Review: The Christmas Invasion

Last Alteration: Wednesday 28 September 2005


The Christmas Invasion

Christmas has always been a time for unwanted presents, overlong Woolworth adverts and the BBC's big ratings winner having a Christmas Day special episode. Since the final, final, final (yes, really it is) 'Only Fools and Horses' episode, Auntie Beeb has struggled to find a suitble replacement.

Obviously with Doctor Who being the surprise hit of 2005, it was the prime candidate for this year's coverted prime time slot. Just a pity that ITV decided to schedule 'Coronation Street' against it.

Sadly the powers that schedule at the Beeb overlooked two important points. Firstly, that whilst everyone might tune in to see a new Doctor (and so be plunged into fifteen minutes of post-regeneration trauma), there would be equal numbers, who having taken to Christopher Eccleston, would not.

Secondly, it was written by Russell T. Davies. Lets face it, when it came to the best written episodes of the first series everyone elses' were above RTD's. Well, almost everyone; Paul Cornell's 'Gallifrenders' is best left forgot. And I really wish it had been!

So what we get is more awful forced humour (and people complained about Season seventeen?!):

Rose: "If you're the Doctor why do you sound like you're from north of the border?
Doctor: "Lots of planets have a north of the border."

Funny, yes, but like the 'ears' joke it had already been overdone in series one. And how many times will the Doctor be offering to give his opponant 'a Glasgow kiss' in future?

And as for the big song and dance number to close the show, like a lot of things RTD has brought in his vision of 'Who', 'Buffy' has already been there and done that. Added to which there it worked.

Infect this was the third 'Who' Christmas episode, but with 'The Feast of Steven' sadly no longer in existence, we only have 'K9 & Company' to compare it against.

And although 'K9 & Co.' has been much derided, it actually beats 'The Christmas Invasion' on all fronts. Decent music (theme aside, of course!), character actors of the old school (no one can play a bad tempered sod like Bill Fraser or a country yokel like Colin Jeavons) and Lis Sladen of course. Pity that RTD did not put Sarah into this episode. And even the annoying Brendan comes off better in a head-to-head' with 'Ricky the idiot'.

Yes give me 'K9 & Company' anyday, at least that had something of a plot and witty lines. Bearing in mind the forthcoming DVD release (a nice bit of new series cross promotion by BBC Worldwide, finally on the ball), you can!

Darren, 25th December 2005

  • Read a further review from John.
    Much to our astonishment a number of people have thought that this is a bone-fide review! Please note that this is a spoof review and is not meant to be taken seriously!
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