Posts Tagged ‘ Christmas ’

And Now it’s Time for One Last Bow.

Clara “And now it’s time for one last bow. Like all your other selves. Eleven’s hour is over now. The clock is striking twelve’s”

Doctor Who fans rejoice! After the snippets of the Christmas Special, “The Time of the Doctor”, that have littered the general BBC One Christmas trails, it’s high time that Doctor Who got one of its very own. And here it is. Time to say Goodbye to Matt and Hello to Peter.

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“The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe” – Review: Redux

Madge “I don’t know why I keep shouting at them.”

Doctor “Because every time you see them happy you remember how sad they’re going to be. And it breaks your heart. Because what’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later. The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.”

The Doctor The Widow and The Wardrobe

Ah, the next Christmas episode review. Always feels a little odd watching Christmas episodes of any show out-of-season is a little bit odd, although to look at the commercial channels these days, you’d think Christmas was just around the corner anyway. The prequel to this story ties in so beautifully to the opening Star Wars-ey/ Hitch-Hiker-y pre-credit sequence, that it makes you wonder why it wasn’t included in the episode proper. And, to be frank, had special effects worthy of any Hollywood blockbuster that the TV channels would wish to throw at us in our post-Christmas Cake haze, with the un-named aliens getting ready to do untold things to an unsuspecting Earth below. In previous Christmas tales under RTD’s tenure we tended to get planet-wide threats like this and it looked for the briefest of moments like we might be getting another one, but instead, following on from the prequel scene released in the weeks running up to Christmas, this particular alien threat was dealt with immediately. Continue reading

“The End of Time: Part 2” – Review: Redux

Doctor “I don’t want to go”

The End of Time Part Two

The king is dead, long live the king! In this case, the former is Russell T Davies and the latter Steven Moffat who wrote the final, post-regeneration minute or so of RTD’s swan-song opus, “The End of Time”, shown in two parts on Christmas Day 2009 and New Year’s Day 2010. Now that we see the baton being well and truly handed over it is a good moment to dwell for a moment on my little re-analysis of these early years of the Doctor’s resurrection. The 60-episode era really does stand up well. I went in to the process a little unsure about what I might find: would the magic still be there after eight years? Would Eccleston and Tennant compare favourably to Smith, or would Moffat’s fairy-tale take on the mythology outshine its predecessor? There will be time enough for that another day, but in isolation this was as perfect as something so diverse could be, and the end of Tennant, the end of Russell T Davies, and “The End of Time” were wrapped up as perfectly as anyone could’ve hoped. Continue reading

“The End of Time: Part 1” – Review: Redux

Doctor “Even if I change it still feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away… and I’m dead.”

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As the world holds its breath waiting to find out which episodes that the BBC is going to announce have been returned to the Doctor Who archives, it falls to me to continue with this marathon of new episodes. And so it is that I fire up the old Blu-ray and get to grips with “The End of Time, Part 1”. Together with its second part, this was a massive tapestry of plot threads that needed to be woven together and developed into a coherent whole, it might just have been the most complicated Doctor Who tale of all in the five years of Mr Davies’ stewardship that we have enjoyed. It began with Wilf, the adorable Bernard Cribbins acting his socks off to widespread if not unanimous praise, being drawn into a church during a choral performance. A mysterious woman, played by Claire Bloom, appeared and talked to Wilf in portentous and somewhat vague terms about the Doctor. This was the first of a number of visions that this woman made to Wilf before finally being revealed as a Time Lady in the service of (but rebelling against) the Lord President of Gallifrey during the climax of the adventure. Continue reading

“The Next Doctor” – Review: Redux

Jackson Lake “There she is. My transport through time and space. The TARDIS.”
The Doctor “You’ve got a balloon.”
Jackson Lake “TARDIS. T – A – R – D – I – S. It stands for Tethered Aerial Release Developed in Style! Do you see?”
The Doctor “Well, I do now. I like it. Good TARDIS.”

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Normally I watch Doctor Who episodes at least twice. The first time is upon original transmission and I sit with wide-eyed pleasure and soak up every drop of new Whoishness that is played out before me. Despite the fact that I know that I will soon be watching it again with an aim of dissecting it, quoting it, arguing about it, analysing it and generally being far too critical, that first viewing is almost always the best before these corrupting influences of fandom begin to taint and smear the experience. Sometimes, and it’s wonderful when it happens, an episode will stand up to the inevitable barrage of negativity that its most loyal “fans” will lob its way. That Doctor Who so often rises above the critique is testament to its quality and the real reason why fandom persists and flourishes. On other occasions it is the passing of time itself that allows us ming-mongs to re-assess the stories and reach a genuine consensus (if such a thing even exists) as to any particular story’s true merit. On the flipside of this coin, there are those times, thankfully few and far between, that leave me a little cold on first viewing. Where the magic has been somehow dissipated or some essential ingredient is left either incorrectly mixed or missing entirely. On these occasions a second viewing can feel like a burden. Continue reading

“The Runaway Bride” – Review: Redux

The Doctor “My home planet is far away and long since gone. But its name lives on… Gallifrey.”

The Runaway Bride

It is odd to think that “The Runaway Bride” was just the second instalment of the now well-established Christmas Day Doctor Who specials. Following on from the success of David Tennant’s bow in 2005’s “The Christmas Invasion“. In the same way that Series Two replicated the structure of Series One (opening with past, present, and future stories; including a Doctor-light episode; ‘event’ two-parters in mid-season; and pull-out-all-the-stops series finales), it came as no surprise that the Xmas special followed a theme and was tinselled up to the eyeballs. It also was delivered by BBC Wales with a few extras too. While 2005’s special was accompanied by “The Attack of the Graske” interactive special, “The Runaway Bride” came with a one-hour episode of the much missed Doctor Who: Confidential that focussed on the series’ music as well as the behind the scenes activity at the Children in Need Doctor Who concert that had recently been held at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre, which itself was available in full on the red button. Do you remember when the BBC used to spoil us? Continue reading

“The Christmas Invasion” – Review: Redux

Jackie Tyler “I’m going to be killed by a Christmas Tree”

Christmas Invasion

It was not the start to David Tennant’s era that I had imagined after our introduction at the end of “Parting of the Ways”. Firstly, it only lasted about seven minutes. Secondly, it was six weeks early. Thirdly, it shouldn’t have worked this well. Really. We left the story back in June as the ninth Doctor said his oh-so-beautiful goodbye to Rose and quietly “exploded” in a fountain of fire. Doctor #10 found his new teeth weird and started thinking about Barcelona (the planet, not the city). We were all set for the long countdown to as of then, un-named Christmas special. Then like a bolt from the vortex, we heard that a three-and-a-half minute segment was to be shown on Children in Need. [It turned out to be about 7 minutes in the end]. Oh God, not the cast singing Bohemian Rhapsody or appearing in the Queen Vic, we wondered? Thankfully, not. It was going to be a proper slice of Doctor Who (whatever ‘proper’ might mean), set between “The Parting of the Ways” and “The Christmas Invasion”. We remember “The Curse Of Fatal Death”, we remember that travesty set in Albert Square, so we sure as hell did not want this, did we? Continue reading