This year I had quite a busy, but exciting schedule of Christmas tv, not one, not two, but three Christmas Specials to watch!
I thought this warranted a small post with my thoughts about them! As you will understand, there are spoilers about under the cut(s)
I just love the Doctor Who Christmas specials taking place in Victorian England, they are the best! I liked the continuity of seeing the Doctor forlorn after he 'lost' the Ponds and not happy and jumping around. I loved the introduction of the new companion, her interactions with the Doctor and her acting in general. I believe Jenna-Louise Coleman is going to be so great! The monster/mystery part suffered a bit from the introduction of the companion. While it could've been a wonderfully effective idea to make snow scary (really, what simple commonplace things can't Doctor Who make scary?) and while Richard E. Grant was very chilling, I thought the story somewhat confusing and the ending unsatisfactory. Was the snow meant to be an alien lifeform? Or was the monster meant to be a bodyless lifeform which inhabited the snow? Lastly, nice to see Tom Ward sporting a beard, it suits him, he should play in period drama more often!
Almost a perfect special, I would have to say, even if it didn't take place at Christmas. If... you don't count the last two minutes obviously. I really loved the episode in general: a nice balance between Downton and Scotland scenes, a storyline for practically all of the characters, lots of fun, happy scenes, but also some more serious character development and pretty visuals of the Highlands and the Thirsk fair. I felt a bit sorry for Dr. Clarkson, I've always thought he and Isobel would be good together. I was glad to see Mrs. Hughes being the star of downstairs as usual, she really is the kindest and the wisest. But, about the ending.... I must admit I was spoiled, at my own accord. I'm sort of glad I knew, that way I could mentally prepare myself. I thought it a horrible way to end a festive special. And a horribly lazy way of storytelling as well. Really, Tom and Sybil's baby is born and Sybil dies and now with this baby Matthew dies?? It reeks of the last season of McLeods Daughters
(when Alex died just before Stevie gave birth)
, which I never forgave the writers for. I think this kind of writing is a sure sign a series is going downhill and I will seriously consider whether to watch series 4 (but probably give in in the end). I have read it around the www a lot of times today, but it would've been better to have ended Downton Abbey with this special, minus the last two minutes.
Call the Midwife
Beautiful, poignant and sad in equal measure, as all the episodes of this wonderful series so far have been. It was great to see Chummy and Peter married and being cute together! There was some really pretty cinematography, especially the scene alternating between the nuns of Nonnatus House singing in the chapel and the baby being born. While the story of Mrs. Jenkins was terribly sad, it was hopeful to see, that while there was still a lot of poverty in this part of London in the 50s, things had changed for the better and there were ways and means to help people like Mrs. Jenkins. The 'cases' of the special seemed to overshadow the stories of the midwifes a bit, none of them got a real development in this episode. Well, we've got series 2 to look forward to for that, I think!