Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Doctor, The Widow & the Wardrobe - What Did YOU Think?

The Doctor Who 2011 Christmas Special, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, has aired - but what did YOU think. Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Obviously there'll be spoilers if you haven't seen it - so probably best not to enter the comment section, yes?

RELATED POSTS
Doctor Who: Series 6 - What Did YOU Think?
Guide to The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe
The Wedding of River Song - What did YOU Think?
Review of the Year 2011
Torchwood: Miracle Day - What Did YOU Think?
The Doctor, The Widow & the Wardrobe audio commentary

85 comments:

Don't Like Amy said...

It was kind of sweet. Until Amy showed up.

H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

was not keen thought it was not even chrismassey, i love dr who but latley it is loosing something, its not the same the highlight for me was when Amy and Rory came into it at the end, it will be such a sad day when we loosr Amy and Rory seeing them at the end was brill that made it for me but before it i was not excited at all. sorry

H said...

I expected something more complicated. I suppose that's one way of saying not enough happened.

Anonymous said...

I cried a river of blood in the end.

Rufus said...

Seen worse Doctor Who, Seen better Doctor who... just incredibly average. Nice dialogue but definitely Moffat's most flimsy plot to date, i expect it was due to some rushing in the production of the episode. It was incredibly cheesy (something I don't particularly enjoy) but was overall an enjoyable christmas episode

Who+ said...

Best Moffat episode for years - sure, it was yet another Christmas special and thus inevitably ladled on the schmaltz at the end (can't they cancel these instead of Confidential), but at least without the dreaded words "Alex Kingston" in the credits it was a little bit recognisable as Doctor Who, instead of some weird gun-toting girl-kissing Torchwoodesque spinoff.

Sian said...

Was rather predictable & cliched, but lovely and heart-warming, nonetheless :)

Paul said...

I thought it was a pretty good "special." I am also glad that River Song didn't make an appearance. It was up their with Moffats better episodes since he took over as show runner. Now the dreaded wait for Autumn 2012 begins.

Lu said...

Well, the whole episode was ok. It was exciting, but we've had better Christmas episodes.
But the end...oh my...
Very emotional...happy crying :)

Oh, and I loved the reference to Christopher Eccleston era :)

sushiewushie said...

We were really disappointed - I think the kids were even more disappointed than us. A few great moments but not great overall :(

Woose.K said...

I think Moffat sacrifice 55 minutes for last 5 minutes.
Well, the story is very formal christmassy but it's not feeling special episode. There's something missing...

Mango said...

I absolutely adored it. I thought it was sweet. I laughed and also found it very touching. I thought the Doctor was wonderful and it reminded me why I love him. It made my Christmas.

Steve Does Dr Who said...

I thought it was pretty so-so. Unfortunately Moffat seems to lack the moral courage to go for an unhappy ending in what he increasingly seems to see purely as a kid's show. So we have yet another character killed and then brought back.

Nice to see Rory and Amy at the end though.

The Ponds' Christmas Pudding said...

Worth the wait. Yeah, it went for the emotional gut punch, but how can you not like an episode where the Doctor goes all guilty school boy or breaks your bloody heart in the last scene? Matt Smith was brill, and the story was Christmas. Great end to the day.

Ivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ivan Phillips said...

Visually glorious, atmospheric, lots of lovely period detail and strong acting (especially Matt Smith and the other children) but no menace or threat at all, not much tension, and a plot thinner than the skin on a custard. Enjoyed the first half, felt the second half became far too predictable. It was 'nice', though, and I'll gladly watch it again.

Anna said...

...what you said in your review last week, Cameron. Again, a shame...I quite like Claire Skinner (and Matt), but in the end, it was just "well, there's an hour I won't get back again".

I used to play the Xmas episodes--hell, quite a few episodes from s1–4 and the Specials two or three times in a row when I first got them.

*sigh*...

Anermay said...

over the last few years, there have been myths and rumors about the future of the show, but Iv never taken notice, because Iv believed the show to be in safe hands, for all the flack RTD and Steemo have received, Iv always found elements to enjoy.
This episode however has me worried for the future of the show.
I could even imagine Steemo being called into the 6th floor at the BBC and being told "Its time for a re-think" after episodes like that start appearing.

