‘Doctor Who’ – ‘The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe’: Screaming trees

Senior Television Writer
12.26.11 31 Comments


The annual “Doctor Who” Christmas special premiered last night, and I have a very quick review of it coming up just as soon as I can’t tell weapons from wool…

The Christmas specials have been a very mixed bag, and for the most part (last year’s strong “Christmas Carol” homage excepted), the best ones have tended to be heavily-steeped in the series’ ongoing storylines. “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe” had very little to do with continuity, and the only scene that I expect I’m going to remember was the coda with the Doctor visiting Amy and Rory for Christmas dinner.

The rest of it was a fairly light, simple, pleasant but disposable story. “Doctor Who” is designed as a kids’ show, but it rarely feels like one – or, I should say, it usually serves as a reminder that kids’ entertainment can be just as smart and ambitious and moving as the stuff designed for grown-ups. This one felt more like the stereotype of what science fiction for kids might be. It also didn’t help that none of the family members stood out especially strongly as characters, when usually one of Moffat’s strengths is to give the guest stars three dimensions in very short order.

I never mind spending an hour watching Matt Smith be so pleased with himself as the Doctor, and the Doctor/Ponds reunion was nice, but overall, they’ve done better, even at holiday time.

What did everybody else think?

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