I literally just this minute finished watching this year’s Dr Who Christmas special, and I am filled with hope! I’ve been pretty keen on New Who since my sister introduced me to it back in 2009, but the last couple of seasons… Eh. If we’d been staring down the barrel of another mediocre-ish season, I might have stood a very good chance at falling out of love with it all. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there have been some great episodes: Heaven Sent (spoilers in link) is one of my absolute favourite episodes of all time. But overall, I’ve been feeling a bit meh about it; I’m not a huge fan of Moffat’s plotting, I think. But! The Christmas episode! There is hope!
First of all, I’ll confess upfront that being a superhero episode, this totally tickles a lot of my personal squids*. So it had that going for it to begin with. But….
Wait, let’s just put a nice big SPOILER WARNING from here on in, shall we?
* Personal squids: or cookies, or whatever – the bits of something, usually a work of fiction, that make you gleeful; the weird and wonderful specifics of what exactly it is that you like in your fiction. Your personal A++ tropes, if you will. I think A. Merc Rustad coined the term, at least in my hearing 😉
Still with me? M’kay. So, we have superheroes, which, YAY (superheroes are almost an auto-YES for me, and yet I haven’t seen any of the Marvel movies except the Iron Man trilogy – WEIRD). But then we also have much tighter plotting than I’ve come to expect from Moffat; he seems to trend towards big, sprawly, open-ended plot lines that may or may not ever end up being resolved. Doctor Mysterio, however, was neatly self-contained (which, okay, Christmas episodes are supposed to be like that, I know, but still, YAY). Yes, it was the traditional formula of aliens-trying-to-invade-the-Earth,-but-only-one-man-stands-in-the-way, but it was nicely done.
Then there was the nice inclusion of the baby subplot. On reflection, they may have been trying just a little too hard to press a point (YES BOYS CAN BE NANNIES TO, Dr Who wants you to know, DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT? No, actually I don– DO YA? DO YA? WANNA FIGHT??!), reflected particularly in the dinner conversation between Mrs Lombardi and The Ghost, but I’m a sucker for protecting-the-innocent kinds of tropes and I genuinely appreciate knowing that I can watch Dr Who safe in the knowledge that no kids will be harmed in the making of this show. For me, seeings young kids or babies harmed or even distressed is a MAJOR trigger (though I am happy to make my own kids distressed in the name of making them eat their vegetables, HAHA!!), so I love that certainty that the baby will be treated respectfully (the Doctor speaks Baby, yo) and will come out of things A-OK.
And then the minor characters! Okay, so Mrs Lombardi (whose first name I shamefully cannot remember and lazily cannot be bothered to look up) isn’t exactly a minor character, but both she and the Doctor’s temporary companion were, IMO, fantastic. She is smart and observant and knows her sheet, but is also totally feminine and sexy too. OMG WOMEN CAN BE HOT *AND* SMART? FEMININE *AND* STRONG? NO WAY!! So yes. Her interrogation of the Doctor was A++. 10/10 would interrogate here again.
And the side kick? Hilarious. So pleased he seems to be sticking around, according to the shorts for the next series.
So yes. All around, I quite enjoyed the episode. I’m sure there are problems people could find with it, but for me personally, I’m going to go into this next series positively, with hope that I can once more fall stupidly in love with this franchise. <3
Have you seen the Christmas ep yet? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought!! 🙂