There has been a lot of darkness, awkwardness, lies, uncertainty, and mayhem at the end of this season of Doctor Who. We’ve seen robots and balloons made of dead flesh, the insides of a Dalek, the monsters of the mind, a bank robbery, a rampaging weaponized alien robot, spider creatures and a creature hatching from the moon, an invisible mummy that attacks people in sixty-six seconds, and two-dimensional invaders manipulating our universe.
We’ve seen the loss of Danny Pink, who loved his young students, and Clara’s betrayal of The Doctor, and Missy. Just Missy.
So, you have to understand, after an arc with positively magical episodes that are few and far between (at least three of them), that when “Death In Heaven” ends on such a downer, that when Santa Claus decides to make an appearance (played by one Nick Frost and no, that is not a joke: that is really his name): who even says it shouldn’t end on this note and asks what The Doctor wants, you have to wonder where this is going.
This is not the first time Santa Claus has appeared in the Whoniverse. He has been in comics and stories and even got mentioned by the Eleventh Doctor as being called Jeff in “A Christmas Carol.”
And now: here he seems to be in an actual episode.
There seem to be some pretty unfriendly and grotesque-looking creatures in the North Pole. If those are how elves are born, I don’t think I really wanted to know. Or maybe they are of Krampus’ species. But I wonder if, like Robin Hood, this really is Santa. Maybe he is an Eternal or some other immortal being. Verity Lambert once compared The Doctor to Father Christmas.
Perhaps, now, he needs someone to bring him the joy more than ever.
The Doctor and Santa Claus will be appearing this December for the Doctor Who Christmas Special.