Review: Doctor Who 7.00 (Christmas Special 2011): The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

By Heather S. Vina

[spoilers ahead]

Written by: Steven Moffat

Recap: There are ships above Earth, moving in to fire on the planet below. A mechanical voice announces, “People of Earth, you stand alone,” right before something on the ship explodes! The voice changes into an “intruder alert” system, and the ship begins to explode more.

Inside the ship, the Doctor is running down the exploding corridors, the Sonic Screwdriver out as he uses it to open the doors in front of him. He ends up hanging out a partially-blown-apart airlock, where he desperately tries to grab on to a spacesuit that’s about to drift off into space. He misses and the spacesuit goes flying off, so the Doctor lets go and follows it, desperately trying to get inside of it as they both hurtle towards the Earth.

Credits

The year is 1938 and that same night on Earth in England, Madge Arwell (Claire Skinner) is riding her bicycle home when she’s knocked over by the impact of the Doctor falling to earth. She goes to investigate and finds the Doctor – inside the spacesuit – in the middle of a crater. She goes to help him out and reassures him when he thinks he’s blind. Turns out he put the helmet on backwards, because, as he tells her, he “got dressed in hurry!”

At her house, Madge rushes in to find her children, Lily (Holly Earl) and Cyril (Maurice Cole), arguing. Cyril is looking through a telescope when his mom asks him where his dad, Reg (Alexander Armstrong), is. Reg is outside, so Madge tells Cyril to tell Reg that she’s gone to borrow a neighbour’s car, because she found a spaceman – possibly an angel – wounded in a field and she’s going to take him into town to find a police box. When she asks Cyril if he’s got it all, the little boy answers, “Yes.” But when she rushes out and Reg comes in, Cyril just tells his dad that mom has gone “out”.

Madge is driving the Doctor – with his helmet still on backwards – into town, but not doing a very good job of it, as she keeps running into things. When she asks why the Doctor doesn’t take his helmet off, he tells her that the suit is repairing him and still has a ways to go. She helps him to a police box, but when the Doctor can’t find the key, she picks the lock for him, despite the fact that he claims she won’t be able to. The Doctor asks her name and thanks her, telling her that if she ever needs his help, all she has to do is “make a wish” and he will come to help her. But when he goes to enter the so-called TARDIS, he realises that it’s a real police box, and not the TARDIS! Seems Madge can’t pick the lock on the TARDIS, after all.

Later, Madge arrives home to find her husband sitting and reading the paper, with the headline, “War Looms”. She worries that if people will keep reading about the war, it will happen and then where will they be?

Three years later, it’s World War II, and Reg is the pilot (and captain) of an English warplane that’s been damaged and about to crash into the English Channel. When he’s asked by one of his men what he should tell Anderson, who is wounded in the back, he tells him to tell Anderson that they’re going home for Christmas. After the man returns to the back, Reg looks at the picture he has of Madge on his dash and tells her that he’s sorry.

Back at home, Madge wakes up in bed abruptly. She glances over at a telegram from the war department, informing her that Reg has been lost over the Channel. Later at the dinner table, Cyril is asking Lily when their father will be back and she tells him that he will be back at Christmas, like he always is. Cyril is worried whether their father will find them at Uncle Digby’s house, which is where they are going for Christmas, because of the bombing in the city. Madge assures them that of course he will be there. Seems she hasn’t told them about their dad, yet.

At Uncle Digby’s house, Madge is irritated that the caretaker isn’t there to greet them and short-tempered when Lily asks her again whether their father will be there. The door finally opens, only, instead of opening the normal way, it ends up being taken off its hinges, as the Doctor can’t get it opened any other way! The Doctor introduces himself as the caretaker and starts to show them around the place, where he’s made quite a few improvements.

The Sitting Room: According to the Doctor, pointless without a television, so he made the chairs actually move like an amusement park ride!

The Kitchen: There are three taps at the sink: one for hot water, one for cold water, and one for lemonade.

Madge’s bedroom: Boring “adult” room, no changes there.

