Another year, another Doctor Who Christmas Special. Now I've never been a massive fan of the Christmas Specials. Whilst the first one was a great introduction to David Tennant (and I mean that). Catherine Tate at the end of Season 2 almost ruined the finale and Rose's exit (it took Mr. Davies another two years to succeed at that). Both the Voyage of the Damned and Runaway Bride seemed to just lack something that put them at the high end of Doctor Who episodes (and I mean stuff like Blink). They're decent Christmas specials but never pop in the way the best of Who does. So what about this year? Does the lack of a proper companion, Cybermen and an interesting title make for a great episode?
Sadly no. It makes for a good episode with some quite frankly stunning CGI for a British television show, but not a great episode. Something which I've been praying for since that dismal Season 4 finale. I had the same problem with this episode that I do with all the Christmas specials, it just doesn't feel right. I don't know why, but they don't. It's not because they include deus ex machina endings like the finales do (although they do introduce a plot point which towards the end so that something emotional can happen which I've never liked). Last year all of a sudden Kylie drives a forklift truck into the villain and dies to pull at our heart strings as she fades away (I didn't come close to liking her in that special, she was nice but I didn't feel for her). This the son plot point is brought up and wrapped up too quickly. I don't know why it bugs me, but it does. Also the CGI in that scene was appalling, especially when compared to the giant robot scenes (yes I did say giant robot).
Now the story of the Christmas special wasn't bad at all, the story was interesting and it tied up a lose end of what happened to the Cybermen during the events of the Season 4 finale (it also means that *groan* the Daleks can come back through the same plot hole). Plus the story made sense, the only even remotely annoying thing was the introduction of the son and even that was set up to happen (although oddly convenient he was the only child too scared to move despite being in there the longest. All the stuff that was used to take down the Cybermen in the end was set up wonderfully. My one sticking point is apparently being hit by a belt full of infostamps has far less effect than being hit by just one which cause David Morrissey to think he was David Tennant's reincarnation and kill three Cybermen at the same time. Yes I know she blew up but it's only said that that was because "her mind was open and she could see the Cybermen for what they were". Still the giant robot was cool.
I've briefly mentioned David Morrissey and I can safely say that they have wasted him. He was great in this episode (although I did think that he didn't have a lot to do). He was one of the front runners to take over for Tennant and now he can't be unless they make up some bullshit with sciencey talk about how "people who make a large impact on our lives can effect our regeneration" but then why not Billie Piper? or even John Simm? If you ask me they've shot themselves in the foot there, but knowing political correctness at the moment they're probably going to have a black Doctor (in which case it had better be Chiwtel Eijiofor) or a female Doctor (which will take an awful lot of explaining). David Morrissey would have been perfect. Bah.
Alright the Christmas Special was decent but like Wallace and Gromit failed to reach some lofty expectations (less lofty than Wallace and Gromit, especially after the Season 4 finale). Compared to the previous Christmas Specials it was par for the course, but in terms of overall Who, a disappointment. 7/10