Whoydensday: Doctor Who on Boxing Day in Oz

A few weeks ago, Lauredhel posted the trailer for the 2011 Doctor Who Xmas special: The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe. Auntie has now confirmed that once again they are fast-tracking from the UK for a screening date of December 26 at 7:30pm.

Here’s the official episode synopsis:

It’s Christmas Eve, 1938, when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured Spaceman Angel as she cycles home. He promises to repay her kindness – all she has to do is make a wish. Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. She is crippled with grief at the news her husband has been lost over the channel, but determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever. The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible. And that [BBC overshare redacted]

Have some promo pics!

BBC promo - The Doctor is opening a big blue gift package in front of a festive tree, Mrs Arwell and her children look on

The Doctor and the Arwells move through a dark snowy forest with a mysterious tower capped by a bright glowing ball in the background

a close-up of Matt Smith as The Doctor, holding up his sonic screwdriver

a tunnel appears to be wreathed in flames - we see the running figure of The Doctor silhouetted against the glowing background

The Doctor and a young woman are crouching down on the snowy ground, looking at/for something

The Doctor and the young woman are walking in the snowy forest - she is still looking at the ground, he is looking straight ahead with startled eyes

Bill Bailey wearing some sort of industrial looking space armour

Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies

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20 replies

  1. Hm – the first two photos aren’t displaying – that’s annoying.
    To compensate, I offer you The Eleven Doctors – Fanservice Edition (topless nudity ahoy)

  2. OK, have fixed the non-showing photos. I’m presuming that Bill Bailey is a Mr Beaver analogue in this tale.

  3. Beaver? Drat. I wanted Bill Bailey as Mister Tumnus.

  4. I’d like that too, but there are three people in the same yellow suits, one is a woman, and there’s another publicity shot of her at a console in a confined space, so I’m guessing that they are the Beaver family.

  5. Should I do a quick re-read of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe so I understand this episode?

    • I’m sure that Moffat will have written it to be comprehensible to those who don’t know the book, but I’m also sure that you’ll get more geek-out enjoyment if you’re getting the allusions. If you have read it before with reasonable care and enjoyment, then probably just brushing up on a plot summary should do the trick.
      BTW, that plot summary reminds me that there was not apparently a child Beaver, just Mr and Mrs Beaver, so perhaps Bill Bailey is going to be the analogue for Mr Tumnus after all.

  6. Apparently Helen Mirren has recently said in an interview that she’d love to be in Doctor Who, but only as The Doctor.
    I vote for Judi Dench to play The Master opposite her, and I think Ioan Gruffudd should be her Companion. Or maybe Russell Tovey – the DW team seem to like him a lot (and so do I).

  7. Helen Mirrin would be awesome!

  8. How often are they actually filming through the winter, though? Even most of the scenes with snow in them aren’t really snow, or even actually outdoors. I figure some climber-grade thermal underwear should sort out most such problems, really.

  9. I still vote for Joanna Lumley.

  10. Lady Gaga. They’d spend the entire budget on the costumes, and the episodes would just be all the characters sitting around, discussing all the adventures they’d had that week.

  11. OMG TAK, I almost inhaled my banana bread. Or possibly Madonna spending the entire series trying to teach all the different species to Vogue?

    Actually Julia Sawalha would be a good Dr now. Or Helena Bonham Carter.

  12. Less than 10 minutes until kick-off, dear Whovians!

  13. Not nearly enough Bill Bailey, but Marge Arwell was awesome sauce.

    • P.S. except I find that the implication that she couldn’t have been so awesome if she wasn’t embodying Motherhood to be full of fail. Not to diminish the powerful emotions around mothering and the way that it can change women’s view of themselves and their capabilities (there are not nearly enough stories about the multiplicities of motherhood), but it feels like Moffat has rather lazily tagged the essentialist gender role rhetoric regarding motherhood on as some sort of “acceptable” explanation for why Marge is the one who can do all the awesome in this episode, instead of just letting her awesomeness speak for itself.

  14. Yes, but he did do a bit of Mary Sueing when he, in the voice of a man who had spent centuries running away, commented with complete confusion that anyone else female could be a sort of strong that he wasn’t. It’s not all that surprising given his previous dsiplays of the all powerful changing of motherhood, and he put it front and centre with the lines “There is nothing you can say that will make me believe you will fire that gun” and “I’m respecting you as a woman” by treating her as harmless.

    • I don’t mind The Doctor being caught out with the old ASS+U+ME trap every now and then – he’s not perfect and it does him good. It was more the rest of it, particularly those examples you provide. If it had been men of her own time making those assumptions, sure. But why would those people from millennia in the future do the same?

  15. Dsiplays. I meant that. It’s a partial acronym.
    Look! Bill Bailey with hooves and a loincloth!

  16. The trees counted Lily as “strong”* but said she was too young, which could mean not a mother yet, or that her youth would make her too physically fragile to carry so many souls. Either way, when we’ve seen a father being awesome, it’s been presented as a character quality that he’s learned, or learns, or is inspired into learning – now we’re seeing a mother as awesome, it’s a biological quality that’s innate – though IMO that Claire Skinner (and the dialogue written for her to be fair) offered enough character awesome that it spilled over into the motherhood part too.
    * And whatever else, I liked the ability to carry life being characterised as “strong” in directly stated contrast to the “weak” inability.
    I also liked that Madge seemingly wasn’t possessed by the tree souls except when they spoke through her; she was the one whose thoughts were flying the ship, not them.
    On an unrelated note, I loved the “not hugging first” moment.

    • Just FYI, everybody – the “moleseed” posting identity was a sockpuppet for a commentor who knows full well that zie was violating the terms of our agreement yet again, and thus all comments have been trashed.

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