A Christmas Carol
AIRDATE: December 25,2010
COMPANIONS: Amy Pond, Rory Williams
OTHER CHARACTERS: Kazaran Sardick, Abigail Pettigrew
LOCATION: Unnamed planet, Sardicktown, 44th century; Hollywood, mid-20th century
PLOT: A spaceship begins to plunge towards an unknown planet below. A distress call has been sent from the honeymoon suite of the ship. Amy and Rory, honeymooning on-board, rush to the deck of the spaceship to see if they can help. As they get closer to the planet, the crew of the ship notice a small object approaching the ship. As the TARDIS comes into view, the message "Come Along Pond" is beamed onto the ship.
Kazran Sardick a wealthy, heartless man, runs a loansharking business and uses the frozen bodies of family members as security. A family is pleading with him to allow one of these bodies to be thawed out to enjoy Christmas. He rejects this, declaring that he views Christmas as merely an excuse to get "something for nothing". Kazran also controls the cloud bank over the planet. It is in this water-and-ice-based cloud cover that the ship is caught. The Doctor enters Kazran Sardick's house via chimney. The Doctor tries to persuade Kazran to open the skies by using his isomorphic controls. Kazran turns him down, saying he doesn't care if they live or die. Angrily, the young son throws a chunk of coal at Sardick's head. Sardick goes to strike the boy, but doesn't. He orders the Doctor and the family thrown out. The Doctor then talks to Amy and sees some small Fog Fish around a lamp. The unnaturally high proportion of water in the cloud bank, along with a slight electrical charge, allows fish to swim amongst the fog.
Kazran is asleep, dreaming of when he was twelve, making a video project of the sky fish. Kazran wakes to find that his video is being projected onto a wall; in the video Kazran's father comes in and strikes him as he has disobeyed him by researching the fish. The Doctor comes from behind adult Kazran and asks if he ever saw the fish, (at this point young Kazran is crying on the video). Kazran says that was the day when he first began to realise that there was no one that would ever help him and that he was on his own in the world. The Doctor says he can change the past.
Added by Skittles the hogKazran laughs this off as impossible the Doctor leaves the room promising Kazran that he will be back – "way back." The sound of the TARDIS is heard and young Kazran on the video looks around; the Doctor appears on the video. The Doctor jumps around the room explaining that he is Kazran's new babysitter. Adult Kazran protests to himself that this didn't happen, but suddenly remembers that it did.
Young Kazran and the Doctor later move into the wardrobe, holding some string which is attached to the Sonic Screwdriver, which they are using as bait for a fish (young Kazran is the only boy in his class without a 'fish' story). A few minutes later, the Doctor opens the door to see a small fish. He walks out, leaving Kazran in the wardrobe. Adult Kazran, still watching the video, remembers what happened and says "Don't go out!". The Doctor looks at the fish and figures out how they survive in fog, when a shark flies in, swallows the fish, and half of the Sonic Screwdriver. The shark is suffocating, as being stunned has prevented it from going back to the clouds for too long - the low fog has dissipated, and it cannot return by itself. The Doctor attempts to console a saddened Kazran - there is little he can do, as half the sonic screwdriver is still inside the shark. He says he could get the shark into the sky, but she'd never survive the trip without a life support. To his surprise, Kazran offers an ice box.
Kazran leads the Doctor to a vault filled with ice boxes, each box containing a person. He plays a video message from one of the frozen people: Abigail Pettigrew. In the video, Abigail expresses her gratitude towards Elliot Sardick, and her love of the fish. Kazran explains that the people are security; family members of those who have borrowed money from Elliot, and says they can borrow a box for the night, unlocking Abigail's. The Doctor's half of the screwdriver begins to beep, and he says it's trying to repair itself. A second beep is heard, and the pair realise that the shark is in the vault. Following a short chase, singing is heard; Abigail has woken up and is singing to the shark, calming it. The Doctor explains that her voice resonates with and aligns the fog crystals, the same way Sardick's machine does. The Doctor places the shark inside the box, and the trio visit the skies. In the present day, old Kazran turns to view a new portrait one the wall – of Abigail.
