These days, Christmas in the UK wouldn't be Christmas without appearances by two famous travellers. The first is Santa himself, and the second is Doctor Who. For the last three years, viewers have been treated to a prime-time Christmas Day seasonal adventure featuring the time-hopping Timelord and each time, things have got bigger, though not necessarily better. Series' resurrector Russel T. Davies went for broke last time with a high-Adrenalin, action-packed sfx-laden spectacular that seemed to have a bigger budget than all episodes combined from the first 26 years. Think Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic meets the Poseidon Adventure. Maybe a fair portion of that cash went on securing Kylie Minogue's services as Astrid - guarantying the story plenty of run-up coverage and huge viewing figures on the night regardless of the episode's actual quality. In comparison, press coverage for The Next Doctor has been a little quieter this time round, but the hooks were still there. For casual viewers there was the return of the highly sinister metallic, logic-obsessed baddies: the Cybermen - last seen being sucked into a vortex between universes. For fandom, the temptation to forget past excesses and intelligence-defying endings and give the specials another try has been Davies' admittedly brilliant twist. ANOTHER Doctor. Shrouded in mystery until broadcast, the origins of this 'next Doctor' was the source of many healthy forum arguments with explanations from the mundane - a conman - to the inspired - a counterpart from a parallel universe. Finding out the truth was as much a part of this story as the actual machine-ations of the feature baddies, aided by the deliciously wicked feminist fatale Miss Hartign. Their plan - which culminates in the nearest Doctor Who has ever come to the wacky realms of Power Rangers - was a nice new take on the Cybermen's routine of wanting to take over the world and added to their interesting mythology. It wouldn't have been enough on its own to sustain an hour's telly, but with a Crimbo-friendly Victorian London backdrop, great visual set-pieces - including a snow-covered graveyard assault featuring feral cyberpunk-inspired cyberwraiths - and a brilliant performance by the other Doctor (David Morrissey) 'The Next Doctor' made for an enjoyable festive treat. Thankfully their was a clear chemistry between the leads and some rewarding scenes between Morrissey and 10th Doctor (David Tennant) which allowed Davies to present the new Who audience with snippets of Doctor Who's rich history. In particular there was a goose-pimple moment referencing all the previous incarnations, helping bridge the gap between the two incarnations of the series and bringing newer fans up-to-speed. In the end, The Next Doctor wasn't as silly or over-blown as the other Xmas specials and all the better for it. Not classic, but solid and highly watchable. Light stuff ultimately, but who wants heavy after a massive turkey nosh-up? As Morrisey says at one point - 'complete and utter wonderful nonsense'. Here's looking forward to the next special - lined up for Easter 2009 and excitingly entitled Planet of the Dead. If you use this, you can call me ZombieBacon. Merry Christmas one and all.“DJ Bollocks” says:
Firstly Happy Christmas to all AICN'ers... Secondly I have to confess to have enbibed a little too much festive cheer this afternoon... but hey it comes but once a year which of course also applies to The Doctor Who Christmas Special which is now in it's 4th year... To be fair they haven't really been much good particularly after last years pantomime-esque Kylie fest. Now that I'm living in Malaysia but back in the UK for Christmas I've remained relatively spoiler free having avoided trailers and only seen a few press pics along the way... what do we know from the teaser at the end of the last seasons Davros epic ? Cybermen, Dervla Kirwan (This is not just Doctor Who... This is Christmas Doctor Who...) and possibly set in the 18th/19th Century ? And the title... The Next Doctor... eyebrows raised all round... sadly it's also a Russell T Davies joint... so no guarantees that it'll be any good... Mince pies at the ready... here we go... Snow and jaunty music set the scene - it must be Christmas... funny how you don't get a Christmas themed story during the regular season... Anyway - great opening sequence where we're introduced to David Morrissey's rather eccentric 'Doctor' with a companion Rosita and a sonic screwdriver... "Alons Y" indeed... So it appears that Morrissey's 'Doctor' has had his memory wiped by the Cybermen... some interesting self referencing dialogue - Sally Sparrow Don't Blink... Then we meet the Cybermen and the Cyber Controller... The Cyber King will rise apparantly... Cut to the Late Rev Fairchild's funeral.... "The Doctor's companion