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  1. #1
    Site Admin GateWorld's Avatar
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    Post The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (2011)

    Visit the Episode GuideDOCTOR WHO SERIES 32
    THE DOCTOR, THE WIDOW AND THE WARDROBE
    EPISODE NUMBER - 3214 (614)

    The Doctor tries to help out a family from war-torn London by giving them a wonderful Christmas holiday, only to find the children lost in a living alien forest that is about to be harvested.

    VISIT THE EPISODE GUIDE >>
    Last edited by Darren; January 2nd, 2012 at 10:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Molly Hooper Sealurk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Loved that spaceship at the start! So naturally it has to get blown up, doesn't it?

    I know Time Lords are tougher than old boots, but either there was a convenient air corridor or the Doctor is immune to vacuum. That respiratory bypass system is rather remarkable...

    "I got dressed in a hurry..."

    Ah, the lamp post. Nice little nod to the original source material.

    It had to happen eventually. The Doctor finds a police telephone box that isn't actually his.

    "The Doctor, or the Caretaker, or Get-off-this-planet."

    Faulty hammocks! I know...

    "In a forest in a box in a sitting room. Pay attention."

    "There are sentences I should keep away from."

    "And we're sure it's not her cardigan?"

    Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir, brilliant!

    Did he just say...Androzani Major?! And Forest of Cheem? Cool, the references to old Who episodes are mounting up!

    I want one of those Androzani Harvester platforms for Christmas! Oh...okay, maybe next Christmas...

    The Mothership!

    "Hold tight and pretend it's a plan."

    That sounded like series 4 music there for a moment.

    First Spitfires in Space, now Lancasters in the Time Vortex.

    Good to see the Ponds again.
    And now it's time for one last bow, like all your other selves. Eleven's hour is over now... the clock is striking Twelve's.

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  3. #3
    Colonel Teddybrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sealurk View Post
    Loved that spaceship at the start! So naturally it has to get blown up, doesn't it?

    I know Time Lords are tougher than old boots, but either there was a convenient air corridor or the Doctor is immune to vacuum. That respiratory bypass system is rather remarkable...

    "I got dressed in a hurry..."

    Ah, the lamp post. Nice little nod to the original source material.

    It had to happen eventually. The Doctor finds a police telephone box that isn't actually his.

    "The Doctor, or the Caretaker, or Get-off-this-planet."

    Faulty hammocks! I know...

    "In a forest in a box in a sitting room. Pay attention."

    "There are sentences I should keep away from."

    "And we're sure it's not her cardigan?"

    Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir, brilliant!

    Did he just say...Androzani Major?! And Forest of Cheem? Cool, the references to old Who episodes are mounting up!

    I want one of those Androzani Harvester platforms for Christmas! Oh...okay, maybe next Christmas...

    The Mothership!

    "Hold tight and pretend it's a plan."

    That sounded like series 4 music there for a moment.

    First Spitfires in Space, now Lancasters in the Time Vortex.

    Good to see the Ponds again.
    Damn, beaten!
    Basically what you said though... lol
    Great Christmas Special!
    I was very nearly in tears!

  4. #4
    Colonel Flyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    God damn it.

    Cried. Again. Seriously. What the bloody hell is it with Doctor Who and managing to make me cry. No other sodding show EVER makes that happen.

    First it's the Brigadier's 'death' scene, then it's the stuff with the WWII RAF pilot. I got majorly choked up both at the start when he was lost, and then at the end when Madge was reliving it, and then when he used the light of their ship to fly himself through the time vortex and get home.

    I'm a bloody softie. Yeesh.

    But yes. Amazing Christmassy episode. One of the best ever, and probably THE best xmas episode, alongside A Christmas Carol. Moffat - you rock!



    PS - just to clarify, they were manly tears. Not great big blubbary womany tears. Good old fashioned British masculine droplets welling up in the eyes. Very manly. Very British.
    Last edited by Flyboy; December 25th, 2011 at 11:12 AM.


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  5. #5
    Major General Draygon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddybrown View Post
    Damn, beaten!
    Basically what you said though... lol
    Great Christmas Special!
    I was very nearly in tears!
    Happy tears I hope

    I really enjoyed this special. Defiantly a good and classic Doctor Who episode with a christmas twist. Admittedly me and mum were having fun spotting the C.S.Lewis references in this episode.

    I wish we had had more Bill Bailey. He's one of my favourite comics and both my brother and I enjoyed him and the other harvesters.

