Last yearsí Doctor Who Christmas Special was a
take-off of the classic Charles Dickens tale, ďA Christmas CarolĒ albeit
an almost unrecognizable sci-fi one.
This year they decided to do something different and
take on C.S. Lewisís Christian allegory ďThe Lion the Wich and the
Wardrobe.Ē Sort of.
There was much promise with this episode, after all
it has Bill Bailey in it and heís great!
The Doctor is escaping from an exploding space-ship
that is on the way to invade the Earth. He puts on a spacesuit but he
is in such a hurry he puts it on backwards. On Earth it is just before
WWII and a nice lady helps the Doctor back to his Tardis. Favors
bestowed on the Doctor are not forgotten so when the lady loses her
husband in the war and canít tell her children the Doctor intervenes to
give them the best Christmas ever.
Letís be frank, the first half is brilliant.
The Doctor putting on a spacesuit backwards should be
ridiculous but somehow itís just fun. The Widow helping him should be
silly but once again itís fun. His intervention into their lives has
potential and it does work. The second half where they go through the
gateway to a forest of living Christmas trees fails on almost every
level. Bill Bailey is great as are his co-stars but is criminally
underused. And much like The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, when they
go into the forest I was expecting high adventure but this limps along.
It would be too easy to make a joke about it being wooden but all the
actors acquit themselves well. The script fails to deliver action,
adventure and falls back on the ďLove conquers allĒ nonsense that makes
this more of a fantasy show than a sci-fi show.
Video: Video quality is great especially on the
Blu-ray. The BBC have really gotten the hang of this high-definition
Audio: I always like Doctor Who in 5.1 I think it
really adds to the experience.
There are no less than 3x45 minute features all
commissioned by BBC America.
The best of the Doctor (Matt Smith only)
The best of the companions
The best of the monsters
Self congratulation in abundance as B list celebrity
and fans of Doctor Who come out of the woodwork to celebrate Matt Smith.
(As if his strangely shaped head needed to be any bigger.) Donít get me
wrong, I like Matt Smith, sort of. But this kind of thing is unnecessary
and annoying. As is the constant recapping of what Doctor Who is all
about, I KNOW what the Tardis is; Iíve only been watching it for about
30 years now. Itís all very American and not welcome. Itís great that
Doctor Who has American fans who donít know what a Drashing is, but
thatís not for me.