Is the Ghost of Christmas Past a Time Lord? We’ll find out on Christmas Day with the premiere of “Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol,” and what better way to watch it than with other Hero Complex readers? Philo, BBC America and the Hero Complex are hosting a special live virtual viewing party so you can watch the Doctor (and special guest Michael Gambon, of “Harry Potter” fame) in a new adventure with a special holiday twinkle to it but also connect with other fans, earn yourself a Hero Complex badge and get entered into a prize give-away with limited edition “Doctor Who” items. It’s easy to sign up and we look forward to seeing you there. Go by now and log in, there’s already fan covnersation going. I’ll be dropping by for sure, too. The show airs 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday on BBC America.
Want to know more about the episode? Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara has written a piece on the holiday special, here’s an excerpt:
“Doctor Who” has long specialized in Christmas Day specials, including one with murderous Santa robots trying to kill the Doctor, but “Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol” may be the best yet. Written by Steven Moffat and featuring flying fish, mysterious clouds and an intergalactic honeymoon suite, not to mention guest roles for Michael Gambon (“Harry Potter,” “The King’s Speech“) and opera singer Katherine Jenkins, it’s a gorgeous, glorious mishmash of Victoriana and sci-fi.
Summoned to save the spaceship on which his most recent companion, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), is honeymooning, the Doctor finds himself on an Earth-like planet where fish fly and the skies are controlled by a curmudgeonly old bugger by the name of Kazran Sardick (Gambon). Unmoved by the thought of 4,000 souls crashing into his planet — “it’s a sort of landing,” says he — Sardick won’t lift a finger to help. Using his best command of space, time and Dickensian narrative, the Doctor goes into Sardick’s past to change his present. It’s an old saw made young again by airborne sharks, frozen beauties and, of course, the sonic screwdriver.
During his tenure, David Tennant turned the Doctor into something of a rock star, both at home and abroad, which meant Smith had large shoes (though rather slender jackets) to fill when he took over. But he is just as nimble, quick and slightly mad as his predecessor, with a charming boyishness that belies his abilities and seems to imply that the Doctor, at 900-plus years now, is aging backward. Gillan, though she does not appear often in this episode, is a fun and feisty companion, with added benefit of having just gotten married — one of the Doctor’s biggest problems has been the increasingly tedious tendency of his companions to fall in love with him…
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Thanks for reading all year and happy holidays!
– Geoff Boucher
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