Doctor Who Christmas Special

Let me start by saying that this is the best Doctor Who Christmas Special in like… ever. Which is why I just have to post. If you haven’t seen it, watch it before reading this entry.

Matt Smith and Michael Gambon

Consider all of the Doctor Who Christmas specials so far. They tend to focus on over the top alien invasions and throw in a Christmas tree.  THIS Doctor Who, by contrast, is exactly what the Christmas season calls for. Observe…

Steven Moffat continues his trademark dark fairytale and makes it festive. This episode best reflects the season we are in by echoing Charles Dickens’s most aped work, A Christmas Carol. With Moffat writing you can count on the plot being intricate and well structured. As with the Christmas season there is sentimentality leavened with darkness, humour and time travel. Indeed, the time travel sequences are all brilliantly done with Doctor Who engaging in some of the sharpest match cuts ever seen on television – these are all humorously deployed and enjoyable to watch.

Furthermore, the Doctor is on an alien planet which allowed the set designers to create something wonderfully different and imaginative – Victorian London crossed with Bioshock with so much Christmas atmosphere exuding from the sets.

The acting is just fantastic. Michael Gambon is compelling as a bitter, angry man however it is Matt Smith who steals the show. He uses his energetic presence and delivery to create wonderful humour that keeps the episode sparking along while he retains a lot of the humanity that makes the Doctor such a compelling character. His unique taste in fashion gets numerous welcome mentions as well.

All in all a brilliant episode that proves Moffat is the best choice to carry Doctor Who forward. The next season is looking even better as this trailer (which SFX magazine posted) proves.

Now it is time to enjoy the rest of the festive season!

4 thoughts on “Doctor Who Christmas Special

  1. I LOVED this Christmas Special! Matt Smith is even beginning to grow on me (I’m a David Tennant girl)!

    Michael Gambon was brilliant, as expected, and I adored the ghost of christmas future twist. the whole thing was just perfect.

    1. Thanks for the reply.

      David Tennant was a tough act to follow but Matt Smith is eccentric (not in a bad way) and energetic enough to pull it off and be original. I agree about the whole thing being perfect.

  2. Agree. Whereas recent Xmas specials have tried too hard to be Die Hard with a TARDIS, this one was festive and intimate, funny and quietly tragic. In other words, a proper Xmas special.

    Moffat knows exactly how to write to Matt Smith’s strengths. He doesn’t have the dramatic, angsty gravitas of Tennant, but he is a supremely gifted all-rounder who does both spoken and physical comedy brilliantly. His “go and kiss her” pep talk to Kazran was brilliant, as well as weaving a little footnote about the sonic screwdriver into the Doctor’s own history.

    I know some have been complaining that the Xmas special was light, fluffy and relatively meaningless – but I think they miss the point. Xmas episodes are supposed to be light, fluffy and meaningless – we can leave the serious stuff for season six proper.

    As for the season six trailer – ooh! Stetsons are cool. The Doctor asks for Jammie Dodgers (what is he going to do – bluff the Daleks again?) And in the shot of him as a bearded prisoner we get a brief glimpse of the lettering spelling out ‘Area 51’ on a wall behind him. Alien conspiracy theory! I can’t wait …

    1. Thanks for the post.

      It was nice to have a Christmas special that captured the spirit of the season and riffed off A Christmas Carol. It was fun (thanks to Matt Smith’s acting and Moffat’s writing), somewhat melancholy and dark and not overblown like previous specials.

      I am also looking forward to the next season.

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