Doctor Who returned this year for its long-awaited eleventh season (since its modern reboot, that is), heralding the arrival of a new Doctor, a new showrunner, and an even bigger first: a female star.

With the season now finished, the next thing to look forward to is the Christmas special - actually a New Year's special this year. Here's when the special is on, what we know about it, and the first info on season 12 too.

When is the New Year's Special?

The BBC stayed quiet about the Christmas special all year (even though it's been a Doctor Who tradition since its relaunch), waiting until November to confirm that one is coming. Except it won't air on Christmas Day.

It won't air on Christmas Eve either, or even Boxing Day. Nope, this year the Christmas special is actually a New Year's special, and it'll air at 7pm on New Year's Day instead - the first time the show has done so since 2010, when David Tennant's departure was split across two episodes, one on Christmas Day and one on New Year's.

We also know a little more about what to expect from the New Year's special. The episode, titled 'Resolution', has been written by showrunner Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip, and we now have a synopsis and a first image from the episode:

"As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring, from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?"

The special will feature guest appearances from Call the Midwife’s Charlotte Richie, Indian Summer’s Nikesh Patel and Save Me’s Daniel Adegboyega, and rumour has it that the iconic Daleks could be making a surprise appearance - though we'll have to wait to find out for sure.

The first trailer certainly hints that there could be a Dalek ahead, though knowing Who this could all be a big fakeout:

The episode will air at 7pm on New Year's Day on BBC1, though we don't yet know what the plans are for the US and elsewhere.

Check out our guide to the rest of this year's best Christmas TV for more - including some specials that are actually airing for Christmas.

You can also still catch up on older episodes. That's helped by the BBC's decision to add every single episode of the show since 2005 - including all the specials - to the iPlayer streaming service, announcing that they'll stay online until at least the season 11 finale. That means you get every episode from every Doctor from Christopher Eccleston to Peter Capaldi, without paying a penny.

How can you watch Doctor Who in the US?

Obviously Doctor Who is a British show, but in recent years BBC America has been better about airing the show as close as it can to the British air date, to minimise piracy. That was the same this year - BBC America aired each episode in a regular Sunday evening slot at 8/7c.

That means there's a few-hour delay. If that's still too much of a gap, and you want to watch episodes as they air live in the UK, you can use a VPN to stream episodes on iPlayer as if you were in the UK. Bear in mind that this is a breach of the iPlayer terms of use, since you won't be paying the licence fee, but it will let you watch new episodes the moment us Brits get to.

That's also what you'll have to do if you want to take advantage of the BBC's to decision to add every episode of the show's modern era so far to iPlayer - so grab a VPN if you know you've missed a few and want to catch up. Alternatively, you can stream every episode of the modern show so far on Amazon Prime Video.

Season 12

With season 11 done and the New Year's Special just around the corner, everyone's already talking about season 12. We don't know much about it yet, but the news we do have is a bit mixed.

First up, the good news: Jodie Whittaker is staying on as the Doctor for at least another year, after a phenomenal debut. We're not sure yet about the rest of the fam, but hopefully they'll all stick around for another season too.

Now the bad news: either way you'll have to wait until 2020 to watch more of the Doctor. We don't know when in the year it will air - hopefully early - but there'll be no Doctor Who at all in 2019 other than the New Year's Special, which will be tough going.