Cyril and Lily’s bedroom: The Doctor’s ‘masterpiece’, the ‘ultimate bedroom’. There are different areas of the room with different zones – a jungle, a space area. The room is filled with toys and torches and dollhouses and dolls. But, interestingly enough, no beds. Turns out that the Doctor couldn’t fit everything in there, so he made them hammocks that fall out of the ceiling, instead! Cyril and Lily are delighted with their room, but Madge seems a little annoyed by it all.

Madge interrupts the Doctor’s demonstrations of the hammocks and sends the children downstairs so that she can berate the Doctor. She ends up blurting out to the Doctor that Reg is dead, and tells him that she doesn’t want to tell the children now that he is dead, because then they will always associate Christmas with their father’s death and she doesn’t want that for them. A little deflated, she admits to the Doctor that she doesn’t know why she keeps yelling at the children. The Doctor knows why, though. Every time she looks at them so happy, she is reminded of the fact that soon, they will be incredibly sad, and it breaks her heart. And she finds herself wondering, “What’s the point of them being so happy now, when they will be sad later?” But the Doctor tells her that the point is, because they will be sad later, and that’s why it’s important that they are happy now.

The Doctor and Madge follow the children downstairs, where they have discovered the main sitting room, equipped with a huge tree with moving decorations, and a huge present in front, addressed to them all. Madge finally allows herself to get caught up in her children’s excitement and the spirit of the season. She tells them that “this Christmas will be the best Christmas ever” and kisses them both. As she’s hugging them, though, Cyril hears voices emanating from the present and sees it glow.

Later that night, Cyril and Lily are in their hammocks in their rooms when Cyril asks Lily if they can sneak down to take a peek at the present. Lily tells him to go to sleep.

In her bedroom, Madge is awake, staring into the night, clutching the telegram about Reg being missing in action.

Thinking Cyril is asleep, Lily sneaks out and starts to head downstairs, when she gets distracted by the lights and sounds coming from the attic room. Curious, she heads up there, instead, and finds the Doctor working on the TARDIS. Lily asks him why he has a police box in his room. The Doctor tells her it’s his wardrobe; he just painted it to look like a police box. They banter a little, before Lily asks the Doctor who he is, really. But the Doctor is distracted by something going on with the wires he is fixing and asks her where Cyril is.

Seems Cyril snuck out of the room right after Lily did and is approaching the present, which is again glowing and emitting sounds. He unties the ribbon and carefully opens the box – and is shocked to discover a gateway to a whole new world inside.

Lily, having checked on Cyril (and being deceived by the stuffed animals he put under a blanket to make it look like him), reports back to the Doctor that Cyril is still asleep.

Cyril has entered the box, where he’s found a snowy forest, filled with white-capped pine trees. He’s doing a bit of exploring when he sees a water drop on a tree freeze into a silver ball. When he touches the ball, however, it breaks, and it scares him enough to run back into the safety of the house.

The Doctor gets another strange reading. He turns to Lily and asks her if she’s sure that Cyril is still asleep.

Cyril, his curiosity overcoming his fear, crawls back into the box and into the world. He sees footsteps near the broken ball. He starts to follow them.

The Doctor and Lily go back to the children’s room, and Lily points out the lump in Cyril’s bed. But the Doctor isn’t fooled. He tears back the covers to discover that it’s not Cyril in the bed but some stuffed bears. He tells Lily to follow him. They go downstairs to discover the opened present/gateway. He grabs a shocked Lily’s hand and pulls her through with him into the snowy forest.

The Doctor explains to Lily that the box is a dimensional portal and it wasn’t supposed to be opened until Christmas Day. The two set off to follow Cyril. The Doctor realises that the footprints Cyril is following are getting bigger. Whatever he’s following is growing. Lily rushes off to follow after him, but is stopped when she brushes by a tree and sees those silver balls growing out of it. She’s a little disconcerted, but the Doctor reassures her that everything is okay. Until he realises that the trees are talking to each other and that there’s something amiss in the forest. When he looks into one of the silver balls, he sees his reflection change into the face of a tree-like man. He apologises to Lily, admitting that there’s something wrong in the forest and they have to find Cyril.

