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Old 17-11-2012, 10:24
daveyboy7472
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As someone who takes a keen interest in all things Titanic, this Xmas Special should really have been a corker for me but sadly it wasn't. I regard this Xmas Special as the worse one yet, even last year's one was better than this!

It's hard to pinpoint what exactly is wrong with it. One of my theories is that because it is over an hour long, the story loses a lot of urgency, a problem also with a lot of the 2009 Specials. Aside from the last 15 minutes it's also not that pacey and in places it just ambles along with not a lot happening, especially at the beginning.

The other gripe I've always had with this episode is that from a robot perspective it just seems in places as if I'm watching The Robots Of Death all over again. I've discussed this numerous times in the past so won't go on about it too much. The scene with the Robot hand stuck in the Bridge door after it had come off was a straight lift from that story and some of the other aspects such as the Hosts going on a killing rampage at the request of a higher authority invoked the 'been there, seen that' feeling I got from watching it.

And the story itself I thought was a weak one with the Hosts posing a much more serious threat than Max Capricorn himself. I did like Max, he was a good villain but perhaps a bit underused.

It's not all bad, though. Considering she was not really associated with the show in anyway, Kylie Minogue put on one hell of a show as Astrid. I could watch her and forget she was a singer she was that good. I have seen her act before in an 80's movie, but that was the only other time and she was so much better here. I liked her storyline and wanting to see the stars and ended up doing just that, quite literally. It was a moving moment when The Doctor tried to save her via the teleport system and Mr Copper tried to reason him with him to let her go. She also made driving a Fork Lift look sexy and before she was killed, I was hoping she would travel with The Doctor. I should be so lucky() as RTD did his usual and killed off a nice character though I note he did a reverse of this and kept the annoying Rickston alive. Love the topical Slade surname.

Mr Copper I also enjoyed as a character. Clive Swift had a nicer role here than Jobel in Revelation Of The Daleks. Loved all the Earthanomics and the fact he kept getting stuff wrong! Also liked his end story, where The Doctor leaves him on earth. When The Doctor tells him he doesn't want any trouble, I thought we were in for a sequel with Mr Copper but it was not to be.

The other role of note was off course the debut of the then unnamed Wilfred Mott as the Newstand Owner. It's always amusing watching this scene in hindsight with The Doctor meeting for the first time the guy who in a roundabout sort of way costs him his Tenth Incarnation. Even in this small role, Bernard Cribbins was just superb. Loved the fact London is deserted because of the previous two Xmas Day threats to the city though the Queen was shown to stay at home. Nice to see a bit of the old Wartime Spirit there! Also loved the cameo 'Queen' at the end!

The other characters were not that much really. The couple who won the prize were okay, liked how The Doctor stood up for them with popping the champagne cork with his Sonic Screwdriver. Bannakaffalatta was a mix of cute and annoying at the same time and Rickston as I've said was just annoying throughout. Geoffrey Palmer, great to see him back after so many years away, was good as the Captain. And off course, it was funny to see The Doctor finally meeting someone called Alonso so he could go 'Allonsy Alonso!'

None of these characters could save what was for me a really average episode, in fact less than average. Certainly compared to the previous two Xmas Specials it was. I remember feeling really disappointed after I watched this one and even after several sober rewatches it doesn't get any better. The last 15 minutes with the ship about to crash into Buckingham Palace was good but when that's the highlight of the story it shows how bad it really was.



P.S, also loved the new powerful upgrade of the Theme Music. Best version of the Doctor Who Theme yet in the New Series IMO.
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Old 17-11-2012, 12:56
sovietusername
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I was never to keen on this. I mean, it's prefectly enjoyable (certainly much more enjoyable than the Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, here's hoping the next Christmas specials a lot better (it looks like it will be)) but there's not much in way of plot, it's not as good as the previous 2 specials, or A Christmas Carol. Still, like I say, enjoyable, and thats all thats needed on Christmas, just not particuularly good story to rewatch
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Old 17-11-2012, 13:02
sovietusername
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I was never to keen on this. I mean, it's prefectly enjoyable (certainly much more enjoyable than the Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, here's hoping the next Christmas specials a lot better (it looks like it will be)) but there's not much in way of plot, it's not as good as the previous 2 specials, or A Christmas Carol. Still, like I say, enjoyable, and thats all thats needed on Christmas, just not particuularly good story to rewatch
Oh, and Kylie turns out to be quite a good actor! I never expected her to be, only really knew her from her music career.

