Christmas Throwback: Last year's Doctor Who Christmas special.
The Dr Who christmas special is always a good talking point. Whether it be a regeneration like The Christmas Invasion, watching David Tennant become who he wanted to be. The Runaway Bride seeing Catherine Tate in a cameo role that was never meant to become more, and yet by popular demand made her a series regular soon after. The David Tennant years gave us wonderful, interesting, amusing christmas specials. Unluckily the Matt Smith years left us like with his series a little wanting. With the writers not quite nailing the storylines, making them just a little bit too silly. Helping Santa, a Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe rip off. Peter Capaldi has already proven himself fast to be a strong Doctor, with greatly improved story arcs. Heading into popularity with the fans new and old alike. Leaving a lot riding on this, his first christmas special.
We knew long in advance that the Doctors on again off again wife River Song, daughter of Amy and Rory would be returning for the end of the series. The wife that the Doctor always met in the wrong order. Time travelers, always complicated lives. Hence River's Tardis like diary keeping them on track, checking where they have and haven't been yet. And her classic catch phrase 'Spoilers' to any and all questions about her relationship and his personal future. The first time we see River Song (Silence in the Library) she long knows the Doctor, yet he has never met her. We saw River Song die, give her life for her Doctor. Telling him about their last meeting, how she knew she was going to her death. Every time he met River, the Doctor always carried the weight of knowing how her story would end.
This newest episode we see River looking for the best surgeon in the world to save her husband, yet it's not the husband you would expect as it is certainly not any form of the Doctor. River has a lot of husbands in this episode, leaving the Doctor extremely jealous of the woman he doesn't get to see. The one who has no idea who he is. In some ways she reminds me a lot of her mother (Amy), who was always a flirt. All through the episode he keeps dropping hints who he is, that she should know him and she just doesn't get the hints. We see a folder of all his faces, and the last she has is Matt Smith. Showing he never told her of this new regeneration, only of the 12 he should have.
The horror on his face when he finds out that she often hunts him, steals his Tardis, does what she wants with it and just drops it back for him to carry on with his life. Never leaving any hint or clue that she was ever there. Bad enough she steals it, but to find out she married a man for a rare diamond and is using his Tardis as a getaway car! River warns him that the box isn't what he would expect, not as small as the outside gives it to be. Leaving him happily enjoying a very long drawn out, it's bigger on the inside scene. I do wonder if any of that was scripted, or just left for him to enjoy himself.
I won't go too much into the episode, I wouldn't want to completely ruin it for those who haven't seen yet. And if you haven't what are you doing?! Get on Iplayer now and watch it!!! Right now!! We finally see River Song come full circle, and bring herself to that last night we first heard her speak of. The night the Doctor cries under the singing towers. The night fans have been waiting for, for a very long time. The interplay between River and the Doctor is at its prime. The insults, the play fighting. Plus a few very touching scenes as River explains how she feels about him, not knowing he is stood right next to her before suddenly realising exactly who he is. After how they fight to keep each other safe, and the whole last 15 minutes of the episode are a real tear jerker.
This for me, is the best episode of the whole series. Pretty close to being the best episode since the modern reboot. I can not wait to see more of Peter Capaldi next year.
Sarah Beth James