    The ending! Yay for the Ponds Wonder how many carollers went away soaked from the Ponds' door

    I'll exposit more when I'm less giddy over Doctor Who
    If found, is probably lost on the way to Azaroth or the Pegasus Galaxy

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddybrown View Post
    Damn, beaten!
    Basically what you said though... lol
    Great Christmas Special!
    I was very nearly in tears!
    (cough) Ahem, yes, lots of dust in these old houses. Something must have got in my eye, you know.
    Sealurk got most of the quotes I noted during the episode.

    Even during the war, I'm not sure Madge would have had a gun, though her come-back to Bill Bailey about using it was brilliant.

  7. #7
    Colonel Flyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizziard View Post
    Even during the war, I'm not sure Madge would have had a gun, though her come-back to Bill Bailey about using it was brilliant.
    Back then, there were quite a lot of WW1 service revolvers knocking around. If she lived somewhere where there was concern of invasion (ie, the east coast), then it's quite probable.


    "Five Rounds Rapid"




  8. #8
    Molly Hooper Sealurk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizziard View Post
    Even during the war, I'm not sure Madge would have had a gun, though her come-back to Bill Bailey about using it was brilliant.
    I'm pretty sure that the UK's super-strict firearms laws (the only place with stricter laws is Singapore, I seem to remember) have only become so in relatively recent decades, so it's perfectly possible. As Flyboy said, WW1 officer's revolvers like Madge wielded would have been common enough to be fairly easy to acquire, and if we assume Reg is the same age as his actor, Reg could have fought in WW1 and got a service revolver then.
    And now it's time for one last bow, like all your other selves. Eleven's hour is over now... the clock is striking Twelve's.

    Stargate Ragnarok | FF.net | AO3 | Lakeside | My Fallout 3 Mods | Poppy Appeal | Help For Heroes | Combat Stress


  9. #9
    Lieutenant Colonel Matt G's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    1. I thought Time Lords could survive vacuum for a few seconds - got referenced in an old school novel I read way back when!

    2. Space suit wrong way round - oops!

    3. No kiddo, don't crawl through the box.

    4. Didn't think madge would have been armed but that was a nice stunt.

    5. Strength measured by maternity - woah.

    6. Didn't think reg would return from the dead.

    7. Didn't think I'd see the Ponds again either.

    Fun ep

  10. #10
    Lieutenant Colonel EvilSpaceAlien's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Honestly, I didn't think it was the best Christmas special ever. There was just nothing really special about it, IMO. Also, the beginning with the Doctor surviving for such a long period of time in the vacuum of space really strained my suspension of disbelief more than usual with a Doctor Who episode. Granted there could've been an air corridor there, but it just feels way too convenient. The end with the Ponds was probably the highlight of the entire episode. Some goods lines in there too though. But all in all, a fairly average episode.

  11. #11
    First Lieutenant
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Not bad. Really weird at the beginning, but got better. There were some GREAT lines!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Okay, thoughts as I watch through the episode...



    Um...wtf. Not only does the Doctor--organic life--somehow survive hard vacuum without experiencing explosive decompression, he then somehow survives an orbital fall without being incinerated on re-entry, and he lands without just becoming a pile of jam and bits of space suit? What the bloody crap is this? How am I supposed to take this seriously if the introduction is completely moronic? And then, it's the 1940s! Lady who finds him doesn't find it the least bit strange that this strange man is in a space suit--when the first man didn't even go to space till 1961?! Ugh. What a horrendously bad beginning to an episode. One of the worst I've ever had the misfortune of seeing. If this was any other show, I probably would've turned it off before it even got as far as the lamp post.

    The pulsating present is the first part of the episode that I found of any interest.

    The Doctor's response to the daughter questioning why a wardrobe needs to be rewired--"have you seen the way I dress?"--definitely elicited a laugh from me

    The cinematography of the wintry forest was beautiful.

    Had a hard time paying attention through most of it--poorly introduced human characters and virtually unexplained alien characters means I have a really hard time giving a damn what happens to any of them.

    Hang on--a bunch of tree people can take their EPCOT Center golf ball and enter the time vortex?! What. The. Hell!

