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Jenna Coleman, Peter Capaldi and Nick Frost in "Last Christmas" (Pic: BBC)

It’s the last Who‘s Day of the year! And what a year it’s been: it seemed like 2014 would have a job on its hands living up to the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the year before, but any doubts were immediately quashed the moment Peter Capaldi began his stint as the Doctor in earnest with an absolutely brilliant Season 8. And that run of good form has continued with the latest Christmas special, “Last Christmas” — at least, that’s the case according to various television critics who’ve offered their opinions on the episode.

“A giddy, grin-inducing romp” was the verdict of The Telegraph, while fellow U.K. newspaper The Guardian called it “a thoroughly rollicking and often deep offering”, while also admitting that “it’s already hard to think of anyone else better suiting the role [than Capaldi] at the moment.” Wired went as far as to describe “Last Christmas” as “one of Steven Moffat’s best scripts for the series since…. well, ever, probably”, while Den of Geek said that the special “ensured that one of Doctor Who’s strongest years in recent times was capped off very nicely indeed.”

“The simplest way to describe the episode is that it’s a terrifically scary Doctor Who thriller that… wants its audience to think that it’s a whimsical, even throwaway Christmas special,” conclude The A.V. Club. “The cumulative result is one of the very best Christmas specials. While it can’t quite match ‘A Christmas Carol’ for sheer effervescence, ‘Last Christmas’ might just surpass it in pure, mad ambition.”

Meanwhile, if you want to relive some of the highlights of the episode yourself, we collected some of its best moments together in GIF form, such as this one:

sleigh4 sleigh5

(Source: attackoneyebrows on Tumblr)

And here’s what else has been going on in Doctor Who land in the last week of the year:

• Of course, the biggest news to come out of the special was the announcement that, contrary to some speculation in the media, Jenna Coleman will continue to play the role of Clara at least until the end of next year’s Season 9. Here’s the announcement on BBC News, in which Jenna said “It’s wonderful. I get a whole other series of stories with the Doctor and I couldn’t walk away with the story being unresolved. There is so much more to do. I think they’ve finally just reached a point where they really understand each other.”

• If you haven’t yet caught up with the special’s edition of Doctor Who Extra, with its exclusive behind-the-scenes look (and a deleted scene!), then you’ll want to check that out:

• And if you’re still in a Christmas kind of mood, and you think you know your Sycorax from your Sardick, why not try out the BBC America Ultimate Doctor Who Christmas Special Quiz?

• BBC America will also be rounding off 2014 in the best possible manner: with a Doctor Who marathon! If you’re watching along, join in the chat with the hashtag #whoyearseve, and check out the trailer for the evening below:

A post on Metro Blogs has argued rather convincingly that Doctor Who was the best TV show of 2014. Who are we to disagree?

• Have you noticed how this year, Doctor Who has featured an awful lot of examples of people telling one-another to be quiet? Blogtor Who have, and so they’ve produced what they’re calling a “Shut Up Supercut”:

• And Sunday, December 28 also marked the 40th anniversary of Tom Baker‘s first full episode as the Fourth Doctor in “Robot”, something Blogtor saw fit to celebrate with a compilation video of his best moments:

• “No frills, no scarf, no messing, just 100 per cent Rebel Time Lord” was how Peter Capaldi described the Twelfth Doctor’s costume upon its unveiling earlier in the year. But what if you want to try replicating it yourself? We’ve put together one of our handy cosplay guides to show you just how.

• And if you missed our initial post about it, take a look at this clip of a robotic orchestra (seriously… a robotic orchestra) playing the Doctor Who theme tune:

• Another big name TV show celebrating a long-running anniversary recently is The Simpsons… and so Doctor Who blog Kasterborous have done a run-down of the various occasions on which the two shows have crossed over. There may well have been more than you think!

• And finally: if there’s one thing better on the Internet than a picture of a cat in a box… it’s a picture of a cat in a Police Box:

tardiscat1 tardiscat2

(Source: meeowmeeow-beenz on Tumblr)

… with a bow-tie and everything. Geronimeow!

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By Seb Patrick