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Nick Frost Nipping at your Tropes.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Nick Frost Nipping at your Tropes....
The kids got here a bit after what would have been the Christmas dinner hour last night. Cam went off to make the rounds of his 'rents, while Em was still on the cracker-ginger ale regimen at that point (she's fine today), so Eleanor and I were on their own for the meal. After gifting, it was just a wait for Santa to arrive as he never quite had before, come 9 p.m. in the person of....

Nick Frost?!?

That photo's not spoilery- it's from the Series 8 finale last month- but there are plenty in his total takeover of Father Christmas for these 90 BBC America minutes, along with more about the story itself and the casting confirmation for Companioning beyond. And so,

Jolly Old Saint Nick.

Not a Cornetto in sight, despite the season and the North Pole setting. Nick played it mostly straight, but with plenty of fun by-play between him and Twelve.  For all the opportunity there was for him to ham it up- consistent with his comic characters as well as with a lot of the Santappearances in prior Moff specials- he managed to stay serviceable throughout the story, directing most of its light moments and overcoming its dark ones.

Yes, Dark.

Far more than the more recent Elevenses, which seemed more focused on how the Doctor distracts from traditional Christmas, this one made Christmas an integral part of how the characters interacted with each other.  It did so with a deep dose of Scary Monster, played over many layers of space, time AND dream (and boy were mine plenty intense last night;). Whatever the papers may have said about the significance of the "Last Christmas" title (and we'll get to that in a moment), it turned out to be about treating those you love each Christmas as if it'll BE your last one together.  In this case, it both was and it wasn't: Clara made her final peace with Danny, and in her (and the Doctor's) revelations of their "Gift of the Magi" lies about Danny (and Gallifrey), this turned out not to be their last time together after all.

Right, Missed That.

Turns out the rumours of Jenna Coleman's departure were premature- and that many have known that since at least last month- but I'm not sure anyone knew how sudden the change was or how much it was going to affect the resolution of this special. The original scripted send-off is still there, with the Doctor facing a much older Clara who is quite ready to shove off this mortal coil after a life well-lived (echoes of Eleven's departure, anyone?). Fortunately, the Dream Within Dream device was still there to give them all a present-day do-over of it, aided by one final Saint Nick Frost turn that at least one source considers to be, at least possibly, "the result of a last-minute rewrite." But Santa always has to deal with last-minute changes on lists of gifts and naughty/niceness, anyway. There's magic in those carrots for more than just the reindeer.

Nice, also, bringing in Michael Troughton, son of the Second Doctor, as part of the polar expedition; though I wouldn't have known it, the "base under siege" trope was rather a favourite in the Two era.

The only other spoiler I can think of is one where there's nothing to spoil: River has once again been left out of the story, making Series 8 completely Song-less. All I've heard recently from Kamp Kingston is that she and Barrowman have been lobbying for their own spinoff since about mid-2013. One wonders if there's something with Twelve that just doesn't work for her.

So presumably, despite all the late-Eve action, Saint Nick made it to the World's End with all the pressies by morning. I just hope he wasn't overrun by a bunch of zombified robots.
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thanatos_kalos From: thanatos_kalos Date: December 27th, 2014 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
12 mentioned that he and River had fought at one point-- unclear if this was when he was 11 still or not-- and had spent some time with otters (in 8.3) so she at least has got a name check. I'd expect they wanted time for 12 to settle in before bringing back River, since she tends to be a disruptive element, to borrow a phrase, though that's just a guess.
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