Charlie McDonnell - Christmas Presents (badger)[1] was the last of four short episodes of Doctor Who Confidential broadcast via BBC Red Button in the run-up to A Christmas Carol. Like all in this special series of Confidential, it featured a young internet filmmaker, Charlie McDonnell, giving his thoughts on a ramble round the Upper Boat Studios. It was a kind of video diary, but one nevertheless produced by and released under the banner of Doctor Who Confidential.

Unlike the first two episodes, however, the dress of the people on camera clearly shows this episode was filmed in cold weather. It is reasonable to assume that this episode was filmed around Christmas itself, rather than during the July production of A Christmas Carol. McDonnell's appearance is also radically more mature than in the earlier episodes.

Aspects of production covered[edit | edit source]

This episode covered no aspect of production whatsoever. As the title suggests, the major focus of the episode was to give Christmas presents to various people at the Upper Boat Studios.

People interviewed[edit | edit source]

Some crew members were briefly glimpsed, but the chief interview subjects were Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. The episode involved Charlie asking Smith and Gillan what gifts they'd like to get, then which gifts would be appropriate for their fellow cast members. Charlie spent the middle part of the episode actually buying the gifts. The last third of the episode was spent on the trio's reactions to the gifts they had been given.

Gillan asked for and received organic chocolate. She suggested that perhaps Smith might enjoy some new guitar strings, but strictly ruled out getting anything musical for Darvill. Smith was less specific as to his own desires, suggesting that whatever came would be appreciated. However, he did mention that something badger-related would be nice. He said that Gillan was always late, and that an alarm clock might therefore be appropriate for her — or some sort of portable warming device. Darvill, for his part, was not interviewed about what he might want, but a substantial amount of time was given to his reaction to his gifts. He got three different, but obscure, musical instruments — including a kazoo and an odd horn. He seemed genuinely excited, as evidenced by the fact that he immediately drew Charlie into an impromptu jam session.

Smith's present was a badger hand puppet, which he instantly named "Charlie" and donned for the camera.

Home video releases[edit | edit source]

As of August 2020, no version of the episode is available commercially.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. Although the episode had the on-screen title of simply "Day 4", Charlie McDonnell - Christmas Presents (badger) (CON episode) — with that exact capitalisation and punctuation — is what was given on the official BBC Three website
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