Countdown to Christmas, Day 6: "The Great Detective" (Christmas Special Prequel)
WARNING: THIS ANALYSIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED DOCTOR WHO OR AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Welcome to Day 6 of the Countdown to Christmas series! It's the home stretch, people. Just tonight, then Christmas Eve, then Christmas!
So tonight I am analyzing "The Great Detective," the prequel for the 2012 Christmas Special that debuted at the Children in Need event. Doctor Who has been known for doing some special for this event every year, and this year they kept up that tradition. Thankfully, this prequel and the next one got captured by my DVR at the tail end of the recording of the Doctor Who Brit List special, so I didn't have to go online to watch it.
There's not a lot to say about this prequel. It's like the length of a teaser trailer for a movie. Basically, it shows a short scene featuring the Doctor, Silurian Madame Vastra, a Cockney maid type named Jenny Flint who acts as her assistant, and this Sontarian named Strax whose face is said to be "too horrible to be photographed." The opening narration says that in Victorian London, there was a story about someone called "The Great Detective," that being Vastra. Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are introduced. Then the narrator tells us of a mysterious fourth member of the group - and in walks the Doctor, in an outfit straight out of Dickens. And he is in a foul mood. Vastra and her lackeys try to get him interested in investigating some strange phenomena, but he won't have it and leaves. That's really all that happens.
I think this was a good setup for the special, based on what we know of the special. During the sneak peek of "The Snowmen" during the Brit List special, it's mentioned that the Doctor is in a Scrooge mode, since he's still devastated about losing the Ponds. And this bit shows that beautifully.
I have to admit, Strax was pretty hilarious. He kind of reminded me of Gru from Despicable Me, who famously wants to steal the moon. His naming of the people of the Moon as "Moon-ites" may be a reference to early sci-fi stories in the 20th century which referred to people from the Moon as "Selenites," the name deriving from the Greek moon goddess Selene.
Well, that's all for this post. Check back tomorrow for the last prequel and the last Countdown post (since the next day would be Christmas itself). Merry Christmas!
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