Last week Justine explained her thoughts on Doctor Who Christmas Specials and this week to continue the countdown to the newest Christmas episode (and Christmas…but let’s get our priorities straight about which is more important) I am going to count them down in my personal power ranking. You’ll notice that Justine & I have some similarities but a lot of differences between our lists. But what else would you expect when she’s a Clara and I’m an Amy? Onward to the listing:
#9 (aka last) – The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (2011)
I think my favorite part of this episode is the title…very compelling to a Narnia fan like myself. The episode itself had all the makings of a great episode, with war-torn London, a mythical land, magic, whimsy and the Doctor being the coolest caretaker ever…but it fell a bit flat for me. The only reason I can pinpoint is the lack of a regular companion, although that’s not a requirement for a high ranking (see #2).
#8 – The Voyage of the Damned (2007)
A space Titanic is an awfully creative idea and using a pop star (Kylie Minogue) as the companion was inspired, but this episode failed to insight my sense of wonder (a requirement for any Christmas episode) or get me overly excited, in either an emotional, angry or scared way, (a requirement for any Doctor Who episode). It felt like just another episode but without any development of an overlying story arch. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good episode but just good, not anything special.
#7 – The Next Doctor (2008)
So tricky with the title! Did they almost have you fooled for awhile? I’m not to big too admit that I was strung along for a bit. Seeing a ‘real person’ version of the Doctor was hilarious, with his balloon TARDIS and screwdriver.
#6 – The End of Time (2009)
Bye Bye Ten! Ok we got to keep him until New Years but I lump these Part 1 & 2 into one episode in my head…and it was a sad on. The highlights for me? 1. Wilf. Watch out Amy, he might actually be my favorite…or maybe Craig (father of Stormaggedon). 2. The carrying out of the prophecy. I did not see it coming when the 4 knocks actually happened *tear* and 3. Tennants visits to his past at the end. how can you not love one last run in with Rose???
#5 – Time of the Doctor (2013)
I know as a big Matt Smith fan that his last episode is supposed to rank really high on my list but it just doesn’t. It’s not mya favorite of his episodes. It’s not even my favorite of his Christmas episodes. And it’s not the best regeneration…although it is a great regeneration tale. While there are things that let me down about Matt’s ending the overall meaning of the story did not. I love that he stayed and stayed and stayed to help defenseless people. Because the Doctor is good. The Doctor is love for the ‘everyman.’
#4 – The Runaway Bride (2006)
I love Donna. She is such a different character for this show. After the heartbreak of losing Rose this episode was exactly what I needed from a Christmas episode. The Runaway Bride was often light & funny, but did not mask the bitter pain that racked us all…that still haunts us all to this very day in fact. Donna was a “comforting” friend to the Doctor as he went through his first truly dark flashes, while this episode was a comforting friend to me after the traumatic experience that was Doomsday.
#3 – The Snowmen (2012)
I’m a sucker for Victorian London. I’m also a sucker for angst. And for awesome semi-regular characters like Vastra, Jenny & Strax. So I’m a sucker for this episode. After the devastating loss of the Ponds (I still haven’t recovered) I was happy to see Clara eased in with grace…as opposed to that time I hated Martha because she kept trying to move in on Rose’s man. Her Mary Poppin-esque character was fun, and the ‘one-word answer’ was perfect. Even if I hadn’t already been tricked into liking her in Asylum of the Daleks I would hav ebeen endeared to Clara here based on her dealings with the depressed Doctor. This was an important episode in the show. I appreciate that the Christmas specials can be so pivotal and not just throw-away festive filler.
#2 – A Christmas Carol (2010)
I can’t pinpoint what it is about this episode that I love so much but I LOVE the episode. You could claim it’s because it is during the Pond era, but the Ponds make barely more than a minor cameo (although I do enjoy that it is in the Kissogram & Roman Centurion outfits). The story just gets me. There are flying sharks, and people frozen in time-stasis capsules. There is an adorable child and a grumpy old man. There is semblances of a classic Christmas tale but done in a unique way. Basically it is the whimsical holiday experience I look for in any Christmas episode of any show. Sure it doesn’t advance the overall story but it hits me int he heart enough that it doesn’t matter.
#1 – The Christmas Invasion (2005)
Not only is this my favorite Christmas episode it ranks in my top 5 favorite episodes period. The introduction of Ten could not have been more perfect, especially when you look back after getting to know the character better. Rose’s tentative acceptance of him shows a new dynamic in an old pairing, which is very exciting. But what makes this episode soooo amazing are the one-liners scattered throughout:
“From the day they arrive on the planet, blinking, step into the sun, there is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than – no, hold on. Sorry, that’s The Lion King…”
“Aww, I wanted to be ginger. I’ve never been ginger! And you, Rose Tyler, fat lot of good you were, you gave up on me. Ooh, that’s rude. Is that all I am now? Rude? Rude and not ginger?”
Here’s to this year’s episode…hopefully it’s top 3 worthy!
Love & Luck,