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     Home »  General Doctor Who Chatter »  (Spoilers) Christmas Invasion discussion
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    (Spoilers) Christmas Invasion discussion Views: 5172
     Sunday, December 25 2005 @ 03:03 PM EST
    Thought I would start this thread to talk about the Christmas Invasion for those who have seen it.

    READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT AND DON'T WANT TO SPOIL THE EXPERIENCE

    How good was that?!

    What did you think?

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     Sunday, December 25 2005 @ 03:14 PM EST
    It didn't turn out quite how I expected - I mean I knew the Doctor would win, but not the consequences. I felt a bit sorry for Harriet and now I know what that press review(/preview) meant when it said she makes the wrong decision.

    UNIT well and truly back and looking like they're going to get some development. Wonder if they will link in with the Big Finish audios.

    The Doctor being revived by tea - if certain US networks won't take it because it's too British then they're definitely not going to take it now.

    Torchwood looking quite menacing. How are they going to get Captain Jack involved in that an what will the Doctor think, based on his reaction to this episode's events.

    The Season 2 preview and the quick glimpses of Sarah Jane, K9 and the cyberman - what more can you say?

    The end theme tune having the middle 8 in it - although it did sound like an orchestral vesion of Ron Grainer's arrangement. I wonder if that was just for the Christmas episode. I expect so but it was an interesting mix - half new series and half TV movie theme (Dear God, listen to me. I never used to be a big fan of Doctor Who)

    I wonder where they will put the Children in Need bit in when it comes to DVD. Will it be an extended beginning to the episode or will it be a special feature on its own?

    I wasn't too sure about the believability of the fight scene - what with the sword fighting - but the Doctor's closing remark about how he's now not the sort of man to give second chances was quite cool - especially the circumstances surrounging how it came out. Sounds like Russell T Davies is clearly going to use this chance to take him in a new direction.

    Definitely a few nods to Independence Day in this one. But then RTD said he was a huge fan of that movie and wanted to put a few clear references in.

    All in all I was quite happy with it. Thought it was going to turn out horribly nice in the end but there were enough loose ends and - more importantly - tensions in the air to make you eager to see what's going to happen afterwards.

    Abersoch

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     Sunday, December 25 2005 @ 04:01 PM EST
    Pardon my french but that was bloody brilliant! Truely amazing! Really, really, really cool!!!

    It was definitely worth the wait! I've gopt so much to say about it, but I'll leave my comments for our review of it on the next podcast. We may have possibly a commentary on the episode for anyone savvy enough with bit torrent to download the episode.

    Interestingly enough the BBC have also done a commentary on the episode :- http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/xmascommentary.mp3

    One thing I will say is that I think that David Tennant is going to be one hell of a Doctor. Not just from the Christmas Invasion, but also from the Attack of the Graske red button adventure!

    The BBC really have just gotten everything right so far. It really is scary!

    Most planets have a North!
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     Sunday, December 25 2005 @ 04:17 PM EST
    What I liked most about David Tennant is that - from what he does with Harriet at the very end - you can't really predict what he's going to do. He seems to be very much Marquess of Queensbury Rules but that definitely cuts both ways. He expects EVERYONE to play by the rules - not just the bad guys. Will be interesting to see how far he goes to defend that - especially if the rule breaker is someone he cares about.

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     Sunday, December 25 2005 @ 04:35 PM EST
    Very good point Abersoch. It certainly will be interesting to see how the new series will tackle such moral dillemmas. I was pleased to finally find out what Torchwood was all about! Big Grin

    Most planets have a North!
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     Sunday, December 25 2005 @ 05:59 PM EST
    That hand cutting reminded strongly to A New Hope, didn't it? And also the beam of Touchwood locked like the Dead Star beam.
    (The primeministers remarks to the American President was remarkable to)

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     Monday, December 26 2005 @ 03:50 PM EST
    Ok... here's my take on it:

    It’s been agonizing months since the Doctor Who episode “A Parting of the Ways”, with an intervening little teaser “Children in Need” to prepare us for “A Christmas Invasion” but it’s been worth the wait!

