We RE-review Capaldi’s very first Christmas Special. Expect special appearances by Dream Logic, Swamp Thing and Hulk Hogan.
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Ho-Ho-Holy Moly, it’s Christmas Eve and as though in a dream Clara wanders onto her ample roof terrace to find Santa Claus and his two elven compadres, Ian and Wolf, attempting to rein in their flying deer. It’s a Christmas miracle! Or is it? The Doctor soon arrives and demands to differ.
Doc spirits Clara away to the relative safety of a scientific research base near the North Pole only to discover that it’s crawling with alien face-huggers whose modus operandi includes inducing a euphoric dream-state in their unsuspecting victims while they feast on their brain matter.
Occupying the base are a chav, a sexy senior citizen, an account manager and a dirty old man, and four Empty-Headed crew members in the infirmary, but don’t get anyone started on what they’re doing there because it’s a long story. Are they really there? Does Santa really exist? Do any of us?!
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This is the second time that Who Back When has tackled this episode. We also reviewed it shortly after it first aired. For the full, immersive WBW Last Christmas Experience, listen to that episode as well: B012 Last Christmas – The 2014 Christmas Special
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Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next year you threw it away
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll watch something else.
Last Christmas, you created beauty
With Daleks, Silence, and Angels
Next year, you screwed it all up
With facehuggers and Santa
This episode is why Chibnall canceled Christmas. I wish this episode was lost along with Love and Monsters and Orphan 55. Australia will not find you. Please Die.
RATING: 0.3 mutilated elves
P.S. The concept art for the guns in this episode is really cool.
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Dream facehuggers are comin’ to town
They’re eating our brains
Whilst we sleep
Holy-crap they’re comin’ out
Of the TV screen (Albert!!!)
Dream facehuggers are comin’ to town
Who knows if you are sleeping (pain right side of head)
Who knows when you’re awake (no pain right side of head)
Maybe your brain is being munched on
So wake up for goodness sake
So you better watch out
You better not dream
In your sleep no can hear you scream
Santa Claus is comin’ to dream-town (or perhaps he was real. The tangerine suggested soooooo)
Rating: 4.7/5 dream and/or real tangerines delivered by dream and/or real Santa.
Last Christmas was ok. I liked Nick Frost as Santa but it makes me wonder if they only picked him because he had Frost in his name. The episode ripped off Alien but it seems to think that if they say they are ripping it off then they can get away with it. However I’m not complaining because Santa vs aliens would be better than alien vs predator. Overall I give the episode a 2
Hey there, just wanted to say how much I have been enjoying the podcast, and that as my first mini-review I hope it arrives in time!
For me, this episode stands out massively amongst the other Christmas specials.
Whereas the other Christmas specials are most comedic fluff disconnected from the preceding and following series, this one acts as a prologue/epilogue to the next/previous series, while also taking on a more serious and scary tone, albeit with the obvious exception of Santa Claus (played wonderfully by Nick Frost) and his two elves. The concept of this episode was magnificent in my opinion, never knowing when you are dreaming, playing with the idea of reality, hope, and testing whether you do believe in Santa Claus. Also, the twists were well done and whenever you thought they were finished, they just kept going. Although, by the time the Doctor woke up for the 4th time, perhaps it had become a bit repetitive. Furthermore, the design of the dream crabs was simply outstanding (even if they are, as Ashley points out, perhaps slightly too similar to the Xenomorph).
However, I do have two problems:
If they were in a dream, what happened to Albert when he supposedly died? Is he dead or alive? Why don’t we find out?
Finally, Shona should have definitely joined the TARDIS team for Series 9 (and beyond) as she would have fitted in well and was really promising in this episode.
Overall score : 4.1