December 27, 2010

Of Time Lords and Christmas Carols

This past year, Steven Moffatt seems to be "He who can do no wrong" when it comes to Doctor Who. In fact, his story-driven, more "fairy tale"-esque take has been talked about highly, especially in contrast to Russell T. Davies' more spectacle- and character-based approach to the show.

However, the recent Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol demonstrates that not only can Moffatt write a good story, he even has one up on Davies' when it turns to spectacle.

In short, this is not only the best Doctor Who-themed Christmas special since The Christmas Invasion from Series Two, it's also one of the better pieces of television to come out this year.

Obviously, like many Christmas specials past and present, it takes its narrative shape from the Charles Dickens work of the same name; however, there are so many clever and intricate narrative touches that it seems less like another derivative work and more like a clever reimagining. (And let's face it, Moffatt is no stranger to reviving classic characters from Victorian literature). Every other line bristles with wit, and is immediately quotable.

It's hard to talk about this episode without spoiling it - not out of some sense of Internet honor, but because it really has to be seen to be believed. It's one of the best holiday-themed episodes of any television show, and is one that you may want to watch again and again.

Fortunately (and yes, here is a plug) - the DVD will be released in January. Buy it and save it until next Christmas, and put it on the shelf next to A Charlie Brown Christmas and your other holiday favorites.

It's a keeper and a must-own.

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