We meet a lot of fans at Retro Festive, pop-culture devotees and Christmas nuts. None are as fanatical as the fans of legendary BBC TV show, Doctor Who! For all you sci–fi fans, we would like to share some of our favourite Doctor Who Christmas connections. And check out the great Canadian connections too!
Time-travelling Doctor Who was co-created in 1963 by Canadian film and television producer Sydney Newman (who, incidentally, also created The Avengers TV show). When the Doctor Who series re-launched in 2005, in co-production with the CBC, they also began a tradition of producing yearly Christmas Specials.
“The Christmas Invasion” was the first full episode with David Tennant starring as the Tenth Doctor. This episode, featuring Santa Robots and Killer Christmas Trees, was also the first Doctor Who episode produced specifically for Christmas.
“The Runaway Bride” was the first appearance of Catherine Tate as the season four companion Donna Noble and the Santa Robots come back!
“Voyage of the Damned“, the third Christmas special since the show’s revival, starred Kylie Minogue as a waitress named Astrid who must help The Doctor avoid a spaceship collision with the Titanic during a Christmas party.
“The End of Time Part 1” the last episode with David Tennant, who made his first visit to Canada last September, originally aired on December 25, 2009 and takes place on Christmas eve.
“A Christmas Carol”, the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas special, was the first Doctor Who episode to premiere on the same day in both the United Kingdom and the United States; December 25, 2010.
The very first Doctor Who Christmas special aired on Christmas Day in 1965. At the end of the episode The Doctor now-famously breaks the fourth wall by saying: “… a happy Christmas to all of you at home.”
9. “The Time of the Doctor” was the 800th episode of Doctor Who, and the final regular appearance of the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith. In the episode, The Doctor and his companion Clara visit a town called Christmas.
10. As is the tradition to bring in a big guest star, British actor Nick Frost, “Shaun of the Dead” (we have zombies in Canada too) is set to guest star in the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special. He has said “I’m such a fan of the show. Every day on set I’ve had to silence my internal fan-boy squeals!”
Christmas is a sacred time to spend time with friends and family, but who says Christmas can’t be kitschy? You’ve gotta have a sense of humour to get through those long Canadian winters!
As a child, my mother would decorate her immaculate Christmas trees with gorgeous twinkle lights, beautiful garlands and matching ornaments. She enjoyed the ritual of decorating it, but preferred to do it alone.
My siblings and I had our own kid Christmas tree to decorate in the rec room, and we could use anything we wanted to dress it up. We had handmade ornaments, candy garland and cartoon character ornaments.
Still, I wish we had access to some of the kitschy Christmas ornaments available today. My sister would have loved a Unicorn Ornament for her obsession with The Last Unicorn, and – let’s face it – my brother deserved to trim the tree with a Krampus.
My mother still decorates her home to divine levels, but she also adds a touch of vintage flair with things like retro Christmas signs, or ornaments passed down from my grandmother.
My siblings and I continue to keep our family Christmas kitschy with ugly Christmas sweaters, funny coffee mugs and trading cheeky Christmas cards!
Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life is the most heartwarming Christmas movie ever made. One of the most humorous scenes in the film is when George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) brings his endearing guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), to “Nick’s” seedy bar where Clarence orders “mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves. Off with you, me lad, and be lively!”
Although Nick was not amused with the drink order, the idea of mulled wine makes mouths water!
Bring the water, cinnamon sticks, clove and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the wine, then heat slowly until hot again. Stir in the cognac, and remove from heat. Pour into festive mugs, moose or otherwise, and add a twist of lemon.
For a Canadian twist on this Christmas recipe, replace the wine with apple cider – and a dollop of maple syrup – from your local farmer’s market!
Transfer your mulled wine or cider to a punch bowl at your annual Christmas party, or a slow cooker on a low setting to keep it warm.
Holiday Fair in the Square Vendor
Nathan Phillips Square Kiosk*
100 Queen St W,
Our Toronto City Hall Hours
Dec 8 - Dec 23 Only
Mon - Fri: 11am - 11pm
Sat - Sun: 11am - 11pm
*Note: Only select items available at our Toronto kiosk locations. Distillery District kiosk carries NO Ugly Sweaters, while the City Hall kiosk carries MOSTLY Ugly Sweaters. Full range of products available online and at our Oakville store.