Back at the house, Madge has discovered that Cyril and Lily are missing from their beds, and is shouting for them, when she comes to the sitting room with the present. Seeing that the present is opened and shining, she cautiously enters it.

In the forest, Cyril has finally followed the footsteps all the way to a building, where they go inside. The building looks like a lighthouse. The forest whispers some more and Cyril goes inside, where he finds a large, wooden, tree-like king sitting in a chair. It has the same face as the one that Doctor saw in the silver ball. Cyril gingerly steps around the wooden King and heads towards the stairs. As he’s walking up them, the tree man’s eyes blink and it turns its head to look after Cyril.

Back with the Doctor and Lily: Lily is asking the Doctor why he would bring them here and he tells her that it was supposed to be a treat. This is one of the safest planets that he knows. The two are suddenly stopped short when the ground shakes.

Turns out the shaking is from a ship and said ship finds Madge out in the forest. Three humans (played by Sam Stockman, Bill Bailey, and Arabella Weir) run out, dressed in containment suits. They hold her at gunpoint and warn her that she’s on private property. The woman soldier scans her and realises that she’s a time traveler. Madge, upset and frustrated, starts to cry, having no idea what is going on.

Cyril makes his way to the top of the lighthouse, where he finds another wooden statue, a queen figure this time. She’s standing over the back of a chair, holding a gold ringlet out over the top of it, as if to place it on the seated person’s head. As Cyril turns away from her to look out the window, she, too, blinks and moves her head to look at him.

The Doctor and Lily find the lighthouse that Cyril entered and rush inside, where they find the King still sitting on his chair. The Doctor tells Lily that the statue is not really a statue; it’s the thing that Cyril was following, hatched and grown to full size in a matter of hours. The building isn’t really a building, either. It’s a series of trees that have grown into that shape, disguised as a building. The Doctor tells Lily that it’s a trap for people, because people can’t resist a door. Lily gets nervous that they just walked into a trap, until the Doctor points out that Cyril is still there. Taking her hand, the Doctor leads Lily up the stairs to search for Cyril.

The major of the soldiers is disconcerted by Madge’s crying, even more so when one of his soldiers starts crying, as well, because of his “mother issues”. The other soldier lowers her gun, telling the major that Madge is a “crying, unarmed, female civilian” and she’s “thinking of the visual.” The major points out that no one is looking, which means there’s no visual, but that does him no good. Between the one soldier’s mother issues and the other soldier lowering her gun out of respect for a fellow woman, the major has them all lower their guns. He starts to question Madge again, only Madge isn’t quite as helpless as she seems, as she whips out her own gun and holds it on them! The major doesn’t believe that she would ever use it…until she tells them that she’s looking for her children.

The Doctor and Lily make it to the top of the lighthouse, only to find the door to the top room locked. They start calling out for Cyril, but Cyril is a little distracted, as he turns to find the female wood statue looming over him about to place the ringlet on his head! The statue backs Cyril into the chair, where he sits down and she places the ringlet crown on his head.

Outside, the Doctor is trying to unlock the door, but the Sonic Screwdriver still doesn’t work on wooden doors. I thought he was going to get that fixed? Anyways, Lily is distracted by something outside the window: There are stars coming out of the trees and rising into the sky. The Doctor explains that they are pure life force. The sight moves Lily to the point of tears and the Doctor muses on the fact that crying when you’re happy is “so human”. The duo’s attention is returned to the door when they see the light from Cyril’s “crowning” shining through the cracks. They’re even more concerned when the wooden King from downstairs starts coming up the stairs.

On the ship, Madge is holding her gun on the soldiers as she forces the female to tie up the two men. The female soldier offers to do a scan to find the children and the major explains to Madge that if her children are really out in the forest, they are in danger, as the plan is to melt the forest down for energy, using acid rain.