    No, it wasn’t perfect. No, it wasn’t excellent, but it was damn good, and for the kid in all of us, it was the perfect present under the tree wrapped in lavish packaging and topped off with a huge red bow. Delicious to tear open and enjoy without focusing too much on its flaws.

    The episode suffered with a bit of a split personality, however. Like the premier episode, “Rose”, this one really struggled to do too much in the time allotted.

    It dealt with the regeneration of the Doctor with beautiful consistency, giving great respect to previous regenerations. Several past Doctors have spent time in convalescence after a harsh regeneration, and Tennant’s was no different. It seems standard now that the Doctor must have long periods of uninterrupted sleep in order to adapt to the massive celluar regeneration that comes with a new Doctor.

    Rose played it well too – completely shocked still at seeing the man she fell in love with (even if that love transcends anything sexual) completely replaced with a stranger she’s in no way sure of.

    But as for the episode itself, I loved the idea of the Mars probe being intercepted by hostile aliens and being used to control Earth’s population.

    I liked the idea of the “pilot fish” trying to find the Doctor.

    But I didn’t like the split personality this episode brought. At first, hostile aliens are tracking the Doctor because of the residual TARDIS energy still leaking from his body. They could smell it, and came running. But this is at complete odds with the later scene of the Sycorax discovering with surprise the alien technology of the TARDIS. The two don’t gel. Was it the goal of the Sycorax to find and/or destroy the Doctor? Or to live off the TARDIS energy he was emitting? Or to enslave humanity? It didn’t seem to be both, because while the two could be mutually exclusive goals, they appeared to be completely unrelated in this episode. It’s as if the first goal was never part of the Sycorax’s plans at all. And if that were true, what was up with the “pilot fish” trying to find and take the Doctor, only never to hear about that again in the episode?

    How does that explain five Santa robots coming to life and blasting Rose and Mickey with Instruments of Mass Destruction while they’re shopping in London? What’s that about? How were they created? Or taken over (“remote control”, the Doctor said at one point) and how could they have predicted where Rose and Mickey would be? And why attack them anyway when it was the Doctor they were after?

    How does that explain a tree that gets delivered to Jackie’s apartment with the apparent aim to destroy the Doctor with its metal-tipped branches? Why are they out to destroy this Doctor? Or this source of energy? If they want to capture him and feed off him, why not just send those delivery men to take the Doctor, not drop off an overly complicated killing tree?

    And how does ANY of this relate to the Sycorax’s motives of selling half of humanity into slavery? What’s this got to do with the Doctor at all? Seemingly, they intercepted a probe near Mars which attracted their attention to Earth, and suddenly they looked over and said “Hello! A whole species to enslave.” Uh… they were flying by Mars and didn’t even notice the much more heavily populated planet next door?

    While I absolutely loved the U.N.I.T. involvement, and the bringing in of Torchwood (it seems not much of a stretch to believe that Harriet Jones will be playing a big role in that series) and I loved most of the character interaction in this episode.

    And did I mention how much I adore Harriet Jones?

    But the confrontation between the Doctor and the head Sycorax seemed stunted and unrealistic like his confrontation with the Nestene Consciousness in “Rose”.

    And who thought for a second that the Doctor’s arm had really been severed? I thought from the lack of blood or anything at all really, that he had simply sucked his hand inside his oversized pyjamas and the hand was going to just pop out and have him say “Close.” Or something. This is a case where the children’s programming censorship went too far and made for just a completely unbelievable scene.

    But overall, these inconsistencies I can take in stride just to sit down on Boxing Day (because with no stations showing it in the US I have to rely on BitTorrent to watch it 16 hours later) and watch, with my 10-year-old daughter, clutching her freshly unwrapped Christmas Present of a new Sonic Screwdriver, sitting next to her old Dad with his own Sonic Screwdriver firmly gripped in-hand, an exciting new episode of Doctor Who – with a new Doctor, a new view into a previously unforeseen room in the TARDIS, a great new outfit (though I think he should have added the red scarf both for a splash of color on a dun-colored ensemble, and a splash of homage to previous Doctors) and just a whole great treat for Doctor Who fans worldwide!

