Doctor Who

Episode Christmas Special

A Christmas Carol

6
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Dec 25, 2010 on BBC America
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
336 votes
13

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Location: Sardicktown
Date: 44th Century
Enemies: Kazran Sardick

Amy and Rory are trapped aboard a space liner crashing on a distant planet. The only way the Doctor can save them is to alter the timeline of a lonely old miser, the only one who can control the skies and allow them to land safely. But the Doctor may go too far in changing a man's life...

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A Christmas Carol

    10
    A Christmas Carol was a perfect and very entertaining Christmas Special Episode. I really enjoyed watching because the story was creative and a unique re-imagining of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with a Doctor Who twist. I liked the characters and how every thing played out. The flying fish were amazing and beautiful as were the other special effects. The ending was amazing and I was left with a great feeling. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • With Amy and Rory stuck on a doomed space cruiser in the future, the Doctor must alter the lifeline of a lonely old miser, who holds the key to being able to save the Doctor's friends. Okay, I'll dare to say it – I found this one dull and disappointing...moreless

    3.5
    I'm a bit late with my review of this one. Normally I'm online as soon as a new DW ep has aired sharing my comments (hey, I have no life!), but due to Christmas commitments I'm a bit behind on this one. Anyway...



    This seems to be one of those episodes that most people have really enjoyed, but... I'm sorry, I just didn't take to this one at all. The Christmas episodes have always been a bit hit-or-miss to me (I loved 'The Next Doctor' and last year's 'The End of Time' but, again bucking the majority, never warmed to 'Voyage of the Damned'), and this one I'm afraid falls on my "miss" list.



    I thought it could have been good – we've seen so much good Doctor and Amy interaction in the WONDERFUL Series 5, which I hoped to see continue here, and I felt that the whole 'A Christmas Carol' idea had scope and could have been really creepy. But I felt it came out as an uncertain mish-mash, that just didn't hold my attention much at all. At times it was confusing, and, I'll sadly admit, by the end I found much of it frankly a bit boring.



    Going back to Amy... I was bitterly disappointed that she barely features in this story at all. In my opinion, Amy Pond is by far the best companion Modern Who has seen, she's such a great character, but here she was reduced to just a couple of non-important cameos. Matt Smith / The Doctor and Karen Gillan / Amy have such a wonderful interaction that built up over the last series, so I was really let down to see that there was none of it on show here.

    Plus there's Rory... As I've said in previous reviews, I like that they've dared to make him rather nerdy, but – as once again shown here – as a "regular companion" he's a spare wheel and just comes across as out of place. They either need to find something major to do with him next series (how about making him turn bad, tearing Amy's heart up, even if 'Buffy' season two already did a similar plot) or lay the character to rest.



    This is not me knocking Moffat / Smith Who one bit – the total opposite. Series 5 had a lot to prove, and some were determined not to like it simply because it wasn't Russell T. Davies / David Tennant (cough*rose-tinted spectacles*cough), whereas I was the opposite – I think Matt Smith as a far better (and more interesting) Doctor, and Moffat's writing and series tone is superb; I love it far better than the Davies / Tennant era. Which is why I was so let down by 'A Christmas Carol'. We'd seen so much quality in Series 5, but sadly I found very little of it on display here.



    The trailer for Series 6 (which will be shown in two halves), looks excellent (though, once again, I am slightly worried of them overusing River Song – a mysterious character supposed to be intertwined with the Doctor's future – and bringing her back to frequently), and looks set to hold some wonderful stories. But as for this Christmas outing, I know others loved it, but personally I have to put 'A Christmas Carol' down to being a disappointing blip in an otherwise great period of 'Doctor Who'.moreless
  • X-mas yet again, but this time the Doctor is off earth for the holidays.

    6.5
    Was Moffet out of his mind!? Ripping off the Charles Dickens story again? First time in The Unqueit Dead and now this one with even the same title!

    Its hard to believe that the Doctor didn't try something else to save them. I mean, he could have found Kazran a new girl to love or asked Abagail what her desiese was. i mean if there was a cure for it in the future, she could have been cured and lived to her golden years with kazran.

    But the ending was a great redeemimng part, not only for Kazran, but for the story. i mean its always the climax of these rip offs of the orginal that are the good part.moreless
  • It was a great Christmas tale and a nerd nightmare all in one.

    7.5
    The time travel omnipotence the Doctor has developed is a problem I've been pointing out since last season's finale, and it's clearly here to stay. It's creating plot holes already.



