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Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (2012)

Matt Smith , Karen Gillan , Farren Blackburn  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe + Doctor Who: The Snowmen + Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol
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Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Paul Kasey, Arthur Darvill, Nicholas Briggs
  • Directors: Farren Blackburn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A London family flees the bombing of World War II and comes to a country estate, where two children and their mother discover a doorway to another world… but what lies on the other side is definitely not Narnia. Instead, it's a wintry forest planet on the brink of destruction, and only the infinitely clever time-and-space-traveling alien being known as the Doctor (Matt Smith) can figure out how to save it. The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe doesn't have the complex story of the last Doctor Who Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, and the Doctor coming into a family's life and making it better veers perilously close to Touched by an Angel territory--but what makes up for it is the rich creepiness of the snowbound forest and the eerie creatures who live there. As with any Steven Moffat script, the dialogue is smart and sprightly. And Matt Smith, with his deep-set eyes, gangly body, and effervescent fusion of whimsy and intelligence, continues to develop a multilayered incarnation of the Doctor that's as compelling as any that's gone before. Extras include a very peculiar look back at Doctor Who's sixth season, in which an odd mix of artists and celebrities (including alternative comedians like Reggie Watts and Eugene Mirman, Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls, magazine editors, podcast hosts, and random actresses) enthuse about their favorite aspects of the show. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Doctor Who Confidential - An inside look at the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas Special Doctor Who at the Proms - Concert performance of music from Doctor Who recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall during the BBC's annual Proms concerts.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Watching the modern Doctor Who one-off specials has certainly become an unexpected Christmas tradition in our home. And each Doctor brings his own spin to the holiday themed episodes. Last year Matt Smith's Doctor took on Dickens in an outer-space interpretation of "A Christmas Carol." It was frenetic and funny, managed to seamlessly blend tragedy with humor, and was emotionally satisfying without being cloying. This year, we had "The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe" (its central plot point borrows from a certain literature classic--I think you can figure out which one). This may well be the most straightforward and heartfelt Christmas special yet. Set in World War II era Britain, Smith helps a family adjusts to what promises to be a painful season by making a perfect getaway experience for the kids. However, with the best of intentions, one of the Doctor's surprises leads to unexpected dangers. The family must work together to ensure their very survival and get back home.

The special capitalizes of an eco-friendly theme as the principle aliens within the piece are not your typical beasts. They too are a race battling to live as manmade intrusions into their environment threaten their existence and livelihood. Might the Doctor and his charges be of assistance? It is Christmas after all. Or as certain annihilation looms, might it be too late for anyone to survive? This is Doctor Who after all. The show's pacing is brisk and its storyline affirms a strong message of loyalty and family. In fact, the Doctor's exposure to the widow and her children make him contemplate those that he has left behind through the course of his exploits.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
- Lily (as rocket engines fire): "What's happening?"
- the Doctor: "No idea. Do what I do. Hold tight... and pretend it's a plan."

As sublime as "A Christmas Carol" was, it would take something really special for this most recent Doctor Who Christmas Special to match, let alone top, it. I quite liked "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" because Matt Smith is never less than entertaining. But Steven Moffat's cup of schmaltz really spills over with this episode. But, hey, it's Christmastime, a season ripe for excess, and surely Moffat can be excused for overindulging his inner sappy.

The story opens in outer space as a hostile alien warship menaces Earth. But no sooner do the invaders declare "People of Earth, you stand alone!" than the Doctor pops up to gum up the works. But, having once more saved our little ball of mud, the Time Lord plummets down and crashlands in London on Christmas Eve, 1938. In the crater developed by his forced landing, the Doctor finds himself in a bit of a bind, but he's aided by a passing housewife named Madge Arwell (Claire Skinner). The Doctor is so touched by Madge's generosity that he vows to return the favor. "How?" she asks. "I dunno," says the Doctor. "Make a wish, that usually works."

