Summary: Will Santa Give the Doctor & Clara what they really want for Christmas

Plot:   Clara is woken up by a crash and discovers Santa’s sled crashed on her roof.  As she cycles through that fact the Doctor suddenly appears and takes them to the North Pole where a group of Scientists are under siege by mysterious creatures.  Or are they?  And only Santa Claus can save them, the Doctor & Clara, or will Danny Pink save the day?

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Writing:  This episode is as close to perfect as you can get and it reminds me of the thing that frustrates me about Steven Moffat the most.  Last Christmas has absolutely everything, a terrifying villain, a wonderful hero, comedy, poignant moments, plot twists within plot twists  and an ending that is inspiring.  Best of all he manages this without a single time paradox.  I suspect I’ll be watching this one over and over again and that’s the frustration,   It’s hard to put up with C-List episodes when he’s capable of amazing things like this.

Acting:   Capaldi and Coleman are absolutely perfect in this episode with more chemistry that a lab at a pharmacy company.  Combine that with an incredible performance by Nick Frost as Santa Claus and excellent supporting performances by every single cast member from Dan Starkey to Faye Marsay and you get an episode you can’t put down.

Memorable Moments: Who you gonna call?  Dying manuals , can I drive? That’s racist.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Driving a sleigh (11th Doctor a Christmas Carol)  The cracker (Time of the Doctor 11th Doctor) Tangerines (The Christmas Invasion:  10th Doctor),  There was one man (School Reunion 10th Doctor) .

Oddities:  Shouldn’t there be some reason why these random humans became involved in this adventure?

Pet Peeves:   The  Doctor’s plan to detect the dream shouldn’t have worked since as soon as the first person read the manual aloud the others should have said the same thing.  Only writing it down would have worked with The Doctor being able to override the Dream Crab’s attempt to force him to see the same thing on all the sheets.

 

Great Quote(s) 

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Shona:Argh! Argh!
AshleyShona? Shona, what’s wrong?
Shona: We’ve, we’ve got ghosts!
Ashley:Ghosts?
Shona: Yeah, yeah, it’s a skeleton man and a girl in a nightie!

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Ashley: [To Santa who has just entered] Who the hell are you?
The Doctor:Oh, take a guess, go on. Push the boat out! Tooth Fairy, maybe? Easter Bunny?

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Clara:OK, Doctor, are you going to explain? What is going on?
Santa Claus:It’s an invasion, Miss Oswald.
Clara:An invasion of what, elves?
Wolf the Elf:Whoa! THAT is racist.
Ian the Elf:Elfist!
Wolf the Elf:Which is a bit hypocritical, from someone of your height.

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The Doctor:You all right?
Shona: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m trying to talk sense into Beardy-Weirdy.
The Doctor:You don’t seem much like a scientist.
Shona:That’s a bit rude, coming from a magician!

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The Doctor:  Beardy-Weirdy.
Santa Claus:Yeah?
The Doctor:  How do you get all the presents in the sleigh?
Santa Claus:It’s bigger on the inside.

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Professor Albert Smithe:They’re a bit like Facehuggers, aren’t they?
The Doctor:[Confused] Face huggers?
Professor Albert Smithe:You know, Alien. The horror movie, Alien.
The Doctor:  There’s a horror movie called “Alien?” That’s really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you.

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Clara:I miss you.
Danny Pink:Five minutes.
Clara: What?
Danny Pink:You can miss me for five minutes a day. And you’d better do it properly. You’d better be sad. I expect my five. But all the rest of the time, Clara, all the rest of the time, every single second, you just get the hell on with it. Clear?

****************************************************

The Doctor:  This makes perfect sense. The Dream Crab tries to make the dream as real as possible to trap you inside it. It creates dreams within dreams so you can never be sure if you are really awake. But your brain knows something is wrong. Your subconscious fights back. THIS is your mind, trying to tell you this isn’t real.
Santa Claus:  So it gives you me. Sweet Papa Chrimbo!
Ian the Elf:It gives you comedy elves, flying reindeer.
The Doctor:  Exactly!
Santa Claus:  A time-travelling scientist dressed as a magician.
Ian the Elf:  Classic!
The Doctor:  No, no, no. hang on. No, no, no, no.
Wolf the Elf:Living in a phone box.
The Doctor:  It’s a spaceship in disguise!
Santa Claus:  You see how none of this makes any sense?
The Doctor:  Shut up, Santa!

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The Doctor:No, no, no. Line in the sand. Santa Claus does not do the scientific explanation!
Santa Claus:All right. As the Doctor might say, “Arr, it’s all a bit dreamy-weamy!”

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Santa Claus:Fortunately, I know all your home addresses.