    And then we get what's supposed to be a grand dramatic moment in seeing the husband die and getting to hear his wife say goodbye....except he's had a whole of about 30 seconds of screen time, so I give even less of a damn about him than I do about his family

    Visiting Amy and Rory was nice, even though it kind of illustrated how sorely missed they were for an Xmas episode. Twice now they've been cheated out of a Christmas story. Interesting that it's been two years though, that puts that part of the story in 2013. I wonder if the rest of Series 33--despite premiering in the fall of 2012--will have an Earth home-era of 2013. That would certainly allow them to skip over the events of Dalek and Fear Her without having to worry about referencing or avoiding referencing them.

    Finally, it was nice to see the Doctor so touched by Amy and Rory continuing to care about and love him even after they're separated.




    Overall, a very disappointing episode IMO. I'm bitterly disappointed that this is the last Who we get until next fall.
    "Not every movie is for you. Not every TV show is for you. Not every song is for you. Find the things you like, and like them. Go nuts liking them. A thing ISN’T for you? Cool. Go find something you like. That’s it. That’s as complicated as it should be." -- David Blue

  13. #13
    Major General Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    I just finished watching the encore presentation on BBC America.

    Though I do like the Moff's writing, especially the plot lines involving the Silence and even "A Christmas Carol" from last year, the opening of this episode strained the boundaries of believability for me. I have to agree with Digi. A Time Lord issomehow supposed to survive hard vacuum and then re-entry? OK, I can somewhat accept the "impact suit" but being exposed to vacuum for an extended period of time... don't know about that one. The pattern of writing for Moff's Christmas specials seems to be more whimsical writing, which is good if it's going to appeal to children and the atmosphere of the season, but I think it could be done in a way that doesn't strain plausibility. Honestly, I find temporal paradoxes more plausible than a Time Lord eating hard vacuum and living to tell about it. *shrug*

    I actually liked much of the rest of the episode, especially Madge's family. Cyril, especially the red hair and thick glasses, reminds me of someone I knew a long time ago. Going through the house's various rooms was very entertaining, especially the kids' room. Declaring a fault with the hammocks (and the door earlier) was especially good. Interesting that Madge's husband Reg provided the voice of Mr Smith in the Sarah Jane Adventures. The forest was beautifully handled, especially the life force of the trees glowing brilliantly. I think my favorite part of the episode was the Wood King & Queen not turning out to be the villains per se.

    The Doctor's reunion with Amy & Rory was wonderfully handled. Only 2 years have passed for them since being dropped off back in Leadworth in "The God Complex" while about 200 years have passed for the Doctor. That really puts things in perspective and made that final scene that much more emotional. As far as in-universe continuity goes, I suppose we're in 2013? I guess that makes sense if the majority of the episodes will be aired late '12 and early '13.

    I'm now wondering how long the Doctor and his companions can successfully maintain this pretense about him being dead. The Silence won't be fooled forever. The moment they're not... Trenzalore awaits.


  14. #14
    Molly Hooper Sealurk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    The opening was the one weak part for me, admittedly, though there are a few things to bear in mind here that help it make more sense:


    1. Time Lords are definitely more durable than humans given that they are billions of years older compared to us. That adds up to a lot of evolution and artificial advancement.
    2. As a Time Lord, the Doctor has a respiratory bypass system that can allow him to go longer without breathing than a human - the Fourth Doctor used it to survive being strangled and and to avoid inhaling helium.
    3. Even a human can survive approximately a minute in hard vacuum and survive, though admittedly it wouldn't be pretty and they'd be unconscious much of that time.
    4. Most ships in Doctor Who seem to have some method of maintaining a breathable environment in space - air corridors, oxygen membranes, gravity bubbles.
    5. A suit that can survive re-entry isn't even impossible now - hell, even in the Sixties they began developing M.O.O.S.E. (Man Out Of Space Easiest), a way of surviving re-entry in a space suit using an inflatable heat shield and a parachute.
    6. The Doctor specifically calls it an impact suit, which definitely hints at its capabilities. Given the tech level of the attacking spaceship, it's quite reasonable that such a suit can survive re-entry and if not soften the landing then at least keep the occupant alive through it.
    7. The Doctor also specifically said it was repairing him (whilst groaning in pain a great deal) so it isn't like he walked away from it unscathed, just enough to survive.
    8. The Doctor had the suit on improperly - perhaps if he'd had the helmet on the right way around he would have landed properly and safely?
    And now it's time for one last bow, like all your other selves. Eleven's hour is over now... the clock is striking Twelve's.

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  15. #15
    Staff Sergeant
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    It is established in classic Who in the episode 'Four to Doomsday' that the Doctor can in fact survive for a time in the vacuum of space.

