Thursday, June 18, 2015

TV Review: Doctor Who Last Christmas (2014)

Doctor Who Last Christmas (2014)

The Doctor and Santa Claus team up to save the world from yet another alien invasion during Christmas. This time, the action isn't in London, it's at the North Pole. A group of scientists are trying to save their comrades from the Dream Crabs, alien beasts who grip onto people's faces and slowly suck their brains away while inducing a dream state so the victims don't mind that they are losing their minds.

The episode has an interesting set up but steals liberally from many classic science fiction movies, mostly obviously the Face-huggers from Alien and the arctic setting from The Thing From Another World. The characters in the episode even acknowledge it--perhaps the writers trying to look like they're clever rather than they're plagarists. Clearly, I wasn't impressed by the lack of creativity.

The actors are good as usual. Peter Capaldi has great screen presence and Nick Frost is a likeable and unique enough Santa to make the character fresh. Plenty of funny lines lighten the mood and had me laughing out loud.

On the other hand, the dramatic story felt slow and dragged out. I did get a bit bored with the same problems recurring too many times (again the writers aiming for clever and not hitting the mark). As I said above, there was too much taken from other, better stories like Alien and The Thing. Another ultimately disappointing outing for the Doctor.

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