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Doctor Who spoilers: 8 things to look out for in Christmas special 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio'

Doctor Who hurtles head first into the world of superheroes in 10 days time, but if you're a fan worried that the two universes won't quite click, you can breathe easy.

Digital Spy has seen 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' and somehow... it works. More than that, it's a little bit brilliant.

Here's what you've got to enjoy on Christmas Day after your turkey and sprouts... (The following contains some pretty big teasers, but nothing that'll ruin your viewing enjoyment. Honest!)

1. It's laugh-out-loud funny

Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who's The Return of Doctor MysterioBBC AMERICA

Like, proper belly laughs – with Steven Moffat and director Ed Bazalgette employing a whole range of gags, from wordplay to one particularly brilliant sight gag.

Oh, and there's also a joke about how teenagers can get... erm... overexcited.

2. But it's NOT a superhero parody

Justin Chatwin in 'Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio'BBC

This isn't some hour-long sketch riffing on Marvel and DC movies, nor is it any kind of pastiche or rip-off.

Instead, the special is more a knowing tribute to comic book heroes – Superman is actually referred to in dialogue.

3. It's festive – but not all that Christmassy

'Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio'BBC

'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' opens on Christmas Eve, but while it's perfect festive fodder, don't expect any Robot Santas, killer Christmas trees or evil tinsel.

"There's not really much in [last year's special] 'The Husbands of River Song' about Christmas and there is very little of Christmas in this one," said Moffat. "We were more looking at, what sort of thing do you want to watch on Christmas Day?"

4. It's comic book in look, as well as feel

Justin Chatwin in 'Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio'BBC

In tone, the episode looks to evoke those old Superman movies from the '70s and '80s - and also the '90s series Lois & Clark.

Its influences are felt in the visuals, too. The opening shot of the special is of a comic-book panel that springs to life, similar to sequences in Ang Lee's inventive (if misguided) Hulk movie from 2003.

Later in the episode, Bazalgette also employs split screens to give certain scenes the feel of comic strip artwork.

5. You'll want Lucy Fletcher to be the new companion

'Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio'BBC

No slight on Pearl Mackie – we're sure she'll be great – but Charity Wakefield is enormously engaging and charming as quick-witted journalist Lucy.

If we can't have her on Doctor Who full-time, then how about giving Wakefield a shot at playing the actual Lois Lane in a future Superman project? Her winning work in 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' is the perfect audition.

6. We see new sides to Nardole

'Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio'BBC

If you were wondering how Matt Lucas fits into all this, Nardole very much fills the companion role in the special, and there's a little more nuance to the character after what Lucas himself has called a "more broad" performance in 'The Husbands of River Song'.

Quite how Nardole managed to survive behind devoured by King Hydroflax is also touched upon. Oh, and he gets to fly the TARDIS...

7. The big hiatus is referenced – sort of

Peter Capaldi in 'Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio'BBC

There's a knowing nod or two to the Doctor having been "away" – but now he's back. And, in Moffat's own words, "we have to keep in mind that the last time we saw him, he was about to spend 24 years in a restaurant with River – so we do address that."

8. There's a heck of a trailer for series 10

Presuming there are no tweaks between when we saw the special and the final broadcast version, there will be a trailer for the new series of Doctor Who, coming to BBC One in 2017.

It's very heavy on new companion Bill Potts as you might expect – and it looks as though the Dalek-tastic teaser scene we first glimpsed in April (or at least a version of it) will be incorporated into the series.

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