    If the Doctor can go back and overwrite events in which he's already engaged, why doesn't he just help the ship before it loses control? Why doesn't he go back and heal Abigail before she's terminal? Why doesn't he go back way into his own past and fix all the incredible tragedies he's witnessed? Sure, in this one there's a very good "because": because it is better that way, more poetic. That works because the episode is charming, and fun and endearing and self-conclusive (the great jokes, the acting, the amazing Peter Pan-ish silhouette on the round window!), so it can pretty much do whatever it wants to do. But when we're in season mode, like last season and the upcoming one, suddenly those questions become relevant. Until things are turned back to normal Who time travel rules, the Doctor has infinite lives. He's cheating, and I'm immediately less concerned about the fates of all characters and less invested in the outcome of every situation.moreless
  • An ok start to Doctor Who season 6.....

    7.0
    I am still not sure if I liked this episode or not...

    Firstly, that ship at the start so looked like a ship from Star Trek, it had the same layout of the bridge and I swear I even saw a red line across the hull of the ship like they started doing with next-gen era Starfleet ships. They were also using lens flares like the did in the latest Star Trek movie.... not complaining or anything, its just something I picked up on. But does this mean that Star Trek does exist in the future? haha :)

    I really like the fish in the clouds/sky, I thought it was really cute.



    A couple of things I had probelms with: I thought that the Doctor didn't like going back on people's personal timelines, or was that just his timeline he wouldn't go back on?



    This was an ok Steven Moffat episode, I prefer the Russel T Davis era episodes, season 5 was my lest favourite season of the new series. But in comparison with season 5 this was a good episode. I really miss though that Steven would make some references, even small ones at least to the past characters, I can understand why he doesn't want to bring them back, but at least make one or two references to them, so that they are not totally forgotten so soon! This episode have a lot of opportunities to make some references so I was disappointed when there weren't any.



    I was also hoping to see more of Amy and Rory in this episode (mostly Rory) so I was disappointed in that field too. But none the less I am looking forward to season 6 and the adventures it brings!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The Doctor states that there is no such thing as isomorphic controls, but in Last of the Time Lords the Master has these controls on his laser screwdriver.

    • When the Doctor and Young Kazran greet Abigail on one of her awakenings, they are wearing the traditional long scarves associated with the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Kazran: On every world wherever people are, in the deepest part of the winter, at the exact midpoint, everybody stops and turns and hugs. As if to say, "Well done! Well done, everyone! We're halfway out of the dark." Back on Earth, we call this Christmas, or the Winter Solstice. On this world, the first settlers called it the Crystal Feast. You know what I call it? I call it expecting something for nothing!

    • The Doctor: Ah. Yes. Blimey. Sorry. Christmas Eve on a rooftop, saw a chimney, my whole brain went, "What the hell?" Don't worry, fat fellow will be doing the rounds later. I'm just scoping out the general chimneyness. Nice size, good traction. (burns his hand on the mantle) Bit tick.
      Eric: Fat fella?
      The Doctor: Father Christmas. Santa Claus. Or, as I've always known him, "Jeff."
      Boy: There's no such person as Father Christmas.
      The Doctor: Oh, yeah? (whips out a photo) Me and Father Christmas, Frank Sinatra's hunting lodge, 1952. See him at the back with the blonde? Albert Einstein, the three of us together. Rrrmm. Watch out. Okay? Keep the faith.

    • The Doctor: Tamed the sky. what does that mean?
      Kazran: It means I'm Kazran Sardick. How can he possibly not know who I am.
      The Doctor: Well, just easily bored, I suppose.

    • Kazran: Whoa, look at you, you're tough now.
      The Doctor: There are four thousand and three people I won't allow to die tonight. Do you know where that puts you?
      Kazran: Where?
      The Doctor: Four thousand and four.
      Kazran: Was that a sort of threat-y thing?
      The Doctor: Whatever happens tonight, remember... you brought it on yourself.

    • Amy: Have you got a plan yet?
      The Doctor: Yes, I do.
      Amy: Are you lying?
      The Doctor: Yes, I am.
      Amy: Don't treat me like an idiot.
      Rory: (overhearing) Is he lying?
      Amy: No, no.

    • The Doctor: Okay, the good news. I've tracked the machine that accesses the cloud belt. I can use it to clear your flight corridor and you can land, easily.
      Amy: Hey, hey, that's good news.
      The Doctor: But I can't control the machine.
      Amy: That's great.
      The Doctor: But I met a man who can.
      Amy: Ah, well, there you go?
      The Doctor: And he hates me.
      Amy: Were you being extra charming and clever?
      The Doctor: Yeah, how did you know?
      Amy: Lucky guess.

    • Kazran: Who are you?
      The Doctor: Tonight... I'm the Ghost of Christmas Past.

