Got to see this last night, a few preliminary thoughts and reactions:

 

1)"Nobody likes the tangerines." Is that a traditional Christmas gift in the UK? Like a stocking-stuffer, or something?  Mine usuallly comes with various toiletries in it. Honestly, I haven't had to buy shaving cream for years.

 

2)I like the Christmas-y opening credits.

 

3)Dream crabs? I generally dislike "What's a dream and what's real?" episodes. "Amy's Choice" did it reasonably well, this episode not so much.

 

4)"How do you get all the presents on the sleigh?" "Bigger on the inside."

 

5)"No one knows they're not dreaming."

 

6)Why would the dream crabs "network" their victims? Wouldn't that make them more likely to compare stories and twig to what's going on?

 

7When the Doctor thinks he's woken up, he's back at the volcano again.  Does that mean that "Dark Water" and "Death in Heaven" were all part of the dream, or were they just amortizing that set?"

 

8)Coleman wasn't that convincing as "Old Clara", or maybe she wasn't supposed to be, since it was all a dream.  "Old age" make-up is seldom convincing to me, anyhow, I can almost always spt a young person trying to play "old".  If Coleman had been leaving the series, this would have been an interesting "leaving scene" for her.

 

9)I did like the bit where the Doctor helped Old Clara open the Christmas cracker, a nice reversal of the scene in "Time of the Doctor" where she helped number eleven open one.

 

10)You know, even at the end of the story, the Doctor and Clara still don't have head wounds. So, are they still in the dream, or is this just sloppy writing?

 

Overall: So-so. Some amusing bits, but as a whole not all that well-written. To be fair, I don't generally find the Christmas episodes to be all that amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Last Christmas" is also the title of a song by Wham! in the 1980s. It's been covered by a lot of other artists, and has become a staple in the rotation when various stations/channels go all-holiday music near Christmas. I think the most recent version is by Taylor Swift.

I am embarrassed that I know all that.

I own a CD which has a cover of that song done by the Japanese voice actresses from Sailor Moon

“Where do writers get their ideas?” On this show, since the revival, the answer is often “From old episodes of Doctor Who.” Not necessarily lifted whole cloth, but more “reimagined” in the sense of taking a scene or special effect and doing it over with today’s special effects. The more of the original Doctor Who I watch, the more of these “swipes” I notice. I don’t really mind too much because it’s all “in the family,” so to speak. I don’t like it so much when they blatantly “reimagine” something from another source, as this episode blatantly did with Alien… unless they draw attention to it in the script, then make a joke about it.

This episode kept me on the edge of my seat… not because I hadn’t figured out it was all a dream, but because I thought Moffett was going to leave it “open ended” somehow, allowing that Santa Claus might really exist. I’m not a huge fan of the “Doctor Who as Fairy Tale” motif, so I’m relieved that the whole episode was, in fact, a dream as I suspected. Sometimes I’m pleased if I guess the resolution of a TV show or movie… if I think it’s clever or original. Usually I’m not so pleased if it’s predictable. This time I’m pleased precisely because it was predictable.

TANGERINES: When I was very young, not throughout my entire childhood but for at least one or two years that I can remember, my mother put her own twist on the tangerine custom. I don’t know where, how or from whom she heard about it. It wasn’t for Christmas, but rather for some day before Christmas. (The morning of Christmas Eve, maybe?) I had a stocking made of red corduroy with a loop that would fit over the bedpost at the foot of my bed. Whatever morning it was, I would awaken to find in it a tangerine and a lump of coal.) I remember her telling me it was from “St. Nicholas” specifically (as opposed to “Santa Claus”). I think it was her way of saying the whole “naughty or nice” decision was still up in the air and to watch it. (It was also about this time she broke out my Christmas 45s including “I’m Getting; Nuthin’ for Christmas.”) Before I really ever got a handle on it, she stopped.

Interesting.

Baron, I'm always amazed that you can out-weird me. My hat's off, sir!

The Baron said:

I own a CD which has a cover of that song done by the Japanese voice actresses from Sailor Moon

The album itself actually is a nice listen.  The fact that Japan, whose Christian population is negligible, takes note of Christmas at all is interesitng to me.

We ran an AP story about Japanese Christmas. Evidently they love the holiday, although they celebrate without any religious trappings at all. Instead, the focus is on gift-giving and parties. And, according to AP, the traditional Christmas meal is a visit to KFC. I kid thee not.