does what the Doctor says".... has the spirit of Colin Baker been reborn... It appears Morrissey's sonic screwdriver is just a screwdriver... curiouser... children missing... curiouser... fob watch.... just for decoration though.... We find some little metal containers - Infostamps - belonging to the Cybermen "and the night I regenerated.... and you were there". Seems The Next Doctor has a bit of an identity crisis... even a mid life crisis - "We'll find out together..." Enter the scarlet woman... and a fantastically dark monologue from Miss Hartigan... When RTD is good, he is good... putting the fun back into the funeral indeed... "Not one of you has asked my first name.... It's Mercy !" We find out a bit more about Rosita - the 'Doctor's companion - a cockney sparra and we're introduced to The erm Tardis... Tethered Air Release Delivered In Style - an air balloon ! I'm guessing we'll meet this Tardis again later... Darkness descends - and the Cybermen and Miss Hartigan are after the workhouse children. We go back to Doomsday - these are Cybermen who may have slipped through the void that the Doctor sent them through - Morrisey's 'Doctor' is the missing Jackson Lake who's memory has been wiped by the Cybermen's Infostamps... "A Fugue state.... You wanted to become someone else because Jackson Lake had lost so much" "They killed my wife !" The workhouse children are being marched to the Cybermen's lair... I'm half expceting the kids from the workhouse to start singing Oliver style.. and to ask for some more.... The Doctor finds a dimension vault... stolen from the Daleks Miss Hartigan is now about to be converted - she's not too happy about that... "That was designated - a lie..." Looks like there's no mercy... for Mercy... "This is your liberation All Hail The Cyber King...." This is where the 'romp and slapstick' starts to get a bit silly... The pseudo science is a bit crap... there's fantasy and there's making shit up... the Cyber King is a big Transformer.... ever get the feeling that this was just a big exercise to sell toys... Jackson realises that he had a son - Frederick which the Doctor saves in a fuzzy moment... "The question is what do you make of me ?" And then the dimension vault sends the Cyber King into the Time Vortex... "Complete and utter wonderful nonsense.... oh gracious that's quite enough..." My thoughts exactly David Morrissey - except for the 'wonderful' bit... Listen, as I stated earlier we should expect this... this could have been really good. The concept with David Morrissey's character was really interesting just delivered quite ineffectually - with a surprising lack of drama sadly. The rest of it just seemed quite lazy - brainwashing, the old humanising the emotionless robots angle that fails (it's a recurring theme with Cybermen), and other ridiculously clicheed plot devices that are liberally sprinkled in across the 60 minutes. There is greatness in it - Dervla Kirwan ridiculously outshines David Morrissey who seems almost disappointed that he's actually not playing the real Doctor and now has ruled himself out in doing so... even watching the Doctor Who Confidential afterwards he comes across as hugely disingenuous... but it just loses any sense of credibility the longer it goes on.... I guess the RTD haters will hate it and the lovers of Doctor Who romps will rejoice... what annoys me the most is that RTD in the Doctor Who Confidentials genuinely believes that this is the sort of story that fans want to see... because he's living his childhood again through it. Anyone who's read my ramblings in the past will know I can't wait for The Moff to take over... maybe next year's Christmas special might live up to the expectations... PS Doctor Who will return in Planet Of The Dead - but no clips boo !!!!“Fingers McGraw” says:
Hi Herc: This is a review of not one, but two of the delights to grace tv screens here in the Uk this Xmas Day. The Doctor Who Xmas special, and the return of Wallace and Gromit. Doctor Who: "The Next Doctor" Following a strong fourth series that thrilled many and defied the Catherine Tate-haters earlier this year, Doc Who returns with a trip to a snowy Victorian London. No sooner has the Doctor (David Tennant) arrived in the Tardis, he bumps into another man, a man with no memory, who also calls himself the Doctor (David Morrisey). With the Cybermen returning, strange dog-like Cybershades and the sinister Miss Hartigan (Dervla Kirwan), can the two Doctors unravel the mystery before the rise of the CyberKing? After three previous years of xmas specials of varying quality, Russell T Davies has crafted the most satisfying xmas special yet. This is a hell of a romp, leading to a spectacular finale with (spoiler) a 800-foot steampunk robot! David Tennant is awesome as always, his sheer quality now almost taken for