I could rant for ages about this episode, but in the end, I knew it had failed when my family turned to me not half way though and started to point out how terrible it was. I dont mind if I didnt like it and they did, because that would mean that it had worked for the casual audience, but if the casual audience consider it "an hour wasted" then something has gone very wrong.

However this episode was not without its merits.
the last 2 minutes, where great.
The Doctor at the Williams and being told that a space is always ready for him, The Doctors reaction was genuinely moving! and another reason why Smith IS the Doctor and Steemo CAN still write this show.
As it added a lovely layer to the series and the character.

Overall disappointed, but now my mind is looking forward, Series 7 and the 50th anniversary are on the horizon.
where will 'ne-who' go next...
Jon.

Honduras Team said...

The end was the best bit, the rest was average at best to be honest. Still looking forward to the next series, and think Matt is great as the doctor, but that the ponds and river add so much.

SciFiRabbi said...

The lack of true villain is both a blessing and a curse. On the downside it leaves the viewer without the clear narrative focus a villain provides and the sentient trees are, pun intended, rather wooden and unsatisfying as protagonists. On the other hand it allows the story to focus on the wonderful interplay of the Doctor, at his mostly childlike and enchanting, and the children and their mother. And it is this relationship that is central to the story in every way. The story is, at its core, about the love of a mother for her children and the strength that gives her. There is the great scene whhen Madge points a gun at her human captors who do not believe she will shoot until she reveals to them that she is looking for her children, at which point they looked justifiably terrified of her. And the resolution of the plot involves the idea that as a female and as a mother she is the strongest person there, stronger even than the Doctor. My wife looked pleased at this point in the story so clearly the message hit home! Madge even “mothers” the Doctor at the end convincing him to do what he should have done at the end of last season – go to his friends and reveal to them that he is not dead as he had left them to believe at the end of the previous storyline. Oh, and of course, due to some” timey wimey” plot turns, Madge is no longer a widow at the end of the story, so we get a happy ending on all fronts.
So, all in all, a very satisfying slice of holiday cheer courtesy of our favourite madman in a blue box.

Hayley R. said...

Honestly I was more than a little disappointed. Moffatt and Smith have been disappointing me since the day they took over. I felt like this episode had no real plotline, and I couldn't connect with any of the characters. As always, the 11th Doctor came across as a little too childish and over-acted. I wish this episode had been better. Not really worth waiting all Christmas Day for.

StormWolf said...

Weellllll... It didn't piss me off as much as The Wedding of River Song did, that's for sure. It had a lot of moments that were really nice, and then there were moments that made me say (rather loudly) "Oh, come ON!"
For example, the plot point about the father shouldn't have been resolved. That was such a powerful moment and I was tearing up through it...and then it got watered down by the resolution of it. It didn't need to be resolved! Oh, and one minor detail that stuck out for me was Moffat's botching of the reference to Jabe. Jabe wasn't THE Forest of Cheem. She was a representative FROM the Forest of Cheem. However, I liked the references back to The Caves of Androzani. That was nice. It's just too bad that he didn't re-watch The End of the World before making a reference to it. Like I said, though, that's a minor point. All-in-all, it could have been worse, but it could have been so much better.

nel said...

I was totally disappointed. And bored. The kids were decent actors but were barely characters. And the one emotional moment we were building up to throughout the episode was undercut by Moffat once again deciding that "everybody lives." While that was a thrilling crescendo the first time, in series 1, here the fact that the dad ends up being alive after all just felt like a cop-out. Matt Smith was good as always, and like Tennant has that great ability to be comic and manic yet also believably quiet and soulful, often in the same scene. But this episode just felt empty to me.

Gaz10 said...

Finally, we've not had a good Christmas special since Voyage of the Damned.

Sophie said...

I thought the Doctor , The Widow , & The Wardrobe was a brilliant episode of New who.But I thought a christmas carol was better & more christmasy this was christmasy but not as christmasy as a christmas carol.