The door finally opens on its own, and the Doctor and Lily rush in to find Cyril slumped over on the chair unconscious, the gold ringlet crown on his head. They look out the window again to see more stars coming out of the trees and the Doctor tells Lily that it’s as if the “life force” is leaving the forest.

The wooden King makes it to the top of the stairs and he and the Queen flank Cyril, but make no more moves on the Doctor and Lily. The Doctor realises that they want to communicate with them. The King and Queen both look at Cyril and the crown lights up, waking Cyril. He tells the Doctor that the wooden people are scared, that the trees are “screaming.” The Doctor scans the crown with the Sonic and tells Lily and Cyril that Cyril is connected to the trees.

The female soldier tells Madge that she’s found the kids, but she can’t drive the ship as she’s not the pilot – the two men are. Madge doesn’t trust them, though, and wonders if she can fly it, since Reg took her up in a plane once and showed her how. The soldier tells her that it takes years to learn. But she does think that she might be able to get them an audio on the kids. Unfortunately, an alert comes on, announcing that the acid rain is to fall in five minutes. The soldier goes to stand with the other two and informs Madge that she has to find a way out, as Madge won’t last two minutes in the rain. With that, the three soldiers are transported away. Fortunately, the audio feed kicks in and Madge can hear what the Doctor, Cyril, and Lily are saying.

Cyril tells the Doctor that the trees are evacuating because they are afraid of the acid rain. The Doctor explains to Lily that the stars are life force, trying to escape because their homes are about to be destroyed, but they have to travel inside a living thing and they are going to try to use Cyril, using the “crown” as a relay to enter him. The building and the wooden King and Queen are their “escape plan”.

The Queen touches Cyril and communicates through him, telling the Doctor that their arrival was foretold. Unfortunately, they can’t use Cyril as their “lifeboat” because he’s “weak”. But there are others that they can use.

The Doctor offers himself up for the lifeboat, but the Queen tells him that he is also “weak”. He tells her that he’s much older than he looks and takes the crown off Cyril. But the Queen is right and the crown starts to burn the Doctor, causing him pain. Despite Lily urging him to, he can’t let go of it, so Lily ends up grabbing hold of it and pulling it from the Doctor’s hands.

The crown doesn’t burn Lily, though it does leave her bemused. The only thing that Lily notices is that it’s “tingly”. The Queen approaches Lily and touches her, using her to communicate that, though Lily is “strong”, she’s young. Lily gasps and tears away, dropping the crown. The Doctor repeats that Lily is strong and he’s weak.

A now-awake Cyril calls for his mom and Lily tries to comfort him, telling him that their mom isn’t there, but that she is. She assures him that they are going to go home to their mom, soon. But the rain is starting to fall and the Doctor tells them that its acid rain. The tower won’t protect them for long.

Cyril again asks where their mother is and Lily assures him that their mother is coming, because she always does. The Doctor explains to Cyril that he doesn’t know how long they have, but if they have any chance of getting out of this, they have to leave now. But Cyril refuses to leave until their mother comes, because their mother “always comes.” Just as the Doctor is explaining to them that their mother isn’t coming this time, their mother does, arriving in the ship!

Madge manages to drive the ship to the lighthouse, but ends up collapsing it. She rushes in and has a happy reunion with her kids, while the Doctor scans the ship. As Madge is berating the kids for leaving the house, the Queen approaches her with the crown. Madge is hypnotised by it and allows it to be placed on her head. Downstairs, the Doctor sees the stars all flying towards the top of the lighthouse and races back upstairs to find all of the stars flying into Madge’s head. Madge is having no pain, but instead, is entranced by the beauty of the stars entering her head.

The Queen touches Madge’s shoulder and tells the Doctor that Madge is “strong”. The Doctor realises that “weak” and “strong” are all a matter of translation: Madge is strong because she’s female and she’s a mother. How else do beings travel but by a “mother ship”?

The top ball part of the building starts to detach itself from the main part and flies into space. Turns out the beings not only made a wooden king and queen but a wooden ship, too!

