Doctor Who: The Child At Christmas Doctor - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: The Child At Christmas Doctor

Chris Morley looks back at the most festive of Doctors...

While David Tennant's Tenth Doctor may be the only incarnation to both be born & subsequently die at Christmas, surely it's the interestingly chinned, still not ginger & definitely not a girl chap who emerged as the new man sauntering off after he'd gone who most threw himself into the spirit of the season?

Perhaps such was only to be expected, Steven Moffatt taking things off in a more fantastical vein after taking over from Russell T Davies & having young Amelia Pond's imaginary friend become all too real as she wished for someone to look into the crack in her wall...

And the jolly fellow in red she made the wish to would also be later known as Jeff to the latest product of the regenerative process!
“Dear Santa. Thank you for the dolls, and the pencils, and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you, but... honest, it is an emergency. There's... a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know it's not, because... at night there's voices. So please, please could you send someone to fix it. Or a policeman. Or... “
It seems old Saint Nick heard her, as a certain someone promptly crash lands his newly kitted out on the inside TARDIS in her back garden. Goodbye Leadworth, hello everything, after the small matter of a quick journey to break the old girl in taking rather longer than he'd initially planned. In which time Amelia starts the journey towards growing up, the crushing sense of being the Scottish girl in an English village never far away. But in a sense at least for a while she doesn't have to even try the whole adulthood thing - after nearly fleeing her wedding to Rory Williams & attempting to seduce the Doctor in the process, she does eventually make her way down the aisle.

And where's the honeymoon? In his first full Christmas special running the show, Moffatt does a bit of borrowing from Dickens & sets it during his own Christmas Carol.
CAPTAIN: Who's in the honeymoon suite?
AMY: I've sent for help.
CAPTAIN: Who the hell are you?
AMY: Look, there's a friend of mine, okay? And he can help us. He'll come.
CAPTAIN: And what are you wearing?
AMY: That doesn't matter.
CAPTAIN: Are you from the honeymoon suite?
AMY: Oh, shut up.
RORY: Amy, the light's stopped flashing. Does that mean he's coming?
PILOT: Honeymoon suite?
RORY: Oh. Oh, the clothes. Er. It's just a bit of fun.
Any thoughts of a big bang in the Carry On sense will just have to wait, though later on of course a similar such night of passion will see the arrival of a little Pond who'll one day become his wife. Aww/wait, what? Delete as appropriate!

Meanwhile old Scrooge-substitute Kazran Sardick does his best to spread a little bah humbug across his little chunk of the universe..........

Cue the entrance of the perfect counterpoint, scoping out the general chimney-ness! He's got his work cut out, though - the old boy isn't so keen on the whole Christmas thing since the girl he loved is frozen on the brink of death. But a change of heart is just what's needed & so the Doctor goes back to act as a sort of ghost of Christmas past & show him he can't possibly carry on this way.

The gamble works, & so the old man is persuaded to enjoy what little time he has left with the lovely Abigail after some initial frostiness, only the memory of his late father's own harsh treatment stopping him from giving similar to his own younger self & providing quite the moment of revelation.

CS Lewis is next off the bookshelf for plundering as Moffatt replaces a lion & a witch with the Doctor & a widow as the young looking old man takes on a Christmas job as caretaker at a house in Dorset playing host to two children & a mother hiding the secret that her husband's plane has been shot down on active service during the Second World War.

Someone tumbling from a vessel of an entirely different sort ensures things soon go a bit Chris De Burgh as a spaceman once more goes travelling over the festive season.

By way of returning the kindness of the awfully good deed of helping him out before, he wants to make sure the family have the nicest possible time during the season of goodwill to all men...
DOCTOR: I'm the caretaker.
MADGE: But you're not Mister Cardew.
DOCTOR: I agree.
MADGE: I don't understand. Are you the new caretaker?
Across the course of his travels in time & space it could be said that he's been the caretaker for a very long time, though not in the sense of doing battle with sinister puddles - that comes later, coincidentally also at Christmas after he's taken on a new face once this one's time is up.

Before that, though, he's got quite a trick up his tweed sleeves.
“Lily and Cyril's room. I'm going to be honest, masterpiece. The ultimate bedroom. A sciencey wiencey workbench. A jungle. A maze. A window disguised as a mirror. A mirror disguised as a window. Selection of torches for midnight feasts and secret reading. Zen garden, mysterious cupboard, zone of tranquillity, rubber wall, dream tank, exact model of the rest of the house, not quite to scale. Apologies. Dolls with comical expressions, the Magna Carta, a foot spa, Cluedo, a yellow fort. “
Bravo! Something for the kids, then. Surely Madge must get a little something as well? Sure she does - it wouldn't be Christmas without it now would it! Santa Moffatt really pulls one out of the bag mucking about with time here.
DOCTOR: He did it again, Madge. He followed you home. Look what you can do, Mother Christmas.
REG: Madge, what am I doing here?
MADGE: It's Christmas Day, my love! Where else would you be?
REG: Christmas Day? How?
MADGE: We took a short cut.
Pass the sickbag/tissues (again, delete as appropriate).

There's even a happy ending for the architect of many of them across the cosmos as he gets to have Christmas dinner with his friends. Aww/bleurgh (stuff it- let's make it a hat-trick, shall we, delete as appropriate).

It would seem the unthinkable has happened by the time of The Snowmen in that he's given in to the blues & is now retired.

Until he gets a whiff of a new mystery, the temporal bloodhound back on the scent in Victorian London as the Great Intelligence gives terrifying new life to old Frosty's snowbound species! In one of many signs of a slight tweak, yet another new interior for Sexy gets an outing as another splinter of Clara Oswald makes herself known to him & gets him back in the game. From this......
DOCTOR: Don't come looking for me. Forget about me. You understand?
CLARA: What about the snow? Shouldn't we be warning people?
DOCTOR: Not my problem. Merry Christmas.
To this.
CLARA: I'm very grateful. I knew you'd come.
DOCTOR: No, you didn't, because I don't. Because this isn't the sort of thing I do any more.
But as everyone knows really, it is. And she'll come to have a big part in that as the Impossible Girl.
DOCTOR: I never knew her name. Her full name.
OSWIN : Oswin Oswald. Junior Entertainment Manager, Starship Alaska.
DOCTOR: Souffle girl. Oswin. It was her.
OSWIN: Run, you clever boy.
CLARA : Run, you clever boy.
OSWIN : And remember.
CLARA : And remember.
DOCTOR: It was souffle girl again. I never saw her face the first time with the Daleks, but her voice, it was the same voice.

All of a sudden it begins to look a lot more like Christmas, at least as Steven Moffatt & we who watched the fruits of his winter labours saw it!

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