January 2, 2006
The Christmas Invasion - a longer review
I watched the repeat of Doctor Who, The Christmas Invasion last night and enjoyed it again. Here's some more extended thoughts...
The great thing that Russel T Davies has managed to achieve with the new reincarnation of Doctor Who is the mixture of fun and fear and cool. Despite some of the funny stuff being quite silly it never comes across as cheesey. Who'd have thought a spinning Christmas tree could be so scary and funny at the same time?! The crash landing of the TARDIS was cool, the Doctor's entrance was funny. The pilot fish Santa's with the flame throwing trombone and rocket launcher tuba were funny and scary too.
The episode contains an absolute classic end-of-the-world scenario, with the invading alien Sycorax hypnotising a third of the population and sending them to stand on the edge of the nearest tall building. It was quite a moving scene, a woman trying to stop her kids, pleading with them to stop, then pleading with her husband to help. Great stuff.
Rose tries to take control, bless her, but fails miserably. She's a bit annoyed at The Doctor, who spends just about all of the episode in his pyjamas. Then, awakened by a cup of tea (how very English), the Doctor springs into action. David Tennant at first seemed to me funnier than Christopher Ecclestone, but he also has the manic edge and the hard side, including Highlander style sword fighting ability and a good line in alien intimidation, "IT IS DEFENDED!". The Doctor even mentions Arthur Dent, very cool.
The end adds a nice bit of ambiguity too, not leaving the episode on a happy happy ending, another great talent of Mr. Davies.
Lots of little Doctor Who stuff mentioned as well, for a start they visit UNIT, a fixture of man past Who's. Also Torchwood got a mention and then a big, if sort of off-screen, part in the end. And at the end the Doctor gets to choose his clothes from the vast TARDIS wardrobe (if you had a ship that was massive on the inside you'd have a big wardrobe too).
Ultimately we'll have to wait a few episodes to see the full range of David Tennant (he's got to get over the regeneration too), but from this one episode I think he's going to be excellent.
A brilliant piece of entertainment, perfect for Christmas Day viewing.