If you’ve not seen the episode yet, then click over to our spoiler-free review here so you get the full effect of a number of the surprises that Steven Moffat springs during this Christmas special, one of the best he’s written.
For those for whom this is a return to the episode, it’s a chance to relive the Inception homage, which holds up to repeat viewings better than some episodes from the last year. You may begin to wonder if there is truth to the rumour that the script did originally finish with the Doctor visiting the old Clara before Jenna Coleman decided to sign up for the ninth season. She and Peter Capaldi have a better relationship here, once they’ve cleared the air of the mutual lying at the end of Death in Heaven, and if the genuinely happy Time Lord we see flying Santa’s sleigh is the template for the next year, then the show will benefit.
In addition to the episode, you get the short behind the scenes Doctor Who Extra feature, which includes brief excerpts from scenes that didn’t make the final cut, and – although it’s unheralded in the publicity – there’s also a commentary from producer and director, which ironically starts by pointing out something that you probably didn’t see when you were watching. (By the way, don’t ‘rewind’ thinking you’ve missed something when they start talking – they introduce themselves a little later.) Bearing in mind that the Series 8 Blu-ray didn’t include all the material from the separate Deep Breath release, it would be a shame to miss out on this if the same thing happens with Series 9.
Verdict: A cracking story with some enjoyable extras. 9/10
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