David, Birmingham said...

really enjoyed it and I don't think people who moan like hell about it are really proper fans. made me cry twice.. probably because of the drink i'd had...

Anonymous said...

I loved every single second, but it's really sad that we all have to wait till end of next year for the new season ><

Anonymous said...

I love the fact that the people bitching loudest and hardest can't even write in English, let alone form a coherent complaint about what they didn't like.

I thought it was lovely and fun and moving. No, it wasn't the deepest, most complicated storyline but ffs, people have been moaning about how difficult it is to understand the plots. So perhaps simple is best.

Best Xmas episode in a while. Far better than the nightmarishly painful Voyage of the Damned or End of Time (parts 1-407)

Janice said...

For a Doctor Who episode, it seemed like there wasn't much happening, and I really missed the presence of some companion, any companion; the Doctor seemed like quite a dull fellow in this story. I admit it, I shed a tear at the end when the Doctor went to Amy and Rory, but I wasn't much moved by any of the rest of what went on, and I got lost on the plot level as I was sitting there wondering what happened to the other two guys in the plane - what were they, chopped liver? Where did they go? Not a word as to their fate. I don't know what the makers' goals were with this episode, but something went wrong and the thing just didn't jell for me.

Anonymous said...

I loved it. It appealed to me on so many levels, I loved the Narnia reference so much, it was like being hit with simultaneous whacks of magical storytelling at once. I fell in love with the Wood King and Queen, the souled Christmas trees, the mother that always has to bear the load. I'll bet some people are saying it's trite but it's not to me. I know some incredibly strong woman so I loved the compliament that was given. Any chance to recapture the magic of childhood is a gift to me. I watched this episode on the edge of my seat, I had the magic of Dr Who hitting me, followed by the magic of Narnia, the I was dealt Vortex travelling, somthing I've loved since I was a kid, we got happy Christmas. Also, like a Christmas miracle, I liked Amy. Now I have to admit I was really happy to see her go but this episode enabled me to reconcile her place at the Doctor's side (finally) and that was a gift all on it's own because she went from being a character I loved, to one who I just wanted to go already. I loved the family vibe those two pulled off tonight, I was convinced, I bought it, so for me it was like adding a family member to my life (because I've been watching Dr Who for my entire life, as far as I'm concerned, he's part of my family). I know I wrote a lot, but I really don't have the words to describe how much I loved this.

Anonymous said...

Emotionally, it was pretty good. Moffat managed to largely tug on the heart strings, and the ending was absolutely fantastic in those terms. It was a great way to explain why the Doctor will be travelling with Amy & Rory again next series.

That said, the plot felt a bit slow and not particularly exciting. I love it when emphasis is put on character growth, but this time it just felt like the plot was thrown together quickly to fit the characters in-between filming.

Visually speaking, of course, it was very good. It felt very much like a Christmas special to me, which was something I felt Russel T. Davies wasn't all that good at.

All in all, it was alright-ish. I don't know if I'll bother with it every time I find myself watching through series 6 in the future, but I think it probably has a few good views in it left for future Christmases.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was an absolute waste of 60 minutes for me. Ridiculous, predictable, and sentimental. AND The Doctor breaths in space. Awful, awful, awful episode.

dandiedinmont said...

Quite enjoyed it, a return to form, although for me the best Christmas special is still The Next Doctor. I thought the most exciting part last night was the opening sequence, with the Doctor running through the exploding spaceship. I found the whole Narnia thing rather predictable and rather derivative. And when I saw Alexander Armstrong in his RAF uniform, I was expecting him to turn to Ben Miller and start a posh chav conversation. Overall pretty good, and a nice set-up for Amy and Rory in the next series.

Anonymous said...

Think they may have lost the plot this year!

Gavin Bollard said...

What a bunch of whiners posting comments...

It was a Christmas story and it was meant to be light, uplifting and understandable by people who are more than a bit tipsy and tired.

The key to Doctor Who has always been constant change. Some people accept the changes better than others.

