So the Christmas episode of Doctor Who has just aired in the UK and it has achieved one thing and one thing only. It’s made me give up watching anymore Doctor Who.
The premise of the episode was a fairly basic one, Steven Moffat trying his hand at a spoof of the Superhero genre that has taken over the big and little screen the last few years but here’s the obvious memo Moffat has missed, doing the exact same thing as what you’re trying to spoof doesn’t make it a spoof. Instead the episode is a very generic superhero film with the hero (The Ghost) being a geek who gets superpowers through an unexpected event, has the hots for a girl who thinks of him as a friend, becomes a superhero, girl falls for superhero persona, girl falls for guy when he reveals himself as he saves the day.
The episode plays every single point straight, with no turns for laughter or comedy, instead being a straight up snooze fest as you see characters make obvious decisions throughout. When the obvious solution is to Hot Fuzz the genre (i.e. put a very American action genre in a quirky British setting) the reality is that if it weren’t for the name you’d be forgiven for not realising this was a British show as there’s no Britishness to be found here. Apparently Matt Lucas was here (and will be in the coming season) for comedy but his input is largely sit in background playing with baby toys.
Along with the lack of Britishness in the show you’d be struggling to find any evidence that this is a Christmas special as it appears to be set in the middle of June and nothing related to the holiday occurs, which even the most serious of previous specials manages to do. Instead an episode that went out at 5:45PM on Christmas day just shows a crime-ridden NYC with aliens who rip open their own heads, again. How Moffat can so badly misread an audience continues to astound me despite him doing it for 3-4 years now.
Overall I’d seriously suggest you skip this episode and the coming season too, with the “Coming Soon” segment selling Bill as basically a lower-class retard stereotype who just asks what everything is. Here there’s no Christmas Spirit, no comedy, and no redeeming qualities with even the normally silver lining of Capaldi’s acting being unable to save this mess.
Can’t wait for Torchwood veteran Chris Chibnall to get here.