THE CHRISTMAS INVASION
DOCTOR WHO is a British science fiction series produced by the BBC. It first began in 1963. The show features the adventures of a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who is called The Doctor. Whenever The Doctor introduces himself (or herself) someone asks, “Doctor who?” And that is how the show gets its name. The Doctor is an alien who appears human and explores all of time and space in a ship called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space). The TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside and the outside looks like a blue English police call box. The ship had a chameleon circuit that allowed it to camouflage itself whenever it landed. A police call box was a common sight in England in 1963. Unfortunately the TARDIS’ chameleon circuit broke down and it is now stuck in that shape. Unfortunate for the Doctor but fortunate for us because that blue box is the perfect color and shape. Always accompanied by a variety of different companions, The Doctor fights evil aliens, mad scientists, and monsters while striving to save Earth and help people in need.
THE CHRISTMAS INVASION is a special episode of DOCTOR WHO. It features the first full-episode appearance of David Tennant as The Doctor replacing Christopher Eccleston who departed the series. This is also the first specifically produced DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL and it aired on 25 December 2005. The Christmas specials have become a staple of the series and we now get one every year. But this one was the first.
The Doctor had been traveling thru time and space with his companion Rose Tyler – played by the ever-delightful Billie Piper – and sharing adventures. But in their last adventure The Doctor passed away. However, The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey and when they die their bodies regenerate and they get a new lease on life. So Christopher Eccleston morphs into David Tennant and the show continues.
However, things have not gone quite right this time. He is suffering trauma from his regeneration and it is not going well. Back on Earth, Rose takes The Doctor to her mum Jackie’s flat – played by Camille Coduri – where they hook up with her boyfriend Mickey – played by Noel Clarke.
It is Christmas and while The Doctor is out cold and in bed Rose, Jackie, and Mickey soon find themselves being chased by robotic killer Santas!
And if that isn’t bad enough they are attacked by a killer Christmas tree – I kid you not!
The alien Sycorax show up and controlling people with A+ blood type they have one third of the world’s population on rooftops waiting for the order to kill themselves.
Prime Minister Harriet Jones – played by Penelope Wilton – who happens to be an old acquaintance of The Doctor, sends out a plea for The Doctor’s help – who unfortunately is still bed ridden. But he recovers in the nick of time – never doubt in the healing power of a good cup of English tea – and of course he saves the day! Was there any doubt?
I have said it many times before that Doctor Who is my favorite science fiction series and always has been. Of all the many wonderful actors that have played The Doctor, David Tennant is my favorite. On top of that of all the incredible actors that have played his companions Billie Piper is my favorite as well. Put that all together does it surprise you that this is my favorite of all the Doctor Who Christmas Specials.
Having said that let me say that this episode isn’t exactly perfect. There are some things I’m not too crazy about.
First, the Sycorax are not terribly interesting aliens. They seem to fall into that category of ugly bad aliens who are ugly and bad for the sake of being ugly and bad. It is significant that they have never made a return appearance. I’m not sure what their motivations are and I’ve seen this episode at least a dozen times. Compared to aliens like the Daleks and the Cybermen, the Sycorax come across as two-dimensional and weak.
Second, The Doctor doesn’t do anything until the climax. He spends most of the episode in bed unconscious. Now don’t get me wrong I fully understand that this is for suspense. We have a new Doctor and we don’t know how he is going to be played. So they drew out the suspense by having him comatose. Rose and Jackie and Mickey had to carry the episode. I understand I just wish we had gotten more of The Doctor.
Now for the good stuff!
David Tennant is the perfect Doctor and the moment he steps out of the TARDIS fully recovered he has you enthralled. You find yourself jumping in your seat, cheering, and throwing popcorn at your TV screen. Or in my case I was eating a tuna fish sandwich and I wound up having to get up and wipe tuna off the screen.
Rose Tyler is wonderful! I have said it time and time again that she is too good for television. She is an incredible actress and her range is amazing! She and David Tennant have a fantastic chemistry and when they are together it is bright lights and music.
This episode is well crafted. While it is true that the characterization of the Sycorax is weak everything else is on point. The thrills are thrilling. The menaces are menacing. You laugh when you’re supposed to and cry when you have to. I said before that Rose and Jackie and Mickey carry the episode. Well the episode was in very good hands in deed.
I fully recommend THE CHRISTMAS INVASION! If you like science fiction check it out. If you like DOCTOR WHO check it out. If you have seen it before watch it again. If you like holiday specials watch this one. If you’re like me and you just want to be entertained and walk away afterwards saying, “Damn that was good!” Then watch DOCTOR WHO: THE CHRISTMAS INVASION! You will not be disappointed. On our rating scale I give this Four Gray Geeks.
That is it for now gang. I thank you all for letting me take up some of your time. I always enjoy sharing with you and I hope you enjoyed it as well. Until next time I’d like to leave you with this parting thought. You can choose to laugh or you can choose to cry. But laughing is way more fun! Hast la vista!