Twice Upon A Time – Critical Review on Doctor Who‘s Christmas Special

twice upon a time

Christmas Day brings family and friends, large feasts, long-awaited presents, and Doctor Who. Entitled “Twice Upon A Time,” this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special provided fans with their last viewing of Actor Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. And, more importantly, the first viewing of the next Doctor.

What “Twice Upon A Time” Revealed About Peter Capaldi as the Doctor



twice upon a time
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, so fierce and intense, and yet so gentle and humble in this picture by BBC America.

Talking to fellow Doctor Who fans made it clear how much many Americans disliked Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. Learning this made me think these fans simple, somewhat soft in the head. For Capaldi represented the learned intelligence, the serious fastidiousness, and the passionate loyalty behind the universally renowned Doctor.

Peter Capaldi acted the above traits to their fullest extent in the Christmas Special “Twice Upon A Time.” His learned intelligence showed when the soldier first walked onto the screen, recognizing the man’s uniform from World War I. When the soldier expressed his confusion at the term, the Doctor merely blushed and said, “Spoilers.”



twice upon a time
Why must the Doctor always come across a Dalek so close to his regenerations?

The serious, almost morbid, fastidiousness disclosed itself as the Doctor quickly decided to save the soldier from inescapable death. For the Doctor, as seen beside Capaldi in his first televised form (i.e. an older gentlemen, named David Bradley, who looked quite close to the original), had made a decision. The decision, made hundreds of years ago, to save and protect earth’s humanity.

Finally, and most importantly, Peter Capaldi exemplified the Doctor’s passionate loyalty when he saw Bill Potts. For although he had refused to accept her as the genuine Bill Potts, come back to life, his initial reaction said something different. His initial reaction said he loved and missed his dear friend. And that is why we love the Doctor, his selfless love.

Spoilers Found in Doctor Who‘s “Twice Upon A Time”



twice upon a time
David Bradley, who played the first Doctor, appeared downright jovial compared to his character, old and grumpy.

Hold on a minute. The Doctor regenerated into a woman? How can this be! I shall never watch Doctor Who ever again! This reaction ran rampant throughout worldwide homes and residences, on Christmas Day or earlier. How many people have resented and been angered at this fact? I don’t know. But I do know Actor Jodie Whittaker made a fabulous show entrance.

Looking into the TARDIS’s mirror, the Doctor stared at her reflection. She grabbed at her hair, stuttered a bit, and implied without words her wonder at her new gender. Based on what the TARDIS did at that point, the ship was more than shocked at what she saw. The TARDIS acted downright outraged, opening its doors and rocketing the Doctor from the ship. Leaving the fans wondering how they would next see the Doctor.

Where Doctor Who‘s Producers Implemented Christmas into “Twice Upon A Time”



twice upon a time
Matt Lucas as Nardole and Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts appeared alongside Peter Capaldi for “Twice Upon A Time”

Amongst the multiple Doctor forms and impeding deaths and uncharacteristically kind enemies, there appeared very little Christmas. However! Other than the snow from the South Pole, Producer and Director Steven Moffat referred to a famous and marvelous Christmas Day. An event which had occurred one hundred years ago. One which I had learned only earlier that day.

During WWI on one particular Christmas Day, the British and the Germans paused in their fighting. And they began to sing Silent Night. Since they had started the song at midnight, they celebrated Christmas Day, the whole 24 hours, in peace and calm. No shots were fired. Though the fighting resumed the very next day, and many men died, God’s sovereignty had reigned for one day.

Idolatry and the Uncharacteristically Kind Enemies in “Twice Upon A Time”




Unfortunately, the screenwriters had written for the “kind enemies” to refer to the Doctor as the “bloke who walked around and fixed things” on the Earth. Wrong! No polite British refusal to accept a wrong answer here. The Doctor, as great as the character is, will never play God! Christmas celebrates the birth of a Savior, called Christ Jesus. And to Him is all glory given. Sorry, Peter Capaldi.

