Watching this many Doctor Who Christmas specials in rapid succession is an odd experience, and I’m only not even halfway in.
I am having to muster levels of festive I never knew I had in me. Bring it on, ‘Voyage Of The Damned’!
Not quite set on Earth, but not far off, the Doctor finds himself on a space cruise liner with an almost entirely inaccurate impression of the primitive Earth holiday they’re there to witness first hand, which I suppose just goes to show how much ancient history is based on guesstimation.
We’ve finally ditched the robot Santas in favour of robot Christmas angels, who are, frankly, super creepy even before they go haywire and start chucking razor-sharp halos at innocent passengers and crew. The Doctor, who’s even gone so far as to don a pair of black Converse to match his tux, befriends a nice waitress named Astrid (and she’s Kylie Minogue!), and proceeds to have a delightful time, until inevitable disaster strikes.
This feature-length special also marks the first appearance of the magnificent Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins, whom viewers may remember from the Peter Cushing film Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. which is, in fact, utterly marvellous, if you haven’t seen it), albeit as an unnamed cameo.
He seems to be the last person in London, as everyone else save for the Queen has evacuated in anticipation of impending Christmas doom – though my long-suffering husband pointed out, and quite rightly, that even if all of the Londoners took off for safer pastures, the place would still be overrun with more tourists than one little group from space.
Astrid saves the day, sacrificing herself in order to destroy creepy Max Capricorn, the disembodied head of evil. The Doctor can’t rescue her, but does the next best thing, and she sparkles off into the night as living stardust. However, in light of Season 9, I’m compelled to ask some difficult questions. We’ve seen from Ashildr/Me that living a very long time can kind of mess with a person.
Is Astrid still aware out there in space? If so, will she live out a lifespan among the stars and then eventually die, or is she doomed to be incorporeal in cold space forever?
Fortunately, these are probably not questions that tipsy casual viewers were probably worrying about too much on Christmas Day back in 2007. Oh well. Hope you’re having a heck of a time out there, Astrid!
What’s your favourite moment in ‘Voyage of the Dammed’? Let us know below…