The Doctor realises that they have flown into the time vortex. He tells the beings that they are safe. Now they have to return the favour and save Madge, Cyril and Lily. The Queen uses Madge to explain to the Doctor that Madge needs only to think about returning home and the ship will be able to return them, as Madge is the one controlling the ship. All she has to do is think of home. But Madge’s head is filled with trees and she’s not sure if she can. The Doctor reassures her that she can; all she has to do is really feel it, feel it until she is about to burst, until it “hurts.” Madge pulls out the telegram about Reg and tells them they will be “home in time for Christmas.”

The Queen puts the visuals up on the screen and they can all see the time vortex, as well as what Madge is thinking about. She’s thinking about her husband, about returning home to him, and about her memories of him with the children and with her. The Doctor helps her remember, asking her to tell them about how she met Reg. She tells them how he followed her home from work and he told her that he would keep following her until she married him. The Doctor tells her to keep focusing on Reg. The ship will use it as a signal to lock onto and return them home. Unfortunately, Madge’s thoughts start turning to Reg’s last night and his being lost over the ocean. They can see Reg’s plane as it’s hurtling in the dark. The Doctor tells her she can’t break the signal, but Madge is crying that she doesn’t want to see him die. Lily and Cyril hear her, and ask their mother if their father is dead, but Madge is caught up in flying the ship and visualising her husband’s last moments. She can’t hear them. They watch Reg struggle to fly the plane, unsure of where he is. They watch as he tells his man to tell Anderson that they’re going home for Christmas. They watch as he touches Madge’s picture and apologises to her. As Reg struggles with the plane, a bright light shines in front of him and he looks out in shock.

The Doctor, Madge, Lily, and Cyril manage to land safely. The Wooden King and Queen are now inactive, the forest gone from Madge’s head. The Doctor explains that the forest transmuted itself and is now in space, happy. And they have all been returned home, themselves, on Christmas Day.

Madge turns to hug her kids, but they’re still in shock over what she said about their father being dead. They question Madge about it and the Doctor quietly leaves to give them some time alone. Madge explains to the children how their father’s plane was damaged during a night flight. Since it was a cloudy night and there were no moon or stars to light his way, he couldn’t fly home and he got lost.

The Doctor, having seen something outside, rushes back in and interrupts Madge, telling her that before she goes any further, she should come outside and see something, first.

Outside, the family is shocked to see a plane has landed behind their ship. The Doctor explains that when Madge was visualising Reg, and flashed on the night that he was lost, the ship appeared to Reg. He managed to follow their ship into the time vortex and through to the estate, where he was able to safely land the ship on the grounds.

As Madge, Cyril and Lily look on in happiness, a shocked Reg comes out of the plane. Tthere’s a very happy – albeit confused – family reunion.

That night, the Arwell family is celebrating Christmas together, as the Doctor watches with a smile. He heads upstairs to the TARDIS, but Madge follows him. She realises that he’s her “spaceman angel with his head on backwards.” He tells her that she was there for him when he was having a “really bad day”, and he just wanted to return the favour. She thanks him for the outcome, but he assures her that she did it all herself. Madge hugs him and then invites him to stay for Christmas dinner. The Doctor tells her that he can’t – “things to do, people to see.” Madge takes that as an indication that he has family of his own to celebrate with, but he tells her he doesn’t. When she queries that he must have friends who miss him, he tells her he does, but they all think he’s dead. He starts to head off, encouraging her to watch the TARDIS leave, as it’s really exciting, but she stops him and tells him that he shouldn’t let his friends think he’s dead, especially at Christmas. She refuses to listen when he tells her it’s complicated and orders him to tell them, “at once”. He backs down and tells her, “Yes, Mum.” He’ll think about it. He heads into the TARDIS, but stops when Madge calls him back, asking how she will get in touch with him if she needs him again. He smiles at her and tells her to “make a wish,” then closes the TARDIS door and leaves.

