Monday, 5 January 2009

Doctor Who - The Next Doctor

This year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special was expected to throw up a few surprises – and boy it did!

With everyone on the internet arguing over who ‘The Next Doctor’ is, nobody really noticed that there was a story to be told. Those that had bothered, had dismissed it as a remake of the Big Finish audio ‘The One Doctor’, where a man pretends to be The Doctor to make himself some money.

Thankfully, RTD came up with his own idea, as we learn that Jackson Lake (David Morrissey) stumbled across some of the Cybermen’s ‘Info Stamps’ and they made him believe that he was The Doctor, thanks to the information stored on them. It was a good plot, far better from what we suspected and the marvellous acting of Morrissey, made it all the more better.

The main plot of the story has a number of Cyberman, who escaped from the void as it ‘blew up’ during the events of ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’. They find themselves trapped in Victorian England and they have enlisted the help of the much-scorned Miss Hartigan (Dervla Kirwan) to help them infiltrate London and build something...

This something turns out to be a ‘Cyber King’, which is a giant robot-cum-factory. It rather spoiled the episode for me, even though this is Doctor Who, some things should not be done! Although the CGI and sound affects were top notch, it seems that pleasing Christmas audiences with things like this has priority before the actual storyline. Still, it wasn’t as embarrassing as the Queen from ‘Voyage of the Damned’!

However, apart from that, I did thoroughly enjoy this story. The performances of everyone involved was top notch, with Morrissey and Tennant working together, brilliantly once again after their stint in the BBC drama ‘Blackpool’. Velile Tshabalala was also great fun as ‘Rosita’ but I really did think that Dervla Kirwan was a little bit underused. I thought that we should have heard more of her back-story, which apparently involved her being a matron in a workhouse but she got peeved at everyone. It didn’t really make sense to me, especially with it being set in Victorian times, some of the language and set pieces all sounded a bit modern to be honest.

Overall, the episode is a lot of fun that doesn’t really add to the mythos of the show. I do hope we’ve seen the last of the Cybus Cybermen, at least for a while, as I’m hoping for the return of the Mondas Cybermen. Although I would love to see a ‘Cyberman War’!


Next Time: We’ve got a bit of a wait until the next episode – ‘Planet of the Dead’, which hasn’t even started filming yet!

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