10. The Feast of Steven
Broadcast back in 1965, this oddity was part of The Daleks’ Master Plan, though didn’t really have anything to with it. The Doctor and his buddies stop off in Blighty and then get embroiled in some silent film action [? – Ed.] before settling down to some festivities in the TARDIS. But, it gets better. Good ole Billy H turns to the camera and announces, “A merry Christmas to all of you at home!” Even RTD didn’t have the balls to do that!
9. The Doctor, The Widow & the Wardrobe
Speaking of balls. Despite looking luscious throughout and having some delightfully fun scenes with Matt and the children, the 2011 special kind of falls apart when it comes to the actual story. Also disappointing is the magnificent guest cast who are barely used to their full potential. Nice to see The Doctor feeling generous at Crimbolicious time though.
7. A Christmas Carol
6. The Next Doctor
4. The Christmas Invasion
Though the first special of the new era is most definitely in two halves, they’re most certainly on equal footing. Without Davey T in the picture, we got Team Tyler at the forefront whilst the Sycorax got their Queen-style rocks on. The size and scope of the episode proudly showed Who off in its first proper Christmas Day outing; The Christmas Invasion really does feel like a blockbuster. Of course, when the Doctor awakes, starts spouting The Lion King, brandishing a sword and satsumas and generally saving the day, we’re in a new era and Eccleston becomes a mere memory…
2. The End of Time Part One
It’s sometimes strange to think that The End of Time is a Christmas special as it’s often just thought of as a special. There may be no snow (on Earth anyway), but there’s plenty of decorations, food and prezzies! It’s a joy to see Wilf back, so expertly played by Berny C, and interacting with The Doctor; particularly the cafe scene where the Time Lord admits to some things going wrong. Emotionally wrecking. But it’s not all tears! Davey T seems to enjoy his last outing as he Hawaii’s it up with The Ood (lovely to see them back too, incidentally) and his scenes with John Simm, though few, are electric. The Master, however, has a very different Christmas planned for us, or rather, him(s). The story was as audacious and as mythical as the story of Jesus/Santa himself (I forget which one we worship these days).
1. The Snowmen
Like the previous two tales, Christmas is just something that’s happening around the story. And what a story! Well, actually, the plot itself, like Santa’s Birthday (that’s what it is, right?) takes a back seat to a number of sumptuous set pieces and general hilarity. In one corner, there’s Team Vastra who threaten to steal the show every second the trio are on screen; particularly Strax, who gets laugh after laugh after laugh. In the other corner, there’s new girl Clara. Jenna-Louise Coleman is off to a flyer here with her smarts and her beauty not to mention her spunkiness (do people still say that?). The Snowmen is a perfect Christmas Day treat with scares (courtesy of Richard E Grant and his titular snowmen), laughs and, dare I say, even some tears in there too. Like Eastenders, except much, much better.
The Snowmen – BBC News behind~the~scenes
Jenna-Louise Coleman on BBC Breakfast
BFI 50th Celebrations
The Snowmen – another clip
The Snowmen – BBC America sneak peek