Did Moffat or RTD’s era have the best Christmas specials? ๐ŸŽ… Doctor Who Debate

Did Steven Moffat or Russell T Davies have the better Doctor Who Christmas specials? Two opposing sides battle this question out in a Doctor Who Debate!

For this debate, we tackle the question of which era of Christmas specials were superior, the 2006-2009 David Tennant Christmas specials from Russell T Davies, or the 2010-2017 Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi Christmas specials from Steven Moffat. Each side makes two arguments for their position, before a final conclusion and rebuttal. Many points are raised, many sources are pointed to, many takes are shared โ€” but it’s up to you to let us know what you think, and who won the debate!


Moffat, Steven. โ€œHalfway Out of the Darkโ€ฆโ€ Doctor Who Magazine, vol. 429, 16 December 2010, p. 6.

“Second season is a go!” BBC, 30 March. 2005. Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20060303023301/http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/news/cult/news/drwho/2005/03/30/18213.shtml

“Schedules from 18 December 2004 to 31 December 2004.” Radio Times, London edition, vol. 323, issue 4213, 16 Dec. 2004, pp. 141-142.

Davies, Russell T. “Tooth and Claw: The Russell T Davies Interview.” Doctor Who Magazine, vol. 360, 14 Sep. 2005, p. 18.

“River Runs Deep.” Doctor Who Confidential, series 4, episode 9, BBC, 7 June 2008, 40:39-41:45.

Moffat, Steven. โ€œDoctor Who: A Christmas Carol.โ€ Life of Wylie, 14 Dec. 2010. https://lifeofwylie.com/2010/12/14/Doctor-who-a-christmas-carol/

Moffat, Steven. โ€œDoctor Who Christmas Special: Introduction by Steven Moffat.โ€ BBC Media Centre, 5 Dec. 2011, https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/doctorwhoxmas/

Moffat, Steven. “The Wood Between Worlds.” Doctor Who Magazine, vol. 442, 15. Dec. 2011, p. 29.

Moffat, Steven. “Steven Moffat, Executive Producer of Doctor Who.” Interview by Garth Johnston. Gothamist, 21 April 2011, https://gothamist.com/arts-entertainment/steven-moffat-executive-producer-of-emdoctor-whoem

Doctor Who: The Complete History #70. Stories 224-226: The Wedding of River Song, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, and Asylum of the Daleks. Panini UK, 2017, p. 57.

Davies, Russell T. Audio commentary. Doctor Who, 2005 Christmas special: The Christmas Invasion, 52:55-53:35. 2005. BBC, 2006. DVD.

Moffat, Steven. โ€œPeter Capaldi & Steven Moffat Talk DOCTOR WHO, Their Favorite Episodes, Doctors, and More.โ€ Collider, 14 July 2015, https://collider.com/doctor-who-peter-capaldi-steven-moffat-talk-favorite-episodes-doctors/

Moffat, Steven. โ€œ19 things we learned from the set of the Doctor Who Christmas special.โ€ Radio Times, 25 Dec. 2017, https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/scifi/2017-12-25/doctor-who-christmas-special-set-visit/

Doctor Who: The Complete History #85. Stories 264-265: The Return of Doctor Mysterio, and The Pilot. Panini UK, 2018, p. 13.

โ€œEpisode 2: Tooth and Claw.โ€ Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition: The Series 2 Companion, 10 Aug. 2006, p. 13.

Songtaran Carols

2009 BBC Christmas Idents

Merry Christmas from Doctor Who and BBC One

The Great Detective

0:00 Intro
1:11 Neo: Argument #1
6:09 Tomtit: Argument #1
12:06 Neo: Argument: #2
17:06 Tomtit: Argument #2
22:21 Neo: Conclusion
25:44 Tomtit: Conclusion
30:00 Debrief

3 thoughts on “Did Moffat or RTD’s era have the best Christmas specials? ๐ŸŽ… Doctor Who Debate

  1. Peter Sutcliffe Dec 25, 2020 / 4:05 AM

    I really like the idea of a Christmas special where the Doctor visits Bethlehem. Something you guys poo-pooed in this episode.

    Maybe the Doctor could produce a pair of forceps, from a coat pocket, and help delivery the holy child, during a complicated birth scene? Or just use the sonic screwdriver for a cesarean, either is fine.

    The plot could relate to: one of the wise men developing superpowers after eating Jesus’ magic afterbirth. The Doctor would then have to stop the power-crazed, flying wise man – all while evading King Herod’s infanticidal guards.

    Or, how about: a time traveller from the future, attempting to kill the baby Jesus, to prevent the loss of life and bloody warfare caused by Christianity in the following centuries. It would resolve by the Doctor explaining that: even if Christianity never developed, the human race would find something equally stupid to fight and be prejudiced about.

    Or maybe the plot would be about Jesus having an evil inverse twin. Whatever happens, its got to resolve by the Doctor throwing the baby Jesus’s holy meconium at the enemy and blowing them up.

    Rory or Mickey could console and relate too Joseph about being a cuckold. Amy could relate to Mary about being involved in a very weird, non-consensual pregnancy plot line.

    Maybe the holy birth could be a used as a metaphor? The interference of the Doctor (an all powerful alien being) in people’s lives paralleling the unasked for intervention of God in the life of Joseph and Mary via the immaculate conception.

    I mean, at least the Norse and Greek Gods, erm, delivered the goods fresh. #metoonativity #immaculateconceptionisrapetoo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth Windsor Dec 25, 2020 / 4:47 AM

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I am writing to express my vein bulging, mouth foaming outraged at the comments made on your latest podcast.

    You have indicated a liking for the End of Time, the Time of the Doctor and Twice Upon a Time. I am writing to let you known that, you are incorrect. These episodes are bad, not good.

    The End of Time was like a Doctor Who pantomime mixed with the Star Wars prequals. When will people start taking Doctor Who seriously? Never, thanks to this episode.

    The Time of the Doctor had the poor actors reading Doctor Who lore to one another. What happened to Show Don’t Tell? If you podcasters were real television critics, you would have applied this highly original and not over-used criticism to the episode in question.

    The only good thing about Twice Upon a Time was that: it was Moffat’s last episode. If only we had known then that: the new showrunner is a SJW, BLM, PC, globalist, Cultural Marxist intent on destroying the West via writing progressive, political plotlines in a television show.

    I would be very grateful if you could re-upload the podcast, correcting these grievous errors.

    I did quite enjoy the podcast, apart from the aforementioned mistake and the accents. The obnoxious Australian accent brings to mind the degenerate cockney criminals, your people are descended from (this is a joke, don’t get the online hate speech police onto me).

    Yours Faithfully,

    Mrs. Windsor

    P.S. Love the show but hate those episodes


    • Who Cares? Jan 6, 2021 / 11:57 PM

      Hello again Elizabeth,

      I am glad the debate bought you some enjoyment.

      I am not sure if this will please or displease or even be news to you, but while Twice Upon a Time may have been Moffat’s last episode, it wasn’t his last Doctor Who story. Currently, this is:

      I will think on your other points, but unlike the Star Wars films you mention, I’m not inclined to reupload with any corrections. Nevertheless, I hope future content brings you some satisfaction.

      All the best.


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