The third Christmas special of Doctor Who takes place just after season 3. This one is called "Voyage of the Damned” and it has a special guest star, singer Kylie Minogue. We also meet a very important person in the Tenth Doctor’s time. He is played by a legendary actor in the British acting world but he plays a small part in this episode. This episode also takes us on board a space ship that is a recreation of a very famous ship. Again, there are spoilers ahead so read with care.
Voyage of the Damned
The Doctor’s second Companion, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), has just left voluntarily. He once again has no time to recover because he finds himself in another mess. A ship crashes into his TARDIS and that ship is named Titanic. Luckily this is not the ocean cruiser that sinks in tragedy but a spaceship that is fashioned as a boat and named after the liner. The ship is also not from Earth but from the planet Sto.
The TARDIS is easily repaired and afterwards it moves to the deck of the ship. The Doctor finds out that it is Christmas Eve and there is a party on board so he decides to hang around. He sets his psychic paper to show him as a passenger and people see he is Passenger 57. The only one he tells differently is Astrid Peth who is the character played by Kylie Minogue. She becomes a one-off Companion for this episode.
Astrid is from Sto and a part of the Titanic’s crew. She joined the crew because she wanted to see the stars and tour other planets. As a member of the staff, though, she is not allowed to leave the ship at the places it stops to take tours. The Doctor quickly remedies this and takes her, along with a few others, to Earth.
Some of the characters are delightful, like Zocci Bannakaffallatta (Jimmy Vee). There is a couple who is modeled after one on the movie Titanic; the Hoffs (Debbie Chazen and Clive Rowe).There is the ship’s historian Mr. Cooper as well. Mr. Cooper really doesn't seem to know true Earth history. These are just the characters the Doctor takes to Earth for a short tour.
There are other characters that are important to the Tenth Doctor’s “life” story, whether in small ways or big. There is Midshipmen Frame, whose first name makes it possible for the Doctor to say something he has been wanting to for a while. He is later able to cheer a friend up with the "sailor" before becoming the Eleventh Doctor.
He also meets part of his destiny. While on Earth the Doctor and the group he brings with him meet a newspaper man Wlfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins). The group notices that London’s streets are empty so the Doctor asks where everyone is and Wilfred says most people have left London after the last two Christmas attacks by aliens. Bernard is going to become much more important to the Doctor than a newspaper seller soon.
This episode shows that some angels are just evil in disguise and heroes come in many shapes and sizes. There is more than one person during this special who sacrifices themselves for the greater good. This includes the Doctor's temporary Companion Astrid, making her the first official Companion of the new Doctor Who series to die. All-in-all these things make this one more important Christmas special.
For an extra special treat, watch the Doctor Who short "Time Crash". This short brings together the Fifth and Tenth Doctors for the annual charity program Children in Need. It is set between the end of season three and just before this Christmas special.
Next up: "The Next Doctor"