Archive for ‘Xmas 2010: A Christmas Carol’
December 24th, 2014
your-favourite-christmas-special-revealed

All this month you’ve been voting for your favourite Doctor Who Christmas Special and the results are now in!

With 23.6% of the final vote, you have named the Doctor’s 2010 yuletude outing, A Christmas Carol, as the greatest of them all, and it’s not surprising really seeing as it’s pretty much the epitome of everything that Christmas stands for. It features snow, crackers, a timey-wimey take on the Charles Dicken classic and even Katherine Jenkins thrown in with a heartwarming festive song for good measure. What more could you possibly want!?

It was also special because it was Matt Smith’s debut seasonal adventure as the Eleventh Doctor and he spent it teaching lonely old miser Kazran Sardick – played by Professor Dumbledore himself Michael Gambon - how to love again. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Which has been your favourite Doctor Who Christmas Special to date?

A Christmas Carol (2010) (23.6%)
The Christmas Invasion (2005) (20.8%)
The Time of the Doctor (2013) (12.5%)
The End of Time, Part One (2009) (9.7%)
The Runaway Bride (2006) (9.7%)
The Snowmen (2012) (8.3%)
Voyage of the Damned (2007) (8.3%)
The Next Doctor (2008) (5.6%)
The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (2011) (1.4%)

The festive adventure continues tomorrow night in Last Christmas at 6:15pm on BBC One.

December 11th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
a-whovian-christmas

There are a few things that I can declare my undying love for. One being Doctor Who, obviously, and the other is Christmas. I love Christmas. It’s my favorite time of the year because of family, cheerfulness, and fun. But most importantly, Doctor Who Christmas specials! A Doctor Who special on Christmas has become a recent yearly event for die hard fans but it has also solidified itself into many households’ holiday traditions. Even casual viewers of the show will tune in to see what The Doctor is up to on Christmas day. And with good reason too. The Christmas specials are unique in that we get a little story in-between series. It’s just enough for us to get our fix before launching a full, long winding adventure with The Doctor. And it’s a festive part of the day.

There have been many wonderful Christmas episodes to grace our screens over the past few years. But my favorite of them all has to be “A Christmas Carol” from 2010. A main reason is the fact that “A Christmas Carol” is one of the few specials without a lot of other important Doctor Who things occurring in the background. The episode doesn’t need to focus on introducing a new Doctor (“The Christmas Invasion”, 2005) or a new companion (“The Runaway Bride”, 2006, “The Snowmen”, 2012). It also doesn’t deal with the sadness of saying goodbye to a Doctor (“The End of Time”, 2009, “The Time of the Doctor”, 2013). “A Christmas Carol” allows the viewer to become engrossed in the story alone. And as enjoyable as these other specials are, the major changes in the show as a whole can be a bit distracting and take away from the episode.

But “A Christmas Carol” is ultimately my favorite Christmas special because of the story. It’s a clever spin on Charles Dickens’ classic tale accomplished in only the way Doctor Who can, with timey-wimey tricks and empathy. The Doctor must save Amy and Rory along with a ship full of innocent passengers by making a man a better person. Kazran is the sole savior of the doomed but is unwilling to help. He is an old, bitter man who has so much, yet he hasn’t had the easiest life. The Doctor realizes that the only way to save everyone is by saving Kazran, going backwards in his timeline to show him a better path. The story is captivating. Although viewers are familiar with the concept of going through his life and seeing how he has affected those around him, Kazran’s past is changed right before his eyes. It’s a bit extreme even for The Doctor, as he is usually pretty adamant about not interfering with one’s own timeline. But for the sake of Amy, Rory, their fellow passengers, and for the people on the planet below, the idea works. It’s touching to watch an older Kazran reflect on his memories with The Doctor and Abigail as it’s happening in his past. And it’s even sadder to see how the harsh realities of life can easily lead him down the darker path.