granted. But David Morrisey is also impressive, all gusto and presence, not only convincing as a potential Doctor but also giving life to a sympathetic character with an emotional arc. Acclaim too for Dervla Kirwan, in full Cruella De Vil mode as the delicious femme fatale villain. Without doubt one the finest guest villains the show has seen in a while. Terrific entertainment that wets the appitite for the first of the 2009 Specials, "Planet of the Dead". And now... Wallace and Gromit in "A Matter of Loaf and Death". After winning Oscars, taking their brand of none-more-english humour around the world and even hitting the big screen, Wallace & Gromit return to the small screen. In another of his crazy business ideas, Wallace has opened a bakery, Top Bun(!) making dough-to-door deliveries all around town. But with the town's other bakers dropping like flies due to a diabolical serial killer, could Wallace be the next victim? And what does it all have to do with the mysterious Miss Piella Bakewell, who's set Wallace's heart a flutter? Even though it's great to see W&G back on TV, and even though this is huge fun( and as usual replete with film references, even a huge homage near the end to Aliens, of all films!), this is not an instant classic like it's predecessors, especially The Wrong Trousers. The plot tips its big reveal far too early, and Gromit gets wind of the villain's plan far too easily. But after all, this is only 30 minutes long, and still adheres to classic series formula. There's a mystery, Gromit's on the case, Wallace is five steps behind, and it all ends in a big, lavish finale. This is a welcome, if not classic return of two beloved characters and, if eligable, could see Nick Park donning another bow tie come the Oscars. That's all, Herc, and if you use this, call me Fingers McGraw.
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:20 p.m. CST
until next years . . .
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:25 p.m. CST
by Logo Lou
I was thinking the same thing!
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:32 p.m. CST
They seem to have realised their childish schoolboy error and corrected the thread title . . .
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST
and didnt think it was all that great. strangely. Loved Wallace and Gromit. though. They will never make anything as great as the wrong trousers.
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST
by jon pertwee
the steampunk giant cyberman and the overall feel of the victorian seeting reminded me a lot of bryan talbot's luther arkwright (coincidently played by tennant in the audiobook). today's episode was a great wat=y to spend a christmas day hour made even better by no mention of the horrible rose and the serving of xmas pud and a cup of tea. can't wait to see what the beeb has in store for 2009.
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:41 p.m. CST
to use his real accent?
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:42 p.m. CST
by Kurutteru Yatsu
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:47 p.m. CST
2 provincial accents in a row was deemed a bit too much . . . "every planet has a North", except not too far North . . .
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST
I have to say, this is the first Dr Who Xmas Special which I actually felt lived up to it's own hype. Yeah it was the usual over-blown twaddle from RTD, but it was big meaty gorgeous twaddle and I loved it to death. The effects were pretty nice too considering :) Wallace and Grommit, as always, had me happily chuckling to myself, but it was probably the weakest episode so far. Given the general standard that makes it merely great rather than the utter fantasticalness we're used to.
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:52 p.m. CST
What is the point in 'reviews' such as that? Total spoiler fests that are essentially a blow by blow account of the episode are a waste of time to read. If someone has seen the show, they know what happened, if they haven't, they are obviously interested in it so just review the episode rather than giving absolutely everything away. I mean come on, direct quotes?<p>Do you type this stuff whilst actually watching it?Your last two paragraphs are getting there, but come on, just describing it scene by scene is totally pointless.<p>How about when you review the Easter episode you make it spoiler free? Maybe try to describe why people would or would not want to watch it without ruining it for them? Or alternatively just put a link to the screenplay and one line saying whether you liked it or not.
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:54 p.m. CST
I've always preferred Who to be effects-light, and it seems to belong in a Victorian, steampunk world. Morrissey was good too. Planet of the Dead next then...
