Sometimes, it seems to me, the Doctor Who Christmas specials are rather bittersweet, or over-heavy for the festive season. If I'm sitting down to watch television after a large amount of food and a busy day, I want something light, preferably mildly amusing, and with a happy ending. Although we only just watched the 2011 special, 'The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe' in the middle of January, as far as I'm concerned this is exactly what a Christmas special should be like. There's a Christmas surprise, some amazing visual effects, and a large nod to CS Lewis and Narnia (not just a snow-covered planet but a line quoted from the book). There's some humour, there are some unusual aliens, and, best of all there's a wonderful climax and a great ending.
Matt Smith is superb as the Doctor in the guise of a slightly weird caretaker. Maurice Cole and Holly Earl are excellent as the geeky child Cyril and his teenage sister Lily (who looked very like the Narnian Lucy at times) - and Claire Skinner was absolutely fabulous as their mother.
Sadly the only 'extras' on the DVD are various compilations of 'best of' moments in the previous series, presumably intended to inspire viewers to buy more DVDs. And it's currently very highly priced on Amazon, given that it's just an hour-long episode.
But still. Great stuff.
Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews