Doctor Who, Last Christmas and the Return of Magic
“How do you think those presents got under the tree every
year? By magic?”
When the dust had
settled in Death in Heaven, the world of Doctor Who lay in ruins. Within
its universe, the events which had transpired were gruesome enough. The
dead had risen from their graves, transformed into unrecogniseable
machines suitable, at least at first glance, only for destruction and
conquest. But beyond the borders of the seen, in the foundations of the story, an even more unsettling shift had taken place.
Our villainess had infected the nature of the tale,
had played the Mistress of stories and twisted them into something
else, in which Mary Poppins seeks to rule the universe, the afterlife
steals your soul, and the very idea of who the Doctor was and will be is
challenged. Even as the Doctor proclaims his identity and rejects her
plans, she still wins. The magic has died, because how could it live
when all the stories were falsehoods and all the true heroes were the
who had already fallen?
Left were only our two favourite liars, the Doctor and Clara. The idiot with a box and the woman who claimed to have invented herself.
They told each other one more fairytale - one more lie -, hid their
faces in the hug of a goodbye, and the story took its final breath.
Except, of course, it has to go on.
grief and the loss, the world without any good men left were not about
to be mended easily, the two friends separated by pride and the mistaken
belief they could do the right thing not united by anything short of a
miracle. And so a miracle happened, the spark of magic reignited by literal
magic, stories resurrected by another story. The fairytale heals
itself, by the power of Christmas and, yes, apparently Santa Caus. An
unexpected but strangely beautiful path, to save Clara and the Doctor
from the one scenario out of which they cannot find the way
This isn’t the same fairytale which started in Amelia’s garden, made of words and the power to reclaim everything magic had stolen and given.
It isn’t the same fairytale spinning backwards and forwards through
time from Demons Run, which left its kidnapped child triumphant over her
enemies, determined to make her own fate, but still hiding her damage.
And it’s not going to be the same fairytale in which a young woman made
herself into a storybook heroine with nothing but ideals and the memory
of her mother’s soufflé.
This Santa Claus doesn’t bring
dolls and pencils and fish, like in the thankful prayer which stood at
the beginning of the Moffat era. This Santa leaves deadly crabs in his
wake, allows dreams to be weaponised so the dream can be born anew. A
new story. New magic. And a reckless, scary, adventurous series ahead of