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It’s been a long old year since we left the Doctor at the Singing Towers of Darillium with River Song, and he’s remained unseen on our television screens – save only for a brief appearance in the opener of BBC Three’s Doctor Who spin-off Class.

CultBox was lucky enough to be invited to the premiere of this year’s Christmas special, ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ at the BFI Southbank. In truth, it was actually the second premiere of the day, the first having been to two hundred eleven year olds in the afternoon.

The special is aptly titled, as Steven Moffat’s script addresses the Doctor’s absence, as well as the return of Nardole. It does not dwell though, instead focussing on providing a tale suffused with joy; this is a love letter to the optimistic tone of the Christopher Reeve era Superman movies. While it has some fun at the expense of superhero tropes, there is always a deep affection for the genre on display.

Despite the production never leaving Wales, the whole piece is firmly placed within the rooftops and skyscrapers of comic book New York and offers some great comic moments, a nicely unsettling new villain with an icky modus operandi and some perfectly pitched performances from the main guest cast.

This is ideal holiday fare and should keep the less ardent members of the family entertained too, as well as whetting fannish appetites for Series 10 with the customary series teaser, including some more glimpse of Pearl Mackie’s Bill.

‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ airs at 5.45pm on Sunday 25 December on BBC One.

Pre-order ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ on DVD on Amazon here.

Are you looking forward to the Christmas special? Let us know below…

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