Post by Dalek Ladygrey on Jan 5, 2018 10:41:43 GMT
I presume most of us will have seen the Christmas Special by now, so there's no problem I think with a personal review that also contains some spoilers. But if you haven't: be warned.
As Christmas Specials go, Twice upon a time was quite a good one. Despite it being a Multi Doctor story, a regeneration story as well as a Christmas story, the plot wasn't filled too bursting with storylines and monsters, and messy because of it. I recall the last regeneration story was exactly that: messy. It also happened to be a Christmas Story, but that's beside the point. In fact there wasn't that much of a plot at all in this one, let alone evil villains wanting to dominate a Planet, and strangely enough all the better for it in my view. There was enough happening in the form of character interaction to make the outing thoroughly enjoyable and to prevent boredom.
I tend to love Multi-Doctor stories - even the not-so-good ones - just because of having a few of them together. Until the final of new series 10 I had not expected ever to see one with the First Doctor. I think that Bradley did a wonderful job, although the writer made him slightly more sexist than he ever was in reality. The only other time when he was just as patronising towards women was in "The Five Doctors" and in that case it wasn't the Original either who played him. But on the whole Bradley made me feel like I was watching The Original so to speak, and his characterisation was well written. Capaldi was of course his fantastic Doctory self (I do love his Doctor) all through, while Gatiss playing the Brig's ancestor (now, that was one I actually expected) did a good job too. I rather thought it was a golden find to make use of the Christmas armistice in the Great War (1914-1918) which actually took place to build a Doctor Who story around, or at least part of the story. Not exactly Original (there are Doctors from Comic stories walking around the armistice) perhaps but for the first time on screen in Doctor Who. Nice sentimental touch, as I had to wipe a tear away at that mpment.
To me the return of my beloved Rusty (I do love that Dalek) was a kind of cherry on the cake. I understand not everybody agrees on this point, but whenever I went to the Doctor Who Experience I definitely tried to have my picture taken with Rusty because I find him rather adoreable. Seeing him again in the series really made me smile. 'Into the Dalek' may not be Capaldi's most interesting outing, but having a Dalek with a bit of character there mostly made up for that. His presence in the Special may not have been really necessary to carry the not so complex plot forward, I heartily welcomed it.
The regeneration part was rather nice too, including the expected cameo of Clara and the unexpected one of Nardole. I do like it that the contemporary Doctors get to say goodbye properly to their companions, even if they're not exactly real. Obviously the 12th Doctor had a (farewell) speach, I mean that's one of the things he has been consistently good at all along. As for the regeneration in itself: a burning and crashing Tardis isn't really original but the new Doctor dropping into the Vortex definitiely is.
On the whole, I would put this story rather high on the list of Christmas Specials, together with A Christmas Carol and The Christmas Invasion both of which gave me a lot of enjoyment too. I generally tend to like these Specials, taking into account the fact that they must be different from general stories in a Series, but some stick out especially. This one certainly did for me.