December 25 grows closer and closer, and while to some that means all the usual Christmas riff-raff, or even the release of 'Django Unchained,' 'Doctor Who' fans know it as the release of the yearly Christmas Special! This year's "The Snowmen" will feature 'The Hobbit' star Ian McKellen voicing the titular creatures, while the Doctor gains a new companion, buy why wait when we've got an all-new prequel mini-sode right here? Who's ready to watch as "Vastra Investigates?"

We may have to wait until Christmas itself to see the 'Doctor Who' special "The Snowmen" in full, but we needn't wait that long for the return of fan-favorite characters Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Commander Strax (Dan Starkey) and Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart)! The threesome are back with yet another mini-sode "Vastra Investigates," further teasing the dark developments that will see the Doctor return to save the day, even through his grief over the Ponds.

In addition to introducing Jenna-Louise Coleman as the Doctor’s new companion Clara, “The Snowmen” also features Richard E. Grant and Tom Ward as villains, while ‘The Hobbit‘ star Ian McKellen voices the titular Snowmen. Check out The BBC’s official summary:

Christmas Eve 1892 and the falling snow is the stuff of fairy-tales. When the fairy-tale becomes a nightmare and a chilling menace threatens Earth, an unorthodox young governess, Clara, calls on the Doctor for help. But the Doctor is in mourning, reclusive and determined not to engage in the problems of the universe. As old friends return, will the Doctor really abandon humankind or will he fight to save the world – and Christmas – from the icy clutches of this mysterious menace.

We've also heard that the 'Doctor Who' special will feature a modified opening credits, but while we wait, check out mini-sode "Vastra Investigates" below, and give us your predictions in the comments!