Pick of the Week – December 22-28, 2014

As the most popular holiday since…well…ever, Christmas has no shortage of films, television specials, and episodes dedicated to it.  Certainly, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a classic, and we covered it as well as several other holiday classics during our VampireNomad.com Holiday Spectacular in December 2013.

While at that time we hit many of the popular standards, for my Christmas 2014 Pick of the Week, I’ve selected my absolute favorite holiday television episode ever: the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas Special, “A Christmas Carol.” 

As you probably gathered from the title, this is a take on the classic story by Charles Dickens.  Instead of Ebenezer Scrooge, the holiday grump in question is Kazran Sardick, played by Albus Dumbledore himself, Michael Gambon, who controls the clouds around a planet.  In order to save a crashing starship that lists his companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams among its passengers, the Doctor must get Sardick out of his humbug ways.  While there are no ghosts involved, the Doctor’s time machine, the TARDIS, does allow for a lot of Christmas pasts.

The special was written by showrunner Steven Moffat, and he purposely made it as chock-full of Christmas spirit as possible.  According to a quote on the episode’s Wikipedia page, Moffat said he had "never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April."  When I talked about the special briefly back in THIS POST, where I attempted to introduce new viewers to Doctor Who, I said, “There’s singing! Sleigh rides! Flying sharks! Marilyn Monroe! It’s all kind of nuts, but I love it. Forget A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. When Christmas rolls around each year, this is what I watch to get in the holiday spirit."

That’s absolutely true.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch it again!

- Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter