Doctor Who “The Husbands Of River Song” Spoiler-Free Preview

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Ready for an early Christmas pressie? You’d better be. Here’s Buzz’s spoiler-free preview of the 2015 Doctor Who Christmas special “The Husbands Of River Song”. Written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (“Cold War”, “Listen”, “Flatline”) and guest starring Alex Kingston, Greg Davies, Matt Lucas and Phillip Rhys, it’s due to air on BBC One at 5.15pm on Christmas Day.

You can read the official synopsis here; we wouldn’t normally be prissy about hiding an official synopsis but this one seems to us to be a little more potentially spoilery than normal, especially if you can put two and two together. So we’re playing safe and the decision is yours.

Anyway,  on with the usual thoughts, observations, cryptic nonsense and fiendish misdirection…

  1. The “doctored” opening titles are more Christmassy than ever before. 
  2. It’s a romp, pure and simple. After the boldly experimental nature of much of season nine it’s actually a pleasant change to have something so linear and straightforward. You won’t have to explain what’s going on to elderly relatives every five minutes.
  3. Peter Capaldi has a licence to overact on a number of occasions. He is, of course, magnificent. The scene immediately following the line, “Finally… it’s my go,” is comedy gold.
  4. There are two inversions of Doctor Who clichés. One is quite subtle and may pass you by, the other as about is about as far away subtle as you can imagine, and is hilarious.
  5. A couple of loose ends are tied up.
  6. It’s packed with wonderfully silly ideas and humour that stretches from Christmas cracker-standard gags to sophisticated banter.
  7. There’s a Baymax moment. 
  8. There are lots of great FX involving heads, but by a long war the best FX shot involving a head (it’ll have kids – especially big kids – both grossed out and giggling with delight at the same time) has nothing to do with King Hydroflax.
  9. There’s one very smutty gag  – it’s “Love & Monsters” all over again (well, not quite…)
  10. Who is the Damsel? You might be surprised by the answer.
  11. Greg Davies is a lot of fun, but it’s a bit of a one-note character.
  12. “You’re probably going to need a mop”
  13. The Doctor goes all Alexei Sayle at one point with a working class rant.
  14. River pulls something familiar from a bag
  15. River’s made a secret modification to the TARDIS
  16. River is more Indiana Jones than ever.
  17. Somebody’s not convinced of the Doctor’s culinary value.
  18. The ship’s crew must all have very interesting CVs.
  19. There’s a tonal change at the end that’s sad, and it’s beautiful.
  20. There’s one of those “Character(s) created by This Writer” entries in the end credits but we be surprised if anybody guessed what and who this might refer to at a first (second or third) attempt.
  21. It’s not the greatest episode ever but it’s lots of fun and the perfect lightweight fun after heavyweight Christmas meal. How much you enjoy it may depend on your River Song tolerance factor (ours is high).

 


 

• 25 Great Moments In Doctor Who Series 9 (& 5 Not So Great Ones)
• Doctor Who S09E12 “Hell Bent” REVIEW
• Over 20 New Pics From Doctor Who Christmas Special “The Husbands Of River Song”

 

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4 Comments

  1. LizJR says:

    “You won’t have to explain what’s going on to elderly relatives every five minutes.”

    It’s a shame you felt the need to include that line. My 17 year old son has trouble following some of Mr Moffat’s stories, especially ones with loose ends, internal inconsistencies, or ones that don’t match up with what he wrote a couple of episodes earlier. Couldn’t you have just said that it’s a straightforward, fun story and left it at that, rather than adding the implied insult to anyone who has trouble following Steven’s sometimes baroque and sometimes nonsensical (and sometimes very good) writing?

    • Cryer says:

      I agree. Moffat has written some of the most convoluted, over-complicated, plot-hole ridden tat I’ve ever watched. I challenge anyone to explain the series 6 arc and finale in a way that doesn’t make them sound insane.

      Still, Moffat has written some great stuff as well but it is certainly the fault of the writer, not the audience, when his stories are extremely convoluted and difficult to follow for even avid fans.

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