A Christmas Carol
|Airdate: 25 December 2010|
|Writer: Steven Moffat|
|Director: Toby Haynes|
|Notable for: Guest appearances by Katherine Jenkins and Michael Gambon.|
What The Grand Moff has done with A Christmas Carol is basically succeed in blending a serious threat with a true and meaningful Christmas tale that mixes the old timey-wimey nature of Moffat’s Doctor Who with a recognised parable…
And at the centre of all of this is a man who made it all happen, Kazran Sardick. A miserly bully played with absolute perfection by none other than Sir Michael Gambon. Names like that don’t just wander into Doctor Who every day. As one of the key cast members of the Harry Potter movies, Gambon has held a few audiences in the palm of his hand on Christmas Day, and A Christmas Carol was no different. Rising to the task as a younger Sardick was hitherto unknown Danny Horn, whose scenes with the beautiful Abigail Pettigrew did enough. Enough to carry final scenes of Abigail and the older Sardick beyond ‘young girl and old man’ and into the narrative state of life-long lovers. – Kasterborous
Well, you can never accuse Steven Moffat of taking the easy way out.
For his first Doctor Who Christmas special, he’s done away with massive monsters, old foes and visiting companions’ extended families. In its place, he’s decided to try and weave Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol into a Doctor Who story, while also putting together a tense, festive adventure for the Time Lord.
Not for the first time, he’s set himself a big challenge. And not for the first time, he really has delivered the goods. – Den of Geek
I still find it incredible that part of my Christmas now involves sitting down to a new episode of Doctor Who. This really has become a family tradition across the UK now which is fantastic. For the past five years, we’ve had Earth being invaded or troubled by crashing star-liners on Christmas day – usually in the present and once in the past. All were fun and each had a Christmas element to them but nothing says Christmas like Dickens and A Christmas Carol. Rather than skirt the issue, Steven Moffat has the Doctor deliberately recreate that tale by putting him exactly the right setting and situation for it!
The plot is both outlandish and warming at the same time. With Amy and Rory (along with 4,001 other people) hurtling towards the planet, the Doctor meets the only man who can help – played by Michael Gambon. This fellow embodies the spirit of Scrooge like no other – taking family members as security for loans and refusing to use his atmospheric controlling device to save doomed souls. Not out of evil intent, but simply because he doesn’t care a jot. Ultimately, the Doctor determines to play the Ghosts and visits the past to re-write Sardick’s Christmas experiences and hopefully soften him up. Along the way, we meet Abigail (played by Katherine Jenkins) – one of the frozen people who has a voice that can soothe monsters and atmospheres alike. While this conceit may sound far fetched, if anyone’s voice could – it’s definitely Ms Jenkins’. – Geek Syndicate
The Doctor Who Christmas specials are always a treat: fun escapism to share with friends and loved ones during the holiday season. It’s a real pleasure that for the first time, BBC America is debuting the latest Christmas special actually on Christmas Day – and this one, like the ones before, is unique and delightful in its own way.
The legendary Michael Gambon does his best impression of Ebenezer Scrooge in space as Kazran Sardick, including keeping frozen people as collateral for the debts of the poor. It’s sad for all of two minutes before The Doctor drops in through the chimney on a mission. Four thousand people, including Amy and Rory, are trapped on a spaceship hurtling to the planet, and they need to be rescued – but first, The Doctor has to convince Sardick to help him rescue them. The title gives you a clue as to what you’re in for, but the Doctor Who team takes the classic setup and adds an element of the fantastic. Time travel, flying fish, and Matt Smith jumping on the furniture – yes, this is definitely Doctor Who. That’s the brilliance of the Christmas specials: they’re a perfect fusion of a holiday story and a Doctor Who adventure, not simply another episode with a cursory holiday element or a narrative with the sci-fi elements squeezed into it. There’s laughter, there’s tears, and there’s a plot that isn’t going to bend your brain. It’s just good, clean fun, which isn’t necessarily easy to find anymore. – Los Angeles Examiner