The Twelve Blogs of Christmas: Twelve

Well, wasn’t that gorgeous? And moving? ‘Voyage of the Damned’ I mean, a fitting conclusion to the best year of the new Doctor Who. Well done, all!

I’m back, having consumed two Christmas dinners on the same day, one Midnight Mass (at which small lights shone in the dark, and John (not that one) was read, and a couple reaffirmed their wedding vows after sixty years), and a combination of beer, wine, port and flaming Christmas pud.

I’ve put the competition winners up on the Facebook Event, Simon having spent some of his Christmas Day with his family randomly choosing them. The things that man will do in the name of spreading the fun. The winners are:

Jason Sanders, Kate Sheehy, Nik Whitehead, Luke Miller, Fiona James, Jonathan Melville, Glenn Reuben, Richard Leigh, Jeremy Rosenberg and Jen Casswell of which the grand prize winner is…

Jeremy Rosenberg (who we think is probably in Chicago).

Well done all, and thanks to all who took part.

I’m pleased to have taken part, along with such luminaries as (writer) Mike Carey, (artist) Nicola Scott and (editor and main man) Tom Brevoort in a comics roundtable at Comics Nexus, of which you can now read the first part here:

The Harry Sullivan/seafood petition stands at… 165 signatures. Anyone fancy e-mailing Character Options and telling them? Could be a good seller for them. Possibly.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this run of festive blogging as much as I have. Next year will bring Primeval, Excalibur, The Vision, short stories, more television, more comics, and, I hope, a novel. I’ll see you in L.A., Perth, Imperial College, and I’ll very much see you in Denver.

I leave with the last two of those wonderful Laurie Sage cartoons.

Thanks for reading, and until I see you in 2008, Cheerio!

30 Response to "The Twelve Blogs of Christmas: Twelve"

  • Gluben Says:

    Yay, I won! Thank you for all your Christmas blogs and even though it's a day late, a Merry Christmas to you!

  • SK Says:

    Well, wasn’t that gorgeous? And moving? ‘Voyage of the Damned’ I mean

    Well, it wasn't actively bad like the last two Christmas specials, so... yay, I suppose.

    (Rhetorical questions? What're they?)

  • Paul Oldroyd Says:

    "Well, wasn’t that gorgeous? And moving? ‘Voyage of the Damned’ I mean"

    Oh yes. That worked on so many levels. Chris and I are still wondering if we cought all the movie/tv show references .... Just love the totally unfettered portrayal of the Doctor as Hero - although I understand that this hasn't gone down too well in some parts.

    Hope you had a good Christmas, Paul. We're only just about surfacing back into the real world after ours.

  • Garpu the Fork Says:

    I don't know why some people got their panties so twisted about the Doctor as hero story in this particular episode. Yeah, it was over the top in some places, but it's the Christmas special *and* Doctor Who. Then again I see the Doctor more of a St. Michael figure than a Christ-like figure.

  • LynnS Says:

    Some Who is better than no Who, but I was a bit let down. Could you please tell Himself aka Mr Davies to ratchet down the religious iconography? pleez? Yeah, it's Christmas, but he doesn't seem to need a tie-in to overindulge in it. That said, I'm happily awaiting s4, in which I hope 10 tells Donna something like "I wish Martha were here, she'd know just what to do..." :)

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Good for you, Gluben. Paul, I thought so too, and loved the hero stuff. Garpu: do you mean in the sense of Marks and Spencer? 'This is not just a Christmas special...' Lynns: I just don't see it. As someone on Outpost Gallifrey sensibly said, if you're okay with Superman, then anything else seems tame. We're so awash in religious imagery (and, you know, hooray!) that I think it's actually those hardcore atheist Who fans who object to it more than the theist ones.

  • Garpu the Fork Says:

    Garpu: do you mean in the sense of Marks and Spencer? 'This is not just a Christmas special...'

    Yah. Christmas is supposed to be a bit lavish and exuberant. Think I would've been disappointed, if VotD was like any other episode.

  • Michele Says:

    Well I'm not a hardcore atheist - I'm just fed up with the whole "Lonely God" schtick. Sorry Paul, but that episode just left me looking at the clock every 15 mins (and I NEVER look at the clock normally during Who), wondering when the Season 4 trailer was coming on!

    For one thing, the Doctor's got no need to feel alone - sure, Gallifrey and his people are gone, but he never seemed to care that much about them when they were there - AND he's got Companions (and one of the things I really hated about the Xmas ep was that he outright lied to Mr Copper about travelling alone - the Doctor's almost never travelled alone *on screen*!) It's about time he dialled down the whole God-thing and started accepting the fact that his Companions are his family.

