Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (Spoilers)

Well the Christmas Special for 2008 was good, but not much more than that. Maybe it’s because there was no hint of a companion, maybe because we’ve seen the bitter and withdrawn Doctor before, but this felt a little stale.

It’s London 1851 and the Doctor has gone back for a Christmas in Victorian London to clear his mind after appearing to lose Donna and suffering the machinations of Davros. Except the Cybermen are mysteriously there and so is…his future self? Is David Morrissey the Eleventh Doctor? The Twelfth? Or something else? The answer is enjoyable if rather predictable (the real Eleven isn’t due to debut for another twelve months), caught up in a romp involving Cybermen who escaped the Void (into which they’d been sucked in Doomsday) when Davros collapsed the dimensions in series 4. Of course the Doctor and his various ac hoc sidekicks win, taking down the impressively Transformers-esque CyberKing who never inflicts that much damage, and by the end the Doctor is even feeling a little less bitter and withdrawn about Donna. No doubt an error if she really is unwittingly involved with the Master, so there may be extensive misdirection here, but it was a nice Christmas gift anyway by RTD to his charge whom he is about to leave. I don’t know, I just wish there’d been something…more? It was a Christmas Special I know, but it had next to no gravitas, no surprises and felt very much caught in the holding pattern between current showrunner Davies and his successor Steven Moffat, in which the franchise now resides for the next 12 months. I’m sure the decision to cool off and pare things back down was a wise one, considering how overcluttered season 4’s finale was, but it still left me feeling a little empty, despite the high calibre of the acting.

Don’t get me wrong – I liked it, particularly seeing the cameo shots of Ten’s previous incarnations, but let’s get the franchise moving forwards, and give Tennant the material he’s due (which tends to come from Moffat, let’s face it). We have four more specials in 2009 before he retires as Ten – I hope RTD and whoever he’s selected to work with him next year put him through the paces he and Ten are capable of before Paterson Joseph (please?) and Eleven arrive…


One response to “Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (Spoilers)

  1. Yeah…I thought it was nice….diverting enough, entertaining enough, without quite reaching any great heights or feeling of any real consequence.

    Still, you sorta hope for more than “nice” don’t you….

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