Don't like the Moffat years? Fine. I didn't particularly love the Graham Williams years but they're still valid.

It will change again - and if the post 2005 followers can't handle it, then that's just sad.

John said...

I'm afraid I really dislike these "what do you think" posts as they turn into furious bashing often seen in those awful Doctor Who forums

Cameron McEwan said...

I agree John. Think this will be the very last time I do one.

Anonymous said...

...and the silence will fall.

Edzel2 said...

I liked it - true, it didn't beat 'The End of Time' Pts 1 & 2 as my all-time favourite Dr Who story, but it was feel-good Xmas fare and easy enough to follow for anyone not that familiar with the show. It was fairly predictable (quite a surprise when you look at some of the twisty, plotty, timey-wimey stuff Moffatt has written) but speaking as a proper DW geek, I don't think of the xmas specials as really being hugely important to the timeline (with the exception of TEOT of course) so that didn't really matter really... and as for people being worried about the future of the show - it was third most viewed prog of the day. Not exactly something to be worried about, unless it has always been No 1 most viewed, which I don't actually believe it ever has?? So maybe fans were not so enthusiastic but maybe that says more about us than the show itself? We have come to expect so much, TBH! No, I thought it was lovely in a fluffy 'happy-ever-after' way. Slightly dissapointed there was no trailer for the next season, but since nothing has been filmed yet that's not surprising, LOL!

Chris22webb said...

Not the best episode but enjoyable non the less my family ( non we) liked it as good Christmas entertainment.. I always feel less engaged when the Doctor has no companion to care about him so I loved the last few minutes but I wanted to love all of it. Matt Smith was awesome and it was well acted by everyone else. But surely having Alexander Armstrong as the WW2 pilot was a distraction innit blud.

Nenya said...

I really liked the episode but somehow I felt it could have been longer.
The Christmas special is always an episode for people who don't watch Doctor Who very often or only on Christmas, so they can't put that much background in it.

awkward91 said...

I'm very surprised at the negativity of a lot of these comments. Moffat does a complicated series and everyone moans, and now we get a simple and straightforward plot that doesn't require any additional thought (and makes no allusion the any series arcs) and that's a problem too? Could he ever please you people? I was absolutely content with the episode. I did prefer A Christmas Carol, and would still love it if other writers were given a shot at Christmas Who in future years, but Moffat clearly understands what the Christmas ep is about far better than RTD did. Yes, my first thought when Reg was saved was that it was a pretty cheesy moment and I wouldn't want Who to be so sentimental week after week. But it's Christmas guys! How else would it have gone? The Doctor coming in and saving Christmas for a family, that's what it's all about, and it hit the spot for me on Christmas evening. Particular props to Holly Earl who I thought was incredible as Lily (essentially the closest the episode got to a companion), and I would personally love to see the character return as a regular in a few years time. She seems like someone who'd want to see the stars to me.

Richard Starkings said...

The Wood in the Fireplace was a Lovely, lovely, lovely episode. Cam, when did you become such curmudgeon? Not a dry eye in our house.

Gypsy King said...

It was smug, lazy and flimsy. Just because it's Xmas doesn't mean logic and drama should be thrown out of the window. I thought it was the weakest Matt Smith episode to date.

StormWolf said...

"I'm very surprised at the negativity of a lot of these comments. Moffat does a complicated series and everyone moans, and now we get a simple and straightforward plot that doesn't require any additional thought (and makes no allusion the any series arcs) and that's a problem too?"

Being irritated when Moffat over-complicates everything does not mean we're going to love something JUST because it's simple. Simple doesn't have to be stupid and weakly put together.

EddGee said...

It needed to be an hour longer. There was such fine acting going on but not enough time to really flesh out the characters and get us to truly empathize with them. There's been worse there's been better.

awkward91 said...

Fair point StormWolf, but I fail to see what was weakly put together about the story. This was probably the simplest story you can get, there was no room in it for weakness from that angle.

Captain Marbles said...

I watched it with my wife plus nieces and nephews. They all enjoyed it with comments like "i liked it, corny but sweet", "really liked it, loved Madge" and "i love Matt Smith!".

