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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Doctor Who Christmas Special Teasers

By Phil Plait

As I mentioned in my introductory post when I came onboard Slate last week, I'm a huge sci-fi nerd. Every now and again, when there's some news worth giving to you, my legion of BABloggees, I'll post it here. And such it is: The Doctor Who Christmas Special teaser trailers are online!

A quick aside, for those not in the know: Doctor Who is a very long-running science fiction show (it first aired in 1963) about an alien time traveler who loves humans but manages to make a mess of things as often as he fixes them. It's funny, it's serious, it's ridiculous, it's fantastic, and most of all it's a very human show. As talk show host Craig Fergusonâhimself a big Whovianâhas said, it's about "the triumph of romance and intellect over brute force and cynicism."

The Christmas specials are usually a bit more bombastic. Every year around this time the BBC promotes their charity Children in Need, and Doctor Who is a big part of it. They've released two trailers for this year's special; here's the first one:

The second trailer the BBC put up is actually a short prequel to the episode, and is rather fun:

Ooo, a Silurian and a Sontaran? These are the same characters from last year's "A Good Man Goes to War" episode, and I actually thought at the time it would be cool to see more of them. But as an astronomer, I have to point out: Strax curses the Moon, looking up... but it's snowing. Hmmmm, maybe Sontarans can see out in the radio part of the spectrum, which can pass right through clouds. That would be useful.

I'm really excited about this. My love for Doctor Who is wide and deep. It took me a while to warm to Matt Smith playing the iconic role, but now I see he's really, really good at it. I can't wait for this to air!

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