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Murray Gold (#110 of 4)

Doctor Who Recap 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time”

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Doctor Who Recap: 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time”

BBC America

Doctor Who Recap: 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time”

“Twice Upon a Time,” Doctor Who’s 2017 Christmas special, is a story of endings and of continuing beyond them. It caps off the Doctor Who careers of both showrunner Steven Moffat and the current Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, and heralds a time of wholesale change both in front of and behind the camera, as new showrunner Chris Chibnall arrives with his new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. Moffat’s swan song is a fittingly elegiac tale that looks at how the Doctor has changed in the course of his 54-year journey by placing Capaldi’s Doctor side by side with his very first incarnation, originally played back by William Hartnell and here by David Bradley.

Doctor Who Recap Season 6, Episode 11, “The God Complex”

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 11, “The God Complex”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 6, Episode 11, “The God Complex”

“The God Complex” is an episode which gives the initial impression that it will be nothing more than a creepy “monster of the week” adventure for the Doctor and his friends, but by the end it has turned inward, held a mirror up to the Doctor and forced him to face some troubling aspects of his relationship with his companions which he normally keeps buried. Writer Toby Whithouse, in his third episode for the series, once again delves into the Doctor/companion connection (as he had previously done successfully with “School Reunion” back in 2006) to produce a story that packs a considerable punch, and triggers an unexpected, major shake-up in our regular cast.

Doctor Who Recap Season 3, Episode 7: “42”

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 3, Episode 7: “42”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 3, Episode 7: “42”

“42” seems to have a few elements working against it: It’s highly reminiscent of “The Impossible Planet”/“The Satan Pit” from Season Two. It coincidentally echoes the movie (which was released some time after this was scripted & shot). It spews rapid-fire technobabble that’s nearly impossible to keep up with. Yet it’s got a massive positive: Its real-time countdown gives it an entertaining, gut-wrenching urgency, so the negatives don’t really matter.

I’ve viewed the episode three times now, but I’m not even going to pretend I understand half of the goings-on—it unfolds at a breakneck pace (accompanied by some great work from composer Murray Gold), and much of it seems designed only to keep the roller coaster on the track. Despite its seeming complexity, isn’t it really a pretty simple piece? The TARDIS materializes onboard a cargo ship plummeting toward a sun. The Doctor, Martha and the ship’s crew have 42 minutes to avert the disaster, whilst also staving off a couple of infected crewmembers (including the captain’s husband), who’ve been turned into space zombies uttering the battle cry, “Burn with me”.

Doctor Who Recap Season 2, Episode 0 and 1: “The Christmas Invasion” and “New Earth”

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 2, Episode 0 and 1: “The Christmas Invasion” and “New Earth”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 2, Episode 0 and 1: “The Christmas Invasion” and “New Earth”

BBC's Doctor Who must be the only show that can dish up slaughtering Santas and killer Christmas trees in such a manner that you don’t instinctively reach for the remote, but instead surrender to its kitschy convictions: It tacks a silent “f” onto “universe.”

Despite being the 10th Doctor story and the debut of the season-two production block, “The Christmas Invasion” feels like a coda for season one. It begins with a “tracking shot” from outer space that zooms down onto the Powell estate and into Jackie’s flat identical to the first shot of the first episode, “Rose.” It picks up mere moments after “The Parting of the Ways,” with new Doctor David Tennant stumbling out of the TARDIS still wearing his predecessor Christopher Eccleston’s clothing. Jackie and Mickey both still live lives of tedium, with Rose always at the front of their thoughts. It features the return of Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton) from “Aliens of London.” And costar Billie Piper still has long hair and dresses like a teenager.