December 27, 2015


Doctor Who Christmas specials are....well, a bit of a tough call. They're not meant to be part of the regular "season" (although last year's Last Christmas provided a nice coda), so there is greater opportunity for a much broader, more fist-pumping feel good episode to be produced and shown....and each Christmas special has its detractors.

But The Husbands of River Song is a near pitch-perfect Christmas special, which starts as a clever romp but then shifts into a much more somber, meaningful meditation on the transience of well as provide a coda to a previous Moffat story.

Now, there is a growing contingent of Who fans who believe that Moffat is the worst thing to happen to Doctor Who. In fact, they take issue with everything Moffat does, adopting the attitude that somehow Moffat is performing a crime against them.

Obligatory Chicago TARDIS
Victory Photo
For the rest of us, this is a really fine episode - the first forty minutes of Moffat's script feels like nothing less than his science fiction take on His Girl Friday (Don't believe me? Watch for yourself). It's rather fun, with very clever twists, some great witty moments, and great chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston.

(Who, might I just say at the risk of being a bit patronizing....absolutely sparkles in person. But it's that charm and sparkle that really gives the episode an extra lift).

But, in typical Moffat fashion, the last fifteen minutes shift dramatically, revealing the events that were hinted at in 2008's Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. Now, the Who fans described above would complain that the fact that Song was clearly referring to Tennant - and, by extension, her entire timeline - is a huge plot hole.

People, it's a show about a guy in a box who travels through time. Had Moffat known, he might have thrown in a reference about a guy with a Scottish accent.

But the last fifteen minutes....I'll say this: I will argue that Husbands of River Song reflects many of the themes of the final three stories of Series 9. And I'm totally willing to argue on that point.

Moffat has claimed that he wrote this thinking that he might never write Who again. (And he has been announced to be involved with Series 10). Husbands of River Song is a near-perfect episode, serving as a coda to one of the most consistently-written series in Doctor Who's history.

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