And hot. Of course.

Tennant's brilliant to, though, if you aske me, now that he's learnt to aceept Rose has gone with Martha having stepped out of her shadow etc, it's a mistake to have him all glum at the end i.e. to have Astrid die. I think he should have been a bit brighter and happier now, in my OP. I know he is in series 4, what with him and Donna just being mates, and getting to be with Martha as an equal, but then Rose comes along in the series finale and ruins it, leaving us with Doctor morose for the finales (his predicted death doesent help things).
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Old 17-11-2012, 13:28
bbll22
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For me, it's by far the worst Christmas special by a mile! The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe is a masterpiece compared to it!

It's main problem is the whole idea behind the plot. I find it rather tasteless of RTD to have this as a Christmas ep. I don't know why but its never sat right with me at all making a DW-stylised Titanic. Its not the kind of thing that should be redone for Sci-fi for me. Fair does, do dramas and films about the actual event itself but not like this, it was just wrong from the off. Making entertainment from it is just wrong. The fact loads of people also die on the spaceship Titanic is hardly heartwarming Christmas telly either. Death on that scale was just wrong for the day itself for me...

On a plus note Kylie was superb as was Clive Swift....they made the special as did Mr Cribbins but that was it really. It was far too long a story with a horrific ending. The Queen waving at the ship and thanking the Doctor was possibly one of the cringiest moments ever written in Who. It was awful!

Hated the Alonsey Alonso thing too, never liked the Alonsy catchphrase either so it was just as bad in the cringe department. But one thing that really bugs me about this ep is despite how ever many times I've watched, I always feel as if Tennant's very smug throughout. He was great S3, but he seemed to slip back into S2 smugness and I didn't like him at all in this piece. If he'd have died, I wouldn't have been sad at all...he was getting on my nerves again!

Also, and this is my main problem with RTD's Christmas episodes is that they all felt like normal episodes with Christmas tacked onto them for the sake of it. VotD and TEoT had this more than any other of his.

For me a Christmas special should have the ocassion at the forefront which is why I've enjoyed Moff's Christmas scripts better but the festive day is integral to the plot. Not sure if it is this year, but hopefully it will be.

So basically in summary, VotD is awful to the extreme. Not as bad as Love and Monsters obviously, but still terrible nonethless.
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Old 17-11-2012, 13:30
2shy2007
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I loved it, I still watch it on occasion , IMO it was head and tails above last years debacle. It also includes one of my fave statements of NuWHo

I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am 903 years old and I'm the man who's gonna save your lives, and all six billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?



I clapped the first time I heard it!!

All in all it is a good romp, a bit silly in places , but it was xmas, why not ?
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Old 17-11-2012, 14:03
November_Rain
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I loved it, I still watch it on occasion , IMO it was head and tails above last years debacle. It also includes one of my fave statements of NuWHo

I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am 903 years old and I'm the man who's gonna save your lives, and all six billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?



I clapped the first time I heard it!!

All in all it is a good romp, a bit silly in places , but it was xmas, why not ?
I like it too, much more so than any of the other Christmas specials so far (barring A Christmas Carol), which is ironic as it seems to be one of the least popular.

As you say it is quite silly in places, but I thought the more highly rated The Christmas Invasion was worse for that. And the less said about the rest the better.
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:51
Granny McSmith
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I loved it, I still watch it on occasion , IMO it was head and tails above last years debacle. It also includes one of my fave statements of NuWHo

I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am 903 years old and I'm the man who's gonna save your lives, and all six billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?



I loved that bit, too (Tennant in that suit! Yum!) but the trouble was, he didn't get them out, or not most of them.

It all felt a bit derivative (Poseidon). Max Capricorn wasn't a worthy opponent. And, sorry, I thought Kylie was terrible.

I have seen it since, though, and I think it gets better (for me) on subsequent viewings. And I liked it that the Doctor got to meet an Alonso.
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Old 17-11-2012, 18:07
ryanr554
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I would actually consider this one of the better Christmas specials. After this, the quality just goes further and further down until we are left with a sub-par Narnia.

Like the Christmas specials before, I would consider this to be an enjoyable but not brilliant episode. The thing that is not good about this episode is that it was very drawn out. I like long Dr Who episodes but only if the story needs it.

The best thing about this episode though is Wilf. I am not sure if RTD knew at this point that he would be Donna's grandfather but if he did, it was pretty good foreshadowing.

