Doctor Who’s “Last Christmas” Review

doctorwho-last-christmasSPOILER ALERT. This blog post contains spoilers for the Doctor Who Christmas special “Last Christmas”. This is not really a recap of the episode, just my thoughts about it. If you haven’t seen it, you probably shouldn’t read on. Unless you love spoilers, then by all means, please read on.

What did I do on Christmas day? It wasn’t opening gifts because I didn’t get any (small violin playing). Not to despair, I did get the love and company of my family and that’s really all I wanted for Christmas. My husband’s gift to me was letting me sleep in and veg out all day. If you are a Whovian like myself you probably watched Doctor Who reruns leading up to the Christmas special. That’s what I did. I was pretty much in bed all day, only getting up to eat. It was great!

The season 8 finale “Death in Heaven” kind of left everything with a sour note and I wasn’t sure how they (the writers) were going to set up next season. The Doctor lied about finding Gallifrey, Mr. Pink was dead, Clara lied about it and everyone went on their separate ways. Each holding back to allow the other to move on. Regrets, much! I was not a happy Whovian. It appeared to be a send off for Clara since the rumor mill was that she was no longer going to be in the show. Why have Mr. Pink stick around if there was no Clara? Rory and Amy left together, right?

I would never stop watching the show because I didn’t like the way things went down, but “Last Christmas” made up for the crappy ending of the last season’s finale. I was very excited to watch it because Santa was in it and Nick Frost was playing him. I had a feeling that Santa would be played with some “Hot Fuzz” attitude. Plus, Doctor Who Christmas specials have never let me down yet.

The Doctor and Clara were put together again when Santa appears on her rooftop on Christmas Eve. The Doctor comes to get her and they end up in the North Pole running into a group of 8 scientists on a dangerous mission of some sort. It was not made clear what the heck they were doing there but circumstances were acceptable enough to move on with the story line. Four out of the group were comatose with aliens attached to their faces, just like the movie Alien. The Doctor knew exactly what the creatures were, Dream Crabs. They attach themselves to the host’s face and insert themselves into the brain at the right side of the temple and then they start feeding, ew. The victims don’t know what’s going on because they are put in a dream state, all warm and fuzzy while they are being eaten alive. When Clara and the Doctor appear they are almost taken by the Dream Crabs but just before this happens, Santa comes to the rescue.

Image from BBC America

It’s pretty clear the Doctor does not like Santa and seems a little jealous or intimidated by him as his abilities are very reminiscent to that of a Time Lord’s. The bickering between the two was hilarious. In one scene the Doctor asks “Beardy-weirdy, how do you get all the presents in the sleigh?” Santa calmly answers “It’s bigger on the inside!” When Santa gets all technical and starts to explain science stuff, the Doctor draws a line in the sand and does not allow him to explain further. Santa mocks, as the Doctor might say, “Oh, it’s all a bit dreamy-weamy” in Peter Capaldi’s deep Scottish voice… too funny.

It turns out, it was all a dream. Yes, they were all dreaming. None of them were scientists, nor did they know each other. They were linked only by the shared nightmare and each was being fed upon by the Dream Crabs in their own beds at home. Santa wasn’t real either… well, Santa was in their dreams, and the only reason he was there was because their subconscious minds dreamed him up to let them know they were still in danger. I won’t spoil too much but you get the gist. The Doctor figures it out and Santa saves the day. There were plenty of heartwarming moments when Clara and the Doctor share their true feelings and regrets. I ended up watching it twice to go back and catch what I might have missed. Apparently there were a lot of homages to the previous Doctor that I didn’t pick up on.

Rumors be damned, after this episode it was clear Clara wasn’t going anywhere! She’ll be sticking around as the companion for next season, but the dynamic between her and the Doctor has changed. They are no longer the big brother little sister duo I saw in the beginning. She sort of confesses that she loves him, but that it would never work out because “he’s impossible”. In my opinion the romantic tension between Clara and the Doctor went away when the Eleventh Doctor regenerated. At the end of this episode the Twelfth Doctor seems to have had “A Christmas Carol” moment and his meanness went away. He was a little nicer and more willing have Clara around, rather than treating her like a burden to him. He seemed actually grateful for her.

Next season is going to get weird between the two. Hopefully they (the writers) won’t cling too much with the notion of romance and move on to introducing a new companion. Maybe the new companion will be one of the Dream Crab survivors on this episode. I’m only speculating.

And what is up with the tangerines?!

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