Doctor Who “A Christmas Carol” – 20 Teasers

We’ve seen this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special! Here’s some minorly spoilery teasery titbits…

The 2010 Doctor Who Christmas Special was aired last night at the BFI (British Film Institute) on London’s South Bank (which long term Whovians will know was used as a location for “future Earth” in the Jon Pertwee story “Frontier In Space” – and hasn’t changed much since). On a suitably chilly night, attendees were greeted by a children’s choir (specially shipped in from Cardiff) singing carols (of course), a red Dalek (the most Christmassy colour, though it refrained from demanding us to “CEL-EB-RATE!”) and the TARDIS in the foyer.

Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Steven Moffat and guest star Katherine Jenkins were all in the audience, and the screening was preceded by BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson giving an introduction liberally sprinkled with words like “brilliant” (eight mentions), “fantastic”, “incredible” and “spectacular”. Then it was on with the show…

We don’t want to blow any major surprises, but here are some very minorly spoilery appetisers for you:

  1. The episode is a tour de force for Matt Smith. Amy and Rory are pretty much sidelined as Smith explodes like a force of nature from the screen. He is magnificent
  2. It’s fantasy, through and through. It’s a Christmas whimsy that pays mere lip service to science fiction. This is Moffat’s vision of the show as a dark fairy tale taken further than ever before. We’re predicting some people will have a problem with this. Your enjoyment may be in relation to your ability to suspend disbelief
  3. Two articles of clothing from the Doctor’s past make cameo appearances
  4. There’s an unexpected continuity reference to the Tom Baker story “Pyramids Of Mars”
  5. The Doctor is asked for some advice that he cannot give
  6. The Doctor gets married
  7. Katherine can act. You might be worried about a singer who’s never acted before taking on such a major role, but she’s really very good.
  8. There are more witty, quotable lines per minute than ever before
  9. Some of the FX are outstanding, but a couple are, well, shall we just say… over-ambitious
  10. The production design is stunning
  11. It’s not the most action-packed of Christmas special. There are some great, exciting set pieces, but mostly it’s a character piece
  12. Michael Gambon is, of course, amazing.
  13. The names in the opening titles are all Christmas-ed up
  14. It’s fish and ships for Christmas!
  15. It’s very, very, very Christmassy, and quite emotional
  16. There’s a trailer for next season at the end (roll over for spoilery info: the Utah shoot looks incredible, we think we spotted an Ood, and there is a mention of Jammy Dodgers!)
  17. Two of the Doctor’s trusted aides aren’t quite so reliable
  18. Parents may hope that children won’t ask them to explain one gag
  19. The final shot would make a good Christmas card
  20. The Doctor has one major costume change (other than ones involving putting Father Christmas hats on)PSST! Don’t forget – our Doctor Who special is in the shops now, and also available to download for your iPad!