Overall I would rate this episode as a 7/10. For me, this is last good christmas special so I am hoping Moffat will deliver this year.
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Old 17-11-2012, 18:59
Corwin
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The best thing about this episode though is Wilf. I am not sure if RTD knew at this point that he would be Donna's grandfather but if he did, it was pretty good foreshadowing.
He wasn't meant to be Wilf in this.

It would only have been after this was filmed and the actor who played Donna's Dad became too ill to carry on that the character of Wilf was created.
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Old 17-11-2012, 19:19
gslam2
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I thought this was very poor and after the disappointment of the Season 3 finale I was worried that RTD had run out of steam and was not looking forward to another year of him but then he gave us the best series of modern Who so far.
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Old 17-11-2012, 19:52
CD93
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Clive Swift and the new theme tune were the highlights for me here. Wasn't bitterly disappointed with the episode at the time, but it was all a bit 'meh.'

All the slow motion walking away from explosions and being lifted by angels... wasn't at all my favourite Tennant experience.

Haven't watched it all the way through, since.
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Old 18-11-2012, 00:57
John_Strange
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I've said on another thread that the normal rules don't apply to Christmas episodes. That having been said, I think this is absolute tripe. For the first time it feels like the production team did not know where to take the programme.

One of the reasons I really dislike it is that innocents are constantly killed. Worse than that, they sacrifice themselves for the Doctor. There is something wrong with the tone of all of this - it is as though everything is sacrificed for "spectacular".

There is one redeeming feature - the accidental casting of Bernard Cribbins; an absolute star in every scene he will eventually appear in and an actor who connects the programme right back to the Peter Cushing films. If nothing else, his casting will give RTD a solution to a difficult casting problem and finally a wonderful companion for a Timelord at the end of his time. But I'm afraid there really is nothing else.
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Old 18-11-2012, 01:18
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There was clearly a strong visual idea behind Voyage of the Damned. When it was planned, it must have sounded amazing, and it was even given the build-up of something truly amazing. I remember this was the first Christmas special I had seen a lot of promotion work for...whether they'd upped their game since The Runaway Bride or whether I was just more aware I have no idea, but this was David Tennant. Kylie Minogue. Event television.

One of the biggest flaws of the episode I think was its visual flair, or lack thereof. In my opinion, all the best shots were seen in the trailer beforehand, and what was left was a mega-long episode of dull and dreary corridors that looked like very run-down sets. It was all boring to look at, and very plain. The previously unseen CGI was also far less convincing than what the trailer had shown us.

Added to the dreary sets, the plot itself was also very macabre. RTD had promised us a more fun and light-hearted fourth series, but this was anything but (if you count the specials as part of each series). The message about choosing who should live and who should die was nicely delivered and all, but not a message I suspected would be done on Christmas Day. It's a shame we didn't get Donna back for the special, as quite frankly she would have lightened things up a bit. Back to the plot though, aside from being quite depressing, it also doesn't do very much - we've seen a lot of things crammed into 45 minutes of Doctor Who before - The Wedding of River Song had enough elements to it for a whole series nearly! But on this rare occasion, the show didn't nearly do enough. At times it hardly felt like Doctor Who - it took the leading character and threw him in with a bunch of unknowns amidst a disaster - something that later episodes would do much better (Midnight, and even Planet of the Dead).

The characters of the piece were well written, as they usually are with RTD. You cannot quarrel his diversity in characters, especially here. But for Christmas Day, to see them offed one by one... it made it hard to invest in the characters when you saw what was happening. I'll admit I was most happy when Mr.Copper survived - Clive Swift was an absolute treat in this episode, and it's a shame we didn't see more of him - his misinterpretations and errors were charmingly hilarious, and along with Kylie's wonderful Astrid were perhaps the two real saving graces of the episode. I also liked the bankrupt couple in the episode, but they were offed very quickly too. And of course we got the amazing Bernard Cribbins as well... his role is ironically insignificant here, but he pulls off those few minutes wonderfully. The Queen stand-in was a bit over the top, and in any other episode would have been permanently ridiculed, but here, I think it served as a distraction for how dull the rest of the episode was.

So like The Titanic itself, I feel this episode sank a little bit... especially with repeated viewings when you know what's coming. The end villain was different but for such a prominent episode, disappointing. Tennant's slow-mo hallway swaggers were grating, and the tone of the episode was all wrong. Perhaps saved by its casting, this episode wasn't a complete let down, but its a shame that such talent wasn't applied to a far better story.
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Old 18-11-2012, 01:57
DavetheScot
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I like it. Yes, the Host are rather derivative of Robots of Death, but it's not the only time a story has taken elements from another, and there are many things that are not the same (the villain is a very different kind of character, with different motivations, and the situation is not the same) so it's not a complete retread.

