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…