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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Special
Yes, 5 stars. And I'm not even going to talk about the plot.

Not only was this the best thing on TV in many, many moons, but it was also the best episode of Doctor Who since... possibly as far back as the middle of Season 4. If I've learned anything from past Doctors, it's that it takes about a season for the new actor to become the roll.

In this...
Published on January 10, 2011 by Jack

versus
73 of 105 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not an episode
In the past, prequels and other short content has been free with the TV pass. Now they've decided to charge full episode price for a 90 second clip that has been available various places on the Web for a couple of weeks. I'm fine with auto-purchasing full episodes, but getting charged $1.89 for this is absurd.
Published on December 23, 2011 by sherlockmoles


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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Special, January 10, 2011
By 
Jack (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Yes, 5 stars. And I'm not even going to talk about the plot.

Not only was this the best thing on TV in many, many moons, but it was also the best episode of Doctor Who since... possibly as far back as the middle of Season 4. If I've learned anything from past Doctors, it's that it takes about a season for the new actor to become the roll.

In this episode, Matt Smith is the Doctor.

This is the first episode since Moffat took over that I felt like we got to see the Doctor through many different lenses, and that adds to the dynamic and shear scope of the character. (The Amy/Rory side-plot is pivotal in establishing this effect.)

Watch this episode. Then watch it again because it's even better the second time.

Also, I feel I should add that this was the first thing I bought and watched through my new Roku. That thing is awesome.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward and Heartfelt: The Doctor Returns In This Eco-Friendly Christmas Thriller, December 27, 2011
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.

While many of the past Christmas specials were completely independent, "The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe" actually fits comfortably into the timeline of the on-going series. With a minimum of screen time, the show's finale packs an emotional punch that really resonates and sets up future episodes. And while, in truth, the main story was pleasant enough--it is these last few minutes that really distinguish this special and make it memorable. Smith is crisp and amusing as always, but it is Claire Skinner (as the mother) that really gets some nice dramatic moments. All in all, this is a very well balanced presentation. And, especially due to the last few moments, it is one that I will remember. A solid 4 star episodes with a simple but effective 5 star finale, I'd rank this as one of the sweetest (and possibly best) Christmas specials yet. KGHarris, 12/11.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Twist on Dickens in Who Style, January 30, 2011
Steven Moffat crafts a beguiling story brought to time-twisting life by the most fun Doctor, yet, in a play on Dicken's classic. Vocalist Katherine Jenkins brings class with her timeless voice and a first-ever acting appearance carried off like a pro. And Matt Smith brings it all to life in a role he now owns lock, stock and barrel. It has reached the point where I can barely look at the guy without chuckling in delight.

If you are new to Who, spend 2-bucks on this one, anyway. Odds are you'll wind up traveling back into time for a look at the 2005 season rebirth of this series that has been timeless since the 60's. Then, if your cable system doesn't offer BBC-America ... demand it for the upcoming new split season starting spring 2011. Cowboy hats are 'cool' ....
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It made me cry., December 27, 2011
By 
Northern_grl (Northeast U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
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We watched this year's special as a family; and it has just the right combination of danger, humor, heart and surprises. Fun!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Christmas Special Yet, December 30, 2010
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I like Doctor Who, but frankly the Christmas specials have been a bit disappointing in the past. Not this one! Well written, well executed with many great one-liners. One of the best DrWho episode I have seen to date.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward and Heartfelt: The Doctor Returns In This Eco-Friendly Christmas Thriller, December 27, 2011
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.

While many of the past Christmas specials were completely independent, "The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe" actually fits comfortably into the timeline of the on-going series. With a minimum of screen time, the show's finale packs an emotional punch that really resonates and sets up future episodes. And while, in truth, the main story was pleasant enough--it is these last few minutes that really distinguish this special and make it memorable. Smith is crisp and amusing as always, but it is Claire Skinner (as the mother) that really gets some nice dramatic moments. All in all, this is a very well balanced presentation. And, especially due to the last few moments, it is one that I will remember. A solid 4 star episodes with a simple but effective 5 star finale, I'd rank this as one of the sweetest (and possibly best) Christmas specials yet. KGHarris, 12/11.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Mistake, December 26, 2011
By 
Northern_grl (Northeast U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
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Update: fixed. Thank you!
-----
I think there's been a mistake by Amazon. The prequels are always numbered "0" and are free. The Christmas specials are numbered episodes and there's a charge for them. The latest Christmas episode SHOULD be available, but the prequel has been put on here in it's place. (Maybe?)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, December 26, 2010
A great episode to tide viewers over for the upcoming season. The story has just about everything, albeit the plot is slightly skewed towards the beginning. However, once the episode gains momentum, it doesn't stop. The special effects were great and Matt Smith is really starting to get a hang of playing the Doctor.

The lack of Amy and Rory parts in this episode is slightly disappointing, though, I wish they had shown more of them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now that the problem is solved..., December 29, 2011
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Can we get rid of the 1-star reviews? It was a goof-up, and it's been fixed! Great Prequel, free now, and a good lead-up to the episode!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, December 27, 2011
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Moffat finally made a Christmas Special tie in with the rest of the series. I like Doctor Who in general but this was probably one of my top Ten non-Tennant episodes.
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