The Doctor releases the shark, and notices a dial set at number 8. He asks Abigail how it relates to her, and she responds by asking if he is "one of [her] doctors". Before she can explain, the Doctor becomes distracted. Before sending Abigail back into the ice, Kazran tells Abigail that the Doctor promises to come every Christmas Eve, and the Doctor feels obliged to. Every time he visits, he takes the pair to new and distant places (including a sleigh ride with the previously rescued shark and a visit to the pyramids). On the sixth Christmas, Abigail requests they visit her family, and watches their preparations for Christmas through the window, crying. When Kazran asks why, she only says that she's watching the life she can never have. The family invite the trio in for Christmas dinner a day early, and Abigail's sister warns her that Kazran will turn out just like his father. Meanwhile, old Kazran reflects on his newfound memories.
Added by Skittles the hogThe following Christmas, the group are at a 20th century Hollywood party. Kazran finds Abigail by a pool, and sees that she is crying. She says she will tell him the truth. A few minutes later, the Doctor finds the pair kissing passionately, and tells them that they need to go (he has accidentally got engaged to Marylin Monroe). They ignore him and he leaves. Soon after they break apart, and are seen to be crying. Kazran asks Abigail what they can do, to which Abigail replies "Nothing can be done". The pair later bid a silent and emotional goodbye in the vault. When the Doctor tells Kazran he'll come back next year, Kazran says that he's outgrown Christmas and that times have changed. The Doctor only replies with "Not as much as I'd've liked", and gives Kazran his half a screwdriver in case Kazran ever needs him; Kazran assures him he won't. Meanwhile, Abigail's dial has turned to one.
A few Christmas Eves later, Elliot Sardick is celebrating with his son, as his machine is complete, and he insists that the planet is theirs. Confused, Kazran runs up to his room and takes the screwdriver out of his desk. He handles it hesitantly, and sees the Doctor at his window. Angrily, he shuts the curtains on him.
Added by Skittles the hogBack in the present day, old Kazran argues with the president, saying he won't open the skies. Suddenly, a hologram of Amy appears. She summons a hologram of the people on the ship, who are singing for their lives. Amy insists that the Doctor was only trying to change Kazran into a kinder man, but he insists people can't be 'rewritten'. He destroys the holograms and stares at Abigail. He then explains to Amy that Abigail was mortally ill when she went into the ice, and the dial showed how many days she had left to live. If he let her out, she would only have one day to live. Still determined, Amy sends a hologram of Kazran up to the crashing ship to see the disaster. The captain explains that the Doctor told the passengers to sing in hope of stabilising the ship. The crew know it won't work but allow them to carry on to give them hope. When asked again to save the ship, Kazran says everybody has to die, and this night was no better than any other. Amy reveals that the Doctor has been listening, and he returns Kazran's consciousness to his body in the vault, and apologises.
The Doctor now says that he will show Kazran the future, but Kazran only says that he'll dies "cold, alone and afraid as we all do", and that he doesn't care about the people on the ship. He goads the Doctor to show him the future, and the Docto reveals that he is doing so: the young Kazran is standing in front of the TARDIS. When the Doctor asks if he wants to turn out like this, the boy mistakes his older self for his abusive father. Old Kazran goes to strike his younger self, but a rush of memories of his father and Abigail cause him to break down and embrace his younger self. He then goes to save the ship.
Added by Skittles the hogThe ship's captain reveals they have five minutes, and the Doctor reveals that all is well. He goes to see how Kazran is doing, and discovers that the machine no longer responds to his brainwaves; he has changed too much. The Doctor thinks all is lost, when old Kazran gives him the half screwdriver. The Doctor realises he can transmit a signal from one half to the other half of the screwdriver, but needs to use it to transmit something else. He realises that he'll have to transmit something that they know works into the cloud belt: they need Abigail to sing, as her voice resonates perfectly with the fog crystals, which could calm the sky.
Kazran reluctantly lets Abigail out, and she says she would have chosen Christmas Day for her final day with her beloved. She remarks that he's waited too long, and willingly offers her services, saying that they've had too many Christmas Eves, and it's time for Christmas Day. She sings into the screwdriver, "unlocking" the clouds and causing it to snow. The ship's crew realise that they can land, and Rory and Amy embrace. Young Kazran and the Doctor depart, as old Kazran and Abigail wave goodbye.
Amy and Rory meet up with the Doctor, asking for more honeymoon ideas. Amy asks where Abigail and Kazran have gone for their last day together: they are revealed to be in the shark-drawn sleigh, flying across the sky once more.