Cut now to a war-torn London three years later, and to a desolate Christmastime for Madge Arwell. Having just received a telegram informing her of her husband's death under enemy fire, she determines to keep the news from her children, Lily and Cyril, until after the holidays. She promises them: "This Christmas is going to be the best Christmas ever!" (And, at this juncture, maybe there's a collective rolling of the eyes from the audience, oh we jaded souls.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great but little reason to buy January 4, 2012
The special itself was great, but everything on this Blu-Ray will also be in the eventual Series 7 box set. The only reason to buy this would be if you don't plan on getting season 7 or you just can not wait.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD vs Blu-ray Description Deception - Bad Amazon August 13, 2012
By Mookie
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I love Doctor Who and although this isn't one of my favorite episodes, I'm not giving the 1-star for the episode (I'd give it a 3-star). I'm giving the 1-star for Amazon's deceptive product description for the DVD. Amazon's product description FOR THE DVD is as follows: "Doctor Who Confidential - An inside look at the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas Special Doctor Who at the Proms - Concert performance of music from Doctor Who recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall during the BBC's annual Proms concerts."

Guess what's NOT on the DVD version? Yep, you guessed it, the Doctor Who Confidential. If the Confidential was only on the Blu-ray, then why was it listed in the production description for the DVD? I wouldn't have bought the DVD if I'd known that it wasn't complete with ALL the extras. Amazon, in the future, PLEASE don't put extras that are only on the Blu-ray version in the production description for the DVD version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set a Place at Your Table for The Doctor February 17, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a recent convert to the Whovian phenomena, but I am a quick study, and have acquainted myself with as many of The Doctors as I could.
This simple holiday story finds The Doctor (in his 11th incarnation played by Matt Smith) repaying an act of kindness to a recently widowed woman and her children during The Blitz of the Second World War.

Matt Smith has been a constant delight in his portrayal of The Doctor, who can go from manic delight at the embellishments he's added to an old house, such as bumper-car chairs in the sitting room to a lemonade faucet over the kitchen sink ("I know!"), to somber and poignant as he offers up to the widowed mother his reflections on just why its so important that the children be happy just before they're going to be told the sad news of their RAF Father's demise.

This special offers us a feast for the eyes, as well as a story without any true malevolence or villains. And it is genuinely haertwarming, especially the dinner scene at the end, with The Doctor shedding very heartfelt and humble tears of joy as the special comes to a close.

Now, one might wonder why to purchase this now, when it will, as other reviewers have pointed out, likely be included on the boxed set for the as of this review unaired seventh series.
The answer I can put forth is, the extras. The DVD features three "Best of..." retrospectives on the adventures of The Eleventh Doctor thus far, with a wide variety of celebrity guests explaining their love of the show, The Doctor, The Companions, and, of course, The Monsters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 28 days ago by Chris Pearson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoy the movie twist at end
Published 1 month ago by Beverly Mein
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Doctor Who rocks.
Published 2 months ago by Kevin D. Cashman
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
BBC has done an excellen t job of packaging this most enjoyable of the episodes.I would recommend this wholeheartedly. THE other being Vincent and the doctor.
Published 3 months ago by Joseph T. Madawela
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 of the 2 missing X-mas special form S7 part 1 & 2
For owners of Season 7 part 1 and 2 DVD set. Since they don't include them. Better off with the Complete Season 7 set.

Series it self gets 5 star. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kuma
5.0 out of 5 stars the doctor, the widow, and the wardrobe
The Doctor,the widow,and the wardrobe is one of the best dvds I have ever bought! Love, love, love, love, love!
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
I love the way Dr Who can take the most ordinary people and show how they can be heroes. This special has one of my favorite Dr Who moments where the mother is interrogated in a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joanna Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars so you gotta own if you're a Who fam
reminded me a bit too much of Lion, Witch & Wardrobe in some ways--but I guess that was intentional. It definitely goes and ends differently. Read more
Published 5 months ago by tck
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie. Great plot. If you like Dr. Who, you will enjoy this...
I choose this rating because I was thoroughly entertained by this movie. I love that this series never has swearing nor does it show a lot of violence.
Published 5 months ago by Lisa Monington
5.0 out of 5 stars It Doctor Who so of course I love it. I love all things Who the series...
It Doctor Who so of course I love it. I love all things Who the series is awesome if you like to collect.
Published 6 months ago by The Doctor
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