Doctor Who Reactions: "The Christmas Invasion" (SPOILERS)

(The DVD set includes a "Children in Need" special, which is a brief bit set between the end of "The Parting of the Ways" and the start of "The Christmas Invasion".  Basically, the scense concerns Rose freaking out a bit and the Doctor having a bad reaction to his regeneration.)


1)I notice we open with a replica of the "pan from space down to the Powell Estate" shot from "Rose". Our Russell seems to like this kind of stylistic parallelism, though he sometimes overuses it, I think.


2)Much of this episode is taken up with the traditional "The Doctor has just regenerated is he's all messed up for awhile" routine. I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense, but just once I'd like to see a regeneration that doesn't go worng - maybe he has time to get back to the TARDIS and take proper precautions so that the next Doctor doesn't spend his whole first story being all screwy before pulling it together at the end in time to save the day.  the "growing a new hand" stuff struck me as a bit sketchy, but then if Romana could try out new bodies before deciding on one, i suppose this'll pass muster.


3)The Robot Santa Clauses were amusing - someone's been watching Futurama - and I liked the killer Christmas tree. Can't say as I thought much of the Sycorax, sort of low-rent Klingons. But maybe that's what they're meant to be, so the story can focus on the new Doctor.


4)I definitely remember not knowing what to make of the new Doctor when I first saw him. It doesn't help that he spent so much of the story either asleep or talking ragtime.


5)Jackie certainly seemed to warm up to him a bit during the episode - falling asleep at his bedside, and then letting him hug her at the end.  Nice to see the characters progress.


6)Good to see Harriet again - don't quite buy the idea that the Doctor could bring her government down just by whispering "Don't you think she looks tired".  It's a little too "a wizard did it" for my tastes, a sample of the "magical thinking" that RTD brought into the series.


7)Of course, the really unbelievable idea in this episode is the notion that Britain would have a space program! Ah-hah-ha! ;)


8)We get our first Torchwood mention. Say, if they have a death laser, how come they never use it again? There've been a couple of times that would've come in handy.


9)Of course, it's tea that revives him. There's alot of "my, aren't we British wonderful" stuff in these early shows - do the British really need that much self-affirmation?


10)It was fun seeing Rose try to be the Doctor towards the end and failing utterly.


11)Some Fun Quotes:

  • "Anything else he's got two of?"
  • "Where'd you get a pair of men's pajamas from?"
  • "Yes, we know who you are." Oh, the mileage our Russell got out of that joke.
  • "There's an act of Parliament banning my autobiography."
  • "Maybe they're not actual Martians." "Of course not, Martians look completely different."
  • "I don't suppose we've had a Code Nine?"  Wonder what their first eight options are?
  • "Sorry, that's 'The Lion King'."
  • "No second chances - I'm that kind of a man." In other words, you're a bit of an a**.


Overall: It was OK, I guess - not one that I re-watch very often.  First episodes for new Doctors are often weak story-wise, since so much of the story is taken up with setting up the new guy.  Out of this, "Rose" and "The Eleventh Houir", I'd say this was the weakest of the three.

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Addendum: I have to wonder where the Sycorax leader landed - I picture some guy trying to explain to the British analogue of State Farm, how an alien falling out of the sky ought to be covered on his policy.

"just once I'd like to see a regeneration that doesn't go wrong"

Well, both Jon Pertwee & Tom Baker were only really "out of it" for ONE episode, although, if you watch more, you notice they didn't actually "settle down" into their new persona until their 5th episodes (beginning of their 2nd stories, when the NEW prodcution teams actually took over). Pertwee spent his entire 1st story "doing" Troughton! (And I think Baker did, too.)

Does it strike anybody as odd that that happened twice, an old producer & story editor team introducing the NEW Doctor, then dropping in the lap of the new team? You'd thought a new team would want to come up with "their own" Doctor, rather than getting stuck with what the departing guys dumped on them. But maybe it was a BBC sense of "continuity". The show was never the work of any one man, or even one team, it was always a buracracy at work, many people involved.

Mr. Copper: So Great Britain is part of Europe, and just across the British channel you've got Great France and Great Germany?

The Doctor: It's just France and Germany. Only Britain is Great.




That's well-drawn.

It's from this artist.

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