I think most of the characters work well, though it does seem a bit dramatically unsatisfying to have the most dislikeable character be one of the only survivors. As for Kylie, she's a good enough actress to handle what was required of her here, and of course she's lovely, but I don't think she was good enough for a full companion stint.

The bit with the Queen saying "Thank you, Doctor" was cringeworthy. I wish they'd left it out.
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Old 18-11-2012, 02:11
Abomination
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I like it. Yes, the Host are rather derivative of Robots of Death, but it's not the only time a story has taken elements from another, and there are many things that are not the same (the villain is a very different kind of character, with different motivations, and the situation is not the same) so it's not a complete retread.

I never saw the similarity between the two myself, my problem with The Host was that they were following the Santa-robots we'd seen the two previous years - in those instances, the robots played a smaller role, with the Sycorax and the Racnoss playing the larger part. But The Host seem to lead more than Max Capricorn in the villainy stakes, and they're just repetitive from that perspective. For me, anyway
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Old 18-11-2012, 04:47
codename_47
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I love most of the Christmas specials (though the last two haven't been great, especially the one with the sharks) and I understand the show is written a lot broader for the mass Christmas day episodes than the series proper due to the wider audience available to it.

In this episode I loved being told that only Britain was great, I loved the bannakaffalatta and thought the destruction of the Titanic was extraordinary special effects.

It also brought us Mr Judi Dench, Midshipman Frame and Richardddddd.

I also really found hilarious the cheekiness of RTD's writing.
Firstly resolving the "Titanic lodged in Tardis Side" cliffhanger with just a flick of a switch (after all that wait! )

Then the crowning moment, having the Doctor rise up to the highest level with two Angels at his side.
On Christmas Day.
Fantastic bravery of the man, that could've ended in a Daily Mail "BBC Mocks Christianity on Christmas Day" story, but it seems he got away with it.

Plus the Queen, in any other episode that'd be ridiculous, and it was here but it was in keeping with the tone so it comes off as downright hilariously nutty!

Oh, and don't forget The Doctor finally meets his Alonso!

Overall there's so many good moments crammed into this (also remember the most annoying man living while the rest of the good people died and the Doctor being told he must never be able to choose, foreshadowing the Time Lord victorious stuff in a way) that I think it really gets underrated by fandom sometimes.

All that, and it has the best Christmas song in it in "The Stowaway".
Always love hearing that during the festive season

Now, beg, borrow or steal, but please find a way, to give this episode another chance, next Christmas day
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Old 20-11-2012, 22:31
Face Of Jack
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I love most of the Christmas specials (though the last two haven't been great, especially the one with the sharks) and I understand the show is written a lot broader for the mass Christmas day episodes than the series proper due to the wider audience available to it.

In this episode I loved being told that only Britain was great, I loved the bannakaffalatta and thought the destruction of the Titanic was extraordinary special effects.

It also brought us Mr Judi Dench, Midshipman Frame and Richardddddd.

I also really found hilarious the cheekiness of RTD's writing.
Firstly resolving the "Titanic lodged in Tardis Side" cliffhanger with just a flick of a switch (after all that wait! )

Then the crowning moment, having the Doctor rise up to the highest level with two Angels at his side.
On Christmas Day.
Fantastic bravery of the man, that could've ended in a Daily Mail "BBC Mocks Christianity on Christmas Day" story, but it seems he got away with it.

Plus the Queen, in any other episode that'd be ridiculous, and it was here but it was in keeping with the tone so it comes off as downright hilariously nutty!

Oh, and don't forget The Doctor finally meets his Alonso!

Overall there's so many good moments crammed into this (also remember the most annoying man living while the rest of the good people died and the Doctor being told he must never be able to choose, foreshadowing the Time Lord victorious stuff in a way) that I think it really gets underrated by fandom sometimes.

All that, and it has the best Christmas song in it in "The Stowaway".
Always love hearing that during the festive season

Now, beg, borrow or steal, but please find a way, to give this episode another chance, next Christmas day
I agree entirely!! I loved this story - for goodness sake - it was Christmas!! They are allowed to do something silly for at least once a year. That song "The Stowaway" was really good...(I've heard the full version on You tube It's a classic.
No Christmas special has impressed me since!
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