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:57 p.m. CST
didnt know that brits minded other accents so much...has anyone uploaded the special yet? dont feel like waiting 6 months till scifi gets it on
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST
i have been waiting for an animated feature of that brilliant comic series to come out....hear that hollywood...stop remaking shite and get on with it
Dec. 25, 2008, 7:04 p.m. CST
I watched this with the family and we all loved it. It wasn't perfect but it did the trick and made up for Titanic last year.<p>I saw the opening scene a while back as it was shown on the BBC during Children in Need. and I had a problem with Morrisey's bravado during his introduction as to me he seemed egotistical. Having seen it now, I think that was actually the intension.<p>Some of the effects were pretty poor (speeding up and down on the ropes and things, the CG machine)<p>Anyway this sort of thing is beside the point. This is Doctor Who. I was watching it with my little boy and he was scared silly, and both of our jaws dropped when the Cyber King made its appearance (Surely it should have been a Cyber Queen?!)
Dec. 25, 2008, 7:27 p.m. CST
it's pretty good
Dec. 25, 2008, 7:45 p.m. CST
I like Morrisey a lot!
Dec. 25, 2008, 8:28 p.m. CST
by jon pertwee
why don't we entertainment this good in the us? not the best w&g but way better than any american sitcom in recent history.
Dec. 25, 2008, 8:35 p.m. CST
Call me morbid, call me pale... Yeah, I know.
Dec. 25, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST
by Steve Rogers
they haven't filmed the next one yet!! Tennant doesn't finish Hamlet and go back to Who until mid January.
Dec. 25, 2008, 9:15 p.m. CST
Dec. 25, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST
by Logo Lou
1) The "Next" Doctor's companion, while admittedly not given much to do, was bland & boring. 2)The cybermen that escaped from the void had enough power to kinda convert up some shades and create a GIANT robot, but needed some kids to push some wheels around for a few minutes to really get thing going?
Dec. 25, 2008, 10:13 p.m. CST
Here's my contribution to Doctor Who for Christmas - <P><P>http://tinyurl.com/tttwho
Dec. 25, 2008, 11:44 p.m. CST
Kelvington, thanks for bollocks on your chin, Drab is not as gay as you are, that added SO MUCH to the convo...
Dec. 26, 2008, 12:26 a.m. CST
was great and will be the best thing on this Christmas.
Dec. 26, 2008, 12:34 a.m. CST
by Mr Willi
Granted, this was more watchable than last year's Xmas special, and it had some great moments from the two leads, but I'm getting tired of RTD's childish excesses and plot holes big enough to drive a semi through. (Don't even ask me how the Doctor beat the cybermen in the end -- I still don't understand the reasoning behind it.) God I can't wait until 2010 and the Moff taking over. RTD, you will not be missed.
Dec. 26, 2008, 12:39 a.m. CST
It's like a sci-fi transporter for video! Except... you know... slower.
Dec. 26, 2008, 2:12 a.m. CST
Couldn't the Cybermen push their own wheels? It's not like they didn't have anything else more important to be doing except skulk about in sewers anyway ... <p> Did the Cyberking remind anyone of the Megasmith from Path of Neo?
Dec. 26, 2008, 2:14 a.m. CST
There is absolutely nothing, I repeat nothing to see here (as of the time of posting this) ... <p> http://www.zshare.net/video/5327078359df1ba3/
Dec. 26, 2008, 2:24 a.m. CST
Luckily I'd seen the episode already so not like it was spoiled for me. But, geesh, glad I DID watch it. I would be angry as hell if I hadn't and I read that.<br><br> Yeah, mixed bag. Not the greatest Who ever but solid. Enough moments that made me go, "Cooool." The shoutout to Who's past, the reveal of the BIG bad.
Dec. 26, 2008, 3:34 a.m. CST
Donna Noble once told the Doctor that he needed someone to stop him. It is exactly the same with Russell T Davies. He's capable of writing close to genius (on the rare occasion) and at the same time, capable of writing such vapid nonsense based on what I can only assume was a few vague ideas padded out to fill 60 minutes. The Next Doctor was exactly the same. A few good ideas and a bit of dialogue spanning 60 minutes. Was good fun to watch on XMAS Day, but like so many of the other specials, I expected so much more. It seems RTD is the King of Doctor Who (currently) and that there's no one to say to him, "hang on, Russell, this is a shit idea and you really need to go back to the drawing board and create something decent". Which has been the case so many times over his four year tenure.