But Kazran isn’t used as a prop to be manipulated into simply getting what others want. It is all a learning experience. He is exposed to the wonder of meeting The Doctor as a child and grew up with him. He experienced love and loss. The Doctor not only gave him a chance to redeem himself in order to save the lives of those on the ship, he also presented a way for Kazran to deal with his demons. That is perhaps the happiest outcome of the story in the end. Everyone was given the chance to learn more about themselves and the meaning of humanity. It’s a true Christmas message.

In the end, “A Christmas Carol” is heartwarming. It is exactly what you want from a Christmas story for the devoted Whovian and casual viewers alike. It’s simple, yet interesting enough to keep your attention. It is a truly festive occasion with snowy scenery, Christmas dinners, sleigh rides, and cherished relationships. I’ll always look forward to watching this episode every Christmas and am glad to have Doctor Who as a part of my yuletide tradition.

Written by Beth Willicome

December 8th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
tis-actually-the-season-this-time

A Christmas Carol…no, stop singing. Please stop, it’s horrible; I meant the story. Is there any story more well-known than ‘A Christmas Carol’? Is there a story that has been updated and rejuvenated more than that beautiful tale by Charles Dickens? Probably not and Doctor Who’s version of A Christmas Carol might just be the best adaptation, in my opinion. So, without further ado, here is my review of ‘A Christmas Carol’ written by Steven Moffat (the episode was written by him, not my review. If he says any different, I’ll deny it!)

This story is my favourite Christmas Special solely because it is the most Christmassy. This story’s whole plot revolves around Christmas. With the other Christmas Specials, it seemed to me that they were just episodes that happened to be set around Christmas time. Their plots could have been easily taken from that setting and placed into a different one with just a few minor adjustments. If you tried to take this story out of its context, it would probably resemble a badly edited picture with all of the background still attached from the original…the point is, it’s Christmassy. Even ‘The Unquiet Dead’, which is not technically a Christmas Special but is set around Christmas and actually features Charles Dickens, has nothing on this episode in terms of Christmas spirit.

Another thing I liked about this episode was the acknowledgment by The Doctor that he was using the plot of A Christmas Carol to aid him in his plan. There have been so many adaptations that just use the plot without a character even mentioning the similarities but in this story, the Doctor has a wonderful epiphany moment and realises that’s how he’ll get Kazran to turn nice.

Aesthetically, the story was beautiful. Sardick Town seemed to have a Terry Pratchett flair to it. The sort-of-almost-steampunk-ish buildings and costumes were brilliant and worked well with the story. They really seemed to say ‘A Christmas Carol in Space’. The special effects were stunning as well. The opening shot of Sardick’s house and the clouds swirling around the top of it was absolutely gorgeous and the way the hologram of Amy and Rory and the rest of the passengers looked was quite eerie which worked well in this story.

Speaking of the story, I was so glad that Steven Moffat utilised time travel for this story in an interesting way. He could have just had the Doctor go backwards and forwards in time and show Kazran his life but he was creative with it. The manipulation of the whole ‘fixed points can’t be changed but everything else is in flux’ idea in order to in turn manipulate Kazran’s life was ingenious and having the present Kazran as the Ghost of Christmas Future was a very Doctor Who and indeed Steven Moffat way of interpreting the story. Michael Gambon was detestable as both of his characters (and I mean that in the best way possible. The way he played both Kazran and Elliot Sardick was fantastic. They were so horrible.) And I think it goes without saying that Katherine Jenkins did wonderfully in the episode both on the acting and singing fronts. While I loved Amy and Rory, I thought the decision to use them sparsely in this episode was a good one. It allowed for more time to focus on Kazran and Abigail’s relationship and gave Amy more gravitas when she appeared as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

If there was one word I would use to describe this episode, it would be ‘beautiful’. It was visually stunning and the plot was wonderfully optimistic and full of Christmas cheer. In my opinion, this is the best Christmas Special that Doctor Who has ever produced (although, with Santa in ‘Last Christmas’, I don’t know how I’ll feel come Boxing Day). I believe this episode is worthy of a 10/10.

