The Doctor finds his TARDIS colliding with a spaceship based on the RMS Titanic during a Christmas party. With the help of a waitress named Astrid, the Doctor must take on the race called ...
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The Doctor finds his TARDIS colliding with a spaceship based on the RMS Titanic during a Christmas party. With the help of a waitress named Astrid, the Doctor must take on the race called the Hosts as the lives of the Titanic crew and those on Earth are in danger. Written by
Christmas special 2007: Big festive special that is high of effects and action but feels rushed and lacking heart even if Tennant gives his all as usual
Heading out by himself, the Doctor finds himself on board the Titanic again, but this time it is filled with strange creatures and aliens. Quickly he realises that this is a tourist space cruiser currently approaching Earth as part of its tour. The Doctor decides to relax and enjoy the cruise ship but naturally this wouldn't be Christmas if something didn't go wrong. The Captain of the ship deliberately impacts with meteors, killing most of the passengers and starting the ship on a downward trajectory towards Earth. With the robotic assistance on the ship now killing any survivors, the Doctor and his group try to get to safety and stop the collision with Earth.
For the past few years the new Christmas fixture for the BBC has been Doctor Who. Understandably given the loss of Wallace & Gromit and the fact that everyone has seen the "big" film on DVD, cinema, download and Sky by the time it washes up on terrestrial this days. Anyway, this is one of those things that really should be seen in the context of the holidays, where we are all bloated and sitting around television and just looking for something to feed our eyes without really taxing. For that reason it seems unfair to critique the Doctor Who special in any way that goes beyond explosions and excitement; it may seen unfair but of course I cannot help doing it.
In regards spectacle though the special is quite entertaining with plenty of good effects and big moments but it is the substance that I felt let it down. The plot is very much The Poseidon Adventure in space and this tends to be the focus and the idea of corporate greed destroying life is not used as well as I think it wanted to. Outside of this we get some solid excitement in the action scenes but the emulation of the 1970's disaster movie is carried through too much. You see in those, any group of survivors will die off one by one after we have gotten to know a little about them and, where this is done over two or so hours then it maybe doesn't overwhelm. However with this we have the same thing happening but in a very short period of time. So we get death after heroic death and it does get a bit tiresome after a while as it becomes meaningless. I know that the nature of the special requires spectacle rather than reflection but it is worth noting that the episodes that are considered best from season three did not rely on spectacle and big effects but rather story or simple thrills. Here it is all quite exciting but the lack of real meat is a problem.
The cast are all reasonably good though. Of course Tennant dominates and I genuinely wonder how they will manage to fill his shoes when he eventually does stand down from the role. Kyle can't act and doesn't bring much wonder to the role; the female companion bright-eyed with wonder is not a new act but both Piper and Agyeman did it much better than her she just seems to bring her name to the role, although in fairness the script gives her little. The support cast are mostly quite unmemorable but I did like Palmer as the captain, Swift and Vee as the small alien.
Overall then a special episode in the series that delivers what the majority of Christmas viewers would have expected in a big story with lots of action. The disaster movie genre elements feel rushed and tiresome though and I would have liked less action if more substance had been delivered.
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