Monday, December 24, 2012

Countdown to Christmas - The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe Review

The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe is perhaps the more Christmasy of the Matt Smith Christmas Specials. It has all the elements of a Christmas story: life, family togetherness, goodwill, love, and even a winter wonderland. The sentient Christmas tree forest whispering to itself has a rather magical feel to it, the sort of feel any good Christmas story should produce.

There's a very interesting parallel in the story. I've never read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, so I'm not sure how much of it comes from there, but both the Arwells and the forest are evacuating from things falling from the sky. Madge, Lily, and Cyril and evacuating the city to escape from the bombing, and the forest is evacuating the planet to escape from the acid rain. I'm not sure if this is supposed to have any meaning, but it is a very nice bit of subtlety.

The episode also contains a very nice reference to the classic series. The three people in the harvester were from the planet Androzani Major, while the events of The Caves of Androzani took place on the planet Androzani Minor. These two planets constitute a dual planet system, where they orbit each other around their mutual center of mass while simultaneously orbiting around their sun (much like the Earth and the Moon). It is never actually stated what planet The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe takes place on, but the trees there are Androzani trees, suggesting they were imported for harvesting from Androzani Major/Minor.

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