Saturday, 27 December 2014

TV Series Review: Doctor Who Christmas Special - Last Christmas

As has become traditional, the whole family settled down on Christmas Day around about teatime, when we were feeling the need to top up the turkey reserves, to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special.

This year's was titled Last Christmas and featured Nick Frost in the role of Santa. How perfect is his name for playing Santa Claus?! It saw the Doctor and Clara wind up at the North Pole, along with a group of scientists and a bunch of people with weird alien creatures attached to their faces. Within minutes everyone is fighting for their lives against this alien invasion.

Just a regular Christmas for the Doctor and his companion then.

And I really liked it. The face invading aliens were suitably creepy and the dream/not-dreaming stuff is nice and timey-wimey, or perhaps that should be dreamy-weamy. It was basically Doctor Who does Inception! At the North Pole! At Christmas! What's not to love about that?!

I do think that Nick Frost rather upstaged the rest of the cast as Santa, because he was just awesome. I loved the reference to the fact that he basically breaks into millions of people's houses one night a year. Not quite Richard Attenborough's sort of Santa, but good fun nonetheless.

There was something very Silence of the Library/Forest of the Dead about the dream sequence with Clara and Danny. I mentioned it to Mr Click as we were watching it and then not thirty seconds later the Doctor pointed out that she couldn't remember how she'd gotten to that point because that's how dreams work, which is pretty much what was said to Donna in Forest of the Dead.

Clara and the Doctor were just awesome as ever. Up until the last series I'd not really enjoyed Clara so much as a companion but with Peter Capaldi's Doctor she's really become a compelling character and this episode was no different. Twelve cares about her in his own special way and she needs him, more now that she hasn't got Danny (though it was nice to see him pop in again, I suspect that they'll be bringing him back again next year one way or another).

Oh and I have to mention how cool it was to see Maureen Beattie in this episode. She and her father were patrons of our local drama group and came to some of our shows. We randomly bumped into her the day after we'd moved into our cottage on the estate and stopped for a good chat, despite the fact it was chucking it down and Mr Click and I were all muddy. I spent a good ten minutes of the episode trying to work out whether or not it was her, before giving in and checking IMDB to confirm my suspicions.

Of the North Pole scientist guys I'd quite like to see Shona again. She was a little annoying, but in a good way and I really felt for her wanting to cling onto the dream a little longer. I think everyone's had one of those dreams where things were really cool and different, then you wake up (or start to wake up) and realise that it's not real and just want to go back to that place for a few more minutes.

I was hoping for a preview of the next series at the end of this episode, but no such luck. All the same, I'm really enjoying Capaldi's tenure as the Doctor and I can't wait to see what the New Year brings there.


  1. Shona was played by Faye Marsay, currently one of my favourites; she's excellent in the film Pride for example. I think she stole the show. Totally agree with all your points re Clara etc, as I think I said in my review of the last series she has really come on alongside Capaldi. For me, this was probably the best Xmas special since A Christmas Carol (Matt's first) It was a solid enough story with the right amount of festive spirit.

    1. I've just read (and commented on your review) and we've both picked up on exactly the same points.

      It's funny you mention A Christmas Carol. It's the only Christmas special that we watch each Christmas with all of our Christmas films, I just love it that much. I suspect that this will be one I'll be looking to get for future festive viewings as well.

  2. Ya know, I've never watched even one episode of Doctor Who. I've heard great things about it but never watched it.

    1. It's a bit of an institution in Britain. It's great fun and very tongue-in-cheek at times but worth a watch. I remember watching odd episodes as a small child (the original series) but then properly got into it when they brought out New Who. I have to admit that having David Tennant as the 10th Doctor definitely helped a little there. ;-)


Let me know what you think. :-)