Christmas mini-reviews: Gavin and Stacey and the Next Doctor

Christmas cheer?

Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special

Well, it may be a while since they’ve been on, but that doesn’t stop me making a few notes and comments on some of the Christmas fare. Not all of it, since I still haven’t watched Crooked House or The 39 Steps, but Gavin & Stacey and Doctor Who‘s The Next Doctor at least.

Gavin & Stacey
Disappointing this. Kind of like Gavin & Stacey by numbers, with more or less the same as what we’ve seen before just slightly expanded upon – a kind of G&S‘s greatest hits – rather than anything too original. So we get the holiday incident, the big fight, references to Ness’s exciting past, etc, but nothing too startling. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments, but they were surprisingly few and far between.

Still, at least the potential for a new series is obviously there, they did try to give both Gavin and Stacey something to do this time, and there were no sudden flip-flops of character designed purely to achieve a happy ending or a wrap-up of loose plot threads. And it is a Christmas Special, so you have to give it some leeway.

All the same, I found the BBC3 “Making of…” show, Gavin & Stacey: The 12 Days of Christmas, to be a whole lot funnier than the episode itself.

Of course, it might just be because we didn’t watch it on the day then met up with my wife’s aunt, who said “Oh, haven’t you seen it yet? Well, I won’t spoil it for you then,” before proceeding to tell us about six of the funniest bits in it. Curses.

The Next Doctor
50% of this was good, 50% of this was bad, and there was a pretty clear demarcation line: anything with David Morrissey in it – good, even moving at times; anything with the Cybermen, little children or Dervla Kirwan in it – bad and very silly, particularly the giant Cyberman.

Again, a Christmas special so some slack should be given and it was a whole lot better than last year’s Titanic snooze-fest with Kylie. But not great.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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