Thanks to this site for having a transcript so I could recover all I lost after hours of copying this stuff by hand.
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Final Verdict:   5 stars.   As close to a perfect Doctor Who episode as you can get. Worthy of the Baker era.

Ranking of Season:   1st of 13. I thought for a short while before ranking it above The Caretaker but this episode not only had everything but actually moved me emotionally. Was caught totally by surprise by Coleman deciding to stay.

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. Mummy on the Orient Express
4. Into the Dalek
5. Dark Water
6. Listen
7. Flatline
8. Robots of Sherwood
9. Time Heist
10. Kill the Moon
11. Death in Heaven
12. Deep Breath
13. In the Forest of the Night

The Latest of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who

Summary: Murder strikes Bristol in a totally different Dimension or the lack thereof.

Plot:  The TARDIS lands in the wrong place (Bristol) and with the wrong exterior dimensions to the point he and Clara can barely get out. The Doctor re-enters and sends Clara off with his psychic paper and sonic screwdriver to try and trace the source which is a set of two dimensional beings responsible for a series of disappearances using the “murals” of the dead as disguises. Clara with the TARDIS now small enough to fit in her purse must take the role of the Doctor. Can she keep everyone alive long enough to both restore the TARDIS and save everyone while she’s doing it?

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Writing:    Jamie Mathieson’s 2nd Doctor Who story is another horror with a touch of Adams family comedy. He keeps it moving while putting the Doctor in Clara’s head both in terms of a camera and earpiece. It’s a winner although with two straight horrors it remains to be seen if he can write something with a different motif vein, but even if every time we see his credit at the start it means another horror at least we know disappointment is unlikely to follow.

Acting: Both & Coleman do their usual good job Capaldi does most of his work alone and Coleman splits time with the supporting cast (mostly Joivan Wade’s “Rigby”) with Coleman doing the better job in an episode that neither by costume or dialogue plays on her sexuality. As far as the supporting cast, nothing special going on, they are adequate but not memorable.

Memorable Moments: Something I don’t know, numbers, Thing.  Lies, The Phone call to Danny. I name you.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:   Shrinking TARDIS Logopolis (4th Doctor) The Man who stops the monsters…The Girl in the Fireplace, I name you… The Shakespeare Code, The wrong people surviving Voyage of the Damned (all 10th doctor) Having to lie The Wedding of River Song (11th Doctor).

Oddities: The scene where the TARDIS is shrunk really brings out how tiny (5′ 2″) Jenna Coleman is, particularly compared to Peter Capaldi’s 6′ height. From the shooting it appears Jenna was the only one actually ever fully inside the prop.
Pet Peeves:   Since the outside dimension of TARDIS and the inner shell are in different dimensions why would the size of said dimensions have any effect on the power levels?

Great Quote(s) 

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The Doctor: This is annoying. The Tardis never does this. This is huge! Well, not literally huge. Slightly smaller than usual. Which is huge.
Clara: Yes. I get it. You’re excited. When can I go home?
The Doctor: Your house isn’t going anywhere. And neither is mine until I get this figured out. Could you not just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something? I mean, it happens so rarely.

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Risby You never did tell me your name.
The Doctor: [speaking to Clara through her earpiece from the Shrunken TARDIS] No time to fraternize. Come on, get rid of him.
Clara: I’m er, I’m the Doctor.
The Doctor: [EST] In the TARDIS Don’t you dare.
Clara: Doctor Oswald. But you can call me Clara.
Risby I’m Risby. So er, what are you a doctor of?
The Doctor: [EST] Of lies.
Clara: Well, I’m usually quite vague about that. I think I just picked the title because it makes me sound important.

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Risby It’s bigger. On the inside.
The Doctor: [ST]Do you know, I don’t think that statement’s ever been truer.

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The Doctor: [CST] Excellent lying, Doctor Oswald.
Clara:   Yeah? Well, thought it was pretty weak myself.
The Doctor: [CST] I meant to me.

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The Doctor: [CST] Clara, this is a Vital stage. This little group is currently confused and disorientated. But pretty soon a leader is going to emerge. You need to make sure that leader is you.
Clara:  I’m on it. George. George, isn’t it? Can you watch that area? If you hear anything, anything moves, you shout, okay?
Fenton: He will do no such thing until I get some answers. Who are you? That’s what I want to know. Impersonating a government official. Trespassing on council property.
Clara:  Seriously?
Fenton: Seriously.
Clara:   Fine, I’ll tell you who I am. I am the one chance you’ve got of staying alive. That’s who I am.

