Sunday, December 30, 2012



And  . . . . We’re . . . .  back . . . .for a little while at least!

Sorry this is a bit later than planned, it’s just been a kind of depressing holiday season this year.  Not going to get into the “whys” about it, it just has been and thanks to Laredo and Kat for being there for me, but The Doctor is back!

It’s Christmas Day and time for the annual Christmas Day Special and I have to say that while it was partly what I expected and it was much darker than expected, which I liked.

OK – so the Granthams are headed off to the Highlands and there are men in skirts . . . . sorry, wrong Christmas Special.

Let’s start of with the new – and improved in my opinion – opening credits.  It appears that Moffat and Company are in full 50th Anniversary mode.  The appearance of The Doctor’s face in the opening credits harkens back to the first ever appearance of The Doctor's face in the opening sequence during Patrick Troughton’s reign as the 2nd incarnation of The Doctor.

And the ending vortex effect seems to be an update on the vortex effect of the 1974 version of the Tom Baker era opening credits.

I do like the re-mixing of the show theme – being a bass player in real life I admit to being drawn to the lower end of the musical scale and the latest version “goes there” with that cello filled beginning.  

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first, that being the new console room.  I know that in the olden days the TARDIS console would change with no particular reason given – it just changed – mostly in the Time Rotor, but the Console Room would remain basically the same – a white room with roundels and a monitor to the outside world with a 6 sided console – which we returned to at the end of “The 11th Hour”.  OK – the rest of the console room was rather copper plated and such, but the basic 6 sided console was back after the clock inspired console of the Eccleston/Tennant era.  Was a change really needed??   Don't get me wrong - I do like the new one - and it might be nice if an explanation for the change was thrown into the mix at some point, I mean we got to see the Eccleston/Tennant one pretty much destroyed and out into storage, it might be nice to hear an explanation for this change, like The Doctor, in his self-imposed exile, became a brooding TARDIS interior decorator and confided his design ideas only with Sexy.

Doctor Brood

And I will state right here that I am in LOVE with Jenna-Louise Coleman – actually – not much of a statement since I fell in love with her during her nailing up the boards scene in “Asylum of the Daleks”.  Now for some more gratuitous J-L C.  Enjoy :-)

OK – let’s get on with the episode.

It’s the flipping Christmas Episode – after a hiatus of almost 3 months – and for just that reason we need to love it – but this year’s episode was even better than usual – I give it a 9 out of 10.   In this episode the writers brought back a “Bad guy” from 1967 (the Patrick Troughton era - more on this later), The Great Intelligence and we were re-introduced to Jenna-Louise Coleman!

Amy's Glasses - nice touch

“Those were the days.”  A little tear jerky, but I liked it.

Straxx as comedy relief.   He was great – between his bout with the Memory Worm ("Sir, it appears that I've been run over by a cab" to his calling the Doctor on his impersonation of Sherlock Holmes (nice shoutout to Tom Baker’s wearing the Holmesian deerstakler hat and coat in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”) he was priceless. 


Will the real non-Sherlock Holmes please stand up!

The entire “One Word” sequence.

Overall, this episode was slightly darker than previous Christmas episodes, though thinking back, “Voyage of the Damned” and “The Christmas Invasion” had their dark moments.  I guess that Matt Smith’s previous Christmas specials had been more light-hearted and were simply OK whereas I really loved this one.

OK – I know that weather over in England is not the same as here in the US.  When there’s snow on the ground and show in the air we wear parkas and boots.  Was there something special about Victorian era snowy weather over there that allowed the English to throw a scarf on over their normal everyday clothes and be completely ready for the snow???    It just seems like every time you see Bob Cratchet or any other Victorian character – they are wearing gloves with no fingers, a threadbeare scarf and a suit against the winter cold.  While I know they didn’t have today’s parkas – or anoraks - it just seems weird.

There are almost too many to mention here – but here are the ones that I loved:

“My Bustle is stuck” (I hate when that happens)

”Eyes front soldier.” (either every Englishwoman says this, Moffat is sloppy or it’s a clue to Clara’s origins since Amy said the same thing to Rory on occasion – hmmmmmm)

“Good Evening, I’m a Lizard Woman from the dawn of time and this is my wife.”  Totally cracked me up!

This secton will be where allusions to the past are recorded and in this Christmas episode there were tons.

The Great Intelligence, as I said earlier, first appeared in the 1967 6 part story, "The Abominable Snowmen" in which the Great Intelligence was able to gain a human form in the body of The High Lama Padmasambhava (say that 3 times fast) - here's a link to a synopsis of that story, if you'd like to read up on it:

The Great Intelligence returns in "The Web Of Fear" another 6 parter from 1967 in which the Great Intelligence and his robot Yeti come to Earth and set up shop in the London Underground (and a certain young Colonel Alistair Lethbridge Stewart - soon to be a Brigadier General - enters Doctor Who history) - now you know why both he and Vastra make reference to it in this episode - the Doctor gave the Great Intelligence the idea to attack from there.

We have now seen the same person die twice, once as a Dalek and once in Victorian England and yet she turns up in present day England walking over her own grave.  Here’s my theory, for the moment, and I am sticking to it.

Since it’s been established that this season is going to be a bit of a nostalgic season, and rigthfully so, what with the showing the birth of the Great Intelligence, the aforementioned return of both the deerstalker cap and the 6 sided TARDIS console, along with the Doctor’s face returning to the opening sequence and the vortex somewhat reminiscent of the “Pretwee/T. Baker era, I am going to go out on a slight limb here and predict that Clara is a clone that has been sent to trap The Doctor for the Black Guardian. The Black Guardian has had dealings with the Doctor twice, once in th “Key to Time” Series with Tom Baker and with a 3 story arc during Peter Davison’s run where Turlough was introduced.  Both times the Bolack Guardian went down to defeat – perhaps the third time is the charm???

My Grand Clara Theory will evolve as the season commences (whenever the hell that is).

I would really love to know what the BBC’s definition of “soon” is.  From what I have read on-line April is when The Doctor and Clara will be back – to me that’s not “soon”.  I know they are stretching things out for the 50th anniversary, but this is ridiculous.

No comments:

Post a Comment