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Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special

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2014-12-24 USA Today.jpg

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St. Nick trades sleigh for slaying aliens

London doesn't usually have a white Christmas, which is why BBC America's annual Doctor Who Christmas special is such a big deal for Nick Frost: There's always guaranteed snowfall.

The British actor and lifelong sci-fi fan gets up close and personal with the Doctor Thursday when Frost plays Santa Claus opposite Who star Peter Capaldi in "Last Christmas," this year's holiday episode.

"We always go hell-for-leather for the Christmas angle," says executive producer Steven Moffat, "and for some people who are grumpy at Christmas, they won't like it that much."

It's the 10th Christmas special since Russell T Davies jump-started the long-running TV franchise, which started in 1963.

Since then, Christmases have seen an attack of Cybermen, an intergalactic Titanic and even killer snowmen, but this year's special is a psychological thriller that's one of the darkest and scariest yet, says Jenna Coleman, who stars as the Doctor's companion Clara Oswald.

Last month's season finale seemingly had the Doctor and Clara going their separate ways. But in the special, Santa sends them to a base at the polar ice cap under siege by monsters.

"There's some proper horror-movie stuff going on in this one," Moffat says, likening it to Alien meets Miracle on 34th Street. "It's not a mash-up anyone had particularly anticipated, but it's fun to see the Doctor trying to solve an alien monster problem with Santa Claus at his side."

Frost says Santa and the Doctor are "immediately at logger heads, and you're not really sure why, due to their whole history."

Moffat has long dreamed of writing scenes where people get to confront Santa

"If you came face to face, you'd have some reasonable questions," Moffat explains. "Some foolish skeptics might say, 'I thought it was my mom and dad,' and Santa would roll around laughing and say, 'Why would they do that? Come on, it's me. That's just a story: And then you'd ask how he gets around to all the houses and where does he put all the presents, and he has answers for all those things."

Most of Frost's scenes are at the North Pole, but he did manage to get one scene on the show's iconic TARDIS. "I couldn't believe how much of a child I felt," he says. "It was so incredible to be on an iconic flying ship that I've known since I was 4 years old."


Caption: And to all a good night: Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) encounter a different St. Nick (Nick Frost).

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  • APA 6th ed.: Truitt, Brian (2014-12-24). Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special. USA Today p. 5D.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Truitt, Brian. "Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special." USA Today [add city] 2014-12-24, 5D. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Truitt, Brian. "Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special." USA Today, edition, sec., 2014-12-24
  • Turabian: Truitt, Brian. "Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special." USA Today, 2014-12-24, section, 5D edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Jolly_old_elf_pays_a_house_call_to_%27Doctor_Who%27_special | work=USA Today | pages=5D | date=2014-12-24 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 December 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Jolly_old_elf_pays_a_house_call_to_%27Doctor_Who%27_special | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 December 2019}}</ref>
  • Title: Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special
  • Publication: Tallahassee Democrat
  • Date: 2014-12-25

  • Title: Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who'
  • Publication: The Daily Advertiser
  • Date: 2014-12-24

  • Title: Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who' special
  • Publication: Argus Leader
  • Date: 2014-12-25

  • Title: Jolly old elf pays a house call to 'Doctor Who'
  • Publication: The Daily Advertiser
  • Date: 2014-12-25