Episode Christmas Special: The Return of Doctor Mysterio
Yes, I am a bit late for this review, but it took me a couple weeks to digest how much I hate this Christmas special. For the first time since I started watching this show in 2010, I was left speechless at the end of the episode wondering if I might have wondered in the wrong universe for one moment. But no, unfortunately that was our show for 2016 and when I saw the reviews online I was bewildered. Many people loved it and I could not understand why since everything fell so flat for me, but I guess that’s why it’s my opinion.
Now, I loved the last Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song. I thought it was a great ending to a brilliant character. It was far from perfect, but the chemistry between her and the Doctor was amazing. So, when I saw the first trailer, I didn’t really know why Doctor Who would follow the Superhero trend, but at the end of the day if the episode is good I don’t care. Though, in this case, the jokes felt forced and I just didn’t feel that excited to see it. And I was right, from storytelling to the dialogue to the characters themselves, it was a big mess.
As I said before, it could be interesting to mix superhero with the Doctor, especially if you are doing a satire. The thing is to do a satire you must understand and master the code of the genre you want to parody and Moffat does not. To me, it felt like a CW spinoff show and even then it would have been canceled. Since Moffat didn’t understand the basic laws of the genre, he was not able to build on it or makes funny jokes about it. Everything felt either flat or it looked like they just tried to do the genre, but it didn’t work.
Then there was the dialogue. Why is it so hard for screenwriters to show us the action instead of talking about it. It was 1h30 of exposition and boring backstory that went nowhere. We were at the half way point and we were still introducing new informations about characters and the story itself, new plot points. The story was standing still and it went nowhere. I was never invested in the characters problem because I never connected with them. They were cartoony representation of cartoons. As for the Doctor, he was barely in the episode and when he was there, it was always about the two idiots with their stupid love problems. I want to see the Doctor in action solving problems, not sitting at a table explaining everything, the whole plot to the audience. That’s boring.
The only alright thing about this episode is Nardole, only because he was not annoying me and I like the actor. I want to see more of his adventures with the Doctor, not the other two idiots. All in all, I just don’t understand why it took them one year to write this special. I like that they tried a new idea, but the structure of the story is always the same, so it only becomes predictable, and boring. Let’s just hope for a better series 10. I really went with an open mind wanting to love this Special, but it just felt completely off.