Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol

Do not read on if you have not seen the new Doctor Who Christmas Special, and want to avoid SPOILERS!

Stephen Moffat has delivered again, this was indeed the most Christmasy Christmas Special ever.  As a matter of fact the Doctor does several Christas Eves in quick succession.  This special has everything, a miserly Scrooge, a frozen maiden, Christmas ghosts, a space ship, and even a flying shark!  Ok it was a bit of mostly nonsensical overly emotional fluff, but aren’t most Christmas specials?  It was of course bassed on the classic Charles Dickens story a Christmas Carol, but if looking at SFX Magazine’s recent list of the 35 greatest Christmas Specials as voted on by their readers about 80% of them are based on Dickens’ classic tale.

The Story starts off with the space ship cruise liner that Amy and Rory are spending their Honey Moon on starts to crash onto a planet, something in the clouds of the planet are keeping the ship from landing properly.  The Cloud Belt of the planet is controlled by a machine that one man can operate, Kazran Sardick, and he hates Christmas and sees no reason why he should be bothered to turn the cloud controller off and allow the ship to land.  As far as he is concerned everyone is going to die at some point, and why not on Christmas Eve?  Sardick also loans people money, but for collateral he takes a member of their family and freezes them until the loan is paid off.  This is where our frozen maiden comes in.

The Doctor takes it on himself to try to warm Sardick’s cold heart and visits him as a child, back when Sardick was still interested in the fish in the clouds.  That’s right the clouds and fog on the planet had a crystaline structure to them that the fish had adapted to fly through.  Eventually the Doctor and young Sardick run into a Sky Shark.  The Doctor stuns the shark but this causes it to start dying.  Young Sardick tells him that they could freeze the shark so the Doctor could get it back into the sky.  In the vault where Sardick’s father keeps the people that he has frozen as collateral young Sardick explains that they can borrow Abigail’s freezer.  She won’t mind because she likes the fish.  The shark has apparently gotten feeling better during this time and had tracked them to the vault, helped by the fact that it still has half of the Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver in its belly.  Abigail tames the shark with her soothing song.  The fish like singing, so they freeze the shark and return it to the sky.  As they are refreezing Abigail young Sardick tells her that he and the Doctor will return every Christmas Eve.

This starts us on a montage of the Doctor and Sardick returning every year and taking Abigail out of the freezer for a Christmas Eve Party.  The Doctor takes them both to several Christmas parties throught time on Earth.  As Sardick ages, he and Abigail fall in love, Abigail then tells him that she was frozen just a few days before her death due to an illness for which there is no cure and that she only has one day left.  Sardick does not take this very well and tells the Doctor off.  He then begins his path to the Dark Side.  Eventually the Doctor returns to Sardick on the original night they met to show the Young Sardick what he will eventually grow up to become.  This encounter changes the Old Sardick’s mind and he decides to save the ship, but the Doctor has fiddled with Sardick’s past and personality soo much that the Isomorphic controlls no longer recognise him.  They have to thaw out Abigail because her voice resonated perfectly with the crystaline structures in the clouds.  The Doctor rigs up the half of his screw driver that he has to a massive transmitter, and with the other half still in the belly of the shark in the sky, Abigail belts out her tune and stabalizes the clouds so that the ship can land safely.  Sardick is reformed just in time to spend Christmas day with his love Abigail on her last day.

Yeah like I said before it’s a bit of silly fluff, but no other show could pull something this outlandish and ridiculous off and keep it in cannon, without one of the main cast waking up at the end talking about what a strange dream they had.  And you were there, and you, and you too.  This episode exemplifies what I love about Doctor Who, you can go anywhere and do anything with it.