Steven Moffat pens the Christmas special that launched the ninth series, and the Doctor (Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) find themselves reunited on Christmas Day, 2014, for what may be their last Christmas.
It seems there is something strange going on at an Arctic base, and as they try to figure out what is going on, as they may or may not be in a dream state, there seems to be only one person who can help them… Santa Claus (Nick Frost).
As Time Lord and Companion struggle to figure out what is going on, they are immersed in a strange world of Father Christmas, elves, flying reindeer.
In a remote base, there are overtones of Alien with strange facehugger like creatures (and is blatantly nodded to), and strange bodies on tables referred to as dreamers, but as the mystery unfurls, the true nature of what and who occupies the beds is revealed.
What is really poignant in the episode is that both the Doctor and Clara revealed that they lied to one another so that the other could go on, Clara with Danny (Samuel Anderson) and the Doctor to Gallifrey.
Added to that are really nice moments with Danny and Clara, and she knows she’s dreaming but wants to stay. The bit where Danny talks about missing him every day is gold.
It’s a great episode, and continues the Who tradition of making one cry at Christmas. I love that it deals with aliens, dreams within dreams, loss, scares and big fun in that Doctor Who kind of way.
The ninth series really gets underway with this episode, The Magician’s Apprentice, Moffat penned this one as well, which first aired on 19 September, 2015.
Where is the Doctor? It seems Davros (Julian Bleach) has a final message for him, but Missy (Michelle Gomez) has the Time Lord’s Confession Dial (his last will and testament).
And the entire story revolves around the actions of the Doctor and whether or not he should save the life of a child who grows up to be a genocidal madman.
I love the opening sequence with the young boy, and the reveal of where they are, and who the boy is. It puts the Doctor in a situation akin to his forth incarnation in the Genesis of the Daleks story, but even for newer fans the reaction on the Doctor’s face is a gut punch.
And what better way to find the Doctor than to find his friends, and do something on the planet he protects, Earth. Clara and Kate Lethbrdge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and UNIT find themselves in a strange mystery involving frozen planes, and an attempt to get their attention.
The trio end up in a terrible situation, in the very heart of danger that leaves the epiosde dangling on a cliffhanger with the belief that lives are already lost, and terrible choices are yet to be made.
This is a great one, and there are cool new aliens and such in this story, including hand mines and Colony Sarff (Jami Reid-Quarrell) – a scary messenger composed of snakes.
We’ll have to wait until next week to see how things resolve and whether or not Missy, Clara and the TARDIS are really gone, and what happens to that little boy amongst the hand mines.