Top critical review
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Good, but not the best ever.
on 12 January 2009
I never miss the Doctor Who special on Christmas Day and this year was no exception- I waited with baited breath ever since the tantalising glimpse on Children in Need.
David Tennant is always excellent and there are always superb actors queing to appear in the specials and this year we had the brilliant David Morrisey and the lovely Dervla "This is not just food, this is M and S food" Kirwan.
However, I didn't really buy into the giant cyberman stomping over Victorian London as it was a bit fifties melodrama like "Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman" or some such. I was also a bit disappointed that it was Cybermen again. I know they've got to get their money's worth, but how many times has it been now? I'm not sure about the wolly cyber bear things either!
Having said all that, I thought the graveyard scene was superbly atmospheric and beautifully shot with the white snow, the black suits and Mtrs Hartigan's scarlet dress. David Morrisey gave an excellent performance as the bereaved husband who got caught in the firing line and thought he was the doctor. I also thought the "doctor's" assistant lacked the charisma of previous characters.
However, the episode had charm in spades and the opening scenes of jolly olde Victorian England (aka Gloucester Cathedral Close) were just the ticket for a Christmas Day. As for David Tennant, he can do no wrong in my eyes.
I get the impression that the Christmas specials are harder to write than the episodes since there is no continuity and all characters except the doctor must be introduced from scratch and the story must be told within one hour and include some sort of huge climax at the end. However, despite a slight feeling of this being a bit formulaic, it was excellent Christmas fayre and I do feel a bit strict only giving three stars but it would be three and a half if I could. But let's give the cybermen a rest for a while eh?