Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: S8 E13 Last Christmas

Summary: Will Santa Give the Doctor & Clara what they really want for Christmas

Plot:   Clara is woken up by a crash and discovers Santa’s sled crashed on her roof.  As she cycles through that fact the Doctor suddenly appears and takes them to the North Pole where a group of Scientists are under siege by mysterious creatures.  Or are they?  And only Santa Claus can save them, the Doctor & Clara, or will Danny Pink save the day?

———————————–

Writing:  This episode is as close to perfect as you can get and it reminds me of the thing that frustrates me about Steven Moffat the most.  Last Christmas has absolutely everything, a terrifying villain, a wonderful hero, comedy, poignant moments, plot twists within plot twists  and an ending that is inspiring.  Best of all he manages this without a single time paradox.  I suspect I’ll be watching this one over and over again and that’s the frustration,   It’s hard to put up with C-List episodes when he’s capable of amazing things like this.

Acting:   Capaldi and Coleman are absolutely perfect in this episode with more chemistry that a lab at a pharmacy company.  Combine that with an incredible performance by Nick Frost as Santa Claus and excellent supporting performances by every single cast member from Dan Starkey to Faye Marsay and you get an episode you can’t put down.

Memorable Moments: Who you gonna call?  Dying manuals , can I drive? That’s racist.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Driving a sleigh (11th Doctor a Christmas Carol)  The cracker (Time of the Doctor 11th Doctor) Tangerines (The Christmas Invasion:  10th Doctor),  There was one man (School Reunion 10th Doctor) .

Oddities:  Shouldn’t there be some reason why these random humans became involved in this adventure?

Pet Peeves:   The  Doctor’s plan to detect the dream shouldn’t have worked since as soon as the first person read the manual aloud the others should have said the same thing.  Only writing it down would have worked with The Doctor being able to override the Dream Crab’s attempt to force him to see the same thing on all the sheets.

 

Great Quote(s) 

********************

Shona:Argh! Argh!
AshleyShona? Shona, what’s wrong?
Shona: We’ve, we’ve got ghosts!
Ashley:Ghosts?
Shona: Yeah, yeah, it’s a skeleton man and a girl in a nightie!

*******************

Ashley: [To Santa who has just entered] Who the hell are you?
The Doctor:Oh, take a guess, go on. Push the boat out! Tooth Fairy, maybe? Easter Bunny?

***********************************

Clara:OK, Doctor, are you going to explain? What is going on?
Santa Claus:It’s an invasion, Miss Oswald.
Clara:An invasion of what, elves?
Wolf the Elf:Whoa! THAT is racist.
Ian the Elf:Elfist!
Wolf the Elf:Which is a bit hypocritical, from someone of your height.

*************************************

The Doctor:You all right?
Shona: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m trying to talk sense into Beardy-Weirdy.
The Doctor:You don’t seem much like a scientist.
Shona:That’s a bit rude, coming from a magician!

**************************************************
The Doctor:  Beardy-Weirdy.
Santa Claus:Yeah?
The Doctor:  How do you get all the presents in the sleigh?
Santa Claus:It’s bigger on the inside.

************************************************
Professor Albert Smithe:They’re a bit like Facehuggers, aren’t they?
The Doctor:[Confused] Face huggers?
Professor Albert Smithe:You know, Alien. The horror movie, Alien.
The Doctor:  There’s a horror movie called “Alien?” That’s really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you.

************************************************
Clara:I miss you.
Danny Pink:Five minutes.
Clara: What?
Danny Pink:You can miss me for five minutes a day. And you’d better do it properly. You’d better be sad. I expect my five. But all the rest of the time, Clara, all the rest of the time, every single second, you just get the hell on with it. Clear?

****************************************************

The Doctor:  This makes perfect sense. The Dream Crab tries to make the dream as real as possible to trap you inside it. It creates dreams within dreams so you can never be sure if you are really awake. But your brain knows something is wrong. Your subconscious fights back. THIS is your mind, trying to tell you this isn’t real.
Santa Claus:  So it gives you me. Sweet Papa Chrimbo!
Ian the Elf:It gives you comedy elves, flying reindeer.
The Doctor:  Exactly!
Santa Claus:  A time-travelling scientist dressed as a magician.
Ian the Elf:  Classic!
The Doctor:  No, no, no. hang on. No, no, no, no.
Wolf the Elf:Living in a phone box.
The Doctor:  It’s a spaceship in disguise!
Santa Claus:  You see how none of this makes any sense?
The Doctor:  Shut up, Santa!

***********************************************************************

The Doctor:No, no, no. Line in the sand. Santa Claus does not do the scientific explanation!
Santa Claus:All right. As the Doctor might say, “Arr, it’s all a bit dreamy-weamy!”

************************************************

Santa Claus:Fortunately, I know all your home addresses.

Thanks to this site for having a transcript so I could recover all I lost after hours of copying this stuff by hand.
**************************

Final Verdict:   5 stars.   As close to a perfect Doctor Who episode as you can get. Worthy of the Baker era.

Ranking of Season:   1st of 13. I thought for a short while before ranking it above The Caretaker but this episode not only had everything but actually moved me emotionally. Was caught totally by surprise by Coleman deciding to stay.

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. Mummy on the Orient Express
4. Into the Dalek
5. Dark Water
6. Listen
7. Flatline
8. Robots of Sherwood
9. Time Heist
10. Kill the Moon
11. Death in Heaven
12. Deep Breath
13. In the Forest of the Night