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Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol



Then again, as I type these very words, a blizzard has shut down this fair city, so the doc's timing is all too apropos.

Having aired in the recent yuletide season, the BBC one-hour special makes its way to DVD and Blu-ray, where a Very Special Adventure awaits. Matt Smith is the current Doctor; Karen Gillian, his current sidekick; and humor, their forte.

Just when you think you've tired of remakes and updates of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," writer Steven Moffat gives it his own FX-laden twist — familiar enough to justify the title, yet different enough to make it his own. He even throws in a riff to his terrific "Sherlock" reboot.

The great Michael Gambon guests not as Ebenezer Scrooge, but Kazran Sardick, the cranky, crotchety rich old man whose face and mood are stuck in a state of  sour. It's up to Doctor Who to save Christmas — as the crew aboard a "Star Trek"-like spaceship states — and this holiday involves a spectrum of elements, from scary (a Great White shark) to sexy (UK singer Katherine Jenkins, who has both the voice and the face of an angel).

The program may be too wild for series newcomers; fans will eat up no matter what time of year, I suspect. The disc is rounded out with a couple of features, including a behind-the-scenes "Doctor Who Confidential" documentary that's just a few minutes' shy of being as long as the main program. Or, as they say in Britain, programme. —Rod Lott

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