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The Doctor's worst enemies, The Daleks, The Cybermen, The Angels and The Silence, return, as the doctor's eleventh life comes to a close, and his twelfth life begins.



, (characters: "Daleks") | 3 more credits »





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Buller ...
Sheila Reid ...
Colonel Albero
Sonita Henry ...
Colonel Meme
Handles (voice)
Tom Gibbons ...
Young Man
Voice (voice)


Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars - and amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Release Date:

25 December 2013 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This is the first Christmas Special to feature the same main cast as the previous one. See more »


This episode makes a point that the Doctor is out of regenerations, counting the War Doctor and the Tenth Doctor's regeneration into himself towards the end of Series 4. However, in "The Impossible Astronaut", it was shown that the Doctor was killed for real since he was killed during his regeneration. Of course, it was revealed that that wasn't really the Doctor in "The Wedding of River Song", but it still suggested that he had another regeneration left. See more »


[repeated line]
Handles: You must patch the telephone device back through the console unit.
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Referenced in Doctor Who: Hell Bent (2015) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

This episode is filled with almost every problem Doctor Who has had...
31 August 2014 | by (Pan-dimensional) – See all my reviews

Don't get me wrong. I loved Doctor Who, however, there are some reoccurring elements that seem to be popping up much more frequently than they need to be. This episode contains virtually every Doctor Who cliché in it which might be why people like it, but to me it makes it incredibly weak.

The episode follows the Doctor for almost the entire time and he stands as the main character in this episode. In the episode the Doctor faces his "biggest threat" yet where he is stuck on the planet where he is destined to die on. On this planet he is forced to spend hundreds of years fighting off Cyber-men, Daleks, and Weeping Angels. He does all of this to save the people of a small town called "Christmas"... get it? It's ironic because Christmas is supposed to be a happy thing yet it is chaotic and has war on it.

Now, while the premise of this episode may sound good, the execution is less than that. It has way too many Doctor Who clichés in it so it feels like a retread of old territory.

The issues: 1. The "Doctor does something embarrassing that looks like he is in a sexual relationship with his companion": This is done in this episode... like in so many other episodes. It may have been funny once, but now it just seems like fan service.

2. The "Doctor makes a promise, and it seems like he breaks it, but quickly fulfills it later because the Doctor "never fails anyone in danger...": This is done at least twice in this episode.

3. The "Promise for a super huge battle that will be epic that turns out to be a battle between only a handful of enemies": This promise has been done so many times in Doctor Who, but rarely has it ever been fulfilled. This episode really takes the cake for big let downs. This episode is supposed to show a giant battle that consumes thousands/millions of lives (we see the tomb stones of this battle in previous episodes), however the scope of this battle is literally only a handful of people. Literally, it takes place in a tiny 1800s styled town, and the Doctor has "supposedly" been fighting off Daleks, Weeping Angels, and Cyber-men for HUNDREDS of years in this tiny town...

This is a slap in the face to the audience, because we also get to see some of the battles. In ALL of the scenarios, we see the Doctor "cleverly" destroying all challengers... such as a lone wooden cyber-man... or a lone Dalek... or a lone Weeping Angel... or a pair of Sontarans... see the problem here?

Literally, ALL of the Doctor's enemies apparently attack him ONE AT A TIME (due to the montage, it appears they attack him once a week or once). Did the show forget that there is a DALEK SPACESHIP THE SIZE OF A CITY FLOATING IN SPACE??? Or a Cyber-man FLEET SITTING IN THE ATMOSPHERE? Why send one wooden cyber-man? Why not send 2,000? The weeping angels don't join anyone's allegiance, so why was there only ONE weeping angel infilitrating the town instead of... I don't know, the 10-20 we saw earlier in the episode?

To make things WORSE, we do get to see the final epic battle when the Dalek ship sends down its troops, and it literally only sends down maybe 10... the episode tries really hard to pretend that this is a "giant battle" but I think it forgets that it was established that THOUSANDS of people would die in this battle yet we can clearly see the town (along with other people) holds a maximum capacity of around 200 or so... REALLY?!?!?!?

Doctor Who does this a lot. There will always be an episode floating around that will say "This is the Doctor's greatest blunder" or "This is the Doctor's Greatest Battle" or "This is the day The Doctor really screws it up" yet in none of them do we ever get the sense that it was really big in scale or in failure. This is a TV series that spans all of SPACE AND TIME so for something to be some important that people know about it hundreds of years in the past and future then it better be big enough to effect more than a tiny town.

4. The "Deus Ex Machina super ability that comes out of nowhere to wipe out a large amount of enemies... which happens in almost every finale": Once again *spoilers* the Doctor is magically granted the ability to be able to regenerate again (even though this was supposed to be his last regeneration) and yet all of the Time Lords stuck in the other dimension somehow combine all of their regeneration abilities, shift it through the time rift which magically connects with the Doctor, which gives the Doctor all of the power of the Time Lord's regeneration energy (which is quite explosive) which the Doctor uses to--you guessed it--wipe out all of the Dalek ships and Cyber-men with a giant nuclear spirit-bomb of energy... yeah... haven't heard this one before...

All in all, the premise of the Doctor going through a big failure or having to spend hundreds of years stuck in one location fighting is a great concept. However, the episode messes it up in almost every way. The scope of the enemies is fine but the scope of the battle/s is pathetically small (why couldn't we see a battle on the level of those of when Gallifrey was be attacked just an episode ago?). The episode just feels so... been there done that... it feels like the creators of the show were almost bored with the premise and were kind of like "screw it". It's a real shame that Matt Smith couldn't have left on a higher note or with a better episode, oh well.

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