Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Return of Doctor Mysterio

It’s been so long since I last saw The Doctor that I felt compelled to write about the Christmas Special. The last two seasons were a pain to get through because I am decidedly not a fan of Clara, so the thought of seeing Capaldi again, in what promised to be a fun episode, was beyond exciting.

Here’s the thing. The Christmas episodes have always been some of the best ones for me. I mean, it’s Christmas! With snow! And presents! And sitting down to watch Doctor Who after Christmas, with hot chocolate or iced coffee in hand, has become the best antidote to post-Christmas letdowns for me.

Having said all that, The Return of Doctor Mysterio was just okay. The story of The Doctor meeting a young boy who grows up to be a crime-fighting superhero by night and manny by day could have been so much more. (There were aliens in there too.) Just reading those words now, I’m struck by the many opportunities for some really touching scenes, like in The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe. Now that was a Christmas special that brought all the warm fuzzies. But Mysterio?  There was nothing Christmas-y about it at all, not in its tone or approach. The comic book homage was all right, and Justin Chatwin was likeable as The Ghost. I guess you can call it entertaining. Which should be okay, I guess. Christmas specials don’t have any obligation to be anything more than just another episode, right?

Ultimately it all comes down to one thing. The writing for Capaldi has been crap. And it’s not fair to him. He’s a great actor, and his Doctor could have been one of the great ones. But what are we left with? Nine, Ten and Eleven all had their moments, the episodes or scenes that defined them and secured their legacy. Even Nine, who only had one season, had better moments than Capaldi has had in two seasons.

I did not start out this post to be a Moffat rant, but talking about Doctor Who now inevitably leads to that. It’s become tiring to watch, though I still hold on out of love for Capaldi and the hope that he will finally get a good episode. I’m still waiting.