After presiding over the easily worst run of the revived Doctor Who earlier this year, Steven Moffat managed to serve up one of the show’s best ever Christmas specials.
The emotional heart and wit which Russell T. Davies made a central part of the Doctor Who mix, and which which Moffat and fellow Executive Producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis managed to rip out for their debut run, has thankfully been restored.
Back too was the sense of magic which also disappeared somewhere between last year’s David Tennant finale and the start of the fifth series.
Matt Smith, the single best thing to come from Maffat’s tenure, was as superb as always and by now every single one of those who decried his casting must surely realise how wrong they were.
Michael Gambon’s take on Scrooge was a delight (side note: the casting of an actor of Gambon’s stature is absolute proof of how good Smith is. As BBC One’s Robin Hood proved, shows with poor lead actors can’t afford to cast top talent in guest roles) and Katherine Jenkins managed to be even more exciting casting than Kylie several Christmases ago.
The downside of such great guest stars is that companions Karen Gillan (Amy) and Arthur Darvill (Rory) seemed disappointingly under-used.
Over on BBC Three Doctor Who Confidential seemed a lot less hubristic than during the last series.
Listening to a new production team brag (inaccurately as it turned out) about how their run was going to be bigger and better than the award winning, BAFTA lauded series overseen by their predecessors was always a little unpleasant. Mercifully such nonsense was absent for the Christmas episode.
So a successful return for the show and finally some sense that the new production team really are capable of delivering the goods.
Here’s looking forward to series 6.
Twitter users – follow @seenituk for more comment, news and observations.