I've heard that about KFC.  From what I've read, their big winter holiday over there is New Year's, so perhpas Christmas allows them to extend the season a bit.

...My father had a way of filling out his end of the " From/To stickers on the presents he gave as being from " X-9 " , after Dashiell Hammett/Alex Raymond's SECRET AGENT X-9 , which he'd liked as a lad , most or all?? of his gifts saying that .

  Wasp/Episcopalian " don't blow your horn too much " reticence ?

  In in the 90s?? I gave him that Kitchen Sink book of the complete Hammett-connected X-9 strips , I had given him others of Eclipse/KS's classic strip collection books from the period , a volume of their STEVE CANYON collection that introduced Steve's niece/adoptee Poteet (Thhat's who it waas , wasn't it ?) and a FEARLESS FOSDICK alone volume taken from his LIL' ABNER appearances issued about the time of Beatty's DICK TRACY ~ At least once I signed a gift sticker to him " To X-9 From X-10 " !!!!!!!!!!!:-)
 
Jeff of Earth-J said:

“Where do writers get their ideas?” On this show, since the revival, the answer is often “From old episodes of Doctor Who.” Not necessarily lifted whole cloth, but more “reimagined” in the sense of taking a scene or special effect and doing it over with today’s special effects. The more of the original Doctor Who I watch, the more of these “swipes” I notice. I don’t really mind too much because it’s all “in the family,” so to speak. I don’t like it so much when they blatantly “reimagine” something from another source, as this episode blatantly did with Alien… unless they draw attention to it in the script, then make a joke about it.

This episode kept me on the edge of my seat… not because I hadn’t figured out it was all a dream, but because I thought Moffett was going to leave it “open ended” somehow, allowing that Santa Claus might really exist. I’m not a huge fan of the “Doctor Who as Fairy Tale” motif, so I’m relieved that the whole episode was, in fact, a dream as I suspected. Sometimes I’m pleased if I guess the resolution of a TV show or movie… if I think it’s clever or original. Usually I’m not so pleased if it’s predictable. This time I’m pleased precisely because it was predictable.

TANGERINES: When I was very young, not throughout my entire childhood but for at least one or two years that I can remember, my mother put her own twist on the tangerine custom. I don’t know where, how or from whom she heard about it. It wasn’t for Christmas, but rather for some day before Christmas. (The morning of Christmas Eve, maybe?) I had a stocking made of red corduroy with a loop that would fit over the bedpost at the foot of my bed. Whatever morning it was, I would awaken to find in it a tangerine and a lump of coal.) I remember her telling me it was from “St. Nicholas” specifically (as opposed to “Santa Claus”). I think it was her way of saying the whole “naughty or nice” decision was still up in the air and to watch it. (It was also about this time she broke out my Christmas 45s including “I’m Getting; Nuthin’ for Christmas.”) Before I really ever got a handle on it, she stopped.



Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...My father had a way of filling out his end of the " From/To stickers on the presents he gave as being from " X-9 " , after Dashiell Hammett/Alex Raymond's SECRET AGENT X-9 , which he'd liked as a lad , most or all?? of his gifts saying that .

  Wasp/Episcopalian " don't blow your horn too much " reticence ?

  In in the 90s?? I gave him that Kitchen Sink book of the complete Hammett-connected X-9 strips , I had given him others of Eclipse/KS's classic strip collection books from the period , a volume of their STEVE CANYON collection that introduced Steve's niece/adoptee Poteet (Thhat's who it waas , wasn't it ?) and a FEARLESS FOSDICK alone volume taken from his LIL' ABNER appearances issued about the time of Beatty's DICK TRACY ~ At least once I signed a gift sticker to him " To X-9 From X-10 " !!!!!!!!!!!:-)
 

Awesome.

6)Why would the dream crabs "network" their victims? Wouldn't that make them more likely to compare stories and twig to what's going on?

Yeah, that's a problem ... but one I could rationalize away if I really want to. (See, it's all about giving the Doctor a familiar problem and throwing the human cannon fodder into danger too often to give him time to think ...)

I enjoyed this more than you seem to, Baron.

1.  Not just a "base under siege" story, but a "polar base under siege" story.  Awesome!

2.  Nick Frost = Best Santa Ever

3.  Shona, Shona, Shona!  I believe the Internet has already beaten me to this, but wouldn't she be a terrific companion?  She could do the Shona Shuffle every story and that'd be OK by me.

I recall getting tangerines and walnuts in the Christmas stocking in the years before my dad passed.

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