Something - FunScience FICTION Reviews
Merry Christmas and welcome to part 2 of Doctor Who day.
15 years ago today Doctor Who moved from episodic stories to event specials, with ‘The Christmas Invasion’. Although the second episode to be broadcast on Christmas Day, this was the first dedicated and produced for Christmas, outside a regular season.
Unfortunately for me there are several problems with the episode, for one the Doctor is barely in it, this is Tennant’s first full episode and he spends the majority of it asleep. The Aliens, the Sycorax are two dimensional, they are here to conquer because the Earth is producing energy waves that show that humanity could become a threat to them. Overall they are here to show that humanity is being noticed, due to its general noise and space probes, similar to how it was noticed during the Doctors time exiled on Earth. Humanity is insanely weak calling for the Doctors help as if that is their only option, with the one obvious exception Torchwood. Torchwood (this version not the series version) takes humanity from weakness to aggression and all the time humanity appears to have lost the ability to talk, to bargain, to use any of our natural abilities that we should have after 30 years of dealing with Aliens.
We do get some ships and robots, the robots are not part of the invasion force but are here to steal the Doctors regeneration energy, disguising themselves as Santas and a Christmas tree, providing the necessary Christmas elements. On the human side we have the Guinevere One space probe, United Kingdom’s first probe to Mars, conflicting with the previously seen Mars Probe 7 (https://www.facebook.com/groups/fleetyards/permalink/1108844926119671/), which estimates put at being a manned mission in the early 1980’s. Incidentally Guinevere One is very similar to the Magellan space probe, NASA launched in 1989, focused around sensor dishes and solar arrays. The Sycorax ship was an asteroid, remodelled with their technology and large enough to carry several thousand strong invasion force.
The episode is set at Christmas and does have a Christmas theme throughout ending in the Doctor joining Rose and family for Christmas dinner. However, it feels constrained by it’s need to demonstrate Torchwoods power, which the Doctors absence and Alien threat all aid with, but there is no festive spirit here, the fun of the previous season and the drama of the season to come are all missing, leaving this in retrospect feeling like an island not fitting in either.
It was a start, the first, allowing future Christmas episodes to take different risks, and more stand alone fun options.
Images – TARDIS Data Core