14 December 2010

Freelance Journalist, Ian Wylie has sent DWO his review of the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas Special, from last nights screening at the BFI Southbank. [Beware, minor spoilers below].

If you’re avoiding ALL spoilers, then best go elsewhere. It’s a totally bonkers episode but probably a perfect fit for 6pm Christmas Day on BBC1.

As many fans will already know, this adventure is set on Christmas Eve and features newlyweds Amy and Rory (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) on a stricken space liner heading for disaster. With mayhem up on the Star Trek-style flight deck, Amy emerges from the Honeymoon Suite dressed in the police uniform from her very first episode. With Rory back in his Roman centurion outfit. A nice opening visual joke from Mr Moffat, who was placed in seat K9 for the screening.

He weaves Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol into this tale from a strange yet still familiar world. High above, the Galaxy class ship is plummeting through banks of thick icy fog towards the surface of the planet. Only rich and bitter old miser Kazran Sardick (Michael Gambon) can save the lives of the 4003 people on board. He controls the skies, despises Christmas and doesn’t care if they all die.

Kazran already keeps some members of Sardicktown frozen in ice, including Abigail (Katherine Jenkins). And appears to have lost every shred of goodness that might ever have been in his heart. Which is when the Doctor, covered in soot, comes tumbling down the chimney. Can he bring this old man out of the dark and into the light?

Older viewers may have to stay off the Christmas sherry to keep track of all the details in this hour. Including sharks out of water, a nod to Jaws and the Doctor’s trips to the 1950s to hang with Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack. Not to mention Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein and Santa. All contrasting with the bleak midwinter under the dark skies of Sardicktown.

We also get more information about the Doctor and girls. A younger Kazran asks him: “When girls are crying, are you supposed to talk to them?” To which the Doctor replies: “I’ve absolutely no idea.”

There are crackers, a kiss (not involving the Doctor) and photographic evidence of trips around the globe.

We also hear Katherine Jenkins – making her acting debut – sing a new Christmas carol, among other vocal performances.

The screening was followed by a trailer for the 2011 series, which included Nazis, The Oval Office, a spaceman, various monsters, the Doctor in a stetson and River Song in cowgirl mode. Plus a line from the Doctor: “The one thing I can tell you – monsters are real.”

 To read Ian's transcript of the Q&A session, visit his website, here.

[Source: Ian Wylie]

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