There was no Doctor Who regular season in 2016 which left a gap between the last Christmas special and this one. The 2017 season will in some ways be a fresh break - no Clara and having wrapped up River's story - it feels like such a long time ago since those stories ended. We'll have Nardole as some continuation to link the past with the future but it'll be interesting to see how the new companion (Billie) fits in. Looking forward to what will (sadly) probably be the 12th Doctor's last series.
Christmas Special - The Return of Doctor Mysterio
With the recent spate of superhero-based movies and TV shows, Doctor Who joined in on the fun with a Christmas special centered around a superhero - The Ghost. The epsiode jumps a little between the past and present as we see The Ghost's origins (alien of course) and it points out or makes fun of some of the realities or absurdities of the superhero genre (wearing glassess = completely different person; trying to hold down two identities and be two different people at the same time). In many ways, The Ghost was mostly based off Superman.
But first - where is the Doctor now? The episode previous to this was the fun but sad Christmas Special last year, where we said goodbye to River Song on Darillium. He's not in a happy place although he's re-assembled Nardole to accompany him so he's not completely alone. The wonderful head-splitting aliens from last Christmas are back and planning to take over the world by converting all the important people into to head-splitters. Turns out the aliens resemble brains and need to be inserted into host bodies in order to get around. It also looks like they'll be popping up later this series with one of them escaping into a UNIT soldier and there was a nice mention of Osgood.
There was the usual great banter and comedy and The Ghost/Grant rather unbelievably saves the day. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about Nardole. He has a nice deadpan sense of humour but he's not the type to question or challenge The Doctor (or anyone really) so it'll be interesting to see the interactions between them (and Billie). He must know The Doctor fairly well by now so he'll likely serve as information to Billie and us about The Doctor's past without requiring The Doctor himself to explain everything. It's been a while after all since we've had a new companion.
And what about that squeaky toy thing (Mr Huffle) that bore a vague, very vague resemblance to River Song (the massive hair and red lips). The interrogation scene was hilarious and seriously, using that toy was genius. I couldn't help laughing every time the poor thing gave off very pitiful screams. The Doctor's reaction was priceless.
Overall I liked the episode and it was interesting to see Doctor Who tackle the superhero genre.