“Time Lords are friends with each other, dear. Everything else is cradle-snatching.” – Missy to the Doctor
The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation of Kasterborous. All Time Lords possess the ability to regenerate, meaning when they are near death they are born again in a new body with a new personality while retaining their memories. Barring accidents or being killed again during regeneration, a Time Lord is essentially immortal. No matter how much I watch Doctor Who, I can’t fully comprehend that sort of life. I am a finite being so I can’t fathom traversing all of time and space for millennia. I love thinking about it! I love speculating about it! But I’ll never – no matter how long I ponder – fully understand what such a life would be like. As a result, I can never fully understand the Doctor’s relationship with the Master. The Master is another Time Lord, the Doctor’s childhood best friend who grew up to become one of their greatest enemies.
Inspired by listening to the song a few weeks ago, I decided to spend the month of December reflecting on what Christmas means to me. Then I decided it would be a fun to use Doctor Who Christmas specials as the sole lens through which to consider this question! “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” written by Steven Moffat, was Doctor Who’s 2016 Christmas special. It starred Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Matt Lucas as the oh-so-amazing-yet-forever-underrate Nardole, Justin Chatwin as Grant Gordon/the Ghost, and Charity Wakefield as Lucy Fletcher. Picking favorites out of the Doctor Who Christmas specials is all but impossible. Still…this one has always stood out for me. So, What Does Christmas Mean To Me (Vol. 3)? Let’s follow the Doctor stateside to New York City and start breaking that very question down!
One of many things I love about Doctor Who is how no genre is off limits. The horror genre being a favorite, they visit it’s themes, traits, and tropes often and with great effect. Of allllllllllllllllll the creepy, freaky, unnerving, and haunting scenes I’ve seen play out in Doctor Who – episodes watched or novels read – one scares me more than any other. One disturbs me to the very core of my being. As far as I’m concerned, NOTHING in the history of this show is ANYWHERE NEAR as scary as “Heaven Sent” (S9E11). Recently I read a post Gemma wrote over on Books Beach Bunny titled, “Blogging Confessions: Fear” and it reminded me I had an idea for a post about this episode over the summer…an idea I presume I promptly forgot because it would take me places I’d rather not visit. But, inspired by the courage of her confessional piece, I decided to tackle it. And hey, what’s October for if not scaaaaaaaary things, right?