Doctor Who: Season 6, Episode 0

A Christmas Carol (25 Dec. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 3,208 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 8 critic

A space liner, with a large number of passengers aboard, is in difficulties while flying through the atmosphere of an unknown planet. Amy and Rory have been spending some time on board in ... See full summary »

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Title: A Christmas Carol (25 Dec 2010)

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Storyline

A space liner, with a large number of passengers aboard, is in difficulties while flying through the atmosphere of an unknown planet. Amy and Rory have been spending some time on board in the honeymoon suite and they quickly appear on deck. Amy calls the doctor for help and the TARDIS soon appears ahead of the ship. However the Doctor cannot save them and the only other option is to land on the planet below. There the Doctor meets a Scrooge like figure by the name of Kazran Sardick, the only person that can save Amy, Rory and all the other lives on the Spacecraft. The Doctor learns that the atmosphere surrounding the planet is controlled by Kazran who is unwilling to help the liner. The only option to save the ship is for the Doctor to persuade Kazran to save the liner himself. Written by Peter Alcock

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25 December 2010 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Michael Gambon is only the second knighted actor to act in the series. The first was Sir Derek Jacobi, who guest-starred in 'Utopia'. See more »

Goofs

The older and younger versions of Karzan come into physical contact with no ill effects. According to the "Blinovich Limitation Effect", such contact between two versions of the same person should result in a dangerous energy discharge. See more »

Quotes

The Doctor: [after rolling out of a fireplace] Ah. Yes. Blimey. Sorry. Christmas Eve on a rooftop, saw a chimney, my whole brain just went: "What the hell!"
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Connections

Referenced in The One Show: Episode dated 20 August 2010 (2010) See more »

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Doctor Who Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Christmas Special 2010: So well done that even a flying shark pulling a sledge doesn't spoil it
16 January 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Without any Wallace & Gromit and robbed of "big" movies by virtue of everyone seeing them already, the BBC continue to put all their festive spirit on the back of reality dancing shows and the annual outing for Doctor Who. This is not the place for people such as myself that watches Doctor Who for the occasional darkness and engaging plots and just puts up with the kiddie-friendly silliness that it will always have; no, the Christmas special is usually full of colourful, noisy nonsense and Bernard Cribbins in a Santa hat. So there was a certain amount of "strapping in for the ride" when I heard the plot of this years special (which it took me till now to watch – happy Christmas!).

The plot is essentially that Amy and Rory are on a spaceship crashing onto a planet but trapped in a thick cloud layer which is controlled by one man on the ground. Kazran Sardick is a real sour dick though and decides to just let the ship crash and kill everyone. Unable to do it without his help, the Doctor decides to travel back in time and show Sardick the miracle of Christmas, thus changing him into a good person and getting him to allow the ship to land. Meanwhile though, the Doctor cannot help but also be mystified by the cloud layer, in which fish freely swim and live. So it is a version of A Christmas Carol with flying sharks basically – sounds like a recipe for silly spectacle and easy sentiment right? Well, a little, but far less than I expected.

The viewer does have to deal with the image of a shark harnessed like a reindeer flying through the sky, but otherwise the special is actually very engaging and smartly done. The Christmas Carol aspect is actually pretty good and it even held my interest even though I'm not one for the whole "what a special day Christmas is" thing. Gambon plays his scrooge really well and I thought he gave the special a lot of heart. I had assumed that Jenkins would be a novelty but, while not brilliant, she was reasonably OK. Smith worked the thing as well as one would expect while neither Gillan nor Darvill (who really should not be in it in my opinion) didn't have much to do other than be the plot device – but weirdly the special was better for their absence.

Overall this was a really enjoyable Christmas special which (unlike the Poseidon in Space one the other year) actually feels festive due to its content rather than its trimmings. Engaging, quite clever, quite touching while also having the silliness that kids need – much better than I expected it would be.


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