Thank you for reading, and Merry Christmas!

Written by Joshua Gardiner

October 1st, 2011
a-christmas-caroldalek-handbook-gift-set-details

You can now pre-order a new Doctor Who DVD/book gift set which will be released later this month!

The set contains the DVD of last year’s Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, and a copy of The Dalek Handbook by Steve Tribe and James Goss.

It goes on sale on 24th October and looks like it will make a nice little stocking filler this festive season! You can see what it looks like below…

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

May 2nd, 2011
welsh-bafta-shortlist-doctor-who-sarah-jane

The shortlist for this year’s BAFTA Cymru Awards have been revealed, and both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures are included!

Doctor Who is nominated in the Music & Entertainment Programme, Editing: Fiction, Make Up & Hair, Sound and Lighting categories, while its CBBC spin off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, is in the running for the Children’s Programme title. The ceremony will take place on Sunday 29th May at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Best of luck to the entire production team! At last year’s Cymru Awards, Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Advenures took home 5 awards between them. Let’s hope they have another night of success this year! We’ve got everything crossed!

April 26th, 2011
nominations-round-up-bafta-and-hugo-awards

Matt Smith’s acclaimed portrayal of the Eleventh Doctor has landed him a BAFTA nomination!

The actor has been shortlisted in the ‘Leading Actor’ category alongside Jim Broadbent (Any Human Heart), Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock). The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday 22nd May. Meanwhile, the series itself has also been nominated for a Hugo Award, with more than one episode up for the ‘Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form’ title.

Vincent and the Doctor, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang two-parter and A Christmas Carol are all in the running, so the odds are definitely in our favour!

Best of luck to Matt Smith and the rest of the cast and crew – we’re all behind you!

March 1st, 2011
listen-to-previews-of-a-christmas-carol-soundtrack

The official soundtrack to last year’s Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, will be released later this month, and, thanks to Amazon, you can now listen to short previews of each of the tracks to whet your appetite!

The soundtrack will be available to buy from 21st March and contains 29 tracks as featured in Matt Smith’s first festive episode, in which the Doctor had one hour to save a crashing spaceship and a miser’s soul. You can find out what we thought of the soundtrack in our Reviews section.

Did you enjoy A Christmas Carol? Let us know your reviews in the discussion!

February 28th, 2011
a-christmas-carol-special-nominated-for-saturn-award

The 2010 Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, has been nominated for a Saturn Award!

The festive episode, in which the Doctor had one hour to save a crashing spaceship and a lonely miser’s soul, is up for the award for the Best Television Presentation. It’s up against Sherlock, Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, The Pillars of the Earth, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and The Walking Dead. The results will be revealed in June at a ceremony in Burbank, California. Best of luck!

At last year’s Saturn Awards, Children of Earth was named ‘Best Presentation on TV’.

February 21st, 2011
pre-order-the-a-christmas-carol-soundtrack-on-itunes

The official soundtrack to last year’s Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, can now be pre-ordered for £7.99 on iTunes in the UK and Europe!

The soundtrack will be released a month today, on 21st March, and contains 29 tracks featured in the Eleventh Doctor’s first festive adventure, including the full version of Abigail’s Song, peformed by the episode’s guest star, Katherine Jenkins. You can also pre-order the disc on Amazon, Play and HMV.

You can find out what we thought of the new soundtrack in our Reviews section, here.

February 14th, 2011
review-a-christmas-carol-soundtrack

We’re thrilled to have been sent a preview copy of the official A Christmas Carol soundtrack which will be available to buy and download from next month!

After listening to all of the tracks (and playing Abigail’s Song on a continuous loop…), we’ve reviewed the release and you can find out what we thought of it by clicking here.

Thumbs up from us! You can pre-order your copy on various online retailers, including Amazon, Play and HMV.

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