    I started re-watching Classic Who earlier this year and the contrast between older Doctors and the Tenth are worrying, annoying and disappointing (to various degrees): I know the Time War was devastating and the Doctor's suffering from some PTSD but I'm starting to dislike the character of the Doctor as portrayed in New Who and that *really* upsets me given I grew up watching and admiring the Doctor...

    I'm very much hoping that Season 4 will see Ten starting to swing back towards the Classic Who portrayal - I'm especially hoping that Mr Copper's comment about having the ability to choose who lives and who dies making one a monster (NOT a God), will resonate with Ten and that he will start treating people differently.

    And enough with the kissing already. I love David Tennant no end and would be glad to kiss him, but it's getting boring. I want less Romance next season please...

  • Siskoid Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Paul B. =:o} Says:

    I'm with michele (above) on just about every point, I'm afraid. And with cavalorn

    And I'm a theist, as indeed is smallship1 - with whom I also agree wholeheartedly about the fates of the supporting characters.

    Overall verdict: It was a fun hour, mostly, but with several serious flaws, and some utterly cringeworthy ladelling on of the slow-mo (or did it just *seem* like slow mo?) to signal "we are being dramatic and emotional now".

  • Michele Says:

    Don't even get me started on the whole secondary characters thing ! I looked at the Doctor's little gang of survivors and instantly knew which two would make it to safety because it was just so obvious that only the two white males would survive...

  • LynnS Says:

    Well, actually, Paul, I'm a Pagan. So I'm awash in theism! We're all about the religous symbolism, us Pagans.

    What bothers me more about religious symbolism in RTD eps is not that it's there, but that it's usually tawdry and shopworn. It's actually a minor criticism for the ep as a whole. It was predictable from start to finish and felt cobbled together; not an original thought in the whole thing. Michele has the right of it, I'm afraid.

    Quite honestly, your Christmas story was far and away the better of the two, even though nothing "blowed up." It had genuine emotion behind it. Sadly, the big budget spectacular did not. What Classic Who lacked in special effects budgets it more than made up for with heart. I fear the opposite is too often true with (RTD-penned) New Who, much as I love it. And I do, which is why disappointment is harder to take.

    ANYway, I hope you had a lovely Yule and that 2008 is your year in all things.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    I think this might be why few people who work in collaborative media have blogs, or at least ones with open comments lists. I'm sorry I have to say this, because I know you're all just being friendly, but here we go. Please don't 'praise' me by criticising the work of my friends. It's very embarrassing and painful. This is not the place for negative reviews of Doctor Who episodes that I wasn't part of. Negative reviews of my own work are fine. (Although when we get to regular comics work next year, I'm not sure how I'm going to feel if, for example, you lot criticise an artist, or an editor, and what if you take against an actor in one of my TV episodes?) Long term readers will know this has happened before, to the point of me having to moderate comments that one time. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it in the future, but please, I'd appreciate it if you could try to see my point of view. Perhaps I shouldn't have put it as a rhetorical question. At any rate, I'll need to think up some rules. Any suggestions would be appreciated. And is your presence and kind words. It's just... they're my friends, you know?

  • Michele Says:

    I'm sure we do understand your awkwardness...

    But can you see that telling you what we think, even if it's negative, feels like a way of directly telling Mr Davies how we feel? I'm sure none us really wants to criticise New Who - I know I don't! I'd much rather be bouncing about the place like the Tenth Doctor (or a 6 year old on a sugar high) babbling excitedly about how awesome the show is (as, in fact, I was after "Smith and Jones" aired). It pains me to criticise a show I've loved for a long time. I admit I wasn't a big fan during the Classic Who days - New Who has made me a huge fan of both Classic AND New Who - and I'll always be grateful to Mr Davies for that. So I'd be delighted to bounce in here every time a new episode airs and squee about how wonderful it was...

    But I can't... And it pains *me* too! I was really looking forward to the Xmas episode - so it makes my disappointment in it even harder to bear.

    Maybe there could be an official DW Blog or forum where fans can post these sort of comments and *know* that someone on the production team gets to see them? Obviously you can't please all the fans all the time, ever - but given that most of the people working on the show these days are fans themselves, I guess those fans outside the production want the fans inside to know what we like or dislike - and posting comments here appears to be a way of getting that over to those involved...

    I think the only way you're going to get around this is to switch to moderated comments, and to state plainly somewhere noticeable on the Blog that you won't publish comments that criticise your fellow writers - that way everyone knows in advance and no one can say they weren't warned.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Sorry to be all anonymous and that but my password seems to change with that 'choose an identity' thing.
    Just wanted to point you towards the most important comments us DW fans make- that is, our comments of love for the show new and old. We love you guys, even though we wish we could be you sometimes! haha
    Congrats on Series 3, my favourite New Who series so far.

