It’s just six days at the time of writing until this year’s Christmas Special, Last Christmas – and the embargo on spoiler-free reviews for the episode has now lifted, so reviews for the festive episode are now coming in thick and fast. We’ll be rounding up all of the spoiler-free reviews of the Christmas Special here, and updating as more come in.
You can click on the links in the titles for the full reviews:
Updated with new reviews on 22nd December.
But, other than that, Last Christmas is a hugely satisfying story and a cracking festive outing (certainly one of the best Doctor Who specials). The ending will have some in tears and others beaming with joy and excitement. I can’t imagine anything better for Christmas Day. 8/10
Last Christmas is really quite an ambitious Yuletide episode of Doctor Who. It’s a notable step up from last year’s, and it manages to pack together ongoing material, the elements for a standalone story, and no shortage of Christmas trimmings, Doctor Who style.
There are plenty of surprises as the episode progresses, and at least one major movie influence which hasn’t been mentioned yet (unsurprisingly, as it would give the central conceit away). It switches tone in a way we’ve not seen done with quite so much panache since the Russell T Davies era, and it’s a relief to say that it works well. 9/10
One of the most pleasing things about Last Christmas is its compact, self-contained nature. It is complex in its own way but it restricts itself to a handful of supporting characters.
Moffat has described the episode as being like Miracle on 34th Street meets Alien. However, its central concept is reminiscent of a more recent movie, as well as being another variant on that most traditional of Who tales: the base under siege.
Many people doze after their Christmas dinner but this episode should ensure sweet dreams for most Who fans.
While this seems like an episode that really shouldn’t work on paper when you look at the ingredients, it does somehow come together to form one of the best Christmas specials yet. 9/10
Like all good Doctor Who stories, this juggles the mundane with the frivolous, the fantastical and the sci-fi – and also takes a moment or two to register just how much fun it’s having in the process. 4/5
Last Christmas is scary, exciting, emotional and ambitious. It will leave some weeping tears of Christmas joy, and others just weeping. It’s one of the very best Christmas specials the show has given us over the last decade, and is the perfect closing chapter for series 8.
There are scenes that are packed with emotion, without spilling over into gloopy sentimentality. The relationship between the Doctor and Clara is especially sweet with a wonderful pay-off.
Not the greatest Christmas story ever told, nor the best Who outing (though definitely one of the better advent adventures for him), this does allow a somewhat more even keel from which to launch the next season. 4/5
Watch this space for more reviews as we get closer to the special on Christmas Day at 6.15pm.