    • Young Kazran: Who are you?
      The Doctor: Hi! I'm the Doctor. I'm your new babysitter.
      Young Kazran: Where's Mrs. Montebuoni?
      The Doctor: Ahh, you'll never guess. Clever old Mrs. Montebuoni. She only went and won the lottery.
      Kazran: (viewing the recording) There isn't any lottery!
      Young Kazran: There isn't any lottery.
      The Doctor: I know! What a woman!
      Young Kazran: If you're my babysitter, why are you climbing in the window?
      The Doctor: Because if I was climbing out the window, I'd be going in the wrong direction. Pay attention.

    • The Doctor: Cupboard! Big cupboard! I love a cupboard! Do you know, there's a thing called a face spider. It's just like a tiny baby's head with spider's legs. And it specifically evolved to scuttle up the backs of bedroom cupboards. Which... I probably shouldn't have mentioned.

    • Young Kazran: Are you really a babysitter?
      The Doctor: I think you'll find I'm universally recognised as a mature and responsible adult. (show him the psychic paper)
      Young Kazran: It's just a lot of wavy lines.
      The Doctor: Yeah, shorted out. Finally a lie too big. Okay, no, not really a babysitter. But it's Christmas Eve. you don't want a real one. You want me.
      Young Kazran: Why? What's so special about you?
      The Doctor: Have you ever seen Mary Poppins?
      Young Kazran: No.
      The Doctor: Good. Because that comparison would have been rubbish.

    • The Doctor: You want to see one fish? We can do that, we can see a fish.
      Young Kazran: But aren't you going to tell me it's dangerous?
      The Doctor: Dangerous? Come on, we're boys. And you know what boys say in the face of danger.
      Young Kazran: What?
      The Doctor: "Mummy!"

    • Adult Kazran: Abigail's crying.
      The Doctor: Yes.
      Adult Kazran: When girls are crying, are you supposed to talk to them?
      The Doctor: I have absolutely no idea.

    • Adult Kazran: I've never kissed anyone before. What do I do?
      The Doctor: Well, try and be all nervous and rubbishy and a bit shaky.
      Adult Kazran: Why?
      The Doctor: Because you're going to be like that anyway, you might as well make it part of the plan. Then it'll feel on purpose. Off you go, then.
      Adult Kazran: Now? I kiss her now?
      The Doctor: Kazran, trust me. It's this or go to a room and design a new kind of screwdriver. Don't make my mistakes.

    • Captain: Sir, I understand you have a machine that controls this cloud layer. If you can release us from it, we still have time to make a landing. Nobody has to die.
      Kazran: Everybody has to die.
      Amy: Not tonight.
      Kazran:Tonight's as good as any other night. How would you choose?

    • Amy: It'll be their last day together, won't it?
      The Doctor: Everything's got to end sometime. Otherwise nothing would ever get started.

    • Rory: Uh, got anymore honeymoon ideas?
      The Doctor: Well, there's a moon that's made of actual honey. Well, not actual honey, and it's not actually a moon. And technically, it's alive and a bit carnivorous. But there are some lovely views.
      Rory: Yeah. Great. Thanks.

    • Amy: He did it. The Doctor did it.
      Rory: Yeah. He gets all the credit. (Pause). Which is actually fair enough, if you think about it...

    • The Doctor: (as Adult Kazran and Abigail kiss continuously) How do you keep going like that? Do you breathe out your ears?

    • Young Kazran: (about the shark) It's going to eat us. It's going to eat us!
      The Doctor: Well, maybe we're going to eat it, but I don't like the odds.

    • The Doctor: So, why are you so interested in the fish?
      Young Kazran: 'Cause they're scary.
      The Doctor: Good answer.

    • The Doctor: Oh, I won't bother calling your servants. They quit. Apparently they won the lottery at exactly the same time. Which is a bit lucky when you think about it.
      Kazran: There isn't a lottery!
      The Doctor: As I say, lucky.

    • The Doctor: (about Abigail) Who's she?
      Kazran: Nobody important.
      The Doctor: Nobody important? Blimey, that's amazing. Do you know, in 900 years of time and space, and I've never met anyone who wasn't important before.

    • The Doctor: Ooh, now what's this then? I love this. A big flashy lighty thing. That's what brought me here. Big flashy lighty things have got me written all over them. Not actually, but give me time, and a crayon.

  • NOTES (2)

    • When Kazran says the controls are isomorphic, the Doctor calls him a fibber, saying there's no such thing. This refers back to a long-standing controversy in the original series, when the Doctor made a similar claim to Sutekh in The Pyramids of Mars. Many times before and since, it was shown that others could operate the TARDIS consoles, and the general explanation is that the Doctor was bluffing to convince Sutekh that he needed to keep the Time Lord alive to pilot the Ship.

    • As of this episode, Arthur Darvill is listed in the main credits, after Karen Gillan.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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