Here are the screencaps for A Christmas Carol. Review is behind the jump.
Monsters and Wank
Monsters: yes – a shark and a Scrooge
Emotional Wank: 4 out of 10 – child abuse and doomed love
Intended Destination: for Amy and Rory, a honeymoon aboard a space cruise. For the Doctor, unknown.
Actual Destination: Christmas on a colony planet (name not given) 44th century
Amy and Rory send a distress call to the Doctor from the honeymoon suite of a starliner about to crash in an ice crystal cloud layer of a colonized planet. The man with a machine to control that cloud layer refuses to use it to allow the ship to safely land, so the Doctor sets out to make him kind. He visits this Kazran in his childhood, having adventures on successive Christmas Eves along with Abigail, a sort of frozen hostage of debt in his father’s vaults. Kazran falls in love with Abigail, but puts a stop to the visits when he finds out she has a fatal illness and has only one night remaining. In the present, Amy appears to Kazran via hologram to show him the crew of the ship singing, to try to stabilize the clouds. When he continues to refuse to help, Rory causes Kazran to be the hologram aboard the ship as it is battered in the atmosphere, but he does not soften. Finally the Doctor confronts him again, and Kazran rants about love lost and how he no longer cares, everyone must die. Kazran’s younger self has been listening, and old Kazran’s realization that he’s become just like his cruel father melts him. He is ready to help but the machine no longer recognizes him. They let Abigail out of the ice so that her voice, known to resonate the ice crystals perfectly, can save the ship. She does, and all depart as Kazran and Abigail enjoy their last day together.
- Amy and Rory’s costumes, and how embarrassed they get about them.
- Amy and Rory’s distress beacon/emergency phone.
- Goggles. Everybody’s got fantastic goggles.
- Costumes in general. This might be my favorite costumed episode ever.
- Kazran’s telephone! Oh gee I could squeal over all the bits of technology in this episode individually. Just assume if it’s tech, I love it.
- A fish warning. Hee! That really surprises our fella.
- “We’re boys!”
- “How did boredom ever get invented?” I love this as a philosophical/spiritual question in general.
- The circular window in Kazran’s house, as well as the semi-circular one in Abigail’s sister’s house.
- Porthole views.
- That business with the long scarfs looks like a 4th Doctor homage to me.
- Kazrans hugging. There’s a lot of complex stuff going on internally there. Psychological field day. But really moving.
- Kazran’s cheek. I like how old Kazran touched his own cheek, remembering his father striking him, then how little Kazran touched his own cheek, seeing Abigail caress old Kazran’s face. It closed a loop.
- I really like that they did this so differently. I was prepared to hate this episode when I knew the title. So very, very tired of the old story. This was a new story.
- Michael Gambon as Kazran. Every time I look at him, I see him, completely. Hard to explain.
- Laurence Belcher as little Kazran. This kid is fantastic. I can’t help but just love him.
- This is an amazingly visual episode. Every moment just pops through my eye into my mind, and it’s wondrous.
- “Christmas is canceled.” This is what comes to mind when we are breaking up in a hostile atmosphere? Really?
- Shark looks way too big to fit into one of the ice boxes. What’s he going to do, use a compression field? Do sharks fart? Can they, even if they don’t normally?
- The Doctor’s bent and twisty phone thingy. However, so very grateful he’s not speaking into his screwdriver. That would piss me right off. Wouldn’t have minded seeing his earpiece from The Lodger again.
- Michael Gambon as Elliot Sardick. He’s supposed to look older than old Kazran, but he doesn’t. I can tell he’s supposed to be cruel and greedy, and I get that. Maybe because he’s a supporting character rather than a major one, we don’t get much time to understand him.
- It’s hard for me to believe that a broken heart makes Kazran as much of a monster as no heart did. Maybe I am holding him to a standard of resilience that’s just too high. I get being bitter and alone and miserable, but I don’t see being a mass murderer. It’s logical – there’s that thematic current – how do you choose what day a person lives and what day a person dies, and why should you? But that’s an intellectual angle, and my heart doesn’t buy it.
- Distracted by the scrollwork on the machine. As Rory says elsewhere, I’m trying hard not to take it as a metaphor.
Comments, Questions, Speculation
- The space cruiser scenes are full of an unmistakable Star Trek Next Generation/Voyager feel. You have your Janeway-flavored captain, your Data-flavored crewmember, and your LaForge-flavored crewmember – not so much physical resemblance in any of these cases, just a flavor. The instrumentation panels, however, look like complete transplants. I expect to hear Majel Barrett any second. It’s a bit giggly.
- I think this is the first appearance of the fake tweed jacket that some folks are in an uproar about. I do admit it looks less classy than the un-striped version.
Raw Caps: 1041
Finished Caps: 245
- Something bizarre must have happened with my equipment during parts of this episode because none of the frames I distinctly remember snapping got capped and a great many I didn’t want did. For instance, nothing of Sardick’s device shooting into the sky but every microsecond of the title sequence. So, during the culling process, I had to go back and cap some things again. That’s why the file numbers are a mess. The full explanation is boring so I won’t go into it unless someone asks.
- Didn’t get a good image of the half-sonic glowing down the shark’s throat, which is a shame, because it’s lovely.
- Also didn’t get a good image of the Kazrans hugging; hugely disappointing as that’s such a touching moment.