It has become a time-honoured tradition that our favorite Time Lord graces the screen on Christmas Day in a television special.
Somethimes it hints at new companions, sometimes he gets a one time one (like Kylie Minogue in the Tennant era), but it is always a good fun and christmas story combination.
And this year, we find ourselves in New York, and the culture of comics and secret identities. The Doctor meets an 8 year old named Grant, and the kid accidentally swallows a gemstone. This imbues him with the power that he wished for, being in his case the power palette of Superman himself.
When Harmony Shoals, a secret cover for a brain-like alien species, is starting to secretly invade Earth, the Doctor, his new companion Nardole (cut free from Hydroflax and great performance by Matt Lucas) and a reporter named Lucy investigate. But it is the interference of a masked hero named The Ghost that turns the tables.
This is none other then the now 24 years older Grant, the kid the Doctor met years ago. He is in love with Lucy, and is her Nanny. He becomes a primary target for the Harmony Shoals, but as the Doctor unravels the plan of the aliens, including dropping a derelict spaceship on New York to stage an alien invasion, Grant reveals his identity.
All ends well of course, as this is a Christmas special, but we learn also from the trailer for the spring 2017 series that not only will the Doctor get a new companion, but Nardole remains on the team as well in what is said to become Capaldi's final season. For producer / writer Steven Moffat this was the wave off, and it was a nice and exiting episode to end his cycle with!
Rating: 6.5 / 10