Sunday, December 25, 2011

Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe - Review

The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe promo copyright BBC
This review contains plot points which may be considered spoilers for someone who has not seen the episode

 First of all,the Doctor Who Christmas Special has become as much a tradition in my house as me watching the Queens speech growing up and with that said, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe was a fantastic mix of emotions from happy to sad to confused to "I simply don’t believe that…" Starts off with the 'I don’t believe that', the Doctor falling to Earth from an exploding space craft, already completely unbelievable how would he breath…have we forgotten about the vacuum in space, and why is the space ship exploding anyway... more questions than answers! Anyway something I’ve always really liked about Doctor Who is the “It might just be possible if….” story lines this was not one of them, and we seem to be finding more of them creep into episodes of late. However from then on, VERY much the Doctor we've come to know…
Nice introduction of characters, some loose ends but mostly stuff that can be ignored.  Set (originally) in the 1930's, with World War II around the corner (Steven Moffat's Favorite era I believe) we are set in the same sort of era as the stories original basis "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". However apart from the title, the era and the snowy landscape that's about it as far as similarity to the original, I think the similarities were just an excuse to have a cool title rather than retelling the Narnia tales...

You may recall that the universe believes the Doctor to be dead, and so he assumes the new title of Caretaker, and returns a favor to a woman who helps him after his unfortunate crash to earth wearing only a space suit (yes, that's the I just don't believe it scene) anyway he remodels an old mansion they just so happens to be the location outside of a war-torn London where this same woman takes her two children (Lily and Cyril) to spend Christmas. And when I say remodel, seriously the guys and girls of Changing rooms/Trading spaces could learn a thing or two! Everywhere you look there's something of interest, something shiny, something loud, something different and whether you love it or hate it its seriously Christmassy, from an impact suit that repairs its occupant, naturally-occurring Christmas trees, dancing chairs, a winter wonderland wrapped in a TARDIS-blue gift box, wooden monsters who really aren't monsters and not forgetting Bill Bailey looking like something out of Halo.
"What's the point of them being happy if they're going to be sad later? The answer of course, is because they're going to be sad later."
I've wondered how long before we see Bill Bailey in a Doctor Who episode, and finally here he is. Shame it was a small part and in all honesty the three storm troopers seemed a little redundant as far as character development, they didn't really offer a lot to the story.  And quite abruptly left the episode as quickly as they appeared.
Without giving to much away, it was as quirky and fun as the previous year perhaps more so and perhaps the best Christmas special so far, although I did rather like last years, anyway back to 2011. When Madge is piloting the craft through the time vortex (SPOILER ALERT) I did feel sad, not wanting to see her husbands death, the children learning their father had died was tear jerking, a GREAT emotional scene… I also like that I didn’t immediately think that the husband would have followed them through the vortex, least not straight away, I had figured it out as soon as she was telling the kids officially….  Whats this an entire episode of Doctor Who and no Ponds? Oh wait there they are... all in all this episode didn’t just have a fantastic ending, it had two weepy finales – even the Doctor was a little teary. Matt Smith continues to make it seem like he has played the role of the Doctor since 1963...  What a cracking way to spend the evening, snuggled up in front of the telly with your turkey sandwich and the Doctor Who Christmas special.  

Merry Christmas everyone.


  1. I really enjoyed it, again, this year...I have to admit, I cried at the end...

  2. I pretty much see it the same way you've written. The Ending for me was truly fantastic and you're right Mr Smith (lol its the Doctors Alias) really does "make it seem like he has played the role of the Doctor since 1963". I too would've loved to have seen more from Mr Bailey but oh well. Maybe next year the doctor could "stumble" upon a group of paranormal researchers? ;-)

    -Mario Andrew Neophytou
    @GCm4n (Twitter)

  3. The Christmas special was quite good but I feel there was some lapses for character development. However, I am ridiculously sad to hear that Amy Pond is leaving the show but intrigued to who the new companion will be.