‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special review: ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ brings you humor, heroes, and romance

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In many ways, there is no better means of escapism than a “Doctor Who” episode, and on this particular Christmas Special, we had that in the form of a tremendous superhero romp and the story of one Grant Gordon, a young man with aspirations of being a superhero, who, thanks to an accident and a gemstone, eventually ended up becoming one.

One of the things that was somewhat of a surprise about the special from the onset was seeing the way in which the story of Grant was told, including his origin of getting his powers as a child and the connection that the Doctor had with him through much of his life. This made him almost into a guardian figure of the parent, and an odd parent. In some ways, this made it all the more odd (and all the funnier) when we did eventually see Grant as an adult become a nanny.

Also, Grant as an adult was not heeding The Doctor’s warnings anymore and was a full-fledged superhero named The Ghost. He fought crime, and had some affections for a reporter named Lucy Fletcher, who he knew from his childhood. In the opening minutes of the special, The Ghost “met” Lucy, though she did not realize who he was and this definitely had a Superman / Spider-Man vibe to it.

Who are the villains? – Basically, an alien race who manages to replace the brains and re-route the central nervous system of many powerful people. Therefore, we do think that these people are looking to take over the world from within. We’ll have more on this in a minute, as the episode started with them taking one person of power and preparing their army of “surgeons” in order to do a little bit more brain-removal.

As for the love story – There were some times when we thought that Lucy was a little too doe-eyed towards The Ghost, but eventually, we started to understand that a part of her infatuation was just a desire to interview him. The two eventually got “dinner,” and this resulted in a funny exchange given that Grant also had to tell Lucy that he had a date and couldn’t fulfill his nanny duty.

Everything that we saw between The Ghost and Lucy was ridiculous, but also incredibly funny. The exchange where he was going to reveal his secret identity to her while she realized how amazing Grant was to her was amazing, especially when he chickened out of making the move when he realized that she admired Grant’s “honesty.”

The showdown – When the aliens arrived to try and take The Ghost’s brain, he and Lucy found themselves in a tough spot. Luckily, he was able to still the day — with some help from The Doctor, as well. Of course, this happened in a sea of sparks, chaos, and with his ship crashing in New York City. Would it be a plan from The Doctor if everything actually went well? Probably not. That’s just too easy, isn’t it? He was able to relay a message to Grant to use his powers to save the day (hey, The Doctor signed off!), and with that, he did.

Overall – While he wasn’t in as much of the episode as we thought he would be, we do still have to say that we enjoyed the presence of Matt Lucas as Nardole, who was valuable in filling the “Companion” role for the hour while still bringing his own flair. This may not have been anywhere near one of the more emotional specials for this show over the years (we did have a few moments when we were reminded of the death of River Song), but it may be one of our favorites when it comes to fun. The villains were a little lukewarm at best, but the romance and the silliness of the hour made this a worthy way to spend the holiday. Grade: A-.

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