  16. #16
    Major 4thDoctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Was it just me or did anyone else think that the daughter looked a bit like Ace?
    Although bow ties are cool, the scarf is cooler!

  17. #17
    Second Lieutenant
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    It passed but not honourably I must admit. I can't say it holds a candle to the previous Christmas Special, which was actually my favourite. While it's easy to appreciate the fact that Moffat was trying to tell a Christmas story, it lacked a certain tension that we've come to know in Doctor Who. This is where the previous Christmas Special excelled because not only was it set at Christmas, it also gave us characters that we really cared about because of their backgrounds and motivations. It's certainly true that this was present here, but we knew everything we needed to know about the characters after the first twenty minutes, it simply lacked surprise after this unlike the Kazran Sardick character (last year) where we slowly got to know, appreciate and perhaps empathise with the character over the course of the intricate arc.

    In contrast, this year's Christmas Special mainly whittled down to a run of the mill "save the day" type plot which is a real let down given the sophisticated story telling that we got last year (ok, minus the fish and shark). But that doesn't make this a bad episode, it's just not memorable, very much like Voyage Of The Damned despite a charismatic performance by Kylie Minogue.

    3 out of 5

  18. #18
    Major 4thDoctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    It does seem as if 'Doctor Who' as a show is moving away from science fiction and closer to fantasy. The Doctor himself seems to be becoming more and more immature as he grows older, I mean can you picture Doctors 1-6 taking children to Christmas Tree Land? The Doctor used to be all about the science, even chiding his companions about believing in magic or the supernatural, now he seems to be all about fantasy and sentiment. Maybe now that he is in his 11th life he's becoming a touch senile and over emotional with old age.

    Spoiler:
    And what is this nonsense about being able to contact the Doctor just by making a wish?
    Last edited by 4thDoctor; December 26th, 2011 at 03:29 AM.
    Although bow ties are cool, the scarf is cooler!

  19. #19
    Major General Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sealurk View Post
    The opening was the one weak part for me, admittedly, though there are a few things to bear in mind here that help it make more sense:
    1. Time Lords are definitely more durable than humans given that they are billions of years older compared to us. That adds up to a lot of evolution and artificial advancement.
    2. As a Time Lord, the Doctor has a respiratory bypass system that can allow him to go longer without breathing than a human - the Fourth Doctor used it to survive being strangled and and to avoid inhaling helium.
    3. Even a human can survive approximately a minute in hard vacuum and survive, though admittedly it wouldn't be pretty and they'd be unconscious much of that time.
    4. Most ships in Doctor Who seem to have some method of maintaining a breathable environment in space - air corridors, oxygen membranes, gravity bubbles.
    5. A suit that can survive re-entry isn't even impossible now - hell, even in the Sixties they began developing M.O.O.S.E. (Man Out Of Space Easiest), a way of surviving re-entry in a space suit using an inflatable heat shield and a parachute.
    6. The Doctor specifically calls it an impact suit, which definitely hints at its capabilities. Given the tech level of the attacking spaceship, it's quite reasonable that such a suit can survive re-entry and if not soften the landing then at least keep the occupant alive through it.
    7. The Doctor also specifically said it was repairing him (whilst groaning in pain a great deal) so it isn't like he walked away from it unscathed, just enough to survive.
    8. The Doctor had the suit on improperly - perhaps if he'd had the helmet on the right way around he would have landed properly and safely?
    Quote Originally Posted by FennerMachine View Post
    It is established in classic Who in the episode 'Four to Doomsday' that the Doctor can in fact survive for a time in the vacuum of space.
    Thank you both for your points. That actually cleared up a lot of things about the episode for me. I know that the impact suit, especially its "repair" systems, addressed much of the re-entry issue. Now the vacuum issue was what I was mostly concerned about. I think it's fair to say that if he were human, the Doctor would've been frozen by the vacuum and then quickly roasted upon re-entry. Ice and fire. What a way to go.

    I didn't know about the precedent set forth in the canon about the Doctor surviving in hard vacuum, so thanks for pointing that out. If it's been established before, and it's consistent, that's really what I'm looking for.


  20. #20
    Molly Hooper Sealurk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (3214)

    To be fair, this is why the Doctor needs a companion, so they can ask the questions we want. If Amy or Rory had been there, there might have been a "how did you survive that?!" kind of question. As it is, we only get a little information and have to look into past episodes to find the answer.
    And now it's time for one last bow, like all your other selves. Eleven's hour is over now... the clock is striking Twelve's.

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