Killing Off Kylie

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So hands up, who thought that they’d find some way to bring Kylie back to life by the end of Voyage of the Damned? There has been an opinion I’ve seen expressed a lot in fan circles, that killing off a companion didn’t fit in with the spirit of the new show – the prime example of that being the ultimate survival of Rose back in season 2. Although obviously Astrid wasn’t going to leave with the Doctor at the end of the special, I’m sure most people were expecting some sort of plot device that meant that she couldn’t go rather than her ending up as she did.

Anyway, aside from that, what did we think of this years festive outing? As we did last year we watched this up at my parents, and it generally seemed to go down pretty well as a Christmas crowd pleaser.

The opening cliff-hanger with the Titanic crashed through the TARDIS wall was quickly resolved with the Doctor flicking a few switches to get the wall to rebuild itself and to bring the time machine into the ship. From there the scene is set as the Doctor finds himself on an alien theme cruise, visiting present day Earth. Once that is established the story quickly shifts into classic disaster movie mode as the Captain deliberately crashes meteors into the ship in an attempt to destroy it. From here we have all the classic disaster movie characters – the ones who don’t make it, either through accidents on the way, or by bravely sacrificing themselves so the others can escape. The really easy option – the TARDIS – conveniently gets blown into space in the initial explosion, and then automatically lands itself on the Earth below.

The show also references the previous Christmas specials, with a deserted London as a result of the two preceding Christmases – with it seems only the Queen opting to stay. This produces one of the big moments that really they could only have got away with at Christmas, with the plunging spaceship heading straight for Buckingham Palace.

All in all it was a pretty entertaining episode, just right for the family to sit down with. There are some thrills and spills, a few laughs, and I’m sure the hankies came out in parts too. I’m sure it’s not going to win masses of awards for being massively original, but it was entertaining none the less.

But what was there for the fans? First up was the new arrangement of the theme tune, which on first listen through seemed an improvement over the previous version. There was also the other traditional aspect of the Christmas special, the trailer for the new season. I think as with last year it will take until the end of the season in the summer to work everything out, but we got glimpses of the return of the Sontarans, glimpses of both Donna and Martha (who also popped up in the Torchwood trailer they showed afterwards). Based on previous trailers I think we probably were only looking at footage from the first few episodes – but it as always whetted the appetite for when the series comes around again later in 2008.

4 thoughts on “Killing Off Kylie”

  1. Ack!

    Next time, you might consider not putting a spoiler in the title and first sentence of your blog for those of us who are 5 hours behind you and haven’t had a chance to watch the episode yet.

    Can’t comment on the rest of the post yet as I’m averting my eyes….

  2. I remember from the classic series of Dr Who the killing off of Adric by the Cyberman in Earthshock many moons ago was far more traumatic so killing off of characters was never a case of never just when. That however was good telly, which brings me to the next point. Why of why did they borrow so heavily from Douglas Adams (http://www.starshiptitanic.com/) and the Poseidon Adventure, where was the originality? It was pretty lazy, I expected more from the headline show.

  3. I can still remember Adric being killed off – although for about 50% of fandom they were breaking out the champagne at that point… As to the blatantly ripping off other plot ideas, the series has always done that, although usually there is some effort to disguise it a bit!

    One interesting discussion I’ve seen following this episode is that most big fans would prefer a Steven Moffat (Blink/Girl in the Fireplace) or Paul Cornell (Human Nature) scripted Christmas special – but would you really want to waste something that good on a Christmas Day audience?

    To my mind what they produced was a generally crowd pleasing Christmas episode rather than a good Doctor Who episode – not necessarily the same thing.

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