Ranging from the sublime, A Christmas Carol, to the dire, Voyage Of The Damned, you really don’t know what you’re going to get with the Doctor Who Christmas Specials.
Well, that was until Steven Moffat took over from Russell T Davies as showrunner, or, to steal from the Daily Telegraph, Whopremo.
This year’s special is nothing short of fantastic, as Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor was fond of saying.
It’s a fairly simple tale that opens with a jaw dropping homage to Star Wars, that would easily not look out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster.
From there on in we are in Christmas overdrive as The Doctor finds himself helping out a family who are facing their first family without their father, something that the mother, played by the excellent Claire Skinner hasn’t told them yet.
It doesn’t take long before the CS Lewis influence kicks in as the children open a present that leads them into a forest in the far future, where they become embroiled in a battle for the survival of the soul of a forest world.
Bill Bailey turns up along the way but his role is little more than a cameo, but it makes sense as this is very much a story about what family means, as Claire Skinner’s mum defies the odds to save hers – while The Doctor realises just how lonely Christmas can be when you’re away from your loved ones.
Moffat’s script packs more than the standard emotional wallop and by the mean this Christmas Special ends there won’t be a dry eye in the house.
How very ‘Humany Wumany’.
5 out of five nerds