  • funnyerik9 Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to share your 12 Blogs of Chrsitmas.

    Here's some Christmas Wishes from my and my three kids!

    -Erik E.

  • LynnS Says:

    Please accept my apology, Paul. I certainly wasn't trying to boost you by tearing your friends down (quite the opposite--I was trying to boost you by, uh, boosting you :) ), and I totally understand your point of view regarding criticism of collaborative media.

    When you love a show, it's hard to rein in your enthusiasm at times. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. :) If I comment further here, I will be much more careful and not stray off-point. Apologies.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Thanks very much, you've all been so nice that now I feel guilty for saying that! It's very kind of you to be so understanding. Cheers.

  • Paul B. =:o} Says:

    Re: Boosting X by denigrating Y.

    Well, if it helps... Your own work isn't perfect either. =;o>

  • Anonymous Says:

    Anyway, people be mad, this was a wonderful episode. The critisism of Russell T Davis' writing is beyond my comprehension, I'm afraid, and I thought The Voyage of the Damned was particularly well written; there were some really really good lines in this.
    Good cast too, with Clive Swift, George Costigan and Russell Tovey as the midshipman probably being the standouts. I suppose we're so used to Tennant being solidly amazing we kinda don't notice it much anymore. But he was good.

    But, yeah, I sat down on Christmas Day with my young neice and nephew beside me and we had a ball watching it. What can I say, it worked it's magic on us.
    Yeah, I even liked the bit with the Queen. Guess I was in a good mood or something.

    Not keen on the revamped music though. An early-'90s dance mix wasn't something I thought it needed. Ah well.

    Please don't 'praise' me by criticising the work of my friends. It's very embarrassing and painful.

    Well, you do call it your House of Awkwardness...


  • Anonymous Says:

    Paul, I have already mentioned to you that I wasn't too impressed by the Christmas Day episode; however my kids were still terrified by the Angels and loved every minute of it! Christmas TV is aimed at the masses and the masses loved it - Kylie could have something to do with that? Loved the short in the Torygraph. Guy

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    I'm afraid, Paul, that I'm one of the one in a thousand people who are Smiley Blind. We can't read smileys, and so have to make do with just the words. Fortunately, those generally contain the whole meaning anyway. And yes, David, you've got a point about the title of the blog! Glad you enjoyed Russell's work. And thanks, Guy.

  • able-spacer Says:

    I just caught up with the Doctor Who Christmas story you wrote for the Telegraph.

    What a fun, fun little read! You nailed the Doctor's banter perfectly! I could practically hear David Tennant's voice in my head as I read.

    Great work!

  • Dozeymagz Says:

    A rather belated 'Happy New Year' to you! All the best for a rather spiffing 2008.

    Loved VoD :)

  • Paul L. Mathews Says:

    Hello Paul!

    I'm sure you've seen this article already, but I was curious as to your opinion on it.

    Whilst I'm here, I'd like to thank you for the Audience with Paul Cornell you held in Leeds a few months ago. I particualrly liked your answer to the question "Where do you get your ideas from?"

    All the best for 2008.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Why thank you, you two.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Thanks very much, Paul. The link in question is about that news story 'Christian group denounces Doctor Who'. Which should have been 'tiny, noisy Christian group who the media listen to far too much denounce Doctor Who'. The Church of England, who don't get their moderate, kind quotes into the media as easily, responded with something that basically said 'oh, what rubbish!' Which it is. I don't know any other Christian apart from the one (and I think it is one) quoted who thinks appropriation of Messianic imagery is a bad thing. Or at least, that it's an important bad thing. As I said, I think atheists have more of a problem with it.

  • toby Says:

    Bloody hell! I thought Dr Who was an adventure story for children. Why are these grown-ups getting so exercised about it?

    As an adult, I reckon 'Voyage of the Damned' was the best family-viewing programme of the Christmas holiday. Better than Ballet Shoes and far superior to proper adult offerings like To The Manor Born.

    I enjoyed the disaster movie characters and other movie references, which went over the heads of the kids in our house. And Kylie was fab. She could be a great travel companion for the Dr, if persuaded to return.

    Your Daily Telegraph story was fun also and provided a nice balance to the 'chattering-class' garbage that fills so much of broadsheet newspapers :)

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Thanks very much.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Well, as an Atheist, I'd like to say that I didn't have a problem with the religious symbolism. After all, this was a [i]Christmas[/i] special.

    But yeah, sadly, there's always going to be a few atheists who complain about [i]anything[/i] to do with religion. It's a shame that when it comes to issues like this, the media only seem to listen to the views of the most militant and fanatical people, Christian or Atheist.

    Anyway... I bought the Wisdom trade paperback, and I really enjoyed it. I'll be eager to see your version of Excalibur when it comes out.