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:08 a.m. CST
And the Christmas Special made my Christmas!! Ok Moffat wrote some of the best episodes.. But can he keep it up a whole season? Lets see. Give Russell T Davies the respect he deserves.... Christmas Television has never been so delightful since he revived the Doctor. THANKS RUSSELL.
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:11 a.m. CST
can "rescue" dr who at this point. The problem with dr who is. They release the name of the episode. String everyone along. Keep people guessing. keep everyone in the dark. A good example is the season 4 finale and all that does he or doesnt he regenerate stuff. Well we all know now that he did not regenerate. and doesnt untill the end of one of the 4 specials. Season 4 finale had a very dissapointing ending. Though what happened to donna was sad. It has become irritating to watch this show simply because hints are placed in the show has to what might happen. with no resolution whatsoever. I refer to the episode entitled planet of the ood and the introduction of River Song(alex kingston) a few episodes and all that weird stuff about who she was and how she knew the dr. Which was never really satisfactorilly explained. just left there. the series moved on. We never saw river song again. maybe moffat will pick this up. but completing a story two years later. bit lazy that. I am familiar with off screen story tellling.
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:21 a.m. CST
The Doc is back and so are the anals. We went thru this last year please just tell us what you think of the episode, don't give away ever single plot point! Why do people do this? Pretty average episode. The plot had more holes than they found in blackburn lancashire. Mystery completely thrown away. must do better.
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:24 a.m. CST
...Planet Of The Dead sounds awesome but probably will not be as cool as we imagine. they can't really do romero at 6 in the evening i spose :-) people who thought the next doctor was really a next doctor though, even before the episode was shown, doesn't really understand doctor who or episodic television in general :-)
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST
David Morrissey will be The Doctor once David Tennant steps down?<br> Not sure I approve...
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:58 a.m. CST
...it was that exciting. Loved the gothic victorian christmas scenery though, and the cyber-monkeys were cool. Wallace & Grommit are much better!
Dec. 26, 2008, 5:11 a.m. CST
I think there were plans to have further adventures in the 10th Doctor's future/her past but with David Tennant leaving, they can't really do what they had planned now. It's possible she could be in a special but I haven't heard anything.
Dec. 26, 2008, 5:16 a.m. CST
...however i just post my rambling thoughts.... i don't post em and you don't have to read 'em... Having said that I won't be in a position to review them in 2009 as I now work outside of the UK so will be reliant on torrents... As I said in my 'review' - opinions which I don't believe many people have disagreed with - there was some great dialogue and there was continued evidence that RTD is just making shit up as he goes along... As evidence in the Confidential show after, which you should download and also Charlie Brooker's recent Screenwipe episode which featured on writers, RTD being one of them (and giving away much more about his writing 'style' and 'technique' than I'm sure he would like us to think about. As I said already - the "RTD is God" Gang will love it - the "RTD Must Go" Gang won't (of which it will surprise you to note I am a supporter (well it's better than calling yourself a 'member' in a public forum...)) As I have stated in the past the RTD era is rapidly becoming as tarnished as the former three initialled producer that killed the original show off in the first place - JNT, John Nathan Turner. He believed that he was giving the fans what they wanted - no doubt that Doctor Who will be the most watched show in the UK on Christmas Day - I just think that Russell has unduly extended his tenure on the show and should have left on a high - maybe that's the BBC's fault too.
Dec. 26, 2008, 5:35 a.m. CST
A Matter Of Loaf and Death pulled in 14.25m (53.3%) to BBC One between 8.30pm and 9pm. It peaked with a massive 15.88m (58.1%) at the end. This year's Doctor Who Christmas special, 'The Next Doctor', had second place on Christmas Day with 11.71m and a 50.5% share in the 6pm hour. The audience was fairly solid throughout the hour, but jumped to 12.58m (51.6%) in the final five minutes. source digitalspy.co.uk
Dec. 26, 2008, 5:49 a.m. CST
Great viewing figures, especially in these days of 200 channels and fuck all on. Enjoyed the episode, the 'twist' was good fun and well explained, but one quick question - how come everyone thinks Planet of the Dead is a cool title when The Phantom Menace got booed to Hull and back?
