Over the next few days we will be releasing articles about the annual Doctor Who Christmas episodes. The Christmas specials started with the regeneration of the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) to the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant). This first one was called “The Christmas Invasion” and the most recent was “The Husbands of River Song”. After all the episode synopses have been released there will be a poll where you can vote for your favorite. So, without further introduction, here is the synopsis for the very first Doctor Who Christmas Special.
The Christmas Invasion
“The Christmas Invasion” saw Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) watch the Doctor regenerate for the first time. David Tennant takes over for Christopher Eccleston making him the tenth person to play the Doctor to date. It also sees him landing (read:crashing) the TARDIS on Earth at Christmas time. Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) and Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) hear it land and meet it. Mickey is Rose's kind of boyfriend and Jackie is her mom.
Rose is still confused as to what happened to the Doctor. She has no idea who this new man is in the old Doctor’s clothes. Is he really the Doctor in a new body? He barely gives her time to figure it out when he recalls her boyfriend and mom’s names and remembers he wants to say, “Merry Christmas!” to them before passing out. He stays in a type of coma for the rest of the episode until the penultimate fight which makes this a Companion-heavy episode.
While the Doctor is sleeping Rose and Mickey go shopping. They run into these “Santa Clauses” who are playing Christmas music. As soon as they see Rose they stop the playing and start going after her. The two race home just in time to find another fight on their hands. Rose is able to get the Doctor up long enough to take care of it. The only thing is that he says the “Santas” and the surprise they came home to are just the beginning. They are “pilot fish” sensing his regeneration energy and he says something bigger is coming. Then, with a rebuke to Rose for waking him up too soon, he passes out again.
In the end the Doctor comes to in time to fight the major enemy: The Sycorax. He fights the leader one on one and proves that he is still the same Doctor. He does not give second chances. In this fight he does lose a hand but is still within the fifteen hour period of regeneration so he can regrow a new one. Captain Jack finds the original one but that is a whole different story for a different time.
I don’t want to give too many spoilers for those who have yet to see it. If you have already watched it I hope there is enough to jog your memory because this was a very important episode to the Tenth Doctor’s beginning and end. There are Easter Eggs everywhere if you look hard enough.
This Christmas episode is the beginning and the end of many things. Torchwood, Pre-Captain Jack era, is involved while they still have a base in London. This is also the first major Doctor Who episode since coming back to television that UNIT has played a big part of. This episode also sees the downfall of Harriet Jones, Prime Minister. It shows how just a few words can change everything if it is said by and to the right people.
This was the very first time that many fans saw a Doctor regenerate as they had become fans with the restart of the show in 2005. Even more than that, this is the start of something new. Only one episode of the older Doctor Who coincided with Christmas (you can see what is left of that below). This became a new tradition for Doctor Who. It is only since this episode that the tradition of having an off season/off day Christmas show annually started. So allons-y to the next!
Next up: "The Runaway Bride"