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Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol

4.7 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan return as the Doctor and his companion in an all-new Doctor Who Christmas special on Blu-ray and DVD. Amy and Rory are trapped on a crashing space liner, and the only way the Doctor can rescue them is to save the soul of a lonely old miser, Kazran Sardick. But is Sardick, the richest man in Sardicktown, beyond redemption? And what is lurking in the fogs of Christmas Eve? Writer/Executive Producer Stephen Moffat (The Original UK Coupling, Sherlock) describes the special, “We're going for broke with this one. It's all your favourite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And the Doctor. And a honeymoon. I've honestly never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April.” Special guest stars include Michael Gambon (Harry Potter) and Welsh singing sensation Katherine Jenkins.


Combining the whimsical science fiction of Doctor Who with the Victorian sentimentality of Dickens's A Christmas Carol may seem silly at first glance, but it turns out they're a perfect fit--A Christmas Carol is, after all, already a time-travel story. On a distant planet, the Doctor (Matt Smith) confronts a miserly curmudgeon named Kazran Sardick (the brilliant Michael Gambon, The Singing Detective), who holds the key to the survival of the Doctor's companion, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), and thousands of others. To crack open this miser's heart, the Doctor decides to take Sardick to Christmases Past, Present, and Future… only these journeys involve a flying shark, a deep-frozen beautiful girl, and some of the funniest dialogue in the entire history of Doctor Who. Written by Steven Moffat, who shepherded the remarkably high-quality fifth season of the show, A Christmas Carol is bursting with clever ideas, gleeful moments of comedy, and a deft bit of genuine sadness. Smith has settled into the role of the Doctor with aplomb, tossing off wild curlicues of rapid-fire thought with boyish zip and sly timing. This is an outstanding episode of an engaging series that deserves a much wider following. Extra features include an excellent making-of documentary and a video of a symphonic concert of music from the series. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

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’sannual Proms concerts

Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Smith, Michael Gambon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Color, Subtitled, Anamorphic, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FUYSV8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 1, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm not saying that this is the best Doctor Who Christmas Special, but I am saying it's my favorite one. Cripes, what would we do without cell phones or the Internet or BBC America? Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor with his first festival episode, and I was all anticipate-y. Steven Moffat crafts a perfect tale inspired by Charles Dickens' classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The twists come plenty and frequently.

We first catch up to the Doctor's companions - the newlyweds Amy Pond and Rory Williams - on Christmas Eve as they honeymoon in a luxurious space liner carrying more than four thousand passengers. One of the best things about this episode is that things race along at a heady clip. It's not long at all before the space vessel goes all wonky, gets trapped within the peculiar cloud belt of a human-habitated planet. Amy Pond transmits a distress signal to the Doctor, who arrives and learns that salvation lies solely at the hands of the planet's most powerful man, Kazran Sardick (Michael Gambon, very terrific). Kazran Sardick, bitter and cruel and old, is not only a money lender so tight-fisted he takes his clients' family members as security deposits but he has literally tamed the sky. But he refuses to lift one finger to help even though the ship will crash in an hour's time. The desperate Doctor hits on a brainstorm. As Kazran Sardick himself cynically recounts: "On every world, wherever people are, in the deepest part of the winter, at the exact midpoint, everybody stops and turns and hugs as if to say: 'Well done. Well done, everyone. We're halfway out of the dark. Back on Earth, we call this Christmas... On this world the first settlers called it the Crystal Feast. You know what I call it? I call it expecting something for nothing!'" Bah! So you see where this is going.
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Format: DVD
I am not someone who cries easily and during the David Tennant's time as the Doctor , I became tired of the emotional manipulation that I was meant to feel , but this epidode,genuinely touched me. I loved Matt Smith's performance as the Doctor. I could not keep from laughing at most of his antics but was equally moved by the bittersweet love story that we saw between Abigail and Kurzan.Of all the modern interpretations of a'Christmas Carol' I have seen , this one had the most heart.
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Format: DVD
It's a rare occasion that I do a review, but I couldn't pass this one up. This Christmas special was simply brilliant. For me, it's hands down the best Christmas special to date. It's a truly magical Christmas fairytale-ish story, done in somewhat atypical Who-niverse fashion. I just loved it. I had no issues whatsoever with the characters, the casting, the story... it was all just brilliant. Even the "personal timeline" stuff didn't bother me in the slightest - it made for a compelling and somewhat awe inspiring storyline that I really enjoyed (and didn't expect!). And besides... yeah, the cardinal rule of not crossing personal timelines... rubbish, really. True Who fans can probably cite off the top of their heads a half dozen examples of when the Doctor blatantly violated that rule, going all the way back to the 3rd or 4th Doctor even. The way I looked at it was that this was not ordinary Doctor Who anyway... this was the Christmas special... and I thoroughly enjoyed the Who crew taking it a bit further than previous norms. It's the unexpected that makes this show so exciting, and I think Steven Moffat is doing an amazing job taking us there.
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Format: Blu-ray
Judge Michael Stailey, DVD Verdict-- If there were a feature film for this particular series' cast and crew, Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol would be it. Viewed by some as an annual standalone adventure and others as the first episode of the next series, recent Christmas tales have been rather hit or miss ("Runaway Bride" and "Voyage of the Damned" being the standouts). Where Russell T Davies gave us adventures on a sweeping epic scale, new showrunner Steven Moffat's best efforts are small intimate tales with mind-blowing implications. Whether it be cracks in our bedroom wall, statues that move when we're not looking, or face spiders who live in the deepest recesses of our cupboards, he knows exactly how to tap into the imagination of our inner 8-year-old to thrill or scare the bejeezus out of us.

On the surface, one might see Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol as yet another variation on Dickens' classic tale. And yet Steven is such a genius when it comes to playing with time, this episode is anything but. Using technology and storytelling in a way we've not seen in Doctor Who, our hero is able to take Kazran on a visual and psychological tour of his life, not only shining light on his many pitfalls but actually rewriting memories in the most subtle and effective of ways. It's an emotionally rich journey during which you will be hard pressed not to grow extremely invested in these characters.

I don't want to say too much, so as not to spoil the story's many beautiful moments. What I will share is how phenomenally well this cast works together. While Arthur and Karen are relegated to inconsequential narrative bookends, Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol gives Matt Smith a chance to really shine.
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