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on 14 August 2013
Matt Smith is/was a great Doctor Who. Inventive, funny, serious and above all totally right for the role.

I feel sorry for him therefore to have been caught up in this puerile slice of stodge. Its AWFUL TV as well as bad Doctor Who.

The Doctor is not a kid's magician, he's a time travelling genius and yet here he is reduced to his lowest ebb.

Nice transfer and sound but oh dear, what was the writer thinking!!!!?
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on 2 January 2012
For a long while now Steven Moffat has been getting lazy with his plots and this Christmas "special" seals his reputation as the new master of corny Deus Ex Machina. Just when you believed they couldn't wheel out the "love conquers all" ending again, BBC Cardiff proves you can never have enough of a terrible thing.

I miss the old Doctor Who show, where the Doctor used to actually get put in genuinely threatening situations which he couldn't just cockily extract himself from with a flick of the sonic screwdriver or an exhortation to "believe". It's insulting to the intelligence of the viewer, but moreover, it's just plain boring telly.

Nice visuals, a creepy forest and a touching couple of last minutes are about all the good you'll be able to extract from this story unfortunately.

D- Must try harder.
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on 1 March 2013
Well I think that the 2011 Christmas Special of Doctor Who was a good episode. I mean some people say that this was not
a PERFECT Christmas special but in general terms I liked it. Once again I think that Matt Smith who is of course playing the nation's favourite Time Lord has stolen the show and he presents his imagination into the character superbly. The cast of the episode was particularly good. The famous faces in this episode that I know of is Claire Skinner who played the character of 'Sue' in the BBC sitcom of Outnumbered a comedian who worked alongside Ben Miller in the Armstrong and Miller Show. He is called Alexander Armstrong and a musician who is called Bill Bailey. There were all good characters. The casting of Madge Arwell's children were slightly average but I did not mind that too much. That is all I will have to say. Overall this a brilliant DVD for collectors who cannot wait when Christmas comes round again or I would recommenced it to any Doctor Who fan who is young or old of the show. Thank you! Four stars all round.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 February 2012
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.
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on 4 August 2012
This was the most horrible thing I have ever seen... No, I really mean that. I have seen a lot of silly things, but this, wasn't just bad. It was offensive and made me question if I should watch doctor who any more. It 'could' have been a good story, and I'm very forgiving of plot holes if the general story is okay... but it wasn't. The resolution of the episode was very unsettling. It left an incredibly bad taste in my mouth, and far from being part of the spirit of Christmas, actually kills it dead. There are large swathes of in-depth reviews that attempt to justify and defend this tripe, but in my opinion if you have to defend it then you are just making excuses for what is an unjustified bad story that no child should watch. It demeans and dehumanises half the population, if not perhaps everyone based on their gender.

Its only one good thing is that christmas episodes are rarely if ever canonised. It can be forgotten about by the series, just not by the viewer.

This is the absolute low point of the series, and it is sad that it had to be the last episode of 2011, allowing this horrible feeling to fester while I wait for the new series.
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on 16 October 2012
There are certain episodes in the rebooted version of Doctor Who which one has to return to, again & again. Unfortunately, this episode is not one of them. Things were rather predictable all-along, and there was no twist in the 'tale'. Good, but nothing exceptional.
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on 4 October 2012

Only part of this I didn't like was part of the start, the rest was fine but deep space diving into a planet's atmosphere trying to don a spacesuit... well only Goldeneye beats it for ridiculousness and thats only because this is doctor who!

Otherwise I loved the start and plan on rewatching it and just wonder how they could have got him back down to earth in a manner that at least avoided being exposed to the vacuum of space with nothing to protect him let alone putting a certain helmet on backwards...

My best idea is that the entire cubicle where the spacesuit is along with the doctor is blown clear off the spaceship and he has to rush putting it on as the cubicle starts to break up and we see him surfing on a piece of the cubicle in his spacesuit and only realise he has put the helmet on backwards when it is shown in the movie, sorry for the spoiler but thats why I'm stressing this since it is the only part I really didn't like and why it lost one star as s result because as a christmas doctor who it otherwise a fine addition and I plan on introducing this to my nephew next chance I get!

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on 4 February 2012
That man is really starting to annoy me. He's cocky, he thinks he's clever, he thinks he's funny and he simply can't write a good story. I don't get why all of his plots have to have some sloppy story behind them. He think that creating a cliff-hanger that makes no sense keeps people watching. It doesn't. This story is typical Moffat. No proper alien, no action, it's just sloppy. He's wasting great actors doing this. PLease can we just have some RTD action with aliens, no ruddy cliffhangers and a actual plot that fits the story and the actors. I think I've ranted enough now.
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on 19 January 2012
Doctor Who. Christmas Evening. Brilliant. Usually. This was such a disappointment. No thrill, No chill. Just syrup poured thickly. Where was the threat? Where was the excitement? Wooden aliens - okay but the story was paper thin. Worse than Pound-shop Christmas wrapping sheets. I enjoyed Downton Abbey more! I've been watching for 45 years and this was like the bad old days of JNT but with better acting and special effects. Next Christmas real aliens and real threat please. (Oh and can we have the yeti, quarks and ice warriors back soon... please?)
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on 2 January 2012
You're on a hiding to nothing being a writer these days. Sure there's the intellectual satisfaction of wresting something from the bowels of your imagination and seeing it realised in glorious technicolor; but now everyone is a critic and worse, they can use feedback functions such as these to vent all manner of objections to your carefully sculpted narrative. Take Steven Moffat for example. A man with proven writing chops and a track record of success that makes pub critics look like embittered hacks whose only literary qualifications are the bronze reading stars they received at school. Moffat has had to endure his fair share of criticism from all of us who sit in the cheap seats over modern Who's inability to arrive at anything approximating consistent tone and feel...but sometimes you just gotta say something!

The Xmas 'special' epitomised everything that is objectionable about the rebooted series. A reasonably entertaining premise lost in the fug of the show's almost total Disneyfication. A cartoon Doctor spouting platitudes and a 'love conquers all' climax that has been done so many times that you just want a thoroughly dystopian SWAT team to turn up and spread a rather different Xmas message. Unfortunately the days when Who really was the Doctor's show and - despite mucho techno-babble, dodgy sets and some risible acting - had enough faith in the strength of its own concept seem long gone. The love of language, the satire, the wanton deaths of ancillary characters and the occasionally visceral nature of the 'classic series' seemed a long way away - even allowing for the forced festive fun of a yuletide installment.

There are a lot of things to hope for in 2012 that might just be seen as bigger ticket items than improved Who; but if the programme could become more than just Cebeebies with budget, then I for one would be profoundly grateful. Moffat has the talent - but is there the inclination?
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