So, other than the clear idolatry incorporated into the beloved Doctor Who, the Christmas Special was exceptionally good. Capaldi played his last episode as the Doctor with triumph. We rejoiced to see Bill Potts, if only just one more time. And “Twice Upon A Time” showed us a little of what’s to come. So, bring it on Jodie Whittaker! Let’s see what you can bring to world-renowned Doctor Who.



Rose Tyler and How She First Appeared

BBC America




Screenwriter and producer Russel T. Davies created a Doctor Who character worthy of some love and attention: Her name was Rose Tyler. Throughout the first two series of the reemerged BBC America television show, Rose grew immeasurably as a companion and an individual. The first episode, titled “Rose” and aired on BBC One in year 2005, portrayed her as a simple shop girl. Her true character bloomed under the Time Lord’s influence.

Listed below are the three characteristics which viewers can identify in Rose Tyler as she first appeared in Doctor Who. Watching through the first two series again will reveal how these characteristics grow and mature in this intelligent, witty, and loving young woman.

Compassionate Toward Her Loved Ones



Rose Tyler and Autons
Rose trapped in the department store basement with Autons.

Rose exhibited great compassion and maturity in her dealings with her mother. Nearly escaping death from the Autons the night before, she patiently tolerated her mother’s remarks on her need to quickly find another source of income. At only 19 or 20-years-old, she worked to help support her and her mother’s humble living arrangements. This showed her love for her mother exceeded any sense of personal gain and entitlement.

During the final scene in the first episode, Rose made an admirable comment in needing to look after her boyfriend. Mickey Smith had acted cowardly throughout the attacks and the danger, and he certainly seemed like he needed a lot of love and attention, unless there was a televised game at the pub. Nevertheless, Rose had loved this young man enough to give him emotional support and ego boosters despite her own lowly position in life, until she met the Doctor.

Quick to Solve Problems and Make Connections




Immediately following the explosion at her store was Mickey. Rose wanted to do nothing but lie about at home after the awful ordeal and recuperate. Her boyfriend had other ideas, and he firmly stated his belief in her need of consuming something stronger than tea. When he suggested going to the nearby pub, Rose knew the real reason why. He wanted to see the televised soccer game, and he eventually admitted to wanting to watch the game when she confronted him about it.

Any proper girlfriend would have been distraught if her boyfriend had turned into an Auton, but few would have had the wits to rescue him. Rose quickly understood that the only way to save everyone and end the immediate threat was to go with the Doctor. The Time Lord identified the threat as the Nestene Consciousness, but he failed to identify where the aggressive alien was located. He described to Rose where the species normally resided. Observing her surroundings, Rose almost instantly found the creature’s hiding place.

Brave and Daring When Presented with Adventure



Rose Tyler
Rose as she decides to join the Doctor on his travels.

Everyone balks when they first see inside the TARDIS. Rose responded similarly. However, when others would have tucked tail and run, regardless of their living plastic boyfriend chasing them, Rose accepted the extraordinariness of the TARDIS being bigger on the inside. She accepted the Doctor being an alien. And not only did she accept them, but she traveled in the TARDIS and worked alongside the Doctor to save the world. This young woman had guts and brains.

After saving the world, the Doctor offered to take Rose with him on his travels through space and time. Rose could have easily gone back to her simple means of living. Her first thoughts were of her loved ones, and how she had responsibilities to attend to. Her adventurous spirit got the better of her, though, and she and the Doctor whisked away in the TARDIS, leaving Mickey alone in the London alleyway.

Rose Tyler and How She Grows as a Companion




Rose started off the series strong, but she only grew stronger from there. The Doctor easily recognized her compassion, intelligence, and bravery and stole her away for many adventures in the unknown. They would both grow as individuals, as friends, and as a couple.

Davies excelled in creating a character for viewers to love. To him, all Doctor Who fans owe a certain degree of allegiance. Because of one hardworking screenwriter, Rose Tyler came to life and wowed the wide viewing world.

More articles on Christopher Eccleston’s first Doctor Who episode can be found here.