Doctor Who 08×13 ‘Last Christmas’: Santa Claus is real.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! It’s time for the Doctor Who Christmas special episode! As you all know, this is Peter Capaldi’s first Christmas special and I’m very excited to see what happens. We’ve also got a special guest appearance with Nick Frost as Santa Claus (perfect casting if you ask me) to look forward to. I’ll admit that since Steven Moffat took over as show runner back with the 11th doctor I’ve been slowly losing interest, but Capaldi’s doctor has brought new life to the show and I’ve learned to love it again. We open on a snow-covered roof with Santa.

Clara wakes up in a bed somewhere in London and hears a clatter upon the roof. To her surprise, it’s Santa Claus and a couple of cheeky elves who tell her that Santa is real and she was silly to think otherwise. Suddenly the Doctor reappears and Clara hops aboard the TARDIS, happy to be reunited after the tragedy of Danny Pink in the series finale. The next thing we see is a futuristic science lab at what appears to be the North Pole, and it’s filled with terrifying creatures that really reminded me of Alien or The Thing.

Source: BBC

Source: BBC

Just before the Doctor and Clara are gobbled up by them, Santa busts in with his gang and calls them off. Turns out they’re a species called the “Dream Crabs” and like all Moffat creations, they’re full of intrigue and mystery while being a bit over-complicated.  Apparently they make it difficult to tell between reality and well, not-reality. Also, if you don’t think about them they can’t hurt you, the more you think about them, the more they’re likely to get nasty. Apparently, Moffat was thinking the same thing his audience was and references Alien, drawing a comparison to this episode and the classic Sci-Fi horror flick. Could this episode be an homage?

Clara goes back into the fray to collect the claw of one of the Crabs, per the Doctor’s request and is attacked. Of course, this sends her into a dream world where Danny Pink is alive and well. However, Clara can tells that something isn’t quite right, as the Doctor is trying to communicate with her and bring her back to the real world before she gets killed. Clara doesn’t want to wake up though. Who can blame her with the hunky Danny Pink? So it’s up to Santa and the Doctor to bring her back. Making a tough call, the Doctor decides to be subjected to the face huggers too so he can enter Clara’s dream world.

When the Doctor meets back up with Clara he begs her to wake up and tells her that nothing is real. Dream Danny Pink tells Clara the same thing and she starts to believe him. Clara gives Danny one last kiss and then she and the Doctor both wake up, killing the dream crabs in the process. Then, while trying to figure out why the creatures died, the entire scientist crew turns out to be infected, and they discover that they’re all dreaming. So Clara was dreaming within a dream? Is this inception now? Come on Moffat, how many genres are we going to attempt to blend here?  Santa comes back and tells them the obvious: it’s a dream and they’re dying. Thanks, guy. But I must admit, Nick Frost’s snarky Santa Claus is quite entertaining.

Source: BBC

Source: BBC

The group decides to hold hands and attempt to wake themselves up. It works! Eureka! Well, only partially. Some of the scientists remain entrapped by the face hugger things. The Doctor decides to leave then and there, Clara tries to convince him to stay as per usual, and he then has a change of heart and heads back to help. We found out that our  heroes are in a dream, within a dream, within a dream. Does Moffat personally know Christopher Nolan or something? Turns out the base isn’t real, the scientists that didn’t wake up, and that the dream crabs still have a hold of the Doctor and Clara. The Doctor then informs them that it hasn’t been a dream at all, but a nightmare all along. Either way, they’ve got to wake up yet again to escape. They all dream that Santa comes to save them again from the aliens/the things/face huggers/inception/the ring creatures. Of course, Santa shows up to save the day and they fly around London town in his jolly sleigh. They all start waking up in their respective times and places all over. Clara decides to sleep in and ends up aging quite a bit, sixty-two years in fact by the time the Doctor finds her. Oh, and then he wakes up again and saves Clara again! Wow. This is one of the most annoying endings I’ve ever seen. Turns out Clara is fine, the Doctor is fine, hooray. Jenna Coleman will be returning for series nine, everyone.

All things considered, like the really silly inception-levels of dreaming, I really enjoyed this special episode. I’m so ready for series nine but ugh, that’s ages away. What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments!

Sarah S. is an aspiring couch potato and currently haunts the Midwestern United States. She spends way too much time watching TV and being a pop culture junkie. When she’s not ranting about movies and TV on social media, you can probably find her with an iced latte in hand or fixing everyone’s problems. Sometimes she writes really silly stuff on Twitter and Tumblr.


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