2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Get out the tissues and read your Dickens, 18 May 2013
I happened on this and couldn't believe the number of low scores. This and "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe" are my household's all-time favorite Christmas specials OK, "The Snowmen" is a contender because of 1) Clara getting her real introduction and totally sparkling and 2) Vastra, Jenny, and Strax, who are funny enough I'm hoping they get their own spin-off.
There are a ton of sweet references to the Dickens story (some are actually quotes put in a slightly different context): a bit like the "Great Detective" references built around Vastra's team. But a lot of the humor and just plain fun silliness are built around them referencing these great works of fiction. A Christmas Carol is not only deeply moving and charmingly scientific, it's very cleverly written. Seriously, did all the people giving it 1s and 2s not get the joke that Amy is in her meter maid outfit and Rory in his centurion uniform and they're on their honeymoon??? Did they not get all the Dickens references/quotes? Do they not understand the effect child abuse (or whatever they would have called this treatment in Victorian England) can have on the child? Did they not get the reason the Doctor knew there was hope for "Dumbledore" because "you didn't strike the boy"? And holy cow, I would have given this 5 stars if all the Doc, Amy, and Rory did was recite nursery rhymes just for the sake of hearing Katherine Jenkins singing. This was my first introduction to her. And now I know what angels sound like, even if I end up having to listen to them from Hell.
One comment on the criticism that the Doctor is fiddling with time. What he's really trying to do is save the future. Face it, the series uses the idea that you can't cross your own timeline when it suits the plot; if you're a Trekkie, it's the DW version of the Prime Directive. But in this case, he's not changing major events of the past so much as trying to bring out in Kazran Sardick the good that he sees is still there when Kazran very clearly wants to smack the kid but then pulls the slap. Kazran is not his father: that's what the Doctor sees, and that's what he has to work with in order to save 4000 people including the Ponds.
And OMG in addition to Jenkins' astonishingly beautiful voice, the scene where Amy as the "Ghost of Christmas Present" holograms in everyone on the ship so Kaz can hear them singing and see their faces and ask what they're doing... it would take a Scrooge-like heart not to be reaching for the tissues at a moment like that, esp when she tells him they're singing for their lives. Likewise the scene where they're out of options and have to release Abs on the one day she has left if they want to save the folks on the foundering ship. I pictured her as a true savior-figure: had they been able to ask her "May we let you out even though you have only one day to live," she would have said "Why are you even asking?" (I like to think that, off-screen and a day later, the Doctor got her to the "Best Hospital in the Universe" and they had found a cure, but maybe a little too maudlin...)
Anyway, hoping my one little "5" pulls up the average a tiny bit because this was a magnificent piece of writing and really one of their best Christmas shows.