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by Gem Wheeler

12 Apr 2012


It’s fair to say that Christmas specials have never been Doctor Who’s strong point. The festive season demands a certain level of whimsy and silliness that would smell a little too strongly of cheese at another time of year, tying up disparate plot threads in a disappointingly neat Yuletide package within the space of an hour. Inevitably, genuine drama is usually in short supply.

Last year’s edition – the first Christmas episode to star the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith)—even managed to, ahem, ‘rework’ A Christmas Carol, which is enough to bring out anyone’s inner Scrooge. After a disappointing and overly convoluted sixth series, it was difficult to expect too much from 2011’s effort. For all that, though, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe somehow pulled off the tricky task of injecting magic into the annual special. A few loose ends and missed opportunities aside, this was by far the most successful of the seasonal episodes since the revitalised Who’s return in 2005.

by Jesse Fox

5 Jul 2011


For many, summer represents a respite from the year’s overly filled TV dance cards. High-quality June, July, and August programming like Louie and Breaking Bad is still the exception, not the rule. What does the savvy, obsessive or lonely TV fanatic do with this free time? Watch more TV, of course.

Since the medium’s first introduction on DVD, playing series catch up has become a fact of summer life. Arguably, no show represented this better than Lost. Nonsensical even to the dedicated, Lost was basically unwatchable to the uninitiated; cries of “Smoke-what?” – “Constant-who?” – “Island-where?” plagued those trying to bring new viewers into the fold. Plowing through seasons’ worth of its episodes became a summer staple, as suggested by the series’ huge DVD sales.

Lost might unfortunately (or thankfully, depending on who you ask) be over, but its legacy lives forever, especially as TV has grown increasingly serial.

If you’re inclined to watch TV on DVD this summer, I recommend these five:

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