Yay, new Doctor Who, finally! It took me a few days to track down and watch the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas special, but if you’re further behind than me, don’t read ahead, because – you guessed it. “Spoilers!”
I’ll start off with a few odd notes on characters and casting. I hadn’t remembered that Madame Vastra’s human sidekick (and wife, apparently,) was named Jenny, and so when I read somewhere that the trailers hinted that Vastra, Sontaran Strax, and Jenny would be back for the Christmas special, the first character I connected with Jenny was the title character of the David Tennant episode The Doctor’s Daughter.
Also, the first thing I thought when I heard the voice of ‘The Intelligence’ was “OMG, it’s Patrick Stewart”, and I couldn’t shake that connection even when I found out that the voice acting was actually done by Ian McKellan. Weird.
Okay, so – great adventure with the Doctor. I liked lots of things about it, starting with the plot arc where the Doctor began as very withdrawn and remote, observing the Victorian world but not interfering in it, and ending as once again very engaged and excited about the future. Also, loved all the Sherlock Holmes references.
Jenna-Louise Coleman. Clara Oswyn Oswald. There’s a lot that Moffat is obviously trying not to give away about her still, so I’m really looking forward to more regular episodes coming out – whenever they do. Moffat does well with women of mystery, I think, looking back on Amy Pond, and River Song, so if he’s specifically trying to keep us off balance and not sure what to expect next, I think we’re in for an amazing series; though I do have one guess, as I’ll mention later.
What I was most aware of in a lot of the scenes with Jenna-Louise and Matt was how they were going through a lot of the established tropes of a long-term companion falling in love with the magic of the Doctor’s universe – but that this was really the first time we’ve really seen those tropes in a Christmas special, at least with New Who. Rose Tyler and Amy Pond were both established companions before their first Christmas with the Doctor. Many of the Christmas specials have had ‘one-shot Companions’, and even Donna Noble, who became a long-term companion in the end, was not established that was in “The Runaway Bride.”
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