Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has promised the New Year’s Day special will provide “big emotion for all the family”.
The 11th series of the sci-fi hit – and Jodie Whittaker’s first as the Time Lord – ended on Sunday night and it will not return until 2020.
However, a one-off special episode will air on BBC One on New Year’s Day.
The programme’s official Twitter account has posted a 30-second preview clip which shows the Doctor talking about the discovery of the DNA “of the most dangerous creature in the universe”.
Chibnall said: “What we’ve tried to do is fill it with action, adventure, humour, scares. Big emotion for all the family.
“There’s an epic scale to this adventure – we’re going across time and space.
“There’s a lot of action, there’s a lot of scares, some great new characters, it’s another big cinematic slice of Doctor Who.”
Whittaker said it is “wonderful” to be involved in a special episode and it is “at a time when everyone’s together”.
“The wonderful thing about Doctor Who which has been for years is that it caters for the whole family, and I think that there is that element that you can all sit down together,” said the actress.
“When I first read it was really exciting because I think it touches on so many different elements of Doctor Who in the sense that it brings moments that are familiar but then also it has a very modern feel to it, and a very current feel.”
Tosin Cole, who plays Ryan Sinclair, said it is “probably the most action-packed episode so far”.
“It’s got a bit of everything in it, and it’s a very emotional episode as well,” he said.
The Doctor Who special airs at 7pm on BBC One on New Year’s Day.