The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe

STORYLINE

A spaceship exploding, can the Doctor be far behind? Of course not, as he runs for his life just ahead of the ship falling apart around him. He is desperate to find any means to escape the doomed vessel. Just as he finds a space suit, the outer shell of the ship bursts open and the Doctor as well as the suit is sucked into space. The Doctor struggles to don the suit as he plummets through the earth's atmosphere.

Riding her bike home after dark, Madge Arwell is thrown to the ground by the impact of something falling to the ground in a nearby field. Curious, Madge investigates the crater left by the falling object, and finds the Doctor in a spacesuit at the bottom. Unfortunately, in his haste to don the suit, the Doctor has put the helmet on backwards. He can't yet remove the helmet because the suit is still repairing his body from a rather rough landing. Unable to see where he is going, the Doctor enlists Madge to help him find his way back to the TARDIS. After successfully seeing the Doctor off, Madge returns home to her family where we learn world wear two is looming in the near future.

Three years later, we find Madge's husband, Reg, flying a damaged airplane home from a mission with little chance of surviving. Madge, in fact, receives a telegram in forming her that her husband's plane has gone down and he is presumed dead. As it is Christmas time, she doesn't want to ruin her children's Christmas, and leads them to believe that their father will be meeting them at their uncle's country estate. In order to escape the bombing in London, Madge has decided to take her family to the country.

Arriving at the estate, Madge and her two kids, Lily and Cyril, are greeted by the unexpected appearance of the Doctor. Claiming to be the caretaker of the home, the Doctor gives the trio a tour of the house, obviously enjoying showing off the improvements he has made to the rooms. The kids are amused by the Doctor's rambling antics, but Madge is disturbed. She is dealing with her husbands death and how she will tell her children, she just isn't prepared for the Doctor's help.

In the sitting room, the kids have found the revolving Christmas tree the Doctor has created for them. There also seems to be a rather large present in front of the tree. Cyril takes a keen interest in the large box as it begins to glow and whisper enticingly.

Later on, after everyone should be asleep, Cyril sneaks down to take a peek inside the mysterious package. Meanwhile, Lily also gets up but she heads towards the odd sound of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver coming from the attic. While Lily and the Doctor talk, Cyril has opened the large package and crawls inside to discover what appears to be a snow covered forest, a forest with trees that seem to grow their own Christmas ornaments. One of those ornaments appears to have cracked open like an egg, and Cyril decides to follow the small tracks that lead from the empty shell.

After finding his bed empty, Lily and the Doctor realize that Cyril is gone. It doesn't take them long to find the open present in the sitting room, and put two and two together. The pair of them follow the path Cyril took through the box and end up in the same forest, although they are a bit behind because of a time distortion affecting the portal they've just passed through. Further on through the forest, Cyril has discovered that the tracks he has been following, have grown much larger and have apparently entered a solitary tower.

Back in the house, Madge discovers everyone missing, and it isn't long before she also enters the strange forest and is confronted by a trio of armored figures.

Upon entering the tower, Cyril is confronted by what appears to be a large wooden sculpture of a king on a throne. What Cyril doesn't see as he proceeds up the stairs leading to the tower top, is the sculpture coming to life and turning its head to watch him go. As he reaches the top of the tower, Cyril finds another wooden figure and a chair. This time the figure is a queen and she seems to be holding out a crown. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Lily reach the base of the tower and also begin to climb to the top.

Madge breaks down crying as she is being interrogated by the three armored people holding weapons on her. In order to appease her tears, the three offer to drop their weapons to the ground. Only then does Madge turn the tables and pull out her own gun to get the upper hand. She forces them to take her into their vehicle and aid her in her quest to find her kids. Along the way she learns that the forest on this planet is about to be essentially strip mined by a process using acid rain. Anyone left on the planet after five minutes will be killed.

Looking out the tower window, Lily and the Doctor observe the souls of the forest coming out of the trees.The Doctor and Lily arrive at the top of the tower too late to prevent the wooden queen from coming to life and placing the crown on Cyril's head. Apparently the crown connects Cyril to the trees and to the two wooden figures that now converge at the top of the tower. From Cyril, the Doctor learns that the trees are evacuating the planet to try and escape the acid rain, but they need a vehicle. The Crown on a human's head is that vehicle. Unfortunately for the trees, Cyril is too week. When the Doctor tries to take the crown from Cyril and wear it himself, he discovers that he is too weak also.

The rain starts and time is running out. Suddenly the humongous harvester vehicle appears outside the tower. Madge has managed to figure out how to drive the thing. Unfortunately, she crashes right outside the tower and is forced to join the Doctor and her kids trapped inside.

As Madge reunites with her kids, the wood royalty have other ideas and place the crown on her head. She quickly absorbs all of the souls of the trees. Apparently she is strong enough because she is female and a mother. With the vehicle problem taken care of, the trees are able to lift the top of the tower off and fly it into the time stream.

The Doctor asks the trees to return the favor and get this family back to their homes. To do this, Madge must think about her home. She must really concentrate and feel every feeling she can think of about home. To her horror, however, thinking of her husband Reg leads her to the moment of his apparent death.

Despite having to experience this painful moment, Madge is able to use the pain to get her family home. She has saved the entire forest as well as her family, and has ended up back home on Christmas day. Now she must explain to her kids that their father is dead, but a quick look outside reveals that he isn't so dead after all. Apparently Reg used the light coming from Madge's passing vehicle, and was able to follow it home.

Christmas turns out to be a happy one for the family, and after Madge admonishes him, it turns out to be a happy one for the Doctor as well. She convinces him he needs to tell his friends he isn't dead and that he shouldn't be alone for Christmas. He promptly pays a visit to Amy and Rory, and joins them for the festivities.