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.
Interesting - must've been our family. I ended up gettng Milky Way bars alot.
I thought it was a great episode. I guess for a one-time watch, they just kept throwing stuff at you so you hadn't time to try to make sense of it. Santa/Alien/The Thing from Another World polar setting and then throw in all that Dream twistiness. "Dreamy-Weeminess" as Santa called it.
I thought it was very satisfying. Santa is real insofar as he is our conception of a fictional benevolent 'wise old Elf' and the episode gave him a role in exactly that capacity. Also the dream stuff made sense within its own dream logic. As someone said above, it's easy to imagine why the victims had to be 'networked'. Maybe that used less psychic energy of the dream crabs? (of course it made for better drama.)
And how could they make it any more original? They were either dreaming or they weren't! They made a pretty good drama out of much used sci-fi/fantasy tropes, including yer man coming back from the dead for the titular 'Last Christmas'. (I missed the Wham song too... :-( )
Old Clara was just about another dragged out addendum too far for me. Who cares about the Doctor and his relationship with his Companion? Not me. That's a very insular and navel-gazing topic for a show that can purportedly tell any story from all of time and space! This season has done a good job of pulling back from that storytelling mode, to some extent, and that and Capaldi is why I've stayed on board.
How many times has Clara left the series by now? I count 3 in the last two episodes alone. It's going to make her actual exit a bit of a damp squib, dramatically when it eventually comes around. And hopefully we don't see any more of Yer Man. New Who really is a series where deaths don't count isn't it?
How many times has Clara left the series by now? I count 3 in the last two episodes alone. It's going to make her actual exit a bit of a damp squib, dramatically when it eventually comes around.
Thinking about this. Both RTD and Moffat have tended to write companions who never have a reason to leave, and therefore have to be sealed away behind a Wall of Plot:
1)Rose, who had to be sealed off in another dimension. (Although that didn't stop her coming back.)
2)Donna, who had to be mind-wiped.
3)Amy, who had to be shunted off to the past, with a BS "interference filed" around her..
4)Clara, woh Heaven knows how they'll write her out. Moffat has said that she was planned initially to leave after this season's finale, bu then she decided to come back.
Martha Jones is the exception to the rule, staying on Earth to look after her family, but otherwise, companions can't just leave anymore!