This post has been in drafts since 26 December, but I have been so sick that I completely forgot to finish and post it! Better late than never.
I liked the Christmas special this year. I thought it was among the good ones. It's not as good as The Next Doctor, which I think is the best, but was is on par with A Christmas Carol. Let's face it, Doctor Who Christmas Specials tend to be underwhelming in general. The Runaway Bride was good because of Donna, who stole the show, but otherwise it was rather meh. And let us all forget the one with Kylie Minogue and the Titanic in space, shall we?
This time, we had to say farewell to Matt Smith. It was not a heartbreaking experience for me, since I can't say I ever really liked his Doctor. Still it was well done. A lot of it did not make sense, but it's not really an issue on account that Doctor Who rarely does completely makes sense. This time, a lot of the muddled story line was due to needing to wrap up as many dangling plots as possible: the question about the Doctor's name, the Silence, the Fields of Transalore, The Fall of the Eleventh, the Church, River Song's existence, the numerous times all of the Doctor's enemies worked together to kill him, as well as the one new question raised by the The Day of the Doctor, where the hell are the Time Lords now?
We got answers to all of those, plus a town inexplicably called Christmas, snow, merriment and cheer, despite Weepings Angels, Wooden Cybermen and Daleks finding a way through the forcefield into the town. With the Doctor trapped on Transalore for a few hundred years, we saw him actually have a full life into old age (though, urgh, bad make-up on Matt Smith, oy) which allowed him to fully heal his emotional wounds from the Time War and find peace. He did not mind dying at Transalore, and this made his (miraculous, Deus ex machina to the tenth power) regeneration into Peter Capaldi a truly happy thing. He got to say good-bye to an imaginary Amy Pond (though no Rory, boo) and became Twelfth in the blink of an eye (which I believe is novel). All in all, it was a good end for Smith. Not heartbreaking like Tenth's, but rather full of glee. I do not think this Christmas Special will be memorable, but it should be notable at least for that.
Because I never really took a shine to Smith's Doctor (River was my thing), I am not sorry to let him go. I am super exited for Capaldi. He fits my idea of the Doctor better than Tennant or Smith ever did*. Eccleston was incredible, but he was supposed to be different from all his previous incarnations. Capaldi reminds me a bit of Pertwee, which if I am honest is really my Doctor. Pertwee was certainly my first Doctor in any case. So I look forward to seeing Capaldi remind me of "Snob Guy".
Also see previous DW posts: