3 Days to Go…Spoiler Free
Get ready for an early Christmas treat as the largely spoiler free reviews of this year’s Christmas special, Last Christmas, have praised the episode for being the perfect sign off for what has been a strong year for the show.
Radio Times called the episode an ‘emotional sleigh ride’, praising the ‘compact’ storytelling and renewed focus on the Doctor and Clara: “One of the most pleasing things about Last Christmas is its compact, self-contained nature. It is complex in its own way but it restricts itself to a handful of supporting characters – the most memorable being Faye Marsay’s Shona, who adds a touch of real-world melancholy, as well as a few laughs – and in the end it does what all the best Doctor Who episodes do: focuses on the relationship between the Doctor and his companion.”
Faye Marsay (Pride) and the rest of the supporting cast, including Santa himself Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz) are also singled out for praise by Den of Geek: “Watching Nick Frost’s Santa leaves you thinking that he could have a second career just travelling the world as Father Christmas if he so wanted.”
But what of the episode itself? For what seems like a holy, jolly knock-a-bout with old Saint Nick; the special has something more sinister at its heart – Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien to be precise: “We’d suggest that this is a surprisingly scary episode of Doctor Who. And that’s not in the context of when it’s been scheduled on Christmas Day, but also in the broader world of Doctor Who. Director Paul Wilmshurst, who helmed series 8’s Kill The Moon and Mummy On The Orient Express, successfully fused horror elements into his earlier Who work.
Here, the references are even more overt (in fact, rarely has Who so directly referenced at least one influence), and really quite scary. It’ll be interesting to see how younger children in particular react to it, certainly.”
What may come as a surprise is that along with the balance of scares and yuletide joy there’s also the small matter of resolving the dangling threads of Series 8: “Last Christmas, though, could effectively be classed as episode 13 of the series just gone. That’s what it pretty much is of course, but specifically it’s a lot less standalone than we’ve had in recent years. That’s not to say it doesn’t work as a one-off episode, but it’s also continuing to explore some previous narrative threads.”
So a Christmas episode that’s filled with horror and a standalone episode that continues events from the previous series? No wonder Steven Moffat called the episode ‘the strangest bloody thing I’ve ever written’. (Kasterborous)
And for Moffat that’s saying something…
Posted on December 22, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged BBC, Christmas, companion, Doctor, Doctor Who, doctorwho, fandom, History, Jenna Coleman, Last Christmas, Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat, TARDIS, The Doctor, Time Lord. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.