Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol – Dork Review

Doctor Who: A Christmas CarolThe Doctor Who Christmas Special was even more important this year, as the rest of the festive schedule was looking particularly desolate. Christmas night itself was almost empty of worthwhile entertainment, so I too was relying on the Doctor to save Christmas in my own small way.

So did Matt Smith and Steven Moffat deliver? Or will we need to wait until next year? More importantly, what did my mum think?

More Christmassy Than An Explosion At Santa’s Workshop

Moffat had said in the pre-match interviews that he wanted to deliver the most festive possible special, in particular because last year’s “The Epic Death Scene Of David Tennant” was comparatively downbeat. And all the elements are certainly in place, although he leaves a larger sense of tragedy than I expected.

But there’s flying, snow, a sleigh, a clear acknowledgment of the source material and, most importantly, both fun and sentiment. I came away feeling cheered, although it was also fairly convoluted for Christmas night. I’m not sure I’d have followed it if I hadn’t been sober and refreshed by a mid-afternoon nap.

Someone Has Emptied The Ponds!

Notable by their absence were regular companions Amy and Rory. Akin to previous Christmas specials, the Doctor is accompanied by guest-star assistants Michael Gambon and Katherine Jenkins, which leaves the regulars shoved off to one side. Due to their lack of presence in the publicity, I suspected it would go this way, but I admit to still feeling disappointed.

I suppose this shows how well Moffat and Karen Gillan have endeared Amy Pond to the audience, and I imagine we’ll get all the sickening Amy/Rory action we want next year. I laughed at the explanation for their old-school costumes, which caused pre-episode speculation about time travel and such, but ended up being a tad less high-minded.

Mrs Bryan Reviews Who

Anyway, they definitely threw everything in this year. I enjoyed the level of imagination on display, but wasn’t totally sure how well it hung together. And my mother, having ignored the previous Matt Smith episodes, commented that it was all a bit strange and silly, and did they really need those fish as well as everything else?

So, perhaps a good episode for the fans, rather than the casual onlooker? How did your family take “A Christmas Carol”? Do you need to watch it again on iPlayer? And were you as excited as me about the trailer for series six?

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Nick Bryan

Nick learned to read and write at an early age. This has developed into an unhealthy need to either write stories or consume them for later dissection. He reviews film and TV on Dork Adore and The Digital Fix, lives in London and enjoys a nice white beer.

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Comments

  1. says

    I half-watched it (while catching up on all the irritating admin I've been avoiding all year) and thought it was quite fun. La Jenkins may be able to sing but she can't really act, and Gambon was excellently hammy and suitably Scroogey. Good Christmassy fun, IMHO. But I'm not really a Who fan, despite the knitted Dalek…

    My parents also half-watched it (while mostly dozing in a port-fuelled haze) and we can conclude that after all these years, my Dad still has the hots for Haydn Gwynne while my mum is incapable of following a plot more complicated than Spot Goes Shopping.

    • says

      The fact the maker of the knitted Dalek isn't a Doctor Who fan is quite upsetting to me. But yes, it was definitely fun. Which, on Christmas, is all they're really going for. Just a strange, twisty kind of fun.

  2. says

    I think you're right. Three of us are avid Dr Who fans and we really enjoyed it. My husband is an occasional watcher and thought it was rather silly.

    I enjoyed the first half more than the second half but I thought it all tied up wonderfully.

  3. says

    I really enjoyed it! Finally watched it the other day and wasn't disappointed. Jenko couldn't act, but she looked nice and made some appropriately Christmassy noises, so it didn't matter.

    And some great lines — Moffat does know how to write a good gag.

    • says

      She could've been worse, but yeah, it was an odd choice. They could've gotten a proper actress in and just dubbed Jenkins in, and I doubt anyone would've judged them.

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