It’s night, outside Amy and Rory’s place. The Doctor knocks on the door and hears Amy threatening carolers with a water pistol. She opens the door and is shocked to see the Doctor standing there. He admits to her that he’s not sure how long it’s been for her since she’s seen him and she tells him two years, before squirting him several times with her water pistol!

Amy admits to the Doctor that River told them he was still alive. She tells him River’s a “good girl” for doing so. She defiantly tells the Doctor that she’s not going to hug him first and the Doctor snipes back that he’s not going to, either. They both stand there for a moment, looking away, before they smile at each other and laugh, moving in for a hug. They have a happy, joyous reunion, before Amy calls out for Rory. They ask the Doctor if he’s going to join them, and he tells them he will, if they have room for him. The Doctor is shocked when Rory tells him that they already have a place set for him. Amy scoffs at the Doctor’s shock, as he reminds them that they didn’t know he was coming, and she tells him that they always set one for him. It’s Christmas. Rory tells him to come in, and both he and Amy go inside. The Doctor stands there in shock as he watches them and then he touches his face as he realises he’s crying. Happy tears. He smiles and goes inside, closing the door.

Review: That was wonderful! I enjoyed this Christmas special much more than last year’s. Not only because I’ve never been a big fan of “A Christmas Carol”-like stories, which was the theme of last year’s special, but because this episode had a happy ending. Everyone lived! It doesn’t happen often in a Doctor Who episode, that everyone manages to make it out alive and there’s a happy ending for all, so I’m quite happy when it does, especially during a Christmas episode! I don’t care how sappy and pat it was; I loved the happy ending. I was very happy with Reg and his men having their miraculous, last-minute rescue, and thrilled that the little Arwell family had their happy Christmas reunion. And very happy that the Doctor had his own reunion with one of his families, as well!

Setting aside the happy endings, this episode still had me engaged and intrigued. The plot was fairly simplistic in its own ways, but it had its funny moments (the soldiers, the Doctor’s excitement over the “improvements” that he made to the house), and its touching moments. And I enjoyed the alien creatures that only wanted to flee the destruction of their home. The one thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was the fact that, while the life force of those beings managed to escape and make it into a new home, the poor trees were all destroyed and that beautiful forest was melted down by the acid rain. That was the one truly unhappy note for me in the episode. So, I guess it didn’t have a truly happy ending for me, with no casualties, since the forest was wiped out.

I liked the Arwell family. I enjoyed Madge’s blasé handling of her “spacemen/angel” and the kind of easy acceptance she had of strange things happening. I also loved her fierce devotion to her children and her husband. Reg was sweet, as well. I liked his love and appreciation for his wife, and his love for his children.

Cyril and Lily were sweet. I liked them in the middle of the story, but I do cry foul a little at the fact that both were played by the same young actors. There were a good three years between where Madge rescued the Doctor and the part where they ended up at Uncle Digby’s “Doctor-renovated” house for Christmas. I can stretch with Lily being played by the same actress, but having Cyril go from being played at six/seven to nine/ten by the same young actor was a little too much of a stretch. Since both young actors were appealing and likeable, I’ll handwave it away. But it still was a bit much.

I have to say that I quite enjoy the Doctor with children. He has a gentle, easygoing way with them. It’s not hard to think that, while he might be a little more gentle with truly young beings, to him, most of the people he meets are truly young, since he’s 1000+ years now. I can imagine that, no matter how old in human terms someone might be, to him, they are still in many ways a child.

I do admit, though, that I kept waiting for it to turn out that Cyril was somehow really C.S. Lewis, author of the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, or that they were somehow related to him and he got the idea for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from this episode. Alas, not to be, but it would have been amusing if they had. That was one of my favourite series when I was a child. That, and the “Wrinkle In Time” series.

The soldiers were funny. Perhaps a bit too silly, when I think on who they were supposed to be in the episode, but they made me laugh over their “mother issues” and “visuals”. I liked Bill Bailey in Black Books and he was amusing in the role as the major.

