Doctor Who Christmas Special Commentary

I missed the Doctor Who Christmas Special on Christmas Day, but I saw a recording of it later on. Overall, I was pretty happy with it.

It wasn't mind-blowing, but it was a good solid episode. I'm wondering if it's just me, or if the Doctor without Rose is much more like the Ninth Doctor than the Ten we're used to. Almost every line he uttered in this episode could have been exactly the same from Nine, and there was bit more of that manic energy. On the other hand, he had the trademark Ten worried expression, not Nine's permanent grin.

The major theme of series two was that the Doctor outlives companions, and that your life after the Doctor is not the same as before. It could be restated a few different ways as comments on mortality and decisions, but let's go with these for now. This episode was in very much the same vein - Donna's life before and after are very, very different. One of the smaller, but more important markers of this is when she says she's going to travel - before, Lance accused her of not being able to find Germany on a map. There's also a very strong difference between Donna and Rose, illustrated here as Donna being unwilling to go with the Doctor, and Rose's absolute eagerness to do so.

I was immensely pleased that the Doctor actually said he was from Gallifrey. For some reason, in two whole series, he has never mentioned the name of his home planet before, and it was starting to irritate me. Now, of course, I'm beginning to wonder why he hadn't mentioned it - if it was something to do with Rose, or something the script writers thought would confuse viewers, or something else entirely.

Finally, I think there's something in the episode (aside from the preview at the end) which points forward to Series Three - the solider in the tank that first fired on the spider ship said "Orders from Mr. Saxon". In Love and Monsters, the copy of the Daily Telegraph being read by the Abzorbaloff (or whatever it was called) has Saxon topping the polls. Oddly, there was also a poster in the dance hall in the penultimate episode of Torchwood, Captain Jack Harkness, which read "Vote Saxon". I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes.

Posted by Drew Shiel at January 5, 2007 5:01 PM

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