    And I just loved the denoument with Harriet Jones ordering the destruction of the Sycorax fleet after they promised the Doctor to leave Earth alone.

    It was heartless, cold, ruthless, and absolutely necessary. And it was Harriet Jones to a T.

    But imagine the position she’s put the Doctor in. He gave his word to the Sycorax, and they to him. And behind his back, Harriet goes ahead and blows up the ship.

    It sure gives the viewer the idea that Torchwood may be a very dark series indeed!

    Loved the references to Arthur Dent, and the undeniability of the universal power of tea.

    I loved the references to the orange in the bottom of the stocking, which may go completely unappreciated by the (currently non-existent) US TV audience for the show. In Newfoundland where I grew up it was indeed a long-standing tradition to put an orange in the toe of the Christmas stockings. (Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, before which it was an English colony, so we have very tight bonds with the UK, and many traditions I grew up with were very English indeed.). In fact, the previous morning I got an orange in the toe of my very own Christmas stocking.

    There was much to love in this episode, but the least of these is the story itself.

    The very best part of this show was the amazing power the Sycorax had over humanity. How terrifying to be able to hold the whole population hostage by threatening to make one full third of humanity jump to their deaths and with nothing to stop it. This is the ultimate “decimation” of the population. What a completely helpless, hopeless feeling!

    And it gave the Doctor a shining moment were Rose, Harriet and we the viewer find out just why it is we love the Doctor and rely on him so much. Because he cuts through the bull and sees the situation for what it is. Blood control is no more powerful than hypnotism. It can be used only as an empty threat. It looks frightening, but is in fact harmless. And only the Doctor could have revealed that to us.

    That was perhaps the most terrifying and frightening thing this episode had in its arsenal and the Doctor just cut through it without an ounce of trepidation.

    I wonder if anyone else felt the Star Wars-iness of this episode. When the Doctor was fighting the Sycorax leader, my daughter burst out, “This looks just like Star Wars!” and she was right – only to have the Darth Vader character chop off the Luke Skywalker character’s hand clean off. I honestly thought Tennant was going to say “Don’t tell me – you’re my father!” – but thankfully he didn’t.

    All in all, this was a nail-biter, and despite the split-personality of the alien intentions, neither of which seemed to mesh very well, it was an almost completely satisfying episode.

    My daughter and I loved it.

    And don’t be afraid. Watch the trailers at the end. They give a very fine glimpse into the season that is to come including flashes of Sarah Jane Smith, Anthony Stewart Head, K-9, Cybermen, and plenty more! A visual feast for the hungry fan.

    So there we had it. A Christmas Invasion – and well worth the wait it was. It introduced a vicious new alien life form which we will hopefully see again in the future (because after it was destroyed leaving the Earth, you can be sure someone’s going to wonder where that ship and its people got to) but this time, even more menacing.

    We had to wait a while for this, and I, for one, think that as a nice Christmas gift, it was spot on. And like any well-intentioned Christmas gift, we shouldn’t spend too much time pointing out its flaws, we should just appreciate the gift for what it was. A gift.

    Merry Christmas, Doctor Who fans! And thanks for the gift, Russell.

    Sean.


    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Monday, December 26 2005 @ 06:12 PM EST
    I agree with you, Sean. On a second viewing I started wondering about why the Santas and the tree were in it. I wonder if they were really in there as a way to insert the Christmas theme into the story because - if you think about it - remove them and there's actually ery little to identify this as a Christmas story. I wonder now if this was set to be a regular story that was moved into the Christmas slot when they found out that they had a Christmas special to do.

    But the tension of those people about to jump off rooftops all over the world was excellent. With the usual style of Doctor who to have a few people bite the dust before the credits roll I was really wondering if they were going to do this.

