25 December 2014
|Written by||Steven Moffat|
|Directed by||Paul Wilmshurst|
|Produced by||Paul Frift|
The Doctor and Clara face their Last Christmas. Trapped on an Arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call? Santa Claus!
- The song Last Chrismas by “Wham!” is played in the background in the North Pole military station to distract Ashley from thinking about the dream crabs.
- Casting wise, the story was notable for featuring the first on-screen appearance of Michael Troughton, son of Second Doctor actor Patrick Troughton.
- Professor Albert compares the dream crabs to the facehuggers from the horror movie, Alien.
- It was the 813th episode of the series and the first full Christmas special with Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor.
- This is the third consecutive Christmas special to feature Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald, with this number making her the companion actor with the most appearances on Christmas. Catherine Tate, Bernard Cribbins, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are the only other companion actors to have appeared in more than one Christmas special. Although, Gillan’s cameo in The Time of the Doctor as a hallucination of former companion, Amy Pond, could arguably be called a third appearance, albeit not a full one.
- This is also the third consecutive Christmas special to feature Dan Starkey. He had previously appeared in his recurring Sontaran role, Strax, in The Snowmen, then as Commander Skarr and his unnamed subordinate in The Time of the Doctor.
- The Doctor and Clara admit their lies from Death in Heaven.
- During his dream of elderly Clara, the Doctor helps her pull a cracker. Clara had previously done the same for the Eleventh Doctor in The Time of the Doctor.
- At the end of the episode a nightie clad Clara leaves in the TARDIS in the dead of night. Amy Pond’s travels with the Doctor began in similar fashion at the end of The Eleventh Hour.
- The Doctor states that all the people affected by the dream crabs could be from different times and places as time travel is possible within dreams. Madame Vastra once told Clara something similar when explaining the psychic conference call in The Name of the Doctor: when Clara asked how they were communicating across time, Vastra stated that time travel was possible in dreams.
- Jenna Coleman allegedly had a “change of heart” on whether she wanted to stay on Doctor Who and is going to appear in the ninth series. This change required the Christmas special to be rewritten; “When it came to Clara, they had to tear them up and start again,” the source said. “In the original draft of the script, she became an old woman who then died with the Doctor at her side. But after they were rewritten, she will now be seen returning to the TARDIS, hand in hand with the Doctor.” That source said she would appear in the first half of the series, however a newer source confirm her for the full series 9
- The announcement ‘The Doctor and Clara will return in – The Magician’s Apprentice’ appears at the end of this episode. The title of the series 9 premiere was confirmed by Steven Moffat a week prior to this special’s broadcast. Shona likened the Doctor to a magician several times during the episode, and Santa made a passing mention of the very same nature.