WHAT UP INTERNET?!
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Between time off from work, tons of food and hanging out with those most important to you, there’s no shortage of great things to partake in. Every Christmas Day for the past few years I’ve had a standing date with the Doctor, and this year’s Christmas special entitled “Last Christmas” did not disappoint in the slightest. Now that the Bros are back from vacation (and Xbox Live and PlayStation Network are finally up again, which was a huge disappointment over the holiday) let me hit you with the #BroThoughts on the Doctor Who Christmas Special. In case you haven’t guessed by now, THIS POST HAS SPOILERS REGARDING THE DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL “LAST CHRISTMAS” so don’t read if you haven’t seen yet.
The premise of this particular Christmas special was both intricately complex (dream-within-a-dream) and wonderfully simplistic once the resolution was presented. Nick Frost as a quick-witted and slightly arrogant Santa Claus was a piece of picturesque casting. The chemistry he displayed with Capaldi and the rest of the cast was immediate, natural and felt entirely appropriate in the Who-verse. His responses to the cast’s question felt spot-on, and made this particular Bro think Nick Frost has got to be one of the most bad-ass Santas ever casted. Also, the frequent quips in support of his “hype-men” elves felt entirely appropriate given the circumstances and lent a sense of comedy to the typically heavy-handed and emotional Christmas specials.
While we’re on the subjects of casting and chemistry, I’ve got to mention my thoughts on Clara. Jenna-Louise Coleman is entertaining, talented and had remarkable chemistry from the onset with Matt Smith, however, in my humble opinion this has not translated well to Capaldi’s 12th Doctor. However, I must admit the writing toward the end of Matt Smith’s tenure as Doctor, which effectively cast her as one of the most important characters in the Who-verse turned me off to her immensely. It was as if all of the other Doctor’s companions were paltry in comparison to Clara, and I believe this made me harbor an underlying sense of disdain for her character. This is undoubtedly through no fault of Ms. Coleman, but with as rabid and devoted a fan base as Doctor Who, you cannot simply discard so much of that history-unfortunately. I know myself and surely other members of the Who-verse felt this had been done. Whether or not this was intended is unclear, but I know I for one was never a tremendous fan of Clara following Matt’s finale, which is a shame considering how perfect a fit for Doctor Who Ms. Coleman is. Plus, let’s not forget-her appearance in Asylum of the Daleks had to be one of the best premieres of any companion.
It was evident from the onset of Capaldi’s reign as the Doctor that he and Clara were not a natural fit for one another. I vehemently believe the writers of the series noticed this as well, hence why Matt Smith quickly appeared in Capaldi’s first episode-to remind both Clara and the viewers that even though there was a drastic shift in tone, the man gallivanting around in the long purple coat was still in fact, the Doctor. While there have been sporadic moments of bonding throughout the 8th season, for the most part Clara has approached the Doctor was skepticism, as I’m sure many viewers have as well. She still trusts her friend, but her repeated questioning of the Doctor has done nothing to endear her to myself as a viewer.
When I first heard the murmurs a few months ago that she may be leaving during the Christmas special, I was not hit with an overwhelming sense of emotion as I was when Amy and Rory departed. I chalked it up to the writers of the series mishandling the immense talent Ms. Coleman brings, coupled with a lack of chemistry with the new Doctor. However, Clara’s developing relationship with the fantastic Danny Pink provided a constant positive, making sure the character of Clara was not totally uncared for by me. After viewing “Last Christmas” it is my personal belief that the architect, aka show runner aka Steven Moffat was acutely aware of the Who-verse’s collected feelings on Clara and sought to rectify this. It was as if this episode took place solely to reinforce how talented Ms. Coleman is, how much her character as endured as a result of her relationship with the Doctor, and how important she is to the show’s titular character.
When Clara first got attacked by the dream crab, she saw Danny Pink-which I’ll admit, was probably as emotional for me as it was for her character. The guy is like the ultimate Bro, come on. Why the need to bring back one of the most awesome guys in the series? My guess would be to reinforce what Clara has lost. We all recall the episode where she met her and Danny’s descendant, only to have Mr. Pink die in the season finale, thus essentially meaning that won’t happen, unless the Doctor is able to work some sort of magic in season nine. Therefore, not only did Clara get the love of her life taken from her and the future she got a glimpse of as well, but she had to be reminded of the loss via a dream. That’s cold blooded-hasn’t the woman been through enough?
Then at the end of the episode, we saw Clara age tremendously. Before the viewer is aware this took place within the Doctor’s dream (we’re talking about dream within dreams within dreams within dreams. Inception to the max) we’re led to believe the Doctor did not return to Clara in a timely fashion, so she ended up advancing to old age. The Doctor asks her about her life and the time they’ve missed, and was truly a sad moment. There was a scene where Clara was too weak to pull her end of a Christmas cracker so the Doctor needed to assist her, mirroring her scene with Matt Smith in last year’s Christmas special. Just after this, the viewer is left to believe the end of an era has come and the Doctor will soon be left travelling solo once again. I for one was hit during this particular scene as yet again Clara is getting the short end of the stick.
Yes, I know Clara betrayed the Doctor when it came to Danny, but it was for love and that’s some deep passion right there. Other than that Clara had always been there for the Doctor, or did you forget Matt needing to send her away twice during last year’s special? I may not have been the biggest Clara fan, but I sure as hell wanted the woman to get her happy ending-but OH WAIT, DANNY GOT HIT BY A BUS. So her not getting to travel with the doctor and living a life because he didn’t take the time to come back? Not fair, bro. Not fair. But fortunately, when all was said and done Clara and the Doctor were fine and are going to continue travelling together. For once, I’m really hyped for whatever comes next for the Doctor.
The viewers were reminded throughout the course of the show how much the Doctor cares for Clara. He understood how much “P.E.” (aka Danny) meant to her, he put a dream crab on his face to save her, you could see his pain and regret when he believed he had taken too long to come rescue her and you saw the elation in his face when he realized she was alright. Even though she had grown old, the Doctor told Clara she’d always look the same to him no matter what, which was one of the rare showings of empathy from Capaldi’s Doctor. These brief interactions have been littered throughout the 8th season, making them all the more poignant.
Doctor Who is the best story ever told for this particular Bro, so needless to say I’m hyped for whatever’s next. I’m going to spend the better part of the next week playing the Halo 5 beta so that’ll be the next #BroThoughts I’ll hit you with. Y’all enjoy New Year’s and keep chasin’ them #Exclusives!
*Disclaimer: All gifs in this post come from the Official Doctor Who Tumblr