Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ring in 2020 with some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff

Jodie Whittaker
Jodie Whittaker
Photo: James Pardon (BBC America)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, January 1. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Doctor Who (BBC America, 8 p.m., 12th season premiere—special night): It’s been an actual year to the day since we last spent time with The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companions (Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley Walsh). So come on, TARDIS team. Let’s get a shift on.

Tonight’s episode, “Spyfall,” is the first half of a two-parter, guest-starring Stephen Fry as a shadowy MI-6 type and Lenny Henry as (we assume, based on the footage) the team’s target. Showrunner Chris Chibnall has described it as “our most lavish, location-filled, action-packed episode, I think we’ve ever done.” Granted, that’s the kind of thing you say on a publicity tour, but we’d be lying if we said our hopes weren’t up. Caroline Siede has her Chuck Taylors, Fez, magician-looking coat, and suspenders at the ready and will recap.

Wild card

Spinning Out (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): If you’d prefer to start 2020 out on the ice, rather than in a little blue box that’s bigger on the inside, Netflix has got you covered.

As for us, we’ll be watching both, because it turns out we are wholly incapable of resisting a series in which January Jones shouts things like, “You’ll never be a champion! Never!

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!