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Clara:   Er, what are you doing?
Risby I’m going to ram them, buy you some time.
Clara:   You’ll die.
Risby Yeah, course I’ll die. Now go!
Clara:  Well, why’d you want to do that?
Risby Just go, okay? Let me do this.
Clara:   Okay, fine, yeah. And I’ll always remember you.
Risby Fine. Great
Clara:  Cos I was just going to do this. [attaches hairband to control to hold it in place] No driver required. And I really like that hair band, but I suppose I’ll just take it, will I? And every time I look at it, I’ll remember the hero who died to save it.

***************************************************

The Doctor: I tried to talk. I want you to remember that. I tried to reach out, I tried to understand you, but I think that you understand us perfectly. And I think you just don’t care. And I don’t know whether you are here to invade, infiltrate or just replace us. I don’t suppose it really matters now. You are monsters. That is the role you seem determined to play. So it seems I must play mine. [Dramatically exits the TARDIS] The man that stops the monsters. I’m sending you back to your own dimension. Who knows? Some of you may even survive the trip. And, if you do, remember this. You are not welcome here. This plane is protected. I am the Doctor. And I name you The Boneless.

Final Verdict:   Four stars. Solid episode

Ranking of Season:   5th of 8.   That “monster” speech is going to get a lot of youtube replays.

1. The Caretaker
2. Mummy on the Orient Express
3. Into the Dalek
4. Listen
5. Flatline
6. Robot of Sherwood
7. Time Heist
8. Kill the Moon
9. Deep Breath

The latest in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: The Doctor has found Clara but will she be lost just as quickly?

Plot: In deep retreat at a monastery the phone in the phone box of the TARDIS rings and discovers Clara is the person on the other line. Tracing her to 21st century London he find her consciousness being stolen over the internet by a malevolent force feeding off not only her but large swaths of humanity. Will his quest to find Clara end almost as soon as it begins.

Writing: This story rocks as much as any story since the series revived, it has great action sequences, puzzles, took advantage of the TARDIS and that doesn’t even apply to the characterizations of the main characters. The borrowing of voices was an excellent tool and played even better. It’s a Mary Poppins script, practically perfect in every way.

Acting: Jenna Louise Coleman is incredible as Clara and if she and Matt Smith had any more chemistry they would be arrested for owning an illegal lab. Celie Imrie plays her part to evil perfection and the every person providing her voice manages to carry over that feeling as well. Everything works.

Memorable Moments: So many,  A woman, who gave you this number, this way,  All contributions welcome, 23 brains, lovely cup, I’m going to motivate you and the Airplane scene which deserves to be actually seen:

Oddities: The doors of the TARDIS are open when he drives out with the motorbike, and seems to have closed by themselves without even snapping his fingers.

Pet Peeves: Whoever gave Clara that number had to know who see was.

Great Quote: (s)

Clara Oswald: Ah, hello. I can’t find the internet.
The Doctor: Sorry?
Clara Oswald: It’s gone. The internet. Can’t find it anywhere. Where is it?
The Doctor: The internet?
Clara Oswald: Yes, the internet. Why don’t I have the internet?
The Doctor: It’s 1207!
Clara Oswald: I’ve got half past three. Am I phoning a different time zone?
The Doctor:Yeah, you really sort of are.
Clara Oswald: Will it show up on the bill?
The Doctor:Oh, I dread to think.

****************************************************

Miss Kizlet: I’m ever so fond of Alexei, but my conscience says we should probably kill him.

Mahler: I’ll tell H.R.

Miss Kizlet: Actually he’s about to go on holiday. Kill him when he gets back. Let’s not be unreasonable.

*************************************

Clara Oswin: When you say mobile phone, why do you point at that blue box?

The Doctor: Because it’s a surprisingly accurate description.

*******************************************************************

Clara: So if we can travel anywhere in time and space, why did we travel to the morning. What’s the point in that?
The Doctor: Whoever’s after us spent the whole night looking for us. Are you tired?
Clara: Yes.
The Doctor: What? Then imagine how they feel. They came the long way round.

*************************************************

Final Verdict: 5 Stars but only because I don’t use more. 4 1/2 Stars Not far from 5 and a real interest bringer.

Ranking of Season 7 1st of 8

1. The Bells of St. John
2. The Power of three
3. The Snowmen
4. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
5. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
6. A Town Called Mercy
7. Asylum of the Daleks
8. The Angels Take Manhattan

Ranking in Matt Smith Era to this point (top 10 shown) 1st (A solid contender for the best episode of the revived series.)

1. The Bells of St. John
2. Let’s Kill Hitler
3. The Girl who waited
4. The Doctor’s Wife
5. The Pandorica Opens
6. A Good Man Goes to War
7. The Eleventh Hour
8. The Big Bang
9. The Lodger
10. A Christmas Carol