The following is spoiler free...
Last night was the London Science Museum press launch of Doctor Who's Christmas Special Voyage Of The Damned. And damn it all, if those beautiful 71 minutes didn't almost knock my head clean off. Writing for Doctor Who Magazine, I get to know just about everything about most episodes, reading scripts in advance. But I knew very little about this one, which was a joy. Needless to say, this opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Doctor Who Magazine (although it might), but Voyage Of The Damned is better than both the previous Christmas Specials put together. And lord knows, The Christmas Invasion and The Runaway Bride were no slouches.
Fast, frenetic, painful, painfully funny, breathtaking, sad, tragic, spectacular, dark, brave... all of these words are very much applicable. VOTD shows a writer (Russell T Davies), director (James Strong), cast and crew absolutely on top of their collective game. Older fans will notice very obvious (and almost certainly deliberate) shades of the classic Tom Baker story Robots Of Death, while newer fans just enjoy the movie-esque ride. And few will fail to notice that Voyage is a love-letter to the disaster movie, a-buzz with its vital who-will-live-and-who-will-die tension. David Tennant's perhaps the best he's ever been. Oh, and Kylie's great too.
Christmas Day, BBC1, 6.50pm. There's no other place like it in the universe.
UPDATE: In my excitement, forgot to mention that the post-screening Q&A was hilarious. Several children asked some cute questions (often asking how things like the Titanic were made), while one adult journalist asked, "David, we've just watched you in Voyage Of The Damned. What's the most damned voyage you've ever been on?".
But the finest Q&A of all came when someone asked who, living or dead, Russell would like to play the Doctor. Quick as a flash, the big fella chirped, "Hitler. He'd make a marvellous Doctor". Tremendous.