Doctor Who – Christmas Special clip from Children In Need
It’s Saturday, and I thought it was going to be a Saturday without Doctor Who. But, we were treated with an exclusive clip of the upcoming Christmas special by Children In Need. BBC Children in Need is the BBC’s UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK. One of the highlights is an annual telethon, held in November and televised on BBC One, BBC One HD and BBC Two (thanks Wikipedia!). Basically it’s a telethon that helps raise money for children’s charities. Being run by the BBC it gets to use a lot of the television stars and show, etc. In the past, Doctor Who always contributed something. In the past, those somethings were really special. In 2005 we got an early clip of the new Doctor. In 2007 we got Time Crash, featuring the fifth and tenth Doctors. But then, we just started getting previews of the upcoming specials. Sure they were nice, and we always want more Who content, but I kind of liked those special mini episodes more.
Today, I watched the clip for the 2014 Christmas special, and I’m not sure what to think.
First, I’m not sure if I want television to explain, debunk, or ruin or end the Santa Claus myth for my children. I know it will end eventually (and quite possibly already has) as my youngest boy is 9, but I think I’d like it to be on my terms if possible.
I’m thinking back to Harry Potter now, and all the confusion over the title of the first book. It was written as the Philosopher’s Stone, but apparently publishers in the U.S. didn’t think children would know what a philosopher’s stone was, so they had it changed to Sorcerer’s Stone, and changed several other “UK-ish” terms as well. I’m in Canada (and know what a philosopher’s stone is), in North America he’s Santa Claus, in the UK he’s Father Christmas. In the credits at the end of last week’s episode, Nick Frost was credited as being Santa Claus, well, at least where I watched it. Here in the clip Clara calls him Father Christmas. Are we going to get a debacle of edits and two versions so the fat man in the red suit will be called the appropriate name based on viewing geography? I hope not. Doctor Who’s a British show, use the British terms. I’m just a foreigner who is fortunate enough to get to watch and appreciate the show.
I would like to feel appreciated as an audience member though. At the end of the clip, Father Christmas tells the Doctor to save room for a tangerine. Please Moffat, just stop. Moffat’s writing has really divided the fans of the show. He must know this. He should have known it for the last few years. It would be a nice reference to the show’s past, more specifically The Christmas Invasion, if the line had been to “save room for a satsuma“. The same fruit, found in the tenth Doctor’s borrowed robe that saved him from the Sycorax leader. But it appears that acknowledging the show’s past properly (without writing it out of the way) would hurt the constantly growing ego of the writer.