For my money, it wasn't as good as last years, but still very entertaining and well drafted story. I liked Madge and hope we haven't seen the last of her. Plot didn't thrill and Bill Bailey needs to come back with a bigger role.

IMO, both of Moffat's Xmas specials have been way better than anything previous. They're definitely fluff but enjoyable fluff.

I did miss the Coming Soon trailer for next season, which always whetted the appetite for more. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see the first trailer.

Oksana said...

I thought the episode was very warm-hearted and surprisingly funny episode but lacked a bit of interest. It was nothing extraordinary, though i will admit the ending brought tears of joy to my eyes. All in all, still as excited and anxious to what's to come in next series.

Kitty said...

Boring, Boring, Boring. It wasn't as irritating as last year's, but Moffat's WHO has been a series of massively diminishing expectations for me... and despite my low expectations for this special, I was still disappointed. The oddest thing is that the Doctor himself was barely needed in this plot; the whole thing could have played out pretty much the same if he hadn't been there. And I'm really, really, epically tired of Moffat's dependance on "just believe!!!" as a resolution to any difficulty or danger. This must have happened in at least half his episodes, and it's such a plotting cop-out.

Moffat's turned out to be quite the one-trick pony, and as a person who was so looking forward to him taking over the show, I can't believe what a massive disappointment he's been.

Anonymous said...

Seemingly if we don't like certain episodes of Doctor Who we are not allowed to call ourselves "Doctor Who Fans". What a load of Christmas baubles! I thought this story was dreadful! It had no believeable characters, no plot, no drama, no chills (not even in the snow), no thrills and ultimately no point. Matt Smith is an excellent Doctor but he needs better material than this pile of turkey droppings.

Vincent Truman said...

As a doomsayer about the last season and having a admitted phobia about the Christmas specials since 'The Next Doctor', I was quite pleased to be quite pleased with this year's installment. While some plot points were silly (the Androzani reference seemed plugged in instead of having a purpose) and some one could see a mile off (the last 20 min), I actually was engaged and liked the emotional roller coaster. Finest Xmas ep since the first, IMHO.

Oli Mansfield said...

I don't think this episode could have been less interesting, had the Doctor been at the Pond's for an hour, just looking at them. While I'll respect Steven Moffat til the day I die, I'm just getting sick of his scripts. I love Doctor Who, but I've really fallen off on the who waggon. I'm desperately clinging on to my Tennant DVD's >_>

Leah De Leon said...

I definitely cried:) but I didn't like how the doctor went back to see Amy and Rory:( that seemed like he was going against everything he'd set up!
Great episode! Can't wait for the next season:)

Anonymous said...

So yes,it was cliche,but I personally enjoyed it. It was heartwarming and Christmassey,and had some funny parts to it. The end with Rory and Amy really got me,I admit It I was crying when they said they always leave a space for him. Overall,it was pretty good,but not excellent.

Zwiebelbaguette said...

First of all I have to say it's a shame, that some people here moan about other people's feelings. Not everybody likes the same things, no reason to insult them.

To me this episode was ... well ... nothing special. There have been worse and there have been MUCH better episodes. Moffat could do SO much better, in the RTD-era he wrote the best episodes, and Series 5 wasn't bad either, but Series 6 and this christmas special were a bit disappointing.

There WERE good moments, absolutely. And I would watch it again ... well, I will ... someday, but it didn't move me, emotionally. The Doctor had some nice lines, Amy with the water pistol was nice ... It's okay.

But ... if Santa Clause would have hatched from the ... 'egg' ... THAT would've been cool. Hope, something like that will happen next year ... That would have been a great plot.

So, conclusion: Really not good, but ... so what. A few funny lines are better than sitting in front of the tv watching re-runs of movies over and over again. Hope, it's getting better again.

Ruthie said...

Honestly: a huge disappointment. This episode was absolutely shameful, especially compared to last year's incredible one. I anticipated the special for quite a while, and frankly I expected more from Moffat. The Narnia base was a good idea and could have been amazing if...well if the plot was completely different.

