Remember when Christmas TV was a joyous occasion? I’m not talking about Eastenders, of course, but do you remember when the Doctor fought the Sycorax in his PJs and no-one died? Or the Flint Street Nativity where adults played kids putting on a play and no-one died? Or The Borrowers (just last year) where Christopher Eccleston was teeny and no-one died? Um, this year’s Christmas TV was basically the opposite of all that.
Doctor Who – death. Merlin – death. Homeland – death. Downton Abbey – death. Call the Midwife – thought I couldn’t go wrong with a programme about births, but, nope, death. Where’s the Christmas spirit of joy and birth and being too full to shake off the Quality Street wrappers that encase you like a shiny slanket? Damn you, TV, why must you make me ruin my festive bucks fizz with salty tears?
The Telly That Stole Christmas?
Alright, Homeland didn’t make me cry (apart from at the startling decline of a once-great series), and some might say that Doctor Who didn’t really kill of Clara, seeing as she keeps being reborn and starting from scratch. But as lovely, plucky Clara fell to her death, my dreams of a Victorian companion went with her. Must we have another modern day companion? Oh well.
Jenna Louise Coleman was absolutely brilliant. She’s a far more accomplished actress than Karen Gillen and this Clara was more likeable than the slightly smug Oswin she played in Asylum of the Daleks. Let’s hope that the Clara/Oswin that the Doctor eventually manages to keep alive is more like her Victorian incarnation. She and Matt Smith have great chemistry and I can’t wait for their partnership to begin properly.
Apart from the death of Clara (and Moffat’s obsession with people crying at Christmas), The Snowmen was really quite wonderful. The resurrected Strax and his sadly unseen “automated laser monkeys” stole the show, which is quite something in an episode which also featured Richard E Grant giving good villain and Moffat going all meta-textual with a heap of Sherlock Holmes references (even cheekily referencing the Sherlock theme tune at one point).
It also gave us a new-look Doctor (bow tie still thankfully in place), a new-look TARDIS (retro is cool) and even new-look titles, which were gloriously cheesy and I instantly adored them. Plus, the sight of an invisible spiral staircase leading up to the TARDIS sitting on a cloud was pure magic. Bring on the 50th anniversary year.
Hit Me With Your
Rhythm… Er, Wizard Stick…
Regular readers may have noticed my love of Merlin, which seems to be directly at odds with the actual quality of Merlin. I can’t help it. I have a soft spot for imperfect TV. As a writer myself, it’s the televisual equivalent of falling for bad boys because I just know that, given the opportunity, I could change them (see also: my relationship over the years with shows like Smallville and Supernatural). Merlin went for the proper killer ending – they topped Arthur. The absolute bastards.
My fondness for Merlin mainly stems from the fact that it was really just the boarding school experience retold with swords and dragons rather than Soggy Biscuit and rampant sexual abuse. Arthur and his knights were the polo-playing poshos, with Merlin as the bullied scholarship kid. Plus, there was the bromance to end all bromances, one which made JD and Turk look like mere acquaintances. I don’t normally go in for slash pairings (Wincest? What is wrong with you people?!?), but hell, in that finale even my Dad was yelling “just kiss him!” at the TV.
Also, I’ve developed a teenage crush on Colin Morgan and his weird face. His lovely weird face.
Is there some sort of rehab for those who have been led astray from the path of quality television? Ah, yes, Battlestar Galactica. That’ll make me better again.Tags: doctor who, doctor who christmas special the snowmen, matt smith, merlin, nerd tv