A Christmas Carol
Episode / March 17, 2016

Aired 25 December 2010 With a unique spin on the basic premise of Charles Dickens’s beloved A Christmas Carol, Steven Moffat’s first holiday outing is a great success, offering a standalone and yet very emotional tale that ranks among Doctor Who‘s best Christmas tales so far. After a very fast-paced and funny opening sequence featuring a crashing spaceship with Amy and Rory aboard, the action quickly slows down and switches its focus to a more traditional Christmas setting. Micahel Gambon’s Scrooge equivalent in Kazran Sardick is soon introduced. He ends up being quite a complicated character, though at first he is presented as a man who has the ability to save thousands of people but refuses to do so. Through time travel and several machinations of the Doctor, this crusty exterior is slowly broken down as Sardick’s deeper emotions and motivations reveal themselves. It likely doesn’t need saying, but Gambon is superb in this role, bringing a sense of both sympathy and empathy to his character. Because of the time travel device, though, it allows the Doctor and the audience to understand why and how he has become the man he is as well as to see his retroactive response…

The Churchill Years Volume 1
Audio / February 7, 2016

Released January 2016 Ian McNeice gave a masterful performance as Sir Winston Churchill in both ‘Victory of the Daleks’ and ‘The Wedding of River Song,’ and the character was cannily set up as a longtime friend of the Doctor’s, opening the door for further stories both before and after each of his televised outings. In January 2016, Big Finish released The Churchill Years Volume 1 comprising four stories set throughout the life of the Prime Minister- reprised again by McNeice- and winding throughout the post-2005 series of Doctor Who. This release is very much in the vein of The Companion Chronicles or The Early Adventures, featuring a guest actor alongside the McNeice in multiple roles as Churchill, the Doctor, supporting characters, and narrator. The first offering is ‘The Oncoming Storm,’ a Ninth Doctor tale set in 1939 with Winston Churchill the First Lord of the Admiralty. As of now- alongside ‘Night of the Whisper’- this may be the closest Big Finish comes to releasing a Ninth Doctor adventure, but the tone and plot are absolutely in line with the Eccleston era. When a mysterious ‘stone’ is found alongside the Thames, a group of ruthless robotic soldiers (RATS) are soon found…