Cat said...

I loved it. It had adventure and it showed the doctor as growing more towards his humanity.

I'm good with happy endings, and to be honest, while I do love Amy and Rory, the show is NOT called "The Companions"...it is Doctor Who. I do NOT like the "when I was a little girl..." bit at the beginning of the episodes, so I was thrilled to not see that. I will miss Amy and Rory, but the show will be fine without them.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't good.

The first 10 minutes were just a really weird fast-forward Willy Wonka-esque unfunny slapstick show and anything happening from their entrance into 'Narnia' onwards was boring. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to care for any of the characters. Last year's special was much better.

CassidyIrishLuck said...

Wanted to see a bit more of the forest and the family. Just to get more of the emotion. I did like the way it approached the strong female mom, of course, and liked that she got the Doctor to remember who loves him. It was great to see him teary! But I forgot why they thought he was dead. Inthought he visited them in the garden after Alex told them as well as getting them a new home etc. anyway cant wait to the show back. But bbc amer, stinks at when to put ads!!! Kinda ruins the timing and music.

Lynn Simpson said...

I loved it. I cried humany-wumany tears at the end, both times I watched it.

Love that the Magna Carta line was in there; have since discovered that the full title of the MC is, The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, and of the Liberties of the Forest which just cracks me up. Wonder if Moffatt really planned that? There were so many great lines/sentiments in this episode. Loved it all.

Anonymous said...

I'm so very sorry, but other than the last 3 minutes: "WHAT a load of old SH**e!"

I watched it with kids in America who LOVE DrWho, and they were like- well that was dumb. "Do they think we are stupid or something?" - 14yrold girl. "I'm gonna go play Wii" a big 10yr old tardis loving boy stomping off half-way thru. and my fave -from a 9yrold UBER fan- "SO that's the last new DrWho until after I turn 10 in October?!?!? That's just not fair!!!" He was almost in tears as he said this to his mom. The young man decided to put his Daleks in his closet that night.

Anonymous said...

9 year wandered off after 10 mins or so. 11 stuck to the end, said it was 'okay'. I thought it was fun, but didn't make any sense. who put the box there in the first place? the doctor? what for? and why have we had a dancing cyberman all over the bbc corporate id all christmas? it would have been great to see a cybermat emerge from those silver balls! well, it wouldn't have been any weirder than what we got. ultimately, for us, the prospect of a narnia style story was much more exciting than what we got, which simply didn't make any sense - and moffat's 'timey wimey' excuse doesn't have much credibility any more. what a waste of Matt Smith.

MadeInScotland said...

terribly dull; pointless and purely sentimental - I even predicted that the Doctor would be invited to stay for dinner, decline but this time go to visit the Ponds and spend Christmas with them. So slowly paced and none of the family were impressed; did something, anything happen other than a reunion?

ahoj

Anonymous said...

Bi dull, lost my interest but incredibly emotional towards the end. when the dad came back and when he showed up at amy and rory's house. then they already had set a place for him. they always did. *sobs* and then the doctor cries. *soooooobs*

PocketGal said...

I am almost afraid to give an opinion considering the way people are being "attacked" - but I'll give it a go.

I was bored, which disappointed me. I really, really wanted to enjoy this, after all it is Doctor Who ...at Christmas, however I found myself focusing on other things.

Sure it had some good moments. - I enjoyed the Doctor getting in the wrong police box and his manic tour of the house, and even though I am not Amy's biggest fan, I did enjoy the epilogue at her house, and I think I may have figured out how she and Rorywill be written out, but that is a conversation for another day.

I think it may be time to go back to basics, or I feel after the 50th anniversary there mightn't be much more left for us to enjoy.

But as ever and as is my right ... This is only my opinion.

james97 said...

I think this was a good one in general, maybe a little bit campy at times. I liked amy and rory at the end, but i think it should have been a bit more complex. unlike most fans, i happen to like the story arc and complexity of series 6. Overall, not as good as 2010 or 2009, but i was entertained.

Farsighted said...

