Arwell, it is Christmas! (The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe reviewed)

So, having had time to mull over the festive TV offerings, here is my thoughts (such as they are) on the Dr Who Christmas Special 2011, aka ‘The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe‘. I did herald its arrival here but how was it for me? I have now the benefit of comparing this to other vaguely connected offerings as well, such as the return of series 2 of Sherlock and also ‘Celebrity Come Dine With Me’. Aren’t I lucky?!

Festive Viewing

So amongst the odds and sods of the Christmas / New Year schedule for 2011-12 a few things caught the eye. Colin Baker was great on Celebrity Come Dine With Me (and he won!); Sherlock returned and was fabulous – writing, acting, production all finely tuned to provide great entertainment; Top Gear despite a somewhat mechanical episode set in India did treat us to I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) which should really have been the title of this review (as already nobbled by @wavenode!). I even liked Great Expectations and Downton Abbey…

What about Dr Who?

In a nutshell I liked it; in terms of output from Steven Moffat it was not a patch on Sherlock but that isn’t to say it wasn’t a good piece of Christmas fun. We’ve moved right away from doomed London and saving the world (in the Tenth Doctor era) to more localised plots (ok another world was threatened).

Given all the Narnia-esque build up this did rather fail to deliver but as a Christmas treat we had snow, trees and a happy ending. What more do you need!

Some details

  • Claire Skinner was brilliant as Madge Arwell, if only she could join the TARDIS!
  • The mad Willy Wonka style house make-over – fun but in the end pointless. Used up air time
  • Bill Bailey was wasted as the leader of the rangers. The whole sequence with the rangers could easily have been lost and the story would have been none the worse
  • Alexander Armstrong great but somewhat underused
  • Love saved the day – at least it wasn’t parent’s love for child this time
  • Nice cameo ending from Amy and Rory.

The Future

We know that Amy and Rory get to be written out (off?!) next season and they are linked to this. I hope we get some solo Doctor before the departure of Pond and Williams and also a new companion (maybe over-lapping). It’s now 2012, not long until the 50th anniversary!

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