Doctor Who: Last Christmas
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Doctor Who: Last Christmas (DVD)
Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi and companion Jenna Coleman are joined by Doctor Who fan favorite Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) in this extra special Doctor Who special! The Doctor and Clara face their Last Christmas. Trapped on an arctic base and under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call? Santa Claus!]]>
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Santa: "I don't think you do, Doctor. But I promise, before this Christmas Day is done, you'll be glad of my help."
The TARDIS lands at the North Pole where the members of a polar expedition are in grave danger. Four people from their party, they call them sleepers, have alien creatures wrapped around their heads. If you get too close to them or even think about them, they attack. The first time one of the aliens opens its mouth and you see the sleeping human face underneath is truly creepy.
A predator that works telepathically and puts you in a happy dream state so you can't tell what's real and what isn't. The Doctor snaps, "You know what the big problem is in telling fantasy and reality apart? They're both ridiculous."
The real pluck-the-heartstrings moments in this special comes from Clara's love, Danny Pink. When she says she misses him, he tells her, "Five minutes. You can miss me for five minutes a day. And you better do it properly. You better be sad. I expect my five. But all the rest of the time... every single second, you just get the hell on with it."
This Christmas special originally aired on December 25, 2014. It is 45 minutes long and presented in 16:9 anamorphic with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. English subtitles are available for the episode itself.
The single disc (whether DVD and BluRay) has two bonus features:
1. "Behind the Scenes: Last Christmas" (14 minutes) A look behind the scenes while they're filming this Christmas special. Commentators include Nick Frost (plays Santa), Peter Capaldi (plays the 12th Doctor), Steven Moffat (lead writer and exec. producer), Jenna Coleman (plays Clara), Faye Marsay (plays Shona), Nathan McMullen (plays Wolf, the elf), Natalie Gumede (plays Ashley Carter), Michael Troughton (plays Professor Albert), Maureen Beattie (plays Bellows), Dan Starkey (plays Jan the elf) and Danny Hargreaves (special effects supervisor).
Troughton is, yes, THAT Troughton. Patrick Troughton, Doctor #2 was his dad (Patrick died in 1987), Michael remembers being on set when he was a kid.
Moffat: "One creepy thing that I've always been slightly obsessed with has been the dream that keeps going after you've woken up. I've had that quite a few times. In the morning I think 'Oh, I don't wanna get up.' Then I get up and I get dressed, finally, and then I wake up again!"
Dan Starkey is better known to Dr. Who fans as the immensely popular character, Strax. "After a good seven years of being inside a rubber suit on Dr. Who, inside a mask, it's refreshing to actually have my own face on screen."
2. Commentary track by Paul Wilmshurst (director) and Paul Frift (producer). This isn't the most scintillating commentary ever, but it was still fun listening to some inside information about sets and lighting and lenses. In particular, they point out something in the very first scene of the introductory sequence, something very important, something that will make you say "Aha!" and tell people you knew what was going on all along. Now, I didn't see it until they mentioned it in the commentary, so I won't give it away just in case you're as bad at noticing things as me.
They talk about how great Nick Frost is as Santa (the white make-up kept blowing off his beard), and how having this feel-good iconic figure works in this science fiction story: "Steve [Moffat] says he's introduced Santa in a proper science fiction way into the world of Dr. Who.... This is science fiction, it's not whimsy."
I will admit I had just a tiny bit of trouble suspending disbelief at the end regarding the lack of lasting physical damage in the five survivors. Though it's not as bad as my favorite unlikely recovery, the end of "Total Recall" (1990 with Arnold Schwartzenegger). But that's nitpicking - and there is so much to enjoy about "Last Christmas".
"Do you know why people get together at Christmas? Every time they do, it might be the last time. Every Christmas is Last Christmas."
I don't get why some people got tired of Clara already, I think she is awesome, I think the whole Danny Pink diversion was a big mistake, bringing him then discarding him that quickly! I wish the team would stop bringing domesticity into the plot lines, no, we don't need boyfriends into the TARDIS, didn't work for Rose, and took the fun out of Amy! Bring the Impossible Girl back! We need more Daleks not dates!
Oh, and speaking of mistakes, there is no Master but John Simm !
The video of the hour-long program is sharp and clear and the extras include episode commentary and a fourteen minute “making of” featurette. Hard to go wrong with Tardis, Dream Crabs, feisty Santa, snarky elves, lots of snow and warm Christmas lights. A favorite part is the childhood glee on the Doctor's face as he takes the reins and drives Santa’s sleigh. The DVD is one that warrants a viewing every Christmas.