Thought it was great for a Christmas episode. I did like A Christmas Carol better, it had a little bit more of a story and not quite as sappy, BUT, I did like this one too, it was sweet and Matt was hilarious. I think you lot tend to think everything has to be serious. I enjoyed the comic elements of this episode. My son just loved it and said it was funniest Doctor Who episode he ever saw. So there. Good job, Moffat.

masterniben said...

The episode was good, really enjoyed it, some tears came along in the end. Although, on the hindsight, it's not good enough to be the best christmas special. The Christmas Carol stands unbeaten.

Anonymous said...

I certainly do not feel the need for anymore sugar in my life after watching it! :D

Moffat shows he truly is a big old softy, a tender pile of sweetness... I don't mind this kind of episode at this time of year but I really hope Moffat doesn't let this side of his writing take over series 7; what with the rumour of mostly one-off bottle-neck eps I would hope for more shades of darkness and light than total light or total darkness.

I thought Matt Smith was once again the best thing about the show. I honestly think he will replace Peter Davison as my favourite actor in the role any time now. He just needs that one episode where I am totally convinced he is The Doctor, still waiting for his 'Earth Shock' moment. :D

The kids were not annoying, but the mother, the actress was a load of bad acting in a bad coat. Glad she won't be back!

Over-all a let down but then I am not a fan of any of the 'specials' so these types of eps are just not for me.

Amy and Rory at the end were wonderful to see, I didn't like the tear of happiness but again these types of episodes are not for me so I'll let that slide.

Roll on series 7!

Jonn Wolfe said...

Incredibly Incredibly Slow, with more naff bits of planes flying where they shouldn't. Honestly, it's like Moffat doesn't give a crap about physics, canon or actual.

I wouldn't be surprised if the so called 'Fall of the Eleventh' will include this: "Doctor Who?" "Well, actually, you see River, it's like this. I swapped clothes with the Doctor before he stayed behind in Pete's World, so to answer your question: Doctor Smith. No, seriously, that's who I am. Now, here's his name [whispers]. Go on then. Have fun at The Library!"

Jem said...

This ended up being more dreadful than I thought it would be and I did go into this more hopefully than last year. At the end my spouse and I looked at each other (well after I had woken him up - he dozed off during the exchange with the tree people)and both shrugged. I think his comment was that it was ridiculous, but not in a good way. 15 year old lasted for about 10 minutes before she was more interested in brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed.

There were some plus points: beautiful cinematography - it was wonderfully Christmassy; the young girl was good; unexpectedly, I liked the Ponds bit at the end and Matt Smith's Doctor was allowed to behave in a thoughtful and empathetic way in a couple of scenes.

Otherwise - nice moments strung together without any coherent plot; awful awful awful mugging by the doctor (I shall blame the script not the actor) in the beginning to evoke a slapstick mood - felt like slapping him with a stick; stupid opening scene - let's not even get started on the breathing in space bit; complete waste of Bill Bailey, Arabella Weir and the other one; the moral of a mother's love saving all - pass the bucket please. Doctor wiping away water leaking from his eye - yikes - glutinous even for Christmas Day.

It felt very thrown together and the references to other adventures (Forest of Cheam; waterpistol from Fires of Pompei and the Andrazoni) were presumably there to establish a feeling of continuity but I thought they just felt contrived. The stock comic banter and smugly knowing quips put into the mouths of the cast and the cringeworthy physical comedy stylings imposed on Matt Smith at the beginning of the episode were trademark Moffatt. While many people particularly love that aspect of his writing (and fair enough too as we all have different tastes and I understand that the show has never been more popular now than since its return, so I am in the minority), it made my heart sink.

Matt Smith is a wonderful actor particularly with children, but he is being made into an infantile idiot by the writing.

Oh well, at least only one gagging reference to River Song.

So very disappointed as there was a wonderful episode about love, loss and carrying on in there somewhere struggling to get out of the gloop.

Jem

Liz said...