    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter] And don’t be afraid. Watch the trailers at the end. They give a very fine glimpse into the season that is to come including flashes of Mary Jane Smith, Anthony Stewart Head, K-9, Cybermen, and plenty more! A visual feast for the hungry fan.


    Eek! Mary Jane Smith?

    [*choke* *splutter*]

    MARY Jane Smith?!?!?!?!

    Please leave this forum immediately!!!

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     Monday, December 26 2005 @ 06:27 PM EST
    I hope the whole Santa/Tree thing is a set up for a future villian because it is obvious that they had nothing to do with the villians in this story.

    Love the violent Doctor ("This is my fight'n hand")

    Love the references to Torchwood.

    Love UNIT back to being cool. (but where's the new Brig??)

    Love the idea of preshadowing in Doctor Who (When if ever has that happened before??)

    Hope this is a precursor to everything to come!


    PS I live in Ontario and I too get a orange in the stocking Smile

    That Is Not Dead Which Can Eternal Lie, And With Strange Aeons Even Death May Die.
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     Monday, December 26 2005 @ 10:07 PM EST
    .
    Hmmm...

    Mary Jane Smith? Whatever are you talking about?

    (*whistles innocently... nothing to see here...*)

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Monday, December 26 2005 @ 11:15 PM EST
    Arrrgh- my "copy" of the Christmas Invasion" had the end credits cut off- which means I missed what sounds like a fantastic trailer for Series Two. Sounds like I have to find a new copy...

    As for the much-anticipated Christmas Invasion, I must say I liked it for the most part. I'm absolutely loving the 10th Doctor- he's a bit young, but who cares? He's pretty hot! Big Grin Looks aside, I think he has certain traits that really set him apart from the previous Doctors.

    Someone wrote-
    [Quote What I liked most about David Tennant is that - from what he does with Harriet at the very end - you can't really predict what he's going to do. He seems to be very much Marquess of Queensbury Rules but that definitely cuts both ways. He expects EVERYONE to play by the rules - not just the bad guys. Will be interesting to see how far he goes to defend that - especially if the rule breaker is someone he cares about.


    I found our new Doctor to be quite vindictive. Like all new Doctors, I like to watch and pick out bits of the old Doctors. But what he does to Harriet- that was nasty and vengeful. Shades of the Valeyard, perhaps? (I hate to bring it up, as I wasn't a fan of the Trial of a Timelord.) Still, it makes for a very interesting personality trait. I like the glibness of our new Doctor, and judging from our Star Wars rip-off (oh sorry, I mean the Sycorax ship) he's gooing to be a more physical Doctor.

    I agree with the previous posters in that there were certain plot elements that just didn't fit. The killer Santas and Christmas Tree were really gimmicky, and felt almost as if they were stuck in there because they'd make a really good teaser-trailer. And to be honest, that's my biggest gripe with the new series- they stick in things that are goofy and/or slick looking at the expense of a tight plot.

    All in all, I thought it was a fun introduction to the new Doctor. It'll probably join my Christmas library of shows I bring out once a year to watch.

    Cyn

    P.S.- It's tough to follow up a review like Sean's- it pretty much said everything I wanted to. And I hated the tea bit. That was just dumb.

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     Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 02:26 AM EST
    Sean, excellent review. In fact, at times it feels like I could have written it because it touches upon the same thing I spoke about off-show when we recorded Podshock 19 (coming later this week).

    We did a non-spoiler review of it in 19... but because it was a non-spoiler review, I couldn't really point to examples of the point I was trying to make without giving things away.

    After the recording, I watched it again with Kenny while we both grabbed a bite to eat. We had similar conclusions, which also echo some of what Sean had written.

    Outside of the "pilot fish" aliens - this story was fairly removed from the holidays. Not that this is a bad thing, but being that it is titled "The Christmas Invasion" and the promos leading up to made you think it would have a stronger holiday connection.

