A CHRISTMAS CAROL
“It’s all your favourite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters and the Doctor and a honeymoon . . .” – – Steven Moffat
DOCTOR WHO is a British science fiction series produced by the BBC and 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 weird monsters while striving to save Earth and help all people in need.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL. It is the sixth Christmas Special and it aired on 25 December 2010 on both the BBC and BBC America. It is the first episode of the show to premiere on the same day in both the United Kingdom and the United States. It was written by Steven Moffat. It was directed by Toby Haynes. The Doctor was played by Matt Smith.
THE DOCTOR (Matt Smith)
AMY POND (Karen Gillan)
RORY WILLIAMS (Arthur Darvill)
KAZRAN SARDICK (Michael Gambon)
ABIGAIL (Katherine Jenkins)
CLYDE playing himself
It’s Christmas. It’s The Doctor. So of course someone needs rescuing. Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) are having their honeymoon aboard an intergalactic cruise ship that is about to crash.
Amy – being Amy – calls The Doctor for help. It turns out that the only person who can save the cruise ship is completely disinterested. A guy named Kazran Sardick (Michael Gambon) controls the clouds of his planet and he could save the ship but doesn’t want to. Kazran lends money but demands a family member as collateral. They are then kept in cryogenic suspension until the money is repaid. The Doctor realizes that Kazran is not an evil man but bitter and damaged. So he hits upon a plan to take him back into his past and relive certain events to ensure a happier childhood thereby making him willing to save the 4,000 people on the liner. Will this be enough to save the day?
- With this episode Arthur Darvill, and his character Rory, becomes a regular. Up until now he had been a recurring character.
- The great Michael Gambon plays Kazran. After having played Dumbledore in Harry Potter no one thought he would be available or that he would be willing to play the part. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill were honored to work with him.
- This episode features the acting debut of singer Katherine Jenkins. She was signed to play Abigail before anyone realized she had never acted.
- This episode is the first of DOCTOR WHO to be broadcast on the same day in the United Kingdom and the United States. It is estimated 12 million people watched.
I have never made a secret of how much I love DOCTOR WHO. Anyone who has read any of my other posts knows I think this show is the best thing since white rice. So it should come as no surprise that I loved A CHRISTMAS CAROL. In fact, I think it is the best of the Christmas Specials. It is not my favorite. My favorite is THE CHRISTMAS INVASION – which is why I reviewed that one first last time around. But THE CHRISTMAS INVASION is my favorite because it introduced David Tennant. I love A CHRISTMAS CAROL because it is the most Christmassy of all the Christmas Specials – and I cannot say that ten times fast. This episode has the most heart in a show notorious for having heart and leaving you crying.
- This is a bit more fantasy than science fiction which is unusual for DOCTOR WHO. It works because it is a Christmas special and you want a kind of fantasy/feel good atmosphere. But I wouldn’t want a steady diet of this.
- Fortunately, despite Katherine Jenkins never having acted she managed to put forth a bravo performance including singing a song.
- This episode does nothing to hide the fact that it is inspired by Dickens’ story. In fact it full out embraces it with a big smile and congratulating itself on being so clever. I kept waiting for someone to say, “God bless us everyone.”
- Matt Smith continues to redefine The Doctor including a tryst with Marilyn Monroe. I kid you not.
If you have never seen a DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL then I suggest you start with this one. You will not be disappointed. If you like Christmassy feel good stories check it out. If you like flying sharks – and who doesn’t like flying sharks – then watch A CHRISTMAS CAROL. On our scale of excitement I give this episode four and a half gray geeks.
That is all for now gang. I thank you for letting me share DOCTOR WHO with you again and I am grateful for you patience. I wish everyone out there the best of this holiday season whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanza. Even if you don’t celebrate anything at all that is okay. I celebrate Christmas and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the joy and love I can muster. Not everyone may get what they want but I pray that all of you get what you need! Excelsior!