Saturday, 27 December 2014
Christmas Specials 2014
My thoughts on the Christmas Specials from our beloved British shows from this year:
Beware, there are spoilers here!
Downton Abbey: A Moorland Holiday:
I was just reading my thought's on last year's Christmas Special and the funny thing is: I largely want to say the same thing for this year! I found it a bit boring and also unconnected in a way. Like, what was the connection exactly between the grouse shoot holiday part and the Christmas part, other than needing both to fill the 90 minutes? I loved seeing Matthew Goode, he's a great actor and he looks very great in period dramas, but he was poorly used here. Seriously, another single man to be snappy with Mary? Thomas being his scheming self again was just over-the-top and the Bates' storyline felt sooo repetitive: are they going to be in prison together next Christmas Special? It was fun however that they filmed the first part of the Special at Alnwick Castle because it looked absolutely gorgeous and I've visited this castle! (it's always great fun to see places you've visited pop up in tv series). I also liked the scene between Robert and Edith and I thought they handled Branson's farewell very good. I'm going to miss him and Sybbie :-( That ending of Carson and Mrs. Hughes storyline though! I squeed like crazy, but it also felt a little bit sudden to me?
Call the Midwife:
An absolutely charmer and the most 'Christmassy' of the three Specials, if only for the way it shows us stories about real human beings and real love. There was, as is Call the Midwife's forté, a good balance between touching and lighthearted moments. I loved the storyline taking place at the 'mother-and-child' home best, very poignant and with great acting from Louise Connoly (who played pregnant teen Avril). The storyline with the couple with psychiatric problems also was very well done, I marvel at how this series can highlight societal problems with one simple well-chosen personal story. I felt like in this episode Patsy really took her place among the other midwifes and I also really liked Cynthia's storyline, even though I would have preferred for it to have stretched over multiple episodes. I also could have done without the framing commentary of older Jenny, it felt like this would have been more suitable for the last episode of series 3 and it didn't add a whole lot here.
Doctor Who: Last Christmas:
This story had an interesting idea, but I found it badly executed. It left too many questions unanswered for me (yes, even in comparison to Doctor Who in general), especially about the 'alien-of-the-week': are there many more Dream Crabs on earth, where do they come from, what do they gain from attacking people etc. etc. Also, Twelve (and Clara) having to wake up from the dream 4 or 5 times was maybe a bit too much. The exploration of dreams really is a Moffat thing: dreams, thoughts, conciousness etc. are all things he often explores in his stories and to be honest: I'm quite done with it. After four seasons, most of his episodes feel repetitive and 'in-your-face'. Really, give us a new head writer already! I was quite surprised to see Clara is going to stay on as companion. I do like her and Twelve together, but she had such big stories already, it might be time for a new face. I liked the inclusion of Santa Claus and how his presence was explained, the scene with the characters flying in the sleigh over London allowed for some really pretty visuals.