Thursday, 25 December 2014

Doctor Who : Last Christmas

Happy Whomas, everyone! WELP, THERE WAS NO BABY AND I WAS VERY WRONG. Bah.

ANYway, I literally have no idea whether or not I liked this episode and it’s driving me nuts! Hooray!

I mean, it was LOADS better than The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, and The Snowmen, but it definitely wasn’t my favourite. I think maybe I liked it much more until it reached a certain point, and then I felt a little let down. I’ll let you know which point that was when I get to it in this recap. ;)

One wonderful thing…one wonderful, AMAZING thing, is that we finally see the Doctor we’ve been waiting all season to see. The man we’ve come to know and love over (at least) the last eight seasons. The man full of wonder and magic, fun and joy, and who has a special innocence and child-like glee. I absolutely teared-up when he was driving the sleigh. THIS is the Doctor I miss so much, and I truly hope to see him more often in series 9.

Alright then, welcome to the Doctor Who version of Inception! On with the show!

We open with a loud bang, and Clara wakes from her slumber. She finds her way to the roof, where she finds Santa has crashed his sleigh. Santa bickers with his two elves (do you recognize Dan Starkey out of his Sontaran costume?) when we hear an old familiar sound…the TARDIS lands on the rooftop. The Doctor pops out, Clara enters the blue box, Santa and the Doctor bicker, and the Doctor and Clara take off on their adventure.

They arrive on a base in the North Pole, where a scientist is trying to walk through a room full of monsters. These monsters, called “dream crabs”, grab on to your face, yes, exactly like Alien. Also, they make you dream while they kill you. As long as you’re not thinking about them, they stay asleep and you’re safe. The scientist, Shona, dances her way through the room. It’s hilariously awesome. Enter the Doctor and Clara. The monsters awake, and the Doctor tries to distract Clara from thinking about them by mentioning Danny. Clara comes clean—after slapping the Doctor (again with the slapping?), and tells him Danny is dead. The monsters attack, but PHEW! Santa and his elves save the day!

There’s some bickering, again, about Santa being real or not, Santa and the Doctor explain dream crabs, and Santa brings in a dead one. Of course, it’s not dead….but that’s a long story. Santa continues to explain his existence… he’s played wonderfully by Nick Frost, by the way. A real highlight of the episode, and the Doctor comes clean to Clara and tells her he never found Gallifrey. Camera footage shows the Doctor exactly how the dream crabs got onto the base, and he sends Clara off to get a thing. She’s attacked by a dream crab. WHAT A SURPRISE.

Suddenly, Clara wakes up. To see DANNY EFFING PINK. WHAT. WHAAAAT?! Yeah, so this is probably where I’m supposed to cry, and I usually would, wouldn’t I? I mean, I’m hugely emotional and I cry at everything…but Moffat, dude, you’re trying too hard here. See, Danny already had a wonderful, perfect send-off, and we didn’t need this. This cheapened the way he died, and, honestly, I’m a bit miffed that he was brought back for this episode. So, no. Sorry. This dream was a huge fail for me. NEXT!

The Doctor tries to communicate with Clara in her dream, but in the end he has to allow a dream crab (can I just mention that I keep typing ‘dream crab’ to ‘dream crap’, and that’s hilariously accurate?) to attach itself to him so that he can enter her dream. There’s more Danny fanwank, but eventually both the Doctor and Clara are able to safely exit the dream. NOPE. Y’see, it’s a dream in a dream in a dream in a, WELCOME TO INCEPTION YOU GUISE WHERE’S LEO DICAPRIO WHEN YOU NEED HIM?

This dream is back on the polar base. The Doctor explains that they never survived the first attack; Santa never saved them. He’s not actually real. He’s something their minds made up to try to protect them from turning into mush. Santa and his elves confirm that, and he explains how they can wake up.

They all take hands, much to the Doctor’s dismay, and try to wake up. It works!
…not. They ‘wake’ still on the polar base, and the Doctor says a quick goodbye to the polar crew as he enters the TARDIS.  He prepares to leave when Clara asks him how Santa could have been on her roof. This gives him his usual epiphany. The sleepers—the ones in the base that have been taken over by the dream crabs—are them; the people on the base. But they’re not actually on the base. (Oh my god I’m not even making sense) They’re scattered all over the world, and have been networked into the same dream. And then Professor Albert dies. Oh, he was played by Michael Troughton, by the way. Is that name familiar? If not, Google it. Go on, I’ll wait………….SEE?! HOW COOL IS THAT?!

The group is cornered by dozens of sleepers, when, WHO YOU GONNA CALL?! Santa saves the day! They all climb into Santa’s sleigh, and here’s the scene I just loved. The Doctor’s utter glee while driving was beautiful! “Look at me, look! I’m riding a sleigh! I’m riding a sleigh!” I missed the happy so much!

As they ride in the sleigh, each person begins to remember their actual life. Each wakes in their own time, and none remembers anything about the dream. It’s a bit sad. (But who the hell is Dave?!)
Okay, now remember at the top when I said I’d let you know which point was a let-down? We’re here. 

Clara. Clara, who chooses to stay on the sleigh long after she should. The Doctor finds her and saves her from the dream crab, but she’s old. He’s been away for 62 years, and Clara had a long, full life without him. She looks happy, and this would have been a perfect goodbye for Clara. I cried. This is exactly as it should be. This is perfect. This is wonderful. Dying of old age after a wonderful life, some of it while traveling through time and space with a daft old mad man with a box. What could be better than that? But, nope. That’s too perfect, I guess. Moffat wasn’t ready to leave Clara behind yet, and so, with Santa’s help, the Doctor is allowed to go back to save young Clara.
And young Clara chooses to again travel with the Doctor, apparently for a whole new series, as reported by the BBC earlier today. (

Jenna Coleman will pass Karen Gillan as the longest-running companion of the new series, with at least 3 seasons under her belt. And the episode was…good. It was good. I enjoyed most of it. It was ten minutes too long, and I definitely could have seen Shona as the new companion. As always, I have hope for the new season. I always do. I love this show, and I love Capaldi. I remember what this show once meant to me, and I long to feel those feelings again.

I have faith that one day I will.

My favourite lines:
“We’ve got ghosts! A skeleton man and a girl in a nightie!”

“Beardy-Weirdy, how do you get all the presents on the sleigh?”
“Bigger on the inside.”

“There’s a horror movie called Alien? That’s really offensive, no wonder everyone keeps invading you.”

“As the Doctor might say, ‘Ohh, it’s all about dreamy-weamy.’”

“Clara Oswald, you’ll never look any different to me.”

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Whovians. I’ll see you back here in 2015 for The Magician’s Apprentice!