    While I loved the special... my main complaint was the believability of the second aliens... the "bigger fish" if you will... the Sycrorax. Why are they invading Earth? What brought them there --- the "pilot fish" aliens? So they would be interested in the same energy that the Doctor was spitting out? Apparently not. Were there motivation to capture and sell humanity to slavery? I guess that was it... though I didn't see any other slaves on board if they were slave traders.

    Also, the guests on board their ship were beamed or teleported to the ship and from the ship by the Sycrorax themselves. They did not have to step onto a transporter pad or the travelers themselves did not have to operate a transmat device... it was completely controlled by the Sycrorax. So if they have such powers, they could have simply teleported them all out of existence and continue with their plans on Earth.

    So that is really my gripe.... the Sycrorax invaders... I just had a hard time "buying" them. Why were they here? Do they blindly follow "pilot fish" aliens hoping to find potential slaves? Also, how did the Doctor know that the first alien nemesis were pilot fish? For that matter, many of the alien visitors to Earth could have been "pilot fish" -- such as the Slitheen or various others we have seen over the years who have taken similar actions on Earth.

    As I said, overall, I did enjoy the story. It was great to see a new Doctor Who story again... it feels like Parting of the Ways was ages ago now... even though it was only, what... last June? A smaller gap than the previous 1996 to 2005 gap.

    I was reminded of Jon Pertwee in this story... in the sense in Spearhead from Space the Doctor was not himself before he "found himself" (and his shoes)... and that Jon Pertwee's Doctor would not hesitate to jump into the 'action' when necessary. It seems like David Tennant's Doctor is the same... he won't shy away of getting physical and jumping into action when it is called for in a situation. This was apparent with the sword fight here.

    It was great to see UNIT again. It would be nice to see a continuing character from UNIT so we can put a face (or faces) to the organization. (Perhaps a new Brigadier heading it up?).

    The references to Torchwood was a bit of surprise. I knew that the 2006 series was going to set-up the Torchwood series, but I didn't think it would start with The Christmas Invasion. So that was a nice touch. It has peaked viewers curiosity for sure now.

    Anyway, we hope to do a proper review of the story after the new year with spoiler warnings. We may even do a special commentary review of it as well.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 02:32 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter] ...

    I wonder if anyone else felt the Star Wars-iness of this episode. When the Doctor was fighting the Sycorax leader, my daughter burst out, “This looks just like Star Wars!” and she was right – only to have the Darth Vader character chop off the Luke Skywalker character’s hand clean off. I honestly thought Tennant was going to say “Don’t tell me – you’re my father!” – but thankfully he didn’t.
    ...


    I would imagine there was a collective sigh of relief that there were no "I am your father" references in that scene. Wink

    As for the lack of blood that some have commented on... well, I can sort of rationalize it that since it happened within the first 15 hours of his regeneration cycle, that the wound sealed itself immediately... that his new hand was growing back immediately... OK, I may be pushing it a bit, but that's my story and I am sticking with it! Smile

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 02:35 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter] .
    Hmmm...

    Mary Jane Smith? Whatever are you talking about?

    (*whistles innocently... nothing to see here...*)

    Sean.


    Yes, Mary Jane Smith. We will find out in the next series that Sarah has a twin sister, Mary Jane.... Yeah, that's right. That's the ticket! And her sister had a robot kitten named K-10... (OK, I will stop.) Mr. Green

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Tuesday, December 27 2005 @ 07:54 AM EST
    One of my gripes is that Rose seemed to take a step backwards in this episode. I mean by the end of the 1st season she was a time travelling,battleing veteran. She'd proven herself equal to the Dr in a lot of ways and then for the majority of this episode she just becomes a weeping mess. I'm also getting a little tired of the whole Mick and Jacky thing - been there done that lets move on and explore..O I dunno how about the rest of time and space.

    Having said that though I did thoroughly enjoy this ep and the things that didn't quite add up well thats RTD's writing isn't it.

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