This week Whovian Leap reacts to the 2016 Christmas Special – “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”
A lot of positive noises were made about this latest festive instalment of Doctor Who even before it aired. Fans were surely in for a Christmas Day treat. We could at long last settle back and enjoy an episode of Doctor Who after one whole year of impatiently twiddling our sonics. Myself included. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The pre-credits sequence seemed lengthy, but I didn’t mind. The opening scenes between the Doctor and young boy were quite charming. As for the now familiar title sequence, something tells me that this will be the last time we see those timey-wimey cogs spinning to the tune of those screeching mice from Bagpuss. I look forward to a brand-new intro when Doctor Who returns in spring. Something with a little more oomph and excitement please.
As a fan of his sitcom “Coupling” I know full well that Steven Moffat is a genius when it comes to writing relationships. Albeit superhero themed, this episode was nothing less than a simple love story. Our beloved showrunner excelled. His plot tugged at the heartstrings and so this script was perfect Christmas fare.
We have all seen superhero movies, so the story’s setting seemed familiar and believable. And the Doctor just stumbled into it. The story wasn’t about him, but the characters who he met there, as should be the case in any Doctor Who story.
The SFX were nothing less than spellbinding. The Christmas Special has a look and feel of a Hollywood blockbuster. It’s difficult to believe that it was produced by our good old Beeb in Cardiff.
Everyone was curious to know how Nardole would return. Some were worried that his reappearance would be glossed over, but mid-episode it was fully and satisfactorily explained. Matt Lucas played his role subtly and his every scene brought a smile to my face. It was nice to see a little male bonding between Doctor and companion too. It doesn’t happen often and maybe this is the first time that it has worked so well since the Second Doctor and Jamie.
The closing scenes were touching. We found out what our much-missed Doctor has been getting up to since we last saw him. When the Doctor says “Everything ends and it’s always sad. But everything begins again and it’s always happy. Be happy.” I almost feel that he is signposting his own imminent demise. It will be a sad day indeed when Twelve leaves us. I adore the loveable fluffy version of this incarnation, worlds apart from that grumpy old Malcolm Tucker lookalike in Series 8.
We all know that the production crew has been incredibly busy over the last year. So it came as no surprise when they lavished a “Coming Soon” sequence on impatient fans. It seems that Bill Potts is about to go on a trip a lifetime, just as Rose Tyler did. I was almost hoping for a Classic Series foe to be revealed in the sequence, but maybe now, alas, all the show-stopping monsters have all been done.
This is the kind of Doctor Who I like to watch, “sci-fi lite” and packed with emotion. The more kitchen-sink, the better. I don’t want Cardiff to make Doctor Who for me, a hardcore Whovian, but something for the whole family, so that the show can go on and on forever. Yes, we are all happy that Dr Mysterio has at long last returned, but we must also make sure that he never leaves us.