13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Sentimental and syrupy. A real disappointment.,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, 2011 Christmas Special [DVD] (DVD)I ordered this Christmas special because I had been in France when it aired and I always enjoy the Doctor Who specials. Although this Doctor is by far my least favourite of the recent three, he is competent and does the job. It is not his fault that this episode was so dire. Nor is it the fault of the other actors in the episode. They earn it the two stars, rather than the one that it would otherwise have been given. No gripes about the performances, just the storyline itself and its rather sickly presentation.
This is the first Christmas Special to go fairy-tale. A recently widowed mother of two, whose husband apparently dies in a wartime bomber, takes her children to an old house in the country where a revoltingly loud and clown-like "caretaker" (the Doctor) shows them around and presents the children with a giant blue present. When the youngest child, the son, opens the parcel before Christmas day he finds himself on another planet, all snow and fir trees. The daughter and the Doctor soon follow, to find him, and the mother of the children follows a little later. For those still planning to watch this sad affair I won't spoil the plot, but believe me - it is lame.
This time the Christmas trees aren't homicidal maniacs. Nothing and no-one else is hostile either. There are no robotic Father Christmases, no Cybermen, no Daleks, no aliens to fight, no explosive special effects. Not even any running! And everyone lives happily ever after. It's not that I need chaos and special effects to make something interesting but a bit of action would go a long way - and there is precious little of it here.
It tries to be cute and cuddly whilst at the same time raising environmental awareness about acid rain and the destruction of forests. The writer of the show evokes the power of motherhood, portraying motherhood as the strength that makes all others present, including the Doctor, weak. Twee, saccharine, somewhat nauseating and quite frankly embarrassing. Dr Who is always about the action, drama and the innovative plots. I was getting a bit bored of the Cybermen and Daleks but bring them on! Anything but cute, cuddly and moralizing.
Other reviewers have criticized it on the basis of similarities to "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe". I loved the CS Lewis book as a child, but although I think that the BBC was daft to raise an expectation based on it with its title for this episode (particularly as the show avoids any of the fear and grief so solidly part of "Lion") the resemblance between the powerful book and this feeble episode is so very faint that I don't think that it much matters.
Perhaps this Special suffered from budget cuts.
I don't know who wrote this episode but I really hope that he/she has moved on to other projects.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Feb 2012 22:06:36 GMT
Spot on review. Personally i think Matt Smith is the best Doctor I've seen. But agree that he is wasted in this dreadful story. Very accurately reviewed.
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2012 22:10:39 GMT
A. Byrnes says:
Thank you! I am a big Dr Who fan, and of course just want to see it go from strength to strength.
Posted on 9 Apr 2012 22:40:47 BDT
G. Quigley says:
I have to agree with this review as well. I love New Who and enjoy Matt Smith's performance. This story, which never really goes anywhere, seems to be book-ended by Matt doing manic with the kids and the scene with Rory and Amy at the end. He appears to have had absolutely zero chemistry with the female lead, and the only emotional kick is when we get a bit of the Ponds(a possible worry with a new companion coming). He never actually does anything. "Nasty" people are dropping acid rain on a planet and the Doctor does nothing to stop them, he cannot even save the inhabitants without help so the whole episode seems entertaining when Matt is doing his "likeable lunatic" routine and moving with the Ponds but otherwise it seems flat and un-engaging.
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 22:51:26 BDT
A. Byrnes says:
Your comment was better than my review. Spot on!
Posted on 15 Apr 2012 20:58:12 BDT
D. HIRD says:
it was written by steven moffat by the way
‹ Previous 1 Next ›