New DOCTOR WHO — and two rediscovered “lost” stories

The BBC have released a trailer for the forthcoming DOCTOR WHO Christmas special, this one called “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe,” which will air on Christmas Day in the U.K. and here in the USA on BBC America at 9 p.m.

The story looks like a lot of fun, with a snowy adventure in a strange, Narnia-like land that is somehow accessed through the TARDIS. We don’t have much to go on, by Matt Smith has repeatedly demonstrated that his 11th Doctor has a real rapport with children, so I have high hopes.
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“The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe” Prequel

As if it weren’t already torture waiting for this year’s DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special, “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe,” the BBC has released an official prequel starring the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, and it is pretty terrific!
In just over a minute and a half, producer Steven Moffat manages to really hook the viewer with suspense, mystery and emotion. This is not just a clip or a teaser, it’s the actual prequel.

Smith’s second Xmas special as the 11th Doctor airs on Dec. 25 (natch). Have a look at the prequel now:

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WAREHOUSE 13 3.13: “The Greatest Gift”

Christmas specials are usually about two things: family, and the “magic” of the holiday. And there’s usually one other element crammed in: an old fat guy with a white beard who may or may not be Santa Claus — but who invariably turns out to be the real Santa, after all. (He even mentioned that bike you wanted as a child!)

The great thing about the WAREHOUSE 13 Christmas episode is that it wasn’t really about Christmas — it was the relationship between the characters we have come to know so well, and reveals that Pete is pretty much the lynchpin that holds the gang together. And, yes, they are a “family” of sorts. Oh, and there was no pseudo Santa — despite being one of the few shows on which such a character would actually work!
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EUREKA 4.21: “Do You See What I See”

They say there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. But there is a third — every episode of EUREKA will about some crazy invention/science experiment going out of control and wreaking wacky havoc that can only be fixed by technobabble and Sheriff Jack Carter’s down-to-Earth common sense. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since the show usually pretty entertaining, but I’m just saying — it’s a pretty rigid template.

That formula is no different around the holidays. Since the motto of Eureka township must be “Better Living Through Science (or, at least, that what we intend),” Carter (Colin Ferguson) concocts a plan to turn the town into a winter wonderland using a super proton generator to manufacture snow. Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned.
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DOCTOR WHO: “A Christmas Carol”

It’s easy to see why the latest DOCTOR WHO Christmas special, “A Christmas Carol,” was billed as “the most Christmassy Christmas special” of all – because it certainly features the most Christmas Eves, thanks to time travel.

The story sees the Doctor (Matt Smith) desperate to save a spaceliner plunging into the atmosphere of an unnamed planet with a volatile charged cloud layer controlled by a machine in turn controlled by one Kazran Sardick (Michael Gambon, of Harry Potter fame), the richest and meanest man in Sardicktown. He doesn’t like Christmas, and he doesn’t like children, and he simply cannot be bothered to save the 4,0003 aboard the crashing starship: “I don’t care!” he shrugs.
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Merry Christmas from Joe, Matt, Amy and Arthur!

The best way I’ve found this year to wish everyone who reads this blog a Happy Christmas: DOCTOR WHO’s Matt Smith (the Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Pond) sing…er, well, maybe that’s optimistic… “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” (Is it time for the Christmas special yet? Is it? IS IT?!?!?!)

But seriously folks, Happy Holidays!!

Steven Moffat Wants to Melt My Brain…

The good folks over at Blogtor Who have cut together four official BBC preview clips teasing the forthcoming DOCTOR WHO Christmas special, “A Christmas Carol.” These teasers are exciting, funny, charming and slightly mad – in other words, quite like Matt Smith‘s 11th Doctor himself. The clips also feature the wonderful Karen Gillan as Amy and Arthur Darvill as Rory. Behold!

I am trying to manage my expectations for the annual special, but let’s face it, I’m failing. Damn you, show-runner Steven Moffat, why did you have to make this look so good? (Love the hilarious parenthetical explanation for why Amy is wearing her sexy kissogram costume and Rory is decked out in his centurion regalia.) Do you know how long it us until Xmas? My brain will be jelly by then! I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve… I can’t wait for it to be Christmas! What about you?

In case you missed it, here’s my entry featuring that terrific “Insider” look at the Christmas special.

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Forget DOCTOR WHO 5.x, here comes DW 6.x!

One of the bits of recent DOCTOR WHO news I did not have a chance to mention when it broke was the announcement that the BBC has renewed the show for a sixth post-regeneration season (its 32nd overall) — and Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor has not even had his first adventure yet! That is good news indeed, reflecting the Beeb’s faith in the series. (Believe me, that was not always the case!)

Even better: There will be another Christmas special (set to air…well, you figure it out), and it will be written by this season’s new lead writer, Steven Moffat.

On the not-so-bright side, there is some wailing and gnashing of teeth over the announcement that while Smith will return, there was no mention of Karen Gillan coming back as Amy Pond. Folks, I don’t think you should be reading too much into that particular bit of non-news. In my book, that keeps me guessing as to whether Amy will survive this season; it ups the emotional stakes to know her life will actually be on the line as she travels with the renegade Time Lord. If it were announced that Karen/Amy will be in the next series, we would know she survives, and thus there would be no sense of jeopardy.

It’s all for the good of the show — which is what we all want. Look for the Smith era to begin in the U.K. on April 3, and here in the States on April 17. If you simply cannot wait, take a peek at the new BBC trailer here, or the even longer (slightly different) BBC America trailer here.