So this is just a little after the fact, but, as everyone is hopefully still in a festively charitable mood, they won’t mind a slightly late discussion about a bit of Christmas telly. Whilst I am frankly gagging for the next Sherlock episode on Sunday, I thought I would kill some time by watching a Christmas special which I had somehow missed, the brilliant Doctor Who episode, ‘The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe’. Now, I have to confess to not watching the last series at all, which is a pretty dire thing for a Who-fan, but nevermind. I can therefore provide absolutely no useful insight into how this episode relates to the general patterns of the rest of the series, but I can tell you that it was absolutely sublime, and the themes hit just the right level of tear-y rejoicing-in-mankind.
Real moments of brilliance and delight included the word “woman” being translated as the word “strong” (thank you, Steven Moffat, I hope all of Britain’s little girls were watching), the Doctor becoming ‘the Caretaker’, a lovely hijack of the line “what do they teach you in schools these days?” (in relation to children not understanding that time passes differently in different worlds) from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and a really quite touching moment when the Doctor sheds a “humany-wumany” tear on finding that companion Amy Pond and hubbie Rory always set a place for him at Christmas, even though they thought he was dead. OK, so I realise as I iterated all of the above that it does sound a little silly, but it was really fantastic, and if you haven’t seen it, go to iPlayer or whatever dodgy websites you know, and enjoy. This was a beautifully put-together tale of human strength and love, and along with that and a well-chosen line from Terry Pratchett’s latest, Snuff — that “the jurisdiction of a good man know no bounds” — I, for one, feel ready for an optimistic start to a New Year. All the best for 2012.