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Sunday, 9 December 2012

The On-Screen Advent Calendar 2012: Days Eight & Nine

As a double-bill this weekend, while we march towards the new Doctor Who Christmas Special with just sixteen days to go, it's time to count-down the best moments the show's had at Christmas. We've had The Christmas Invasion, The Runaway Bride, Voyage Of The Damned, The Next Doctor, The End Of Time Part 1, A Christmas Carol and The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe since the show returned in 2005, but which of these eight greats were the best? Here's our rankings...
5. THE DOCTOR, THE WIDOW AND THE WARDROBE (2011)- Bringing with it quite possibly the best pre-title sequence ever seen in Doctor Who, with the Doctor racing to escape an exploding space-ship and plummeting to Earth as an astronaut, this episode had a bizarre premise, but the Narnia spin worked. There's plenty of festive magic to be had here.
4. THE NEXT DOCTOR (2008)- Okay, so it's fair to see Russell T Davies managed to pull the most audacious move here, Let's Kill Hitler included. That said, where The Next Doctor disappoints with the ultimate resolution of its deceptive title, the adventure boasts a profound confidence and great CGI unrivalled by most Christmas telly, so on that front it still succeeds marvellously.
3. THE CHRISTMAS INVASION (2005)- How do you introduce a new Doctor to a 21st Century audience on Christmas Day? RTD provided the answer with a thrilling and often hilarious festive debut for David Tennant that placed Billie Piper at the forefront until the Tenth Doctor awoke. Captivating stuff, this remains a captivating watch.
2. THE END OF TIME PART 1 (2009)- The knowledge of David Tennant's departure from Who loomed deep by the time we reached his penultimate instalment on Christmas Day 2009. The End Of Time Part 1 is let down a little by the silly Vinvocci and the Master's overlong cackle sequence, yet it remains a glorious reminder of how dark festive Who can get, which is saying something.
1. A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2010)- Michael Gambon's turn as Kazran-Scrooge was an awe-inspiring watch on Christmas Day 2010. Couple an intelligent time-travel plot and beautiful songs from Katherine Jenkins with this, and in A Christmas Carol you have the perfect Who festive romp so far!

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