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< 5.13 - The Big Bang
6.1 - The Impossible Astronaut >

5.14 - A Christmas Carol

Rating Votes
10
27%
26
9
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8
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7
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11
6
9%
9
5
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Average Rating
8.0
Votes
96
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 12/20/15 3:06 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Eleventh Doctor needs to change one man who can save the life of his companions and 4,000 other passengers aboard a spaceliner, so he sets out to do his own version of A Christmas Carol.

This is a gorgeous spectacle of sight and sound. It's a marvelous fantasy tale that takes place on a world where fish swim through the skies and it's brilliantly realized on screen. The direction is top notch and the entire production is brilliantly shot and compelling. Then there's Katherine Jenkins' singing which is heart breakingly beautiful.

Matt Smith is at his best in this story, playing the Eleventh Doctor at his most fun and quirky in a way that's perfectly appropriate to the piece and very endearing and isn't at all overdone. Michael Gambon is perfect as Kazran, the Scrooge of the piece turning in a memorable performance as a miser whose life is changed by the Doctor. And Jenkins brings the role of the beautiful yet tragic Abigail to life as a character as well as providing the singing.

The story's plot is the source of some controversy as the Doctor goes back into Kazran's past and tries to change it by giving him a positive experience. Young Kazran himself sets the Doctor to coming back every Christmas Eve and therefore changes the whole of Kazran's personal history.

While the ethics of the Doctor's actions are debatable, I really like the twist in the plot as Young Kazran learn to love and gets a heart only to have it broken and to end much the same only with a broken heart rather than a frozen one. The story suggests that while love brings joy, it also can bring sorrow, and how that's resolved is very powerfully played out.

The story is not without its faults. It leans more heavily towards Fantasy than any Doctor Who story ever. The scene where Young and Old Kazran meet and hug doesn't lead to Giant Time Dinosaurs flying out to correct time as happened in, "Father's Day." There's some other questionable points in the plot, but the production so utterly enchanting that I found most faults utterly forgivable. I also found the limited roles played by Amy and Rory forgivable though unfortunate.

Despite some minor faults, this is an absolute joy of a production to watch.

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