It finally happened! For the first time ever, an episode/special of Doctor Who aired the same day in America as it did in the UK... barring a 5 hour time zone difference of course, but still! That's a fantastic thing when you consider that by the end of the recent Series 5, the episodes were airing almost a month apart between the two countries' air times. Let's hope this sticks come Series 6's premiere is Spring 2011. But enough about that, we're here to talk Christmas, in particular: Doctor Who's rendition of A Christmas Carol.
2010 Christmas Special - "A Christmas Carol"
Where to start? The episode opens with our newly weds, Amy and Rory, honeymooning on a ship somewhere out in space, which suddenly experiences some turbulence which I'm sure had something to do with the whole set looking like something out of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, with large visual screens and lense flares to boot. It's soon revealed that a man named Kazran Sardik (Michael Gambon, you know, Dumbledore), the Scrooge type character of this Earth-like planet, who has the ability to control the skies. But these aren't just any skies; no, these skies are filled with fish that can swim in fog... and sharks can swim there too!
In order to save Amy, Rory, and the other 4,000 people aboard the ship, The Doctor must convince Kazran to fix the sky, even if it means playing "the Ghost of Christmas Past" and going back in time, changing Sardik's memories before his very eyes.
Not being a Christian, I've never really cared for Christmas, let alone the overtold story of A Christmas Carol, and certainly an episode of Doctor Who isn't going to change my feelings about that. However, for an episode that was by far the most Christmas-y Doctor Who special yet, I very much enjoyed it. For instance, "The Christmas Invasion," "The Runaway Bride," "Voyage of the Damned" and "The Next Doctor" all took place on Christmas or referenced something from the previous Christmas... but they were never really about the holiday. And last year's special, The End of Time "Part One" wasn't about Christmas at all, because everyone was tuning in to see David Tennant make his farewell as The Doctor, which was all about gloom and doom and not "Christmas cheer" as you call it. So for once I guess it was neat to see a Christmas special that really was actually about Christmas, and not just something that seemed to be conveniently timed.
But overall this special was really great. There was a lot of fan service, from fezzes to long colorful scarves, to hilarious moments where The Doctor accidentally marries Marylin Monroe; there was a lot of fun to be had in this episode. Also, the trailer for Series 6 at the end, totally awesome! Spring can't come soon enough!
Overall Score: 9/10
....aaaaaaaand I just realized I never did a season recap like I said I'd do at the end of the last This Week in Doctor Who... whoops!