Geeks find many ways to honor Christmas night. Some watch Christmas Vacation for the umpeen zillionth time. (Why does that movie never get old?) Some swipe action figures originally gifted to younger relatives. The rest just blissfully ignore their loved ones while playing the holiday-themed Angry Birds Seasons. (Actually, let’s be honest, playing Angry Birds Seasons is how most of us spent the entire month of December.)
But this year, American geeks get a special holiday treat. For the first time ever, BBC America will broadcast the latest Doctor Who Christmas Special on the same night it airs in the UK. Not familiar with The Doctor? It’s okay. Dr. Who is a sci-fi staple of British television. The show was revived in 2005 by the BBC after a 16 year hiatus; before that, its origins go all the way back to 1963. The main thrust of the story is about time travel, so it sort of doesn’t matter where you start. You can jump in now, then go back and watch what has come before with little confusion. Just treat it as a massive origin story. (We recommend starting with “Rose” and working your way forward, then maybe going back and checking out some of the classic shows.)
This Saturday’s episode is titled “A Christmas Carol” and features a Time Lord-y take on Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story. In this version, the Doctor must save his companions from a crashing spaceship. His only way of accomplishing the feat is by warming the soul of a Scrooge-ish old man played by the former Headmaster of Hogwarts himself, Michael Gambon. The episode was written by series head Steven Moffat, who described it thus: “It’s all your favorite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters.” Sounds amazing. We can’t wait to see how they got the Griswolds to relate to inter-dimensional time travel.
A Christmas Carol airs Saturday, December 25th, 2010 at 9pm/8c on BBC America.