The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

First Broadcast December 25th 2011 @ 7.00pm (10.77m viewers)

Once again Steven Moffat borrowed a theme from a famous literary work, namely ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, to provide an idea for a Christmas story. On this occasion, the wardrobe element was combined with a Christmas present and utilised to provide a magical portal to another world. Once again the Eleventh Doctor connects with two children, adding to the magical time of year that is Christmas, at a time when they need it. Younger viewers also appreciated the comedic start of the story with Madge Arwell coming to the aid of the Time Lord who managed to get his spacesuit the wrong way round.

The Doctor, Cyril and Lily investigate a magical world just like the children explored Narnia in CS Lewis’ original book. For the purposes of drama, the Harvest Rangers are introduced in a plot line which smacks of an ecological message straight out of the Barry Letts era of the programme. The Wooden King and Queen were particularly impressive creations especially considering that they are rubber and latex suits simply made to look like wood. The saving of Reg Arwell’s plane didn’t feel necessary but add an uplifting conclusion for Christmas Day story.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

Finally to close the story we return to the events of the 2011 series. This delivers a particularly emotional moment with The Doctor arriving on the doorstep of Amy and Rory’s house. After some amusing payback and hugs, the Time Lord is invited in for Christmas dinner. Learning that the Ponds always set a place for him, he realises the simple pleasures of friendship. Stepping into the house Matt Smith is acting his socks off, wiping away a tear. The subtlety of his facial expressions is incredible. This sequence is beautifully done and like all good Christmas specials, it leaves viewers impatiently anticipating the next adventures.

Karen Gillan As Amy Pond, Matt Smith As the Doctor - Doctor Who - The Doctor The Widow and The Wardrobe - (c) BBC
Karen Gillan As Amy Pond, Matt Smith As the Doctor – Doctor Who – The Doctor The Widow and The Wardrobe – (c) BBC

Also First Aired On This Day…

  • The Daleks’ Master Plan: The Feast of Steven
  • The Christmas Invasion
  • The Runaway Bride
  • Voyage of the Damned
  • The Next Doctor
  • The End of Time: Part One
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Snowmen
  • The Time of the Doctor
  • Last Christmas
  • The Husbands of River Song
  • The Return of Doctor Mysterio


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