Doctor Who Discussion – “A Christmas Carol”

The new special aired on Christmas Day in the UK and USA, and on Boxing Day in Canada (and, presumably, other times in other places.) What did you think of the world’s most timey-wimey Christmas special?

17 replies on “Doctor Who Discussion – “A Christmas Carol””

  1. It was truly excellent. I loved Moffat’s use of the TARDIS, which I thought was very effective. More often than not, we have protagonists who could have used the time machine at their disposal to help solve a crisis, but don’t. Not so in this case! Well done, Moffat.

    • Agreed. It was especially impressive how later trips to change the past actually took Kazran back to a darker place, against the intentions of the Doctor. It was a pretty original take on the Christmas Carol concept, with the “ghosts” doing things thematically interesting but not the same as the original.

      And Matt nailed the Doctor quite nicely – I think he’s shaping up pretty well.

      • It really was absolutely delightful!
        Past / Present and Future.

        I was pleasantly surprised by some of the twists. I love that Moffat can still surprise me!

  2. I think it was a very fun episode. Not earthshattering, but a really good Christmas Doctor Who.

    Again, just like in Blink, Moffat creates a character that has really very little screen time, but is very well realized and strikes an emotional chord with the audience. In Blink it was the one police officer, in this it was the girl on ice. You have to be a very good writer to pull that off and Moffat is one.

    I also agree that watching Kardan’s (sp?) memories change as the Doctor visited the past was very well done as well.

  3. What I don’t understand is why the kids who realise that the girl is dying don’t ask the guy with THE FRIGGIN TIME MACHINE to maybe take her to a super-awesome hospital or something.

    • Because that changes the timeline of that girl and we saw what happened with the Mars episode.
      He didn’t broach the subject, but it’s possible that it would have changed everything too much.
      Time is funny like that….

      • Plus, it would have changed the meaning of her “sacrifice”
        As much as we all like happy endings, it’s nice once in a while to have bittersweet endings.
        I thought it was perfect.

      • Yeah, but they didn’t even ASK. And the Bad Guy was all totally resentful and pissy about it, and he didn’t even think to ASK. Now if he’d have ASKED and the doctor said no, then I can see it.

      • I haven’t been keeping up with Doctor Who, unfortunately, but has there been a recent Mars episode– or are you referencing the alternate timeline brought about in “The Pyramids of Mars” (1975)? If so, hats off to you for your recall of matters Whovian!

        • The much more recent “Waters of Mars” (one of the David Tennant specials) involved a “fixed” event in which history required that a woman die, much like “The Fires of Pompeii” referred to a fixed event which history required. Had there been some sort of mention that this also involved a fixed event, the episode would have worked better. It certainly worked well, but could have worked much better.

  4. I felt like it was kind of disturbing to spend so much time on reforming the bad guy without ever resolving what happened to all of those people whose lives his family had stolen. I mean, it’s not even discussed. It’s like we’re meant to just assume everything worked out or forget about them. The problem being that it comes out to the same thing: something like “never mind.” It kind of clashed with that great line about never meeting anyone who wasn’t important. That kind of killed it for me.

    • He really wasn’t reformed until the very end of the episode. I could easily assume that he and his girlfriend would let them out Christmas day.

  5. Although overall I found it enjoyable, I did think it needed a few explanatory lines. As mentioned before, why doesn’t the doctor use the Tardis to save the people? Granted this isn’t his style, but a quick line would be nice for newer viewers. It wouldn’t even need to involve time paradoxes or fixed events, just something along the lines that he prefers to help others help themselves. Also, why doesn’t the girl ask the Doctor for help? He claims to be a doctor after all and has access to all of space and time. This part made no sense to me. Furthermore, why didn’t the older scrooge character, with all of his resources, try to get her medical attention? I think this is where the older episodes (put on rose colored glasses) with their longer running time really could shine. Too bad it isn’t still a 90 minute show :O

    • Like you said, it just doesn’t fit in the time. Using 5 minutes to explain that she had uncurabilitis in the end just uses up 5 minutes of screen time.

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