Dec. 26, 2008, 6:12 a.m. CST
I think it's a great title in the context of the Star Wars saga as a whole. The title refers of course to Darth Sidious as he pulls the strings behind the scenes and when you take the later prequels into account it makes perfect sense. <p> The problem though with it as a stand alone title is that while it works for Episode 1, Sidious isn't perceived as being an immediate threat. That falls to the Trade Federation and Darth Maul. Yes, Sidious is behind everything but the other Star Wars titles are pretty straight forward...In The Empire Strikes Back you see the Empire...uh...striking back. You see the clones attacking, you see the Sith getting their revenge and A New Hope rising. <p> While The Phantom Menace works for Episode I, it works better as an overall title for the prequels. <p> Anyways, Doctor Who...you know a part of me was hoping that Morrisey would have actually have been playing the first Doctor in his life before we first see the Doctor as an old man.
Dec. 26, 2008, 6:13 a.m. CST
i really hope your post was sarcastic otherwise posting that below my last one is quite hilarious.
Dec. 26, 2008, 7:12 a.m. CST
by David Cloverfield
destroying old London in a series, while Heroes and co. have problem showing anything other than talking heads. This may not have been the greatest piece of science fiction, but it had an awesome giant steampunk cyber-king. You can't beat Doctor Who.
Dec. 26, 2008, 7:17 a.m. CST
?!?!? They couldn't go right from the story that introduces River Song into a run of episodes featuring her. The entire point was that she knew The Doctor MUCH further along in his current incarnation. She talks about how unlike her Doctor he is, that her Doctor is more mature and in control in a billion different ways. That very idea demands that The Doctor doesn't meet her for a very very long time. She also met the Doctor post-Donna so that, again, it would be idiotic for them to go back to her before Donna's exit.<br><br> That said I would like it if they did do SOMETHING with her before the current Doctor leaves. Failing that they should at least make sure and set the final Tennant Doctor story far enough down the line that their is room in the continuity for his time with River Song. So maybe go into the last story with idea that we've skipped ahead quite a few years, relatively speaking.
Dec. 26, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST
Should probably be reserved for the next incarnation, assuming he goes more than 4 seasons. That would be nice, as the doctor is beginning to come onto the end of his life.
Dec. 26, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
I understand why everyone wants to see a River Song special or maybe even a half-season of her as the Companion or what not - but wouldn't it dilute what the Grand Moff did with that episode? It was fantastic to speculate on what got River and the Doctor together, what made her so special to him that he'd tell her his TRUE name, how long had they been together, how did he realise he could open the TARDIS by clicking his fingers (one of the coolest additions, BTW) - all of these things would lose their power if we got them explained onscreen - everything that got explained onscreen by RTD was somehow much less impressive than we imagined (the Shadow Proclamation being a shouty bureaucrat stading in what looked like a 21st century hospital corridor, for example). I'd LOVE to know what's going on with the future love-story-for-the-ages between River and the Doctor, but if they ever DO go there, even under the awesome stories of Grand Moff Steven, it won't rival what we have in our minds' eye.<P> Ditto the Time War. I don't EVER want to see this on anything other than a cinema screen, with the kind of budget LOTR got. So it needs to stay offscreen.... where it is BETTER.
Dec. 26, 2008, 9 a.m. CST
He's brilliant with the character development but when action is required it all gets very lazy! The Cybermen were originally the super villains of DrW – cleverer than the Daleks and with a fantastic galactic-spanning back story. RTD has reduced them to the clunking earthbound henchmen of weaker human villains. Boring! And where does the budget go? You can't chuck a stick at the beeb without hitting a victorian production so that's sorted. Dust off the cybers (again). throw in some CGI apparently done on an iPhone and, of course, we don't have to worry about that nasty HD stuff do we? Must be a hell of a catering budget. Bring on the changeover I say.
