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24 February 2015 @ 06:37 pm
NuWho Rewatch: Voyage of the Damned  
Because of their position relative to the seasons of the show, it isn't surprising, really, that so many of the Christmas specials have had to work with one-off companions of one sort or another. It is, perhaps, more surprising how well they often work, even when the story they are in often has more spectacle than substance.

Of course, that may be precisely why Donna and Astrid, in particular, work well in their respective specials. Catherine Tate and Kylie Minogue are both big names (leaving aside the fact I had never heard of Tate until she was cast) and their presence is supposed to be a part of the spectacle so they both get a big robust story into which they can throw themselves with some vigour. Both, interestingly, are also older than your average Doctor Who companion though I think Voyage of the Damned is working quite hard to, if not conceal, at least not highlight this fact.

As for the rest of the story... well it very much is what it is: over-the-top, brassy and more concerned with being fun than, necessarily, making a whole load of sense - though the straightforward disaster movie format means that at least the central story is pretty simple and holds together coherently as well. Davies' allows himself a throwback to the silly names of the first season in Bannakaffalatta and one wonders if that was a deliberate Christmas indulgence.

The Heavenly Host, of course, are very reminiscent of the Sandminer robots from Robots of Death and I wondered if the prominent deck numbers, D32, D31 etc., were supposed to remind us of the Dums of the previous story - D84 in particular.

NLSS Child picked up very clearly the message that it isn't always the most sympathetic people who survive, though she was charmed at the end by Mr. Copper dancing away into the night with his new found wealth - a necessary Christmas counterpoint, presumably, to Davies' brief indulgence of misanthropy.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/144290.html.