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The Culture Girl’s First Post!

December 26, 2012

As the culture girl, I will be writing my first post right about now. Seeing as it is the 26th December (and in the UK this means it is Boxing Day) I should probably talk a little bit about the Christmas culture of the Christmas Specials, I’m afraid I’m going to avoid some (I can’t watch soaps, even to do a review of them!) I’ll focus on Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, I’m afraid these are the two I got round to watching, not many I know, but it was Christmas Day.

Having gone for a short walk to work off my Christmas lunch, I arrived home at 5.15, the time Doctor Who started, and desperately tried to get the tv to turn on in time. As I settled into watching one of my favourite programs, I looked forward to what was to come, I do get a bit nervous when watching things like Christmas specials, I worry that they will be a let down, turns out I was right to be worried, but more on that later. Back to The Doctor, for those of you who have not watched it and wish to, I won’t spoil anything, and I would also encourage you to watch it. Set in a snowy Victorian London a fairly miserable Doctor, presumably still mourning over the loss of Amy and Rory to the Weeping Angles, is trying not to investigate a strange snow. However, a barmaid/governess manages to persuade him to help her and a family fight the snow and the ice. There were a number of things very well done during this episode. The first was obviously that it was winter and Christmas Day, set in Victorian London with the added feature of snow, those of you who have watched it will know that this snow is integral to the entire plot. The second is the use of the frozen pond in the storyline, the pond contains a sort of ice demon, but the word pond is symbolic in Doctor Who, as avid fans like me probably picked up on fairly quickly, and it was used well. The third is the introduction of the new assistant, who we have met before but during a different time, with a shocking result. The mystery of the new Doctor’s new assistant, Clara, played exceptionally well by Jenna-Louise Coleman, thickens with this episode, but also answers questions about this girl, but you will have to watch until the end to see this. The fourth is that characters from past Doctor Who episodes do pop up in this episode to aid the Doctor in this new challenge to save the human race. To finish my section on Doctor Who, I would like to offer just one small criticism, I enjoy action, and although Doctor Who is not all about action, I feel that in some places this Christmas special was a bit slow. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, implore you to watch it and am excited for the upcoming rest of the series.

A little later and it was time for two hours worth of Downton, I must admit to being a bit skeptical about this episode to begin with because of the fact that they have broken with tradition and instead of a Christmas setting writer Julian Fellowes has gone for a summer holiday as the theme. The episode begins with a very pregnant Mary, 8 months apparently but she looked more like 5, discussing her travelling to Scotland with the family for their summer break. Some servants are to go with them but others are to stay behind. Now I will warn you before you read further that to do this review I will be spoiling it for those who haven’t watched it, so if you haven’t, I suggest you stop reading now. For those who go, there is a bit of good old family drama at Scotland and a good old kerfuffle at a fair back at Downton, particularly involving Tom and the new maid, who inevitably doesn’t even last the whole episode. Of course, the episode continues with Mary going into labour early after coming back from Scotland early and a race by the rest of the family to be with her. Everyone is happy with a new son and heir to Downton, so happy that Matthew drives home himself, fairly fast and has a head on collision with a lorry, and is shown to be dead at the end. The episode itself was very good, a bit long but a good solid story line. However, as a viewer on Christmas Day, I don’t really want to see someone die unless I’m watching an action movie or a terrible soap. I understand that Julian Fellowes has little choice, seeing as the actor playing Matthew, Dan Stevens, is leaving for Broadway, but, a bit bleak for Christmas Day I think!

So, I did enjoy my Christmas viewing, some more than others, and I did enjoy my Christmas. Now I think I will be going online to watch the things I missed, Call the Midwife is definitely on the list. Maybe more about that one later. I hope you enjoyed my first post, hopefully of many, and I do hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!


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