Directed by Farren Blackburn
Starring: Matt Smith, Claire Skinner, Bill Bailey
When a spaceman/angel falls from heaven on Christmas Eve Madge Arwell (Claire Skinner) helps him get to a police telephone box. To repay her kindness he tells her all she has to do is make a wish if she ever needs him. Why would that seem strange, at all?
Have you ever walked into your living room and found your roommate or significant other in the middle of a movie that looks interesting but you just can’t quite follow what’s going on? That’s what The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe was like for me. For years now I have had many friends tell me I need to watch Doctor Who. And truth be told I have seen a few episodes here and there. But the biggest problem I have had getting into the series has been the English accent. I have found that I sometimes have a problem understanding what is being said, especially on older shows with muddy audio.
Accents and muddy audio aside, I really enjoyed this episode. Even if I couldn’t figure out what in the hell was going on the entire time. I have the basics of the Doctor down with the time travel and companions and something called a tardis or something? But what really confused me here was the plot to transplant forest life force into a human, first into Cyril (Maurice Cole) and then into Madge. After watching the episode twice I still have no idea what was going on. Then there are the wood creatures…I’ll stop now. No, one more thing, why can’t the Doctor’s wand work on wood? Is he somehow connected with the Green Lantern or something? And there was a mech?
The title harkens to C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Not sure how that is relevant here but it’s a thing none the less. Actually this reminded me a lot of the first season episode of Amazing Stories titled The Mission. Mostly because of the WWII bomber mission at the beginning that ends in tragedy for Madge and her children but then has a fantastical resolution. Not sure if the writers were using The Mission as inspiration but the feel is definitely there.
In the end the Doctor saves the day and we get a great homecoming at the very end with some series regulars (I’m assuming). So what more do you want from a Christmas special? A singing Bea Arthur and a Life Day celebration?
1080i/AVC with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. I cannot complain much about the video quality here. Even with being a television show the video does look good. But the special effects are still television quality and so I have to count off just a bit for that.
DTS-HD HR 5.1. Very crisp and concise audio helps a bit with the English accent. I find it amazing that many BBC releases still have muddy audio which makes it a bit tough on the Yanks to understand sometimes. Or maybe it’s just me.
The Packaging and Special Features
Pretty standard stuff here with the packaging. But that seems to be the case with the majority of blu-ray releases. Why buck convention when nothing is broken? As far as the special features these seem pretty standard as well and they include:
The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe Prequel
The Best of the Doctor
The Best of the Companions
The Best of the Monsters
Since I do not follow the good Doctor none of these features mean anything to me but I did enjoy watching them. So a regular Doctor Who fan (or the maniacs) will love them.
I really need to catch up with Doctor Who. It falls right dead in the middle of the stuff I love but much like Supernatural I just haven’t had the time or opportunity to sit down with it. But after seeing this episode I think I may need to, soon.
Overall (Not an Average) 8.5/10
The Movie 8/10
The Video 9/10
The Audio 10/10
The Packaging and Special Features 7/10
Overall (Not an Average) 8.5/10