I’d put off watching the Christmas special this year for nearly a month. With no new episodes on the horizon it was partially to wait as long as I could stand to make the next wait a little less, partially due to lack of time and partially because I wanted to give it my full attention.
Lately, I’ve been having mixed feelings on the show. I still love it, but Capaldi’s acting has felt a little off, like it doesn’t belong. The more I paid attention, the more I felt like that wasn’t really it. It seems as though the writing hasn’t been a good fit for him as a character. Things feel a little forced. This episode though, it didn’t feel like that.
The story itself felt a little contrived, like we were stealing the plot from a low budget Marvel movie… but lets be honest here. After a certain number of years it’s difficult to come up with new ideas. All in all though I enjoyed it. Nardole is back, and Matt Lucas is someone we need to see more of. No point in boring everyone with a full pick-apart, since we’re a month behind. There we lots of nods to the fans of the show, but it was basically a standalone episode that’s good for the casual viewer.
For the first time since Capaldi took over the role, he seemed to mesh with the writing. Things seemed to flow, and he didn’t look to be trying too hard. Maybe that’s because Steven Moffat wrote the episode. (As much as people like to hate him, I’m still a fan of his writing.) Then again it could just be because Capaldi has settled in, found “his” Doctor and we’re getting to see that onscreen. I for one can’t wait to see what he does with it this season.