Saturday, December 27, 2014

"Every Christmas is Last Christmas"

It's time for my thoughts on Doctor Who: "Last Christmas" so beware of this SPOILER ALERT!

On Christmas Day, we were all treated to what first appeared to be the weirdest Christmas episode ever. Santa Claus defeating aliens with self-moving slinkys? Did we all get high?

No, turns out everyone is just dreaming. It's not so much Doctor Who goes "Inception" but that Christmas itself does. Thus we're able to get a wonderful Father Christmas without actually having to have Father Christmas be real (apart from, you know, the real Saint Nicholas). We get two wise-cracking elves and flying reindeer and a beautiful sleigh ride and it's a dream but we get a full story with them despite that.

We also get a pretty decent supporting cast. Although two of them were more or less forgettable, Shona (Faye Marsay who also did a wonderful job as Anne Neville in "The White Queen") was a wonderfully blunt, funny and painfully true young character, and Bellows was cemented in our brains not so much by her actual character, but by the poignant ending that left her in a wheelchair instead of an arctic exhibition.

We also get good character arcs for both the Doctor and Clara, which is not always typical of Christmas episodes, which can either be tremendously important or throwaway. We got to say a full and lovely goodbye to Danny Pink and actually see him and Clara as a happy functional couple before doing so. The dream when the Doctor came and found an aged Clara was one of those beautifully painful moments that Doctor Who can do so very well when it really tries.

The aliens themselves were pretty decent and quite creepy, although unfortunately it would be very difficult to actually use them again, except in a very subplot way or it would seem too repetitive of this episode. Interestingly, it would be reasonably possible for them to be the maybe real/maybe not aliens from "Listen." Who knows?

My only disappointment with the episode was that Clara was not revealed to be pregnant. She certainly ought to be showing by now if she was... but if she's not, then how do we explain Orson Pink? Is he descended from a son of Danny's by another woman who Clara later forms a connection with? Or is he a future that has now been lost?

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