Happy New Year! What better way to start off than giving a little review of the Christmas episode of Doctor Who. It was, at one time, normal for the US to see the Christmas episode until New Year’s. This is the twelfth and final Christmas episode to review at this time and it is a great one. If you haven't yet caught up, you should. This episode features an accidental superhero, the Doctor trying to piece things back together in his life, and an old face brought back once more. Oh, and don’t forget sentient alien brains.
“The Return of Doctor Mysterio”
One night an eight-year-old boy is awoken by a noise outside his window. He looks to see legs hanging by a rope. The person who is attached to the legs, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) of course, asks for help. The boy asks what he is doing. The man says he is setting a trap on the roof and he set it off, accidentally. He asks to be let in, but the boy says he has to ask his mom first and shuts the window.
The boy comes back and says “My mom says you can come in, you’re expected.” This throws the Doctor off. Why would he be expected? Then he sees the small tree with lights in the boy’s room. He asks what he told his mom and he said he saw an old man outside his window. He realizes that they think he is Santa Clause. The kid gives him some milk and cookies and the Doctor replies with “Ho-ho-ho.”
It turns out the boy’s name is Grant (Logan Hoffman). Except for the Christmas tree, his room is covered in comics: it is to the point of obsession. They talk comics and Grant tells the Doctor he would be called “Doctor Mysterio” if he was in the comics. The Doctor likes it.
Once Grant’s parents go to bed he leads the Doctor to the roof via the stairs. He tells the Doctor all about the comics on the way up. When they get there, they both take a look at the trap. Grant points out it looks like a Christmas tree. The Doctor says it is to keep other aliens away that come there (his fault). Grant has been coughing the whole time while they speak. The Doctor asks him about it. Grant says that it is a cold and he gets one the same time every year.
The Doctor hands Grant a glass of water from his pocket to drink and gives him a red shiny thing that could be a pill or a gem. When the Doctor and Grant start the trap, the Doctor asks Grant for the gem. The boy mistook it for a pill and swallowed it. The gem is one of four left and this one will give you whatever it thinks you want most. For Grant, it thinks that he wants to be a superhero. He starts flying, so the Doctor grabs on to him so he doesn’t just float away. Once he brings him home, he tells him he cannot use his powers, ever!
The Doctor, it is shown in a flash back, does check in on him at school. Grant (Daniel Lorente) is refusing to look at anyone. It turns out that when he hit puberty he developed x-ray vision; very awkward. He can’t stop it. There is one girl that he really likes and makes him float, her name is Lucy.
Fast forward twenty-four years in New York and Grant (Justin Chatwin) is a nanny to a cute little baby named Jennifer. At the same time, Lucy (Charity Wakefield) is working as a reporter who is investigating a new company named Harmony Shoals. The Doctor and Nardole (Matt Lucas) are also investigating the same place. Lucy, the Doctor, and the Doctor’s current Companion Nardole (yes, he was in last year’s Christmas episode too) all wait until Harmony Shoals closes and then take a look around.
Lucy is listening in, dressed as a maid, to Dr. Sim (Aleksandar Jovanovic) and Mr. Brock (Tomiwa Edun). She had interviewed Mr. Brock earlier in the day. They are in a room that was hidden before. She suddenly hears someone eating beside her. It is the Doctor, who is eating sushi. He said he was a pro at listening in on things, so he brought snacks and she needs to keep listening.
Suddenly, a set of surgeons come out of doorways. There are brains all around the room in jars. When you knock on the glass they actually open eyes. The brains are sentient but they need bodies to get around in. The surgeons have already changed out Dr. Sim’s brain, now it is time for Mr. Brock.
They hear the three intruders listening in and threaten them. The Doctor tells them their plan will not work, whatever it is. Suddenly there is a knock at the window. They turn around and see a man floating in the air in a superhero suit. He breaks the window and all the things shot at him bounce right off.
When asked who he is, Lucy said “The Ghost. He’s a vigilante, only super.” The Doctor says “Grant” under his breath because there is only one person on Earth who could do that.
The Ghost fights off the bad guys and flies Lucy home. He leaves suddenly when a monitor goes off and Lucy thinks it is a crime fighting app. He flies away. This is where it gets messy.
The Ghost gets into his apartment and becomes Grant. The monitor was a baby monitor and the baby is crying. The Doctor is there in his apartment holding Jennifer and Nardole is fixing his bottle. The Doctor does not understand how he can do all of this. He then hears the baby’s mom coming in the door. Grant says that it is about to get a lot more awkward for all of them. Lucy is the baby’s mom. She does not know Grant is the Ghost so she is a little confused about why the other two are in her house and beat her there.
It all works out, however uneasily, in the end. There is a happy ending for the most part.
For my finishing notes, this episode ends where the last Christmas one “The Husbands of River Song” did. The entire episode it looks like the Doctor is trying to find something, and the fact that it has been twenty four years since he last saw Grant means something to him. He lost his memory of Clara so the last Companions he remembers before River Song and their 24 year night on Darillium were Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) who were taken by the Weeping Angels in “The Angels Take Manhattan”. It makes sense that he came back to New York. He has taken Nardole out of Hydroflax’s body because he seemed to be a friend of River’s. The Doctor is lonely and ready for a second Companion.
Now we have to wait until this Spring to see a new Doctor Who but it is better than a year.