This episode was an interesting mix of super scary and genial humour. I think our Doctor was really on his game in this Christmas special, and his antics were pure Moffatt. It referenced the classic horror movies Alien and The Thing and ,The Invasion of the Body Snatchers; the Science Fiction thriller Inception; and the classic Christmas movie A Miracle on 34th Street; and there was even a nod to the Wham! Christmas hit in the title of the episode. This might sound like a hodgepodge, but it worked remarkably well to create both the chills and the thrills.
One of my favourite bits was the short scene with Danny Pink. He acted and sounded like Danny, rather than a dream version of Danny. Still selfless. Still madly in love with Clara. Still snarky with the Doctor. And – sadly – still dead. It was Danny’s appearance that made the episode for me, as I am still secretly hoping that Danny can be saved in some way, for Clara’s sake. (And if we can save Danny, we can save Oswald.)
Another favourite bit was when he called the middle-aged woman ‘the sexy one’. The Doctor doesn’t see age. More proof … he didn’t think Clara looked any different at ninety!
As a special treat, Michael Troughton, the son of the Second Doctor actor, Patrick, played Professor Albert Smithe. He has his dad’s nose and eyes, and is quite sexy in his own understated way! His brother David turned up previously as Professor Hobbes in season four or five. I really enjoy how the Doctor Who cast includes the family of previous Doctors. One day I really should do a post simply on family members.
Clara and the Doctor reconciled in this episode. You should be with your family and loved ones at Christmas. Clara seemed much more human in this episode, particularly with how she interacted with both the Doctor and Danny. She seemed less self-assured. I didn’t like it. I prefer the bossy Clara who gets things done with a quip and a cheeky smile.
I loved Santa! If you’ve ever watched the movie ‘Kinky Boots’, you will know the actor who played Santa. And who can’t get behind a Santa played by an actor whose real name is Nicholas Frost. Mu only big question … the tangerine in the window at the end of the episode. Are we to infer Santa is real? (That is my take.) Or is this a teaser that the whole of next season is just a dream crab fantasy?