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Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol — 2010 Christmas Special Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD High Resolution 5.1
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: BBC/Warner
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 15, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

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Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol - Subtitle

Purchase Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

It may be February already, but nearly the entire country is covered in snow and, well, we know that some of you still have those Christmas decorations up (we won’t tell). Therefore, a Doctor Who Christmas special just may be the right thing to help rekindle that holiday spirit.

The Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol special originally aired in the States over the holiday season on the cable network BBC America. The show is everything fans of the series would expect from a Who holiday. It’s an hour-long take on the Dickens tale with a quirky sci-fi twist; it’s cheesy in that special Doctor Who way, but absolute fun.

The story finds the new Doctor (Mat Smith) on a distant planet at Christmas Eve where his new companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and her brand-new husband Rory (Arthur Darvill) are stuck on a crashing spaceship. In order to save them, the Doctor must thaw the icy heart of the planet’s biggest, richest and most powerful, Christmas-hating scrooge, Kazran Sardick, played by star of The King’s Speech and Harry Potter, Sir Michael Gambon.

The Doctor plays the Ghost of Christmas past, taking Kazran on a journey through his past, one Christmas Eve at a time, where Kazran falls in love with a woman he has frozen as collateral for a loan. But the Doctor is in a race against time; in the future Amy, Rory, and the lives of thousands hang in the balance and in Sardicktown, the Doctor must not only fight to warm Kazran’s heart, but he must fight against dangerous fish that swim in the fog.

Despite its brief length, Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol has all the makings to become a sci-fi geek’s holiday tradition.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The Doctor Who Christmas special continues with the same production values as the regular series shows, therefore it was produced in high definition and has the same sorts of lighting and special effects. That also means that it comes to Blu-ray in the typical 1080i/60 VC-1 encoding we are familiar with for the show. It has a heavy amount of video noise and detail is a little smooth. Flesh tones are the strongest aspect of the transfer, looking natural throughout.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

A Christmas Carol arrives with the usual DTS-HD High Resolution lossy encoding we’ve come to expect from these BBC releases. Atmospheric sound effects in the surrounds are strong, stereo imaging across the front is wide, and dialogue is clean. Unfortunately, high frequencies have a gritty sound and there’s not much low frequency extension.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Fans should enjoy the two hour-long featurettes offered up on the disc that feature many interview segments and candid views of the cast and crew.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Doctor Who Confidential Christmas Special 2010 (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 0:56.04)
  • Doctor Who at the Proms 2010 (2.35:1; 1080i/60; 0:57.19)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

As much as I enjoyed this special and the new Doctor, Mat Smith, continues to prove his worth, the brief length of the show may not be worth the purchase price. It is definitely worth a rental, however.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004FUYSUO[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol - Subtitle

Purchase Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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