Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Specials 2013

My thoughts on the Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Doctor Who Christmas Specials for this year!

Beware, there are spoilers here!

Downton Abbey: Me and my sister watched this together and we both found it a bit... boring (for lack of a better word). Nothing really happened, no big special storyline, no large progressions on the already existing storylines, just a few little odds and ends. No special storyline, you might say? Well ofcourse there was the royal-involvement storyline, but that a) felt like a whodunnit comedy, and very not-Downton Abbey and b) felt like Downton Abbey trying to steal away from the BBC Upstairs Downstairs reboot by also getting involved with the royal family of the time. I also really didn't like how they rehashed poor Branson's storyline again. They had him struggling with his place in the previous Christmas special, then all through series 4 and now again! It wasn't all doom and gloom ofcourse. As always, the visuals were stunning and I loved seeing the ritual of presentation at court. I also loved most of the staff's storylines this special, mostly the epic cuteness that is Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson and ofcourse the blossoming 'friendship' between Molesley and Mrs. Baxter. And, quite surprisingly, I loved the storyline of Harold and Madeline!

Doctor Who: This was... not what I expected of this regeneration episode and Matt Smith's swan song. First off, I liked how all the storylines of the series 5-7 came together and were rounded off (sort of). I also liked how the re-appearance of the Time Lords from the 50th anniversary special were the reason behind it all (makes you wonder how long Moffat had this in his mind already!). The acting by Matt Smith was amazing and so was the make-up which made him age. The visuals of the town of Christmas and the Papal Mainframe were very pretty. It was a bit strange how they crammed centuries of war into one episode and I was also underwhelmed by Clara's role in this episode (standing aside and looking sad). I for one don't mind too much that Eleven's run has come to an end, he was never 'my' Doctor and I'm looking forward to a new Doctor and a new, hopefully less paradoxal way of storytelling.

Call the Midwife: First off, how great to see the nuns and the midwifes again, I have really missed this series! The story of the special was interesting, it showed how WWII is still very close by. Shelagh/sister Bernadette and dr. Turner continue to be precious. Laura Main is fast becoming a favourite actress, she was so great in portraying Shelagh's struggles this episode! It was a pity we didn't get much development for the young midwife characters this episode. Jenny seems to have settled in her relationship with Alec, I would've liked to have seen more of them, more of how they are together. We got to see some vulnerability in Trixie, which was great, but there was no storyline at all for poor Cynthia. Chummy was great, being both the comedic relief and the heart of this wonderful group of characters. The ending was a bit strange, with quite some questions (what happened to Nonnatus House, was it demolished? What happened to the couple who were the main medical case of this episode after their baby's birth?), but the wedding was beautiful and cannot but leave you with happy and warm feelings, as a Christmas special should!


  1. Thanks for sharing these, Birdie! I'm anxious to watch 'Downton' and 'Call the Midwife,' both promise to be entertaining and of course, I'm curious to see 'Doctor Who' when I finally get to that point. :)

    1. You're getting further and further behind Rissi! Is one of your New Year's resolutions going to be to start watching Doctor Who ;-)