This year I had three British Christmas specials waiting for me when I got home: Downton Abbey, Doctor Who and Call the Midwife.
Downton Abbey. I love this series, which is interesting cause it's not like something else I really like. It could be because it's a costume drama or because it's British, or just because all the characters are easy to relate to. I had hoped that we'd get to see some of Edith on her trip, but the special starts off with her having just returned home from Switzerland. I don't like at all where Edith's story is going, but I suppose I understand her predicament and the actions she's forced to take to remain accepted by her part of society. I love the battle raging between Tony Gillingham and Charles Blake for Mary's affection. And although I at first disliked Lady Grantham's brother Harold I found myself liking him quite a bit towards the end. I like that Tom is beginning to fit into his new clothes. I understand his predicament of wanting to let Sibby grow up wanting for nothing, and at the same time wanting to keep his old values and raising Sibby to be Irish and Catholic. But he's starting to view the rest of the Crawleys as his family. And I loved that Mary referred to Rose as a Flapper! :D And her being presented was very pretty. I'm really looking forward to the next season and what the 20s will bring for the Crawleys. We all know of Black Thursday...
Doctor Who. After the absolutely brilliant 50th Anniversary special last month I had my hopes up high for this episode. But I though it started out sort of slow and the Siege of Trenzalore wasn't at all what I had imagined. And the Doctor doesn't remember saving Gallifrey? What?! Wasn't he supposed to be the one remembering? O_o I actually didn't start to really really enjoy the special until the moment when Clara returns to the Doctor when he has grown really really old and the Daleks break through the Siege and into Trenzalore. I did enjoy seeing all the hints to Matt Smith's tenure. The crack in the wall, the mention of River, little Amelia Pond, and the boy waiting outside his TARDIS for him to return that obviously was a reference to her. But towards the end I started to really like the episode. How Clara begged the Time Lords on the other side of the crack to help the Doctor, and in the same breath telling them off for pestering him about his real name. I loved how the crack in the wall disappeared and instead opened up in the sky providing the Doctor with a completely new set of Regenerations. When the Doctor started regenerating Toni and I were waving at the TV screen saying "Bye-bye, Matt Smith". Then Capaldi showed up and I have such huge expectation on his Doctor. I can't wait to autumn 2014 when the next season premieres! It's such a long time! One final thing that bothers me: WHY THE HELL DOESN'T CAPALDI'S DOCTOR KNOW HOW TO DRIVE THE FRIGGIN' TARDIS?!
Call the Midwife. This is another series that's a little bit off from what I usually like. I like it partly because it's a costume drama, partly because it's British and partly because I've had a weird fascination for pregnancies since I was about 10. It also makes history feels less like a story I read in a book and more like something that actually happened and not too long ago. In the last season they had TBC screenings and one of the mothers said "I'm so excited to see my baby" and I felt dumb-founded as I realised they didn't have ultra-sound. So when a girl showed up in this Christmas special who was a whole week overdue I was wondering if she'd make it and what they'd do. If they didn't have ultra-sounds could they induce labour? Then there was polio in the special, and to me growing up polio was always something they had in poor developing countries like India and Pakistan. But after finding out that my grandmother had a small bout of polio as a small child it felt much more real. Someone close to me, someone I knew, had had polio. And when one of the children ended up inside an iron lung due to polio all I could think was that that was a very weird machine to help someone breathe. It makes me appreciate how much has happened the last 60 years.