Dec. 26, 2008, 9:11 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Gaaaahhh! Yet more padded fluffy filler crap from RTD. Seriously, how exactly is he the saviour of this series again?<P> First up, that shite RTD thintg of giving us an interesting title... and pissing it down the drain in five minutes of it starting. THE DOCTOR'S DAUGHTER... a shitty clone warrior from the Doctor's DNA, albeit with the possible ability to regenerate. As cute as Georgia Moffet is, that episode was crap. Badly thought out (if everything had lasted only a week, why all the extremely old rooms, weapons, clothing etc? Why young people and old people mixed?) and shoddily put together (why was Martha in there again, except for the weepy scene with the Hath dying - the Beeb bludgeoning us with politically correct blather AGAIN), this was a waste of a half-decent plot possibility.<P> THAT SEASON 4 REGEN-THAT-WASN'T - How shite was THAT?!? Not only is there now some half-arsed Tennant mortal clone running around in Rose's universe - not that it mattered, since by the end of the STOLEN EARTH Rose had been robbed of any kind of charisma, attitude or point whatsoever - not even a shadow of the Rose in S1 - but we have to believe that a dead hand in some jar can regrow a Time Lord. Oh, and then the TARDIS tows the Earth back home, after the whole "a Companion will die!" prophecy given by the insane Dalek Caan is COMPLETELY ignored. Absolute bollocks.<P> Then that POSEIDON ADVENTURE IN SPACE mess, which if you substituted the Host for bad guy henchmen and the spaceship for a boat isn't even a fucking SF adventure - RTD wasn't even trying any more at that point. Still enough power to beam Mr Copper and the Doctor down to Earth, but nmot enough to save Astrid's pattern IN THE SAME FUCKING TELEPORTER?!? To the talkbacker above who said RTD writes plot-holes you can drive a semi through: I think he's written plot-holes that you'd be able to fit a planet through. He's a great ideas man - big, epic, audacious ideas that would be AWESOME done right - but by the time he's finished cramming in his PC agendas, his half-arsed characterisation, his wholly-ripped-off-from-other-SF-stuff ideas and his try-to-please-everyone-but-end-up-pleasing-no-one attitude, you end up with a rushed, over-bloated CGI mess that just hints at the greatness DOCTOR WHO could be but then slathers it in shite.<P> See you, RTD. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. And make way for Moffat - a REAL fucking storyteller, whose plotting puts the show before anything else.
Dec. 26, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
In HUMAN NATURE / FAMILY OF BLOOD, it was noticed that Martha was black, and dealt with. It wasn't pretty - racism NEVER is - but it was acknowledged that inm the 1900s, black people in the UK were very much despised and abused, and it was sensitively and honestly handled. Kudos to Cornell for doing so.<P> Jump forward into the realms of RTD's THE NEXT DOCTOR, however, and a black Martha clone called Rosita is running around London in the Victorian era doing all manner of unladylike (or so t6he Victorians would have thought) things, and no-one bats an eyelid.<P> THIS is the problem with new Who. When it honestly ackowledges how it REALLY was in the past - as in HUMAN NATURE - it can drag those old prejudices out into the light of 21st century morality and show it for the shallow, bigoted crap that it is. We can look at how Martha was spoken to in HUMAN NATURE and be disgusted - and it reminds us that this should never happen again. Good work. But what does glossing over these past ignorances (as RTD's Victorian special did) actually do? "Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it" goes a famous quote by someone I've momentarily forgotten. RTD's PC agenda is, by pretending that these things never happened, only doomed to brining on their resurgence.<P> Ditto for the BBC's MERLIN, which seems to think it's perfectly historically valid to have a black serving girl as Gwenevere. All very well and good, but wasn't King Arthur's story set around the time (or jjust after) of the Roman occupation of England? So the tensions leading up to the First Crusade against the Moors were in full flow... so wouldn't a black girl in an English kingdom in first century England actually be suspected of spying for the Moors, and possibly imprisoned or hanged?<P> BBC, if you want to prove you have the bollocks to HONESTLY tackle bigotry and discrimination, do a series on the life of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed (PBUH) or do the story of Malcolm X, but cast a white guy as Maclom himself. Anything rather than the tired old trope of getting all up in the face of passive-aggressive white middle-England, as you always predicatably fucking do.
