For many, the family, feasting, and festivities of December 25 have merged with the tradition of the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Since the rebirth of the Doctor Who series in 2005, we’ve come to anticipate the Christmas spirit that emerges from the intersection of space and time. “Twice Upon a Time,” written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay, does not disappoint. Continue reading
Doctor Who is like an old family friend who visits on Christmas Day–prompting past memories, eliciting conversations, and bringing multiple generations together. The 2015 Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song,” provided us moments of loss and love framed within a tale full of excitement and humor. In holiday fashion, Doctor Who reminds us that it’s the connections we have with others, whether running from a headless cyborg or sitting down for a meal together, that gives the story of our lives meaning.
In “Hell Bent,” Doctor Who returns to the desert, causing a coup in Gallifrey and revisiting America for a last goodbye. It’s taken billions of years, but the Doctor has finally returned to Gallifrey for a less-than-joyful reunion with his fellow Time Lords. In “Hell Bent” it’s revealed that the struggle the Doctor endured in “Heaven Sent” was less about keeping the secret of the hybrid and more about establishing a bargaining chip to save Clara. Peter Capaldi uses his impressive ability to convey intensity and power even while being still, increasing the drama of “Hell Bent.”
“Face the Raven” leaves us mourning the loss of another Doctor Who companion with the death of Clara Oswald. Though it had been announced that Jenna Coleman would be leaving Doctor Who in Season 9, closing out Clara Osgood’s chapter through death makes her departure stand out. “Face the Raven” is a strong episode not only because of the loss of companion Clara, but also because it’s grounded with the return of Rigsy and heightened with the appearance of Ashildr. It’s also fantastic because the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) changes into a maroon velvet jacket after the youth apparel he’s been wearing lately is destroyed during an adventure with Clara.
In the opening episode of Season 9, “The Magician’s Apprentice,” Doctor Who reminds us that though he is a fearsome and dangerous opponent, that best part of the Doctor is his compassion. He may not exactly be a man of peace, but he is man that, at his best, finds the good in others. In the prologue to Season 9, the Doctor says, “An enemy’s just a friend you don’t really know yet.” The Doctor has lost many friends and loved ones over the course of his long life, and at the same time he has battled some of his foes for more than a millennium. In “The Magician’s Apprentice” we learn that being a Time Lord makes for some very complex relationships.
The 9th season of Doctor Who premieres on September 19th. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman return as the Doctor and companion Clara Oswald. The fascinating dynamic between the Master/Missy and the Doctor will continue in Season 9, with Michelle Gomez returning for the series. We’re still reeling from her maniacal reveal in “Dark Water” and can’t wait to see what Missy will bring in Season 9.