Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Christmas Countdown 3 - The Feast of Steven
Doctor Who's first ever Christmas Day episode was part 7 of the epic The Daleks' Master Plan - The Feast of Steven. In keeping with the occasion, it was a light hearted, stand-alone instalment - actually Dalek free. The first half revolves around the TARDIS materialising in the fog outside a Liverpudlian Police Station - and the Doctor is arrested for vagrancy and dossing in a Police Box. Sara Kingdom is also arrested, and Steven has to impersonate a police officer to spring them from jail. (It had been hoped to have cast members from the popular police drama Z Cars appear, but this was not to be).
The second half is a runaround in silent-era Hollywood. Lots of chasing about and references to The Sheik, Westerns and Keystone comedies. A young Bing Crosby features - a clown thinking about a career change.
At the end of the episode, back in the ship, the Doctor mentions that it had been Christmas when they were in Liverpool - and so they should also celebrate. Out comes the sherry - and the Doctor breaks the Fourth Wall by wishing all of us watching at home a Merry Christmas.
The episode title is obviously a play on the Feast of Stephen - which falls on the 26th of December - and commemorates the first ever Christian martyr. Stephen was an early church leader in Jerusalem who was stoned to death around 34 - 35 AD.