Here is my much-delayed review having watched it the day after Christmas initially.
Steven Moffat said that this was to be the most Christmasy Christmas Special ever. And he wasn't wrong on that count. Not only was it the most Christmasy Doctor Who special it was also the best of them yet.
Moffat weaves a virtually self-contained tale free of almost any references to last series and turns in a superb romp of a story. Full of timey-whimey plot and lots of jokes and some genuinely touching moments this story shows that the Moff has plenty of heart and emotion to go around despite what some of his critics say. Its perhaps a bit more natural and more restrained than RTD's way of doing things but the emotion is there nonetheless.
Matt Smith gives what is perhaps his best performance to date as the Doctor giving it plenty of energy and his expected off-the-wall manner but also delivering agreat performance of comedy and drama whenever the script requires.
Amy and Rory are largely absent from the action but they nonetheless have some great comedy bits in the special and its great to see Arthur Darvill's name in the opening credits as a full companion by any definition.
Michael Gambon gives a expected great performance as Kazran Sardick, the Scrooge character of the episode. and Katherine Jenkins does a fantastic job especially since this was her acting debut. And she really does have the most lovely voice.
The only real complaint I have is that I could see is that with the Moff allowing the Doctor to change history so frequently now that its going to start raising the question as to why he doesn't do it all the time. The Moff seems to be taking away all of the reasons to not do so such as the "Laws of Time" as enforced by the Time Lords or the "Blinovitch Limitation Effect" which is apparently no longer an issue. Although I suppose The Waters of Mars shows what happens when it goes wrong but there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason as to why its ok sometimes and not others. I suppose I'm over-thinking it and should just accept the Doctor knows best but it does start to raise questions.
As always here's my 11th story comparison list from favourite to least favourite:
1) The Ultimate Foe by Robert Holmes, Pip Baker and Jane Baker
2) Doomsday (Army of Ghosts) by Russell T. Davies
3) The Seeds of Doom by Robert Banks Stewart
4) A Christmas Carol by Steven Moffat
5) The Curse of Peladon by Brian Hayles
6) Terminus by Stephen Gallagher
7) The Curse of Fenric by Ian Briggs
8) The Enemy of the World by David Whitaker
9) The Rescue by David Whitaker