Saturday, January 1, 2011

How Special Was the Doctor Who Christmas Special?

The Christmas Special actually surprised me this year. As much as it pains me to praise a post-David Tennant episode, I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. To me, this Christmas Special feels far more Christmas-y than the episodes in the past. I was a little worried that it would follow Dicken's A Christmas Carol too closely, and lose its Doctor Who originality. I was wrong.

The story shows a frantic Doctor Who trying to reason with Kazran, a selfish and bitter old man who owns the skies. Many will die if Kazran does not allow a ship to land. Doctor Who (Matt Smith) tries to help change Kazran's heart with the help of Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill).

There are lots of crazy events and fast-paced witty lines to remind you that you are, indeed, watching a modern show, while keeping some classic details, like Kazran's Victorian style home and beautifully adapted carols sung by Katherine Jenkins, who plays a vital role in this episode.

This episode left me with such a warm feeling, that I have only a few problems with it. I will try to be sensitive, as I nitpick here, to those who wish to be completely surprised when they view this episode later, but I might reveal a few spoilers, so beware. My sister can think more objectively about Doctor Who, and so I'll include some of her thoughts on this episode.

Regarding Matt Smith's performance, my sister said, and I completely agree, that he hurried through his lines as if he had memorized them. There was hardly enough time for an emotional response from him during most of his lines, because he spat them out as quickly as he could. Maybe we can chalk that one up to a fast-paced script that required it of him, so we cannot judge him too harshly. Also, my sister did not see the need for Amy Pond and Rory, as they only checked in with the Doctor to remind the audience that they were, in fact, stuck in the spaceship where we had seen them last. I also did not really enjoy their performances this time around.

Finally, I have one last bone to pick with this Christmas special. At the end of the episode *definite spoiler alert this time*, Kazran hugs the younger version of himself. Now this is in blatant disregard of the universal rule laid down by the 9th Doctor Who (Christopher Eccleston) in the episode "Father's Day". Doctor Who told Rose that she could, under no circumstances, touch the younger version of herself (a baby), because something horrible would happen.
I have been pleased in the past with the 11th Doctor's consistency, in that the rule that the sonic screwdriver does not work on wood has been preserved throughout the different seasons. However, I want to know why Steven Moffat, writer of the Christmas special, would overlook such a mistake.

All in all, I loved this special, and sit at the edge of my seat for the next season of Doctor Who, during which Doctor Who will visit America! I included a preview for the next season for the few Whovians who have not already watched it 20 times.

I forgot how to embed my video, sorry, so I put the link here instead.