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When 'Doctor Who' met Santa

By Henry Hanks, CNN
updated 11:13 AM EST, Fri December 26, 2014
On November 23, 1963, "Doctor Who" was first broadcast on the BBC. Today, it remains a cult favorite among science-fiction fans young and old. Peter Capaldi (pictured with Jenna Coleman) took over as the Twelfth Doctor this season. Click through the gallery to see the men who have played the title character. On November 23, 1963, "Doctor Who" was first broadcast on the BBC. Today, it remains a cult favorite among science-fiction fans young and old. Peter Capaldi (pictured with Jenna Coleman) took over as the Twelfth Doctor this season. Click through the gallery to see the men who have played the title character.
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'Doctor Who' through the years
William Hartnell
Patrick Troughton
Jon Pertwee
Tom Baker
Peter Davison
Colin Baker
Sylvester McCoy
Paul McGann
Christopher Eccleston
David Tennant
Matt Smith
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nick Frost makes a smashing Santa in "Doctor Who" special
  • There was a heartbreaking goodbye involving Clara
  • Fans on Twitter reacted mostly in positive way, but some were less than enthused

Editor's note: The following contains spoilers about the "Doctor Who" Christmas special.

(CNN) -- The big draw to this year's "Doctor Who" Christmas special was the Doctor meeting Santa, but as usual, there ended up being a lot more to it than that.

First thing's first, Nick Frost was brilliant casting in one of the best portrayals of Santa ever. And the story -- which involved dreams within dreams -- was classic "Who," slyly acknowledging the fact that it was also paying tribute to "Alien" and "The Thing From Another World." ("There's a horror film called 'Alien'?" the Doctor asked in shock. "That's really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you.")

But the biggest question hanging over all was where things stood between the Doctor and Clara.

As showrunner Steven Moffat put it in a recent call with the press, "As (the last episode) ended, they parted forever, having lied to each other, and that is where we find them again. We don't just ignore it because it's Christmas."

Indeed, at one point, one of the parasitic aliens convinced Clara that her dead boyfriend Danny had been alive this whole time, and her encounter with the Doctor was the dream.

Her final goodbye to a dream version of Danny was heartbreaking, but it still remained to be seen if she would ever travel with the Doctor.

It certainly looked as though this was it -- following a terrific Christmas moment of the Doctor flying in Santa's sleigh -- when the Doctor saved Clara from an alien, only to find that she had aged many years.

Clara fans had to have been overjoyed to see that this too was a dream, and Clara was ready to continue her journeys with the Doctor, all thanks to Santa and his signature tangerines.

Fans on Twitter reacted on Christmas night in a mostly positive manner.

"That episode of Doctor Who actually made me cry!" tweeted one fan while another tweeted "#DoctorWhoChristmas restored my spirit and has me on the edge of my seat for season 9. All of time and space in a big blue box. Don't argue."

Some were less than enthused.

"Alright #doctorwhochristmas," tweeted one viewer. "My thoughts: eh. Was I the only one hoping this would be the end for Clara? I just want a new companion for 12."

And yet another summed it all up with "Recipe for #DoctorWhoChristmas: One part #Kafka, dash of #Kubrick 2 parts Ridley Scott & a side of #Capra."

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