Who Review – Last Christmas
Merry Christmas, Whovians! Being the Who-heads that we are, we’re keyed in on a little secret that most of the world doesn’t know about; that secret being that we all know the best part of Christmas isn’t the awesome presents, the great home cooked meals, or even spending time wit your family. All that stuff really makes for a great day, but the thing that really ties the holiday together is that you spend the whole day taking comfort in the fact that no matter how merry a Christmas you’re having, it’s only going to get better because there’s a brand new episode of Doctor Who on at the end of the day. You could be having the absolute best day of your life and just when you think it can’t possibly get any better, that’s when the Christmas special starts. Conversely, that yule tide blessing is also a mistletoe wrapped punch in the gut because the Christmas specials always have a way of leaving us in tears when it’s all said and done. This year, we’ll be hearing from a few of the Evil Geek Whovians regarding what they thought of the newest Christmas special. Word on the street is that this is going to be Clara Oswald’s curtain call, but that hasn’t been officially confirmed by the BBC as of the time of the writing of this article. Could it be that our stocking this year will be stuffed with thousands of tears as Clara’s ego maybe gets the better of her and lands her in a situation she isn’t able to wiggle out of. Will this be the Doctor and Clara’s last Christmas? Let’s find out!
Hey there, Evil Geeks. Right off the bat, I want to say that this wasn’t my favorite Christmas special. Last year’s special featuring Matt Smith’s exit was one that I really loved, so topping that one would be tough. All the right factors were in play; there was some speculation that Jenna Coleman would be leaving the show, there was the genius casting of Nick Frost as Santa Claus, and damn it I just usually really love the Christmas episode. In the end though I thought the episode was a little too high concept. I always HATE when a sci-fi show does the “Am I really awake or am I dreaming” episode. It’s never a good episode, with the notorious case in proof being the terrible episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Buffy can’t tell if she’s really a demon fighting badass or some crazy girl in a mental hospital. Fuck that episode.
Anyway, Dream Crabs, huh? They are a bitch. The other thing that bothered me about the episode were the nature of the Dream Crabs. As I’m writing this, it’s hard to argue with the critics who say that all of Steven Moffat’s original monsters are just variations of the Weeping Angels, who can only attack you when you’re not looking. They’re mighty similar to The Silence, who of course you can only remember while you are looking at them. In that same trope, the Dream Crabs can only attack you when you think about them. Come on man, come up with something other than this is monster X who will attack only when you do Y. It’s a cool concept, but with the constant repetition it’s an idea that’s grown tired.
What did I like about the ep? Well, Nick Frost of course. Not only was he a great Santa, really playing a perfect foil to the Doctor, but man did he make me wish I still believed in the big red guy. The scene where he explains to the assembled crew members at the Arctic base about why Santa Claus of all people has come to rescue them was heartwarming and downright beautiful. Santa isn’t a man, he’s a concept, a symbol of everything good about humanity and Nick really hammered that home.
Believe it or not, I actually liked the ending too. We all thought Clara was a goner, but it looks like she’ll be travelling a little longer though. What this episode did was manage to find a way to tie her emotionally to the 12th Doctor. All through season 8, it seemed like the only reason she was still with the Doctor was out of a sense of obligation to the 11th Doctor. That’s the person she knew and kind of fell for, not the new face. Now though, she has a reason to keep on going. She’s invested in the new Doctor, so I’m glad to see that they’ll be sticking together.
Well, another year and another Doctor Who Christmas special. I guess I shouldn’t be saying it like that as it sort of sounds like I’m complaining, which I am not. What I do have a slight gripe with is how this season, and said Christmas special seems to be revolving around Clara rather than the Doctor, which is something that should not be happening.
Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed this year’s special. I loved the addition of Nick Frost and thought he did a really nice job of being a Santa/ Your Father on his most advice fueled day , but it still seemed like Clara was the focal point. I enjoyed the creatures this week, and definitely let out a bit of mirthful laughter at the Alien comment. I found myself getting pretty involved in the episode, and as much a Danny Pink was a sort of throw away character, this episode really made me kind of miss him. He wasn’t all that bad, but I just think we didn’t get enough character development from him and given more time, he could have grown to be a solid addition to the team.
I really do love Capaldi as the Doctor, but I feel bad for him right now as the show seems to be dicking him over a little. He’s simply superb in his role and plays the Doctor well, but we need to see him have a more defining moment rather than having Clara be the one to end the episode. It also looks like she will be staying around for a while, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but please just give Capaldi a chance to set his legacy in motion. I really did enjoy this episode though. The dream crabs are a solid creature, although I can definitely understand what C-Mart was getting at. It does seem like the monsters are starting to bleed into each other, but when they are as awesome as the Silence, is that really a bad thing?
I have no worries that you all will enjoy the special, as it did wind up being heartwarming and fun, so you should all make sure to catch it when you can. The only real bad thing I can take away from this episode though is that now the wait for more Doctor Who is even longer. Merry Axemas ya jerks!!
Hmmmmmmm…. Right off the bat I’ll say that I enjoyed the special, but it isn’t at the top of my Doctor Who episodes to be honest. The episode has a cool concept with telepathic aliens, but as C-Mart said, kinda feel like I’ve been there and done that and these ones just kind of seem stupid. In fact, the way they walk around with hands and whatnot, they sorta reminded me of the “Shrimp Hand” monsters in Beatlejuice! Which I even thought were silly back in the 80’s!
What I did like was Santa though. Being the season, I’ve seen quite a few Santas on the screen this year and Nick Frost was very good in the role. Smartass enough to giggle at and the scene where he busts in to save everyone with his army of robots is friggin hysterical! And also to get to see Pink again, that was cool because I really started to like P.E. (glad they did that bit!) before he got killed off.
Companion-wise, I’ve never been a big fan of Clara, so she didn’t do anything for me in the episode and I remember rumors that this would be her last episode, but the BBC has confirmed that she’ll be back for another season. The old old lady thing in the end looked really wierd visually and almost like they rushed it, so I’m glad that was a 2-minute plot. It’s not that I dislike Clara, but I can only remember one really great story with her as the Impossible Girl… When they went into that as a reason why we had seen her before I liked that concept a lot, but then poof! Gone… so maybe we’ll see more next season. The Doctor was spot on though, and I really like Capaldi in the role. Matt Smith had huge shoes to fill and I think that he did well this season.
So what do we do now? Catch up on old episodes and wait 9 or 10 months until we see “The Magician’s Apprentice!”
Wanna catch up on past trips in the TARDIS? Read On…
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Posted on December 27, 2014, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, TV, Who Review and tagged 12th Doctor, bbc, BBC America, Clara Oswald, Doctor Who, Doctor Who Christmas Special, Doctor Who Season 8, Jenna Coleman, Nick Frost, Peter Capaldi, Santa Claus, Sci-Fi, sonic screwdriver, Tardis, The Doctor, Who Review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.