I always find it kind of sadly amusing that the Doctor continually fails to realise how much he has meant to almost all of his Companions. It’s not just Rory and Amy who would welcome him at their Christmas table. It’s Sarah Jane Smith, who would happily set a place for him with her and her son. Or Captain Jack, who would greet him with a hug (and a kiss!) and take him out for a drink. Or Jo Grant, who would invite him to dine with her family. Or Mickey and Martha, who would welcome his appearance as they tell him about their own adventures. The Doctor has left very few of his Companions on bad terms, and I truly believe that the ones still alive would be happy to have him come for a visit. So, it’s always kind of sad to me to see him belittle his presence in their lives like that, and think so little of himself and how much he meant to them. But on the other hand, it does make for a moving moment like this, where the Doctor gets to experience that moment of “happy tears”, where he realises that Amy and Rory always make room for him, and set a place for him at Christmastime.

Love the TARDIS-blue paint on Rory and Amy’s front door, and the fact that they painted their building a light shade of blue. Lovely little way of flying their “Doctor” flag in their everyday life! I’m glad that Rory and Amy are happy together. Glad that River is still visiting them and Amy can now consider River as her daughter, enough to call her a “good girl” in a maternal way. I really enjoy seeing the Companions in their post-Doctor lives, happy and living a good life.

All in all, I found it a very apt episode for Christmas: happy, upbeat with a solid storyline. I’m glad that everyone had a happy reunion at the end. Perfect way to end Christmas Day!

Quotes:

The Doctor: Ow. Did we just bump into something?
Madge: No, no.
The Doctor: We seem to bump into quite a lot of things.
Madge: Well, a lot of things get in the way. It’s hardly my fault.

The Doctor [after Madge picks the lock on the fake “TARDIS”]:
Okay, suddenly, the last 900 years of time travel seem a bit less secure.

The Doctor:
Right, then, may I take your cases?
Madge, Lily, Cyril [as they set them down]: Thank you.
The Doctor: Lovely. Would you mind carrying them for me? I need to show you around.

The Doctor: I’m usually called the “Doctor”. Or the “Caretaker”. Or “get off this planet,” though strictly speaking, that probably isn’t a name.

The Doctor: It was a present and it wasn’t supposed to be opened until Christmas Day! Honestly, who opens their Christmas presents early? [On Lily’s mischievous smile] Okay. Shut up. Everyone.

Lily: Why would you bring us to this place?
The Doctor: It was supposed to be a treat. This is one of the safest planets that I know. There’s never anything dangerous here. [The ground shakes ominously] There are sentences that I should just keep away from.

Major: Please tell me we can tell the difference between wool and sidearms.
Soldier: We can tell the difference, sir.
Major: Can we?
Soldier: Not always, sir, no.

Soldier: Sir, with regret, I’m going to have to lower my gun.
Major: Why?
Soldier 2: She’s a crying, unarmed, female civilian. I’m thinking of the visual.
Major: Nobody’s looking!
Soldier 2: Doesn’t mean there’s no visual.
Major: That’s exactly what “nobody’s looking” means; it means there’s no visual!

Lily [as the ship starts to take off]: What’s happening?
The Doctor: No idea. Do what I do: Hold tight, and pretend it’s a plan!

The Doctor: Between you and me, I’m older than I look and I can’t feel like you do.

The Doctor: Your mother is flying a forest through the time vortex. Be a little impressed!

The Doctor: How do I look with my head right way round?
Madge: Funnier.

Amy: So, you’re not dead.
The Doctor: And a Happy New Year!
Amy: River told us.
The Doctor: Well, of course she did.
Amy:She’s a good girl!

You can buy this episode, and season 6, on Amazon.com.

About Heather S. Vina

Heather's been a fan of science fiction since she was five years old and developed a crush on Captain Kirk, while watching reruns of Star Trek: The Original Series. A huge Anglophile, she loves reading and watching (and mocking!) TV, but hasn't figured out a way to make a living doing either, yet. But she lives in hope!

Heather S. VinaReview: Doctor Who 7.00 (Christmas Special 2011): The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe