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The best part of Christmas is the presents. But the second best part is Doctor Who. Aliens, time travel and lots of snow… the stuff of dreams.

At first, I felt the pang of nostalgia hit with the snazzy new title credits with a slightly different tune and effect – there are new title credits, which nicely revert back to the electronica sound and feel of the early series’, and a new TARDIS, which is made even better with the larger use of the Gallifreyan symbols. This really was the end of the Ponds. However, as it is Christmas, excitement won me over.

The episode features a Victorian fairy-tale escapade against some scary snowmen, and this was also the introduction of the new companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), after we last saw her as Oswin the Dalek. Clara returned to the easy banter with the Doctor that won our hearts last time. She’s curious, confident, clever and witty – the perfect mix for any companion. By the time you get to the end of the episode the intrigue writer Steven Moffat has built around her has certainly fully peaked the excitement for the new season. I won’t spoil it but you end up with more questions than when you started the episode, which is saying a lot. Although that is classic Moffat Doctor Who.

The scenery of Victorian england is gorgeous, and fits the Christmas theme beautifully. The new look for the Doctor with his top hat and ragged coat is seamlessly perfect. I am so glad the series is back, and the moment Clara saw the TARDIS for the first time and the theme kicked in – you knew you were home.

There are a few niggles. The snowmen were suitably scary, but overall I felt they didn’t convince me in the larger plot, despite bringing back the Great Intelligence. The creepy Victorian presence of Richard E Grant as the main villain felt underused and could have really been utilised better. The plot also felt a bit too sugary and emotional to the point where it started to feel forced. Normally, this would amount to disappointment but all this I can easily overlook in the name of Christmas spirit – as that is exactly what it is there for.

The Doctor Who christmas special would not be the same without a family’s tears saving the day or the story being a little overlooked in favour of pulling on the heartstrings. And if the chemistry between Clara and the Doctor is anything to go by in this episode, feel free to pull on the heartstrings a bit more.



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