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Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

A Christmas Carol originally aired in 2010.

If you’re my babysitter, why are you climbing in the window?

Because if I was climbing out of the window, I’d be going in the wrong direction. Pay attention.

– Kazran and the Doctor get things straight

A Christmas Carol might just be the best Doctor Who Christmas Special ever produced, if only because it’s such a brilliantly obvious idea, executed with the show’s traditional wit and charm. Russell T. Davies tended to write the Christmas Special in the style of a gigantic blockbuster episode of Doctor Who, but Moffat adopts a slightly different approach to what has quickly become the annual tradition of the Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Davies traditionally had the Doctor collide with genres of Christmas television viewing. The Christmas Invasion was American blockbuster sci-fi, The Runaway Bride was fun odd-couple comedy action film, Voyage of the Damned was a disaster flick in space and The Next Doctor was a celebration of quaint Victoriana. In contrast, Moffat has Doctor Who collide with beloved children’s stories in his first two Christmas Specials. His second two are burdened with dealing with left-over plot threads.

A Christmas Carol is perhaps the most effective distillation of “Doctor Who as a story” that the show has ever managed, on top of being a wonderfully moving piece of Christmas television and hitting on the major themes of the Moffat era as a whole.

Turning back the clock...

Turning back the clock…

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The Art of Compromise: Picking the Family Christmas Movie…

Christmas is a fun time in my household. We pack in the entire extended family for a day of fun and celebration, a nice dinner, some drinks. They stay over for a night or two and we do all the usual family activities. Christmas night, we watch a movie. St. Stephen’s night, we play a game of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. As you can imagine, finding a movie that thirteen-odd people will sit down and enjoy in a crowded sitting room by the fire, glasses of wine and popcorn handy, is no mean feat. And, I admit with some measure of pride, the task is assigned to me: I’m the one asked to come up with a suitable movie for the Christmas evening. And, as much as it’s a fun task, it’s also a daunting one.

Ghosts of Christmas past...

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Is It Too Early for A Christmas Carol?

They say that Christmas gets earlier every year. I’m probably too young to remember this correctly (maybe it’s an aspirational dream I’m confusing with memory), but back in the day they used to wait until after Halloween to start selling Christmas stuff. Now I hear Argos Christmas catalog advertisements and visit the Christmas section in Marks & Sparks in early October. But, seriously, the releasing of A Christmas Carol in early November takes the biscuit.

christmas

Isn't it magical?

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