Doctor Who - "Last Christmas" Recap

It's Christmas Eve and there's something on Clara's roof. She goes to check what it is and discovers Santa Claus, two elves, a sleigh, and reindeer. Clara isn't inclined to believe in him but Santa seems to hint at Clara's still believing in fairy tales. The discussion is interrupted by the Doctor arriving to bring Clara on another adventure but Santa tells the Doctor that he'll need Santa's help before the night is over and offers him a tangerine. Once inside the TARDIS, Clara notes how much she has missed the sound it makes, and the Doctor asks Clara if she believes in Santa. Clara, being very much swept up by the moment, says that she does.

A group of scientists at the North Pole are trying to rescue some of the other crew members from some crab-like creatures. They're deaf, blind, and telepathic. They can only see those that see them by honing in on the images of themselves in someone else's brain. The Doctor and Clara arrive and must act fast, as they find themselves under attack. The Doctor and Clara get into an argument in which Clara reveals the truth about Danny Pink being dead. Just when it seems as if they're all done for, an explosion goes off and a tangerine comes rolling through the gaping hole in the wall, followed by some toys. That's right, folks, Santa Claus has come to the rescue.

Santa explains that the creatures are Dream Crabs that induce pleasant, euphoric dreams in the minds of their victims before devouring the person's brain. Now they must all band together to save Christmas and the world as a whole. While the group is trying to determine a course of action, the Doctor and Clara both admit their lies to each other. Clara lied about Danny's return from the Nethersphere and the Doctor had lies about finding Gallifrey.

The team are continuing their investigation and determine that the Dream Crabs use telepathic connections to their victims to see their surroundings. Also, they wake up any time they are being thought about and watch some recorded surveillance footage. During this research, a specimen they had previously thought to be dead and awoken before escaping from the jar. Clara had left the room and was attacked by it.

Clara wakes in a dream world where Danny is alive and they are together for Christmas. She receives warnings on chalkboards about it all being a dream and the fact that she is dying but she ignores them, wanting to be with Danny instead. She momentarily hears the Doctor trying to wake her but shuts out his voice. The Doctor asks Santa for help in retrieving another creature so the Doctor can enter her dream world and make her face the reality of the predicament she is in. Danny is the one that's able to convince Clara that she must accept his death and go on living. She can give herself five minutes to mourn him each day but carry on the rest of the time. He also says that their reunion was simply a Christmas bonus. She agrees and says goodbye, and both she and the Doctor wake up. The creatures are sent flying off their faces and turn to dust.

The Doctor realises that the feeding being interrupted is what kills them. He then deduces that they are all in a dream since they have the same "ice cream pain" on the side of their head and there's no way they could have made it out from that first attack when they met. The final proof is when he has the team of scientists check the manual they had all been issued, since the beginning word of each page is different but they should all be identical. The Dream Crabs, however, were unable to stop their subconscious from fighting back; their subconscious came to them in the form of Santa. Santa helps them to put things together and wake up.

The Doctor and Clara realise that they have to wake up once again, since "Santa" had visited Clara on her roof. He notes that upon asking everyone why they are at the North Pole, they all answer, "It's a long story." They also only have four manuals even though they had a crew of eight. They're probably not even in the same place but have simply been transported into the same nightmare. The four infected personnel are manifestations of the crew's minds that have already surrendered to death. During this discovery, they then lose one of the crew members. It appears as if they'll be cornered and done for until they dream up Santa, who rescues them and flies them "home." On the way back, the "crew" beings to remember that they're not scientists at all, but people from a variety of backgrounds and possibly other parts of the world. One by one, they begin to wake up and find disintegrated crabs by their side. They also don't seem to remember one another after waking up.

After the crew wake, the Doctor wakes and only Clara is left. She delays waking up and then the Doctor goes to Clara's and uses the sonic screwdriver to zap the crab on Clara's face and remove it. But once Clara turns on the light, the Doctor finds that it has been 62 years since he last saw Clara. The Doctor catches up with Clara and learns the various things she has gotten up to in her life. The Doctor eventually apologises and expresses regret for not coming back sooner. But they are then interrupted by Santa, who tells him to wake up, which he does for real this time. He rescues Clara for real this time and finds that she is the same age he knew her as. The Doctor then offers Clara all of time and space, and invites her to join him in the TARDIS again, which she agrees to do. As the two run off to get inside, they are left unaware of there being a tangerine left on Clara's windowsill.

Doctor Who will return on BBC One in 2015.


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