Monday, 29 December 2014

DW Christmas Special 2014 - Last Christmas

A Guide to Classic Who references in New Who episodes.

The tenth Christmas Special:  Clara & the Doctor meet Santa Claus.  

Warning: May contain Spoilers for

"Last Christmas"

Viewing Order

  • 7-06 "The Bells of Saint John" (Suggested viewing, flashback - reintroduction of character, plot connection)
  • 8-01 - "Deep Breath(Suggested viewing, flashback - reintroduction of character.)
  • 8-02 - "Into the Dalek" (Suggested viewing - introduction of character, plot point.)
  • 8-11/12 - "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven" (Required viewing - Plot points, leads into this episode.)

[1ST] -  The first appearance of things in Doctor Who series.
[NEW] - Things that first appeared previously in the new series.

  • [NEW]  Santa Claus - First appeared (in a televised story) in the previous episode to set up this story.  Has not appeared previously, except as robots dressed as Santa and in a photo with the Eleventh Doctor, Albert Einstein and Santa "Jeff" Claus.  In "The Doctor Dances" the Ninth Doctor tells Rose that he was Santa Claus (mentioning the bike she got when she was 12), Clara, it seems, didn't need to be told.

  • [NEW]  Christmas Tangerine - The legend of St Nicholas tells the story of him dropping bags (or balls) of gold down the chimney of three daughters whose father could not afford their dowry.  Some legends state that the purse/bag/ball of gold fell into one of the daughters'stockings hung by the fire to dry.  True or not this legend is used to justify St Nicholas as a gift-giver, the tradition of hanging stocking by the fire (with care) to be fill with presents and a tradition of an orange representing the gold left in the toe of the stocking (the first thing put in, the last thing out).  Although that does go some way towards explaining the tangerine as Santa's "signature gift" it really has nothing to do with Doctor Who.  Rather, the real connection is the Doctor's comments about the satsumas being the last gift you find at Christmas in "The Christmas Invasion.".

  • [NEW]  Slade's "Merry Christmas Everyone" - An actual song which first appeared in Doctor Who in "The Christmas Invasion" and on at least 3 occasions since.  I've embedded a video of the song from Youtube above because this post is going to be pretty empty otherwise.


  • [OLD]  [Arithmetical Distraction - The Third Doctor used the same technique to fight a mental attack on himself and Jo Grant in "The Claws of Axos."]

  • [NEW]  Danny's Dead - And Gallifrey isn't at its old coordinates, a O'Henry's "Gift of the Magi" moment care of "Death in Heaven."

  • [1ST]  Kantrofarri - The Doctor knows enough about them to know that they're "colloquial know as the Dream Crabs" makes it clear he's only heard of them previously, which makes sense as this is their first appearance on the show.

  • [NEW]  Time & the Dream Realm - The conference call in "The Name of the Doctor" was also said to be possible because you can time travel in dreams.

  • [NEW]  Help With the Cracker - The moment from "The Time of the Doctor" is reversed.

The 10 Rules to Doctor Who.

(Read the rules here.)

10.  The TARDIS is for arriving at the location of the story at the beginning of the episode and leaving at the end.  This is because Time Travel is the excuse for the story, not that the story is about.  Unless the episode is written by Steve Moffat, then it's definitely about Time Travel.
There's some implied time travel in the false ending dream state, but that doesn't end up really happening so no.  But this episode is written by Steven Moffat so it doesn't get the point. [0]

9.  No one can cross their own Time Stream, except when they do.
No one tries.  [NA]

8.  There's no situation that can't be briefly defused by a non sequitur.
Yup.  [1]

7.  The Doctor is both the most serious and most frivolous person in the room - any room - at the same time.  And he does that without becoming insane.  Mostly.
Rivaled by Santa and his elves.  [.5]

6.  The last episode of every series must contain the Master or at least one Dalek.  Every time.  However briefly.
Not a series final.  [NA]

5.  The main companion will be a young contemporary British female.  Although, to be
fair, almost everyone in the Universe is British and most things happen in contemporary London.
Young contemporary British female companion. (Set in dreams of the North Pole, but mostly dreamt in Britain, especially considering they fly around London.)  [1] 

4.  The more emotionless a species, cyborg or robot the more likely they are to be destroyed by emotions.  This is true of the Daleks.  It is particularly true of the Cybermen.
The Dream Crabs emotions aren't discussed.  [NA] 

3.  Even if the episode title contains the words "Dalek(s)" or "Cyberman/men" the presence of the Daleks and or Cybermen will at the beginning be treated as a mystery and their revelation a surprise.
Spoiler for comments, anti-spoiler for Clara staying.  [0]

2.  The nature of the threat will be revealed to the audience before the Doctor.  The truth behind the threat will be unknowable by the audience until it is explained by the Doctor.
Standard, except Santa is the all-knowing one at one point, making the Doctor annoyed that this rule is being broken.  [.5]

1.  The most dangerous creature in any situation is the last of its kind.  This sometimes also applies to aliens other than The Doctor.
No one except the Doctor is the last of their kind and that's only technically the case.  The Doctor remains dangerous.  [1]

Score:  4/7.

~ DUG.


  1. I have to say that this is the first season of Doctor Who I've enjoyed in a looooong time. I'm not saying that every episode has been spot on or anything but I'm definitely not finding them boring and/or quite as annoying as previous seasons.

    1. Series 7, especially "7B" I couldn't connect with. I never hated any episodes but they didn't grab me. I found most of them did interest me in Series 8. Although, this Christmas Special didn't.

  2. Update inspired by: