A Christmas Carol + the Series 6 Trailer.

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A Christmas Carol + the Series 6 Trailer.

Post by BBrooks »

Now that you've had a few weeks to think about and re-watch this years special. What did you think of it?

"A Christmas Carol" was the most complex of all the Specials so far (Plot-wise) and certainly the most surreal. Previous specials have been the usual "Somethings threatening the Earth and The Doctor defeat's it" stuff. It also boasted some impressive special effects which were on par with a Hollywood Blockbuster.

Matt Smith is now no longer living under the shadow of David Tennant and he's now firmly established. Though it's been hard winning over Nu-Who fans for Matt, when BBC Three keep on repeating the Tennant era over and over. You didn't see constant Tom Baker repeats when Peter Davison was playing The Doctor.
Michael Gambon was a brilliant Scrooge-like curmudgeon, did anyone else over the festive period spot former Master Derek Jacobi playing a similar character in a Sony advert. :)
Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill sadly weren't given much to do, even though their names appeared in the opening titles and Katherine Jenkins's acting was OK. It was evident that it was her singing voice which got her the role.
All in all it was very good, but next year I'd like a special which tie's in more with the series, rather than it being a stand-alone Adventure. So it gives us a cliffhanger to keep us guessing.

At the end, the trailer for Series 6 gave us a lot of things to mull over. Such as the prospect of a Cowboy and Western episode, a "Blink"-style story with scary dolls written by Mark Gatiss and the image of an unshaven Doctor being held prisoner somewhere. Here's hoping that the cliffhanger for the first part will involve Paul McGann returning as the 8th. I mean you don't get a new costume and Sonic Screwdriver made just for "Big Finish" Covers do you. :)
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Re: A Christmas Carol + the Series 6 Trailer.

Post by HStorm »

I generally refuse to review the Christmas 'specials' on a point of principle i.e. the principle that they're lazy attempts to cash in on the hype of the revival. But seeing you asked...

I was afraid when I heard the title that this would be one of the cheapest, most cliched Xmas episode ideas in television, where someone bitter and miserly is turned into someone nice by someone who takes inspiration from the works of Charles Dickens. "Spare me!" I was thinking. "Every TV series in the western world has pulled that stunt!" (And yes, I do remember that I once wrote a KM fanfic that pulled the same stunt. I'm perfectly prepared to admit in hindsight that Lord Fear's Christmas Carol was rubbish, and for precisely that reason.)

In the event, this wasn't too bad, because at least it avoided using the standard formula of three frauds dressing up as ghosts and visiting the miser through the night. It was a shame that it strayed towards it with the scene where Amy's hologram confronts the eldery Sardick, but it was nothing vomitously bad.

In fact, the plot was full of ideas of its own, although I thought the idea of flying sea creatures interspersed with footage of an opera singer from Wales was one of the oldest jokes you could hope to avoid. And 'Kazran Sardick' as a play-on-words was a bit crude; "Kazran's-a-dick!" in case you missed it. I always enjoy the rebooted series' knack for subtle emotional guidance.

Performances were good, except Katherine Jenkins. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting her pouting melodramatics were bad, but I hear that Letitia Dean dropped by during filming to suggest she rein it in a bit...

In fact, I do very much like Jenkins, and she has some potential as an actress, but she clearly wasn't ready for this. She was only crowbarred in because she's a current pop-culture icon (who's happy to wear low-cut dresses of course), which in the long term is not a very wise selection criterion. Casting a big name in a guest role just for the sake of it can seriously date the story they appear in - see the hopeless miscasting of Beryl Reid in Earthshock in 1982. I fear that in a few years, A Christmas Carol will become most recognisable for a then-popular opera singer playing a role she wasn't ready for, and people will think, "Geeez, that is so 2010!"

But even so, A Christmas Carol is about the best of the Christmas 'specials'. That's not saying a lot, and in truth, it rarely rises above mediocrity - the twist of having two incarnations of Sardick meeting each other was the high spot - but given that Dr Who at Christmas has given us such hideous, under-cooked trash as The Christmas Invasion and The Runaway Bride, I suppose I should just be grateful for mediocre. Certainly this and The Next Doctor were far stronger than previous Xmas efforts.

As for the trailer, the series is starting to make a little too much of River Song for my liking. She's amusing, but is she really that much of a crowd-hook? On the other hand, an apparent Western looks like a nice change of scene for the series, and I've always thought that The Gunfighters was one of the most criminally-underrated stories of the Hartnell era, so it could also make a nice bit of nostalgia.
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