Why I Will Not Be Reviewing The Christmas Special

I have decided to not review The Doctor Who Christmas Special.  There was one very big reason for considering it, but it was ultimately overpowered by two very reasonable considerations.  First, in favor of reviewing the special was the boost to views this blog would possibly receive.  As of this writing (December 10 is when I’m actually putting fingers to keyboard) the record of views for The Edwardian Adventurer is 45.  I am grateful for each and every view, especially those who have read it.  I get excited every time I hit a new record.  Reviewing the Christmas Special would possibly increase that number yet again.  More exposure is a good thing, and hopefully I would find an audience who enjoys walking this path with me and who may even be interested in sharing their thoughts via comments or additional posts.

But in the end I decided against reviewing the Christmas Special for two reasons.  The first, it violates the mandate of the blog.  I doubt anyone would seriously quibble with me about this, but it just feels wrong to do so when I haven’t yet broken the viewing pattern.  Plus, there are innumerable blogs and podcasts that review the show in no particular order.  While those are fun and I enjoy many of them, I like the journey inherent in the episode-by-episode progression of the show.  I want to feel that I have reached a goal, and by breaking order I would feel that I failed in this.  I would always be compelled to start again.  This brings me to the second reason:  context.  I have very strong opinions about new Who  and to review the Christmas Special would be to throw them out without fully making a case for them, something which will happen when I start the reviews of new Who in the indeterminate future.  Plus, those opinions could change when I eventually get there.  The context is everything because I’m wanting to experience the meta-narrative of Doctor Who.  In addition, watching from episode to episode has been a wonderful experience, one that has given me a new perspective on stories I didn’t like.  Watching Doctor Who in order is a milestone not unlike reading The Bible in order for the first time is a milestone for a Christian.  In fact, the Hartnell Era is a bit like Genesis with some really interesting stuff, some really cool stuff, and some stuff that doesn’t really make a lot of sense or is boring and you can’t quite see how it relates to the new stuff with Jesus, who is, in this case, David Tennant.

So, I will keep with the mandate of the blog.  I will eventually review the 2010 Christmas Special, but it will be in the context of following the 2010 season with Matt Smith.  I shall continue on Monday with Planet of Giants.

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3 thoughts on “Why I Will Not Be Reviewing The Christmas Special

  1. Fascinating comment about viewing the Dr Who stories in order being like reading the Bible book by book. As a theologian, I can see the analogy.

    I think I would struggle with watching the stories strictly in order; I would get so fed up of watching John Pertwee and that awful blonde woman who talks like a little girl. I did a bit of a John Petwee marathon recently, but that was just in order to complete my viewing of the classic series. It got a bit painful. The last stories I watched to complete my run of the classic series was some of the Peter Davison stories, which I enjoyed rather more.

    I will review the Christmas special, as my blog is a bit more random in it’s approach. I don’t think that it will make much difference to your stats; you have to bear in mind that each New Series episode is going to get thousands of reviews. It would be hard to get your review at the top of Google and I doubt the TARDIS Scanner is going to link to all of them.

    Normally when I review a New Series episode, I read other peoples’ reviews first. I check out what other people are saying as soon as I have watched it on IPlayer. I don’t like to make judgements until I know what other people are saying.

  2. I admit that watching nothing but Hartnell these last couple of months has been difficult at times. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy his era (quite the contrary), but sometimes I want to skip ahead. On the plus side, after the Troughton era, the seasons get shorter. Although, at that point the actors stayed in the role longer . . . Pertwee and Baker anyway. I’m looking forward to the Pertwee era, mainly because I have seen so little of it. Spearhead from Space, The Three Doctors, and Carnival of Monsters are the only stories I’ve seen. I enjoyed each of them, but I have to say Liz Shaw (from Spearhead) is the companion I liked better. Jo never really impressed me much. Nothing against her, but I found myself largely indifferent toward her, which I think puts me in a minority here. This is also why I didn’t rave about the Death of The Doctor on The Sarah Jane Adventures. Although, I have a lot of things to say about that episode, and in time I might, just not now.

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