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12/26/2010 06:35:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

UK press coverage in the aftermath of A Christmas Carol have been muted so far, with only a few of the broadsheets reviewing the episode; of those, both Dan Martin from the Guardian and Phil Hogan from the Observer were positive on what they saw:

Dan Martin: Moffat scripts are always ingenious, but A Christmas Carol is a remarkably small-scale caper. There's no malevolent alien invasion force – just Michael Gambon perfectly cast as a lonely old man with a grudge against the world in general and Christmas in particular. Because we need a behind-the-sofa sequence there's the flying shark, but "Clive" (as she was dubbed by the production team to ward off spoilers) turns out not to be a baddie after all. And while we don't want to belittle the lives of 4004 people, the stakes are remarkably low – no threat of enslavement of a population, no nuclear Armageddon circling the Earth, no madmen flirting with the end of reality. Which feels right – because Christmas isn't really about those things. It's about the kind of warm and shameless sentimentality in which this episode deals, a time where it always snows and love always saves the day.

A Christmas Carol riffs magnificently and faithfully on the beauty and simplicity of its source material. At Christmas people always talk about the Greatest Story Ever Told in other terms, but this is a sumptuous triumph from start to finish.

Read the full review here.
Phil Hogan: It was a pity that Sardick's journey to niceness via fear and self-loathing had to bring so abrupt an end to his excellent scathing wit, but I suppose you don't want an audience grinning too much through the heart-thawing and ground-out repentance. Things worked out in the end, though not without some syrupy longueurs as the now twentysomething Sardick fell in love with the fragrant Katherine (playing the fragrant Abigail) only to find – after umpteen slightly uneventful secret outings from her cold prison – that she only had one day left to live. I'm sorry to say that in my mind's eye I could only see hordes of philistines wandering off to the kitchen for a mini pork pie during her big aria, but what's the point of hiring a world-class Welsh mezzo-soprano if you're not going to give the girl a bit of quality emoting time?

Read the full review here.

However, not everybody was happy with the Christmas serving of Doctor Who, with Chris Harvey of the Telegraph being quite negative about it:

Phew, that was a bit rich, wasn’t it? I think I’ve eaten too much. I’m not sure if it was that festive sleigh-ride across the rooftops in a carriage pulled by a giant fog-breathing shark that had been tamed by the sweet song of a cryogenically frozen maiden that did it, but I actually feel rather queasy.

Of course, Matt Smith’s first Christmas Special as the Doctor had been written with the word “Christmassy” in mind, it’s not really for old curmudgeons like me, who got more of a kick out of Michael Gambon’s miserly Kazran Sardick when he was sneering and snarling at the beginning of the episode than when he had been thoroughly heartwarmed by the end.
But there was just something so overblown about the whole thing, it reminded me of the worst excesses of the Russell T Davies era, when everything just kept getting bigger, louder, more operatic… feebler.

Read the full review here.

In other places, the Metro concentrated on how Katherine Jenkins was being received by people on social communication tool Twitter, quoting several fans for and against the singer's first acting role.

Further reviews may be found from Seenit, Den of Geek and On The Box; further links will be added via Doctor Who in the Media over the forthcoming days.