soap actresses would win. But when they said it was me, I was just amazed.
"It was such a strange, wonderful evening. I felt like I was having an out of body experience."
Billie continues: "Winning an award like this, which has been voted for by the public, makes you realise the enormous impact the series has had on the nation."
The wait for the next instalment is almost over, with the countdown to the Christmas special underway.
In true Doctor Who style, the one-off special will see Earth under threat from an evil alien race and Rose and co battling to come up with a solution to save mankind.
However, the big surprise is that to begin with they'll be doing it without the help of the Doctor!
At the start of the Christmas special, Rose is still in a state of confusion following the Doctor's regeneration. They return to Powell estate, where the Doctor falls into a state of unconsciousness and Rose has no idea how to help him.
"Rose feels so unloved and isolated at the start of the episode," Billie explains.
"She's returned home to her mother and Mickey and as ever they are there for her. But she feels like she's lost her best friend. The earth is being invaded and Rose has no control over the situation.
"The Doctor, who is still going through the regeneration process, isn't there to give her the answers and she's scared."
And Rose has every right to be scared because aside from being chased by killer Santas, she - along with Mickey and Jackie - have to ward off a killer, spinning Christmas tree.
Although these scenes will show two essential elements of the festive season in a different, more sinister light, Billie is not worried that younger viewers will be left terrified by Christmas.
"Kids love being scared. It's something I've learned since starting on Doctor Who. As adults we worry that kids can't cope with anything scary and that everything should be censored. But that is nonsense. Children are so inquisitive, and I'm sure will be asking themselves questions such as 'What if the tree came to life?' etc. It excites them.
"Part of the series' success is it challenges the viewers' imaginations, including the kids."
Rose is very aware that she might not be able to save the world single-handedly, but she's certainly prepared to give it a try. She also hopes that she'll either come up with a solution, or at the very least give the Doctor enough time to return.
"Rose is very smart," says Billie. "She's very instinctive and has great strength of character. She's travelled all over the galaxy with the Doctor, and taken note of how he handles situations, so tries to mimic his actions."
Billie laughs: "It's very amusing to see Rose trying to copy the Doctor, but she looks up to him. He's her best friend, her personal hero and she believes in him, so tries to act like him."
However, whilst Rose, Mickey and Jackie are trying to find ways to both save the world and revive the Doctor, Rose is also battling with the fear that when he returns he may not want her.
"Rose is so scared he won't want her to travel with him anymore. She has spent so much time with him, experiencing new and exciting worlds. She can't bear the thought that this could be the end and the thought of going back to reality, working in a shop, fills her with dread."
To save revealing any more about how this episode pans out, viewers will have to wait until Christmas Day to discover the outcome.
And like fans all over the country, Billie, a self-confessed Christmas freak, will be tuning in with her family.
"I'm an absolute Christmas freak! I love the fact it starts in October now! However, this year for me it started in July as we were filming the Christmas special.
"It was slightly bizarre filming snow scenes in the middle of summer, but I was thrilled. It was great to start filming series two with this amazing, emotional and scary episode.
"I'm a huge fan of Christmas specials. It means so much to me that our show is going to go out on Christmas Day when all the families will be sitting down together, eating copious amounts of chocolate and drinking sherry," Billie laughs.
"I have to be honest - I think I'm going to need a few sherries before I sit down to watch it, though!"