Ah! Just realized this was on Blogspot, so I could actually comment.

the episode was a bit...average. Still, that's average for a Gallifreyan. I mean, come on now, it's the Doctor! What's average for him, may well not apply to the rest of us.Of course, I multitask, so I'm probably more forgiving of continuity. XD

And then continuity. The time travel aspect. It was pretty darn funny when the lady time-hopped, without actually knowing she time-hopped, looking for her children. That moment seemed pretty close to classic Who to me.

Still and all, it's nice that the Doctor actually went home for Christmas. You can't run away forever, and running away early in teh marriage just won't do. You need to be married and spend the two years at home, and not running around, before you run around, and away from heme. ;)

Lena Coakley said...

Just average for me. There were a number of moments where the show tried to whip up a sweeping crescendo of emotion that it hadn't really earned, such as when the Doctor was rhapsodizing about the power of motherhood. Those moments left me cold and, as another commenter said, gave me a worried feeling in the pit of my stomach about the rest of the series and where it might go.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the worst but was getting a bit pissed off at the Doctor being called "Caretaker" half the time - I kept expecting Derek Guyler to show up.

I suppose Moffett was trying to keep us interested by slotting old bits of dialogue - it didn't.

Next year, if there is a next year, I want a non-Christmassy and non-moral/eco prattling episode. Just an old school mad alien/villain with evil designs on the world or an historical romp.

It's not much to ask.

Dr.Dunno said...

It was really good. What's wrong with you people? This was the best Christmas special since the first one. This is by no means "bad Who". Do you people remember the eighties?!

Cameron McEwan said...

Dr. Dunno

There is nothing "wrong" with these "people" - they just have a different opinion to you.

Anna A said...

Disappointing.

Another example of SM wanting to write specific scenes and he doesn't care how he gets there or what comes after.

The first 15 minutes were great - even if the basic plot was a total rip off (not homage) of Narnia. Matt being all fun and mantic was great to see.

Past that? An entire planet is threatened and and all we get is the Doctor being fascinated by a building made out of a living tree?

Choppy editing, especially when the tree queen goes to put the circlet on the mothers head.

And then a total deus ex machina where the robot can travel in time with the help of the tree beings? Really?

I'm sorry, but SM is ruining what RTD started. I hope he is replaced soon with someone who understands having vision for the show, not just indulging in his boyhood fantasies of writing DW scenes he's always wanted to see.

Anonymous said...

@Dr.Dunno
Actually, the Doctor breathing in space is very eighties. And so is the slapstick.

cybearman said...

OMG I miss RTD's

cybearman said...

OMG I miss RTD's

chasa said...

Found it very satisfying and enjoyable. Unfortunately, I think reviews (yours, mine, everyone's) are colored by partiality to "camps" -- you've made it quite clear that you love David and I think the RTD era veered into utterly insane plotlines and stretched credulity in a fashion that I could not see clear of...I'm sure you feel much the same way now, while I love Matt and have long-standing admiration of Moffat as a writer. There ya go ;-) But God Bless Us Every One as Doctor Who fans for having a show that lives on and can be debated and preferred and despised and etc etc etc.

Anna A said...

Actually, I think Matt is doing fantastic with what he's being given. I just think he's being given crap, for the most part.

The Doctor's Wife and The Girl Who Waited are the only decent episodes of series 6 and Vincent and the Doctor and The Eleventh Hour of series 5.

There are notable scenes in some episodes (Amy's Choice, Pandorica/Big Bang, Astronaut/Moon, Good Man), but that's what SM does, he writes some good scenes but has been lousy with stories and dreadful with storylines.

I thought both Christmas Stories were terrible. Hitler was the biggest dissappointment and Wedding was full of plot holes and the contrived ending was shameful.

John manning said...

I think Matt Smith might go the way of Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy - a good actor wasted at the hands of poor stories and scripts and poor overall production.

I fell asleep a few times during the episode; the Lancaster on the lawn reminded me of Concorde landing back at the dawn of time back in Peter Davison's day - banal. Crud ending, crud conclusion, token Pondism...

Looking forward to next year's Christmas sPecial as it would be extremely hard for it to be worse than this.