Dec. 26, 2008, 9:29 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Never got round to reviewing this year's special in my rant above! Here goes:<P> Shit title. We KNEW RTD would welch out on the promise of that deal, so instead of being something awesome like the very first incarnation of the Doctor, or some parallel universe Doctor, it's an amnesiac who accidentally got imprinted with info. Plus that fugue state bollocks. All complet3e crap, and completely unsatisfying.<P> The CYBERMEN - once conquerors of the known universe, now only good for smashing through windows and doors, and for that great clomp-clomp noise they make. And apparently, in the thousands of years they have been conquering people, Dervla Kirwan is the first strong-willed human they have ever met. Stronger than Yvonne Hartman, RTD? Or have you forgotten your own fucking season finale from Season 2? SHITE!<P> And if a human is THAT strong willed, how the fuck do they withstand Cyber-transplantation anyway? Why not just cut out the part of the brain that registers defiance, or boost the area that registers submission? SHENANIGANS!!!<P> And the Cyber-King - which should have been Cyber-QUEEN, or are the Cybermen now so fucking stupid that they can't tell male from female?<P> And the unexplained death ray Mercy can throw from her headset - yet more RTD bollocks, throwing in some SFX get-out-of-plothole-free card because he can't figure out a logical, 9integral-to-the-plot way of ending a scene. Dumbest thing since Dobby the Time Elf suddenly turned into Jesus in the third season finale.<P> Absolutely wasted. WALLACE & GROMIT was several hundred percent better, even if only for the ALIENS homage at the end. Fantastic fun!<P> Only four shit specials to go, then RTD is done. Gone the way of JNT...
Dec. 26, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Harry, I'm hung over, recovering fron the norovirus that's sweeping the UK, and I'm on a sugar high that will last until New Year. I CAN@T FUCKING TYPE STRAIGHT!<P> PLEEEEEASE bring in an EDIT function for these Talkbacks! PLEEEEEEEASE!!!
Dec. 26, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST
Really this was a salute to Steampunk and ALL the previous doctors. The Cybermen resembled their earlier incarnations more than the most recent. Which made them damn near perfect for a Steampunk revisioning. Even though Tennant hasn't left yet this was his farewell episode. This placed him firmly in the pantheon of Doctors gone.
Dec. 26, 2008, 9:54 a.m. CST
In his latest novel WJW uses the line " Now we are throwing universes at each other". That was the level of technology in use. So yeah no Timewar episodes too hard to picture.
Dec. 26, 2008, 9:57 a.m. CST
He didn't finish Hamlet he recently had back surgery and hopefully everything will be on schedule for filming.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST
But it was still great fun and a joy to watch. It was such a long wait. And it's even longer before we get Moffat's Who season(s?). THAT is something worth waiting for.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST
He actually is trying to get back in shape enough to finish his Hamlet run (I think the run ends January 10th and Doctor Who starts shooting on the 19th).
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST
by Real Deal
have much expectation for Xmas specials as they've all been a little under par with the rest of the series. However I liked this one better. A great period piece. I was interested to the end. Yes it was a bit silly but you know it's Doctor Who and it's the Xmas special. I loved it when they both say " Allon-y " at the same time. I realized with this one how much I'm going to miss Tennant. I thought it was bad when Eccleston left but Tennant's style has really grown on me. Can't wait for the next one!
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:24 a.m. CST
by Real Deal
Really Harry this talkback of yours has needed an edit function for quite some time now!
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:37 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
I must seek that novel out, sounds epic enough! What's it called?<P> I think any Time War onscreen would have to tackle something too epic to show onscreen. How exactly do you visually portray something as weird as a war being fought that involves warping reality AND time, from beginning to end? And the Nightmare Child sounds like Galactus... great in a comic but potentialy dumb-looking onscreen.<P> Nah, I'd rather not see it onscreen - too abstract an idea to be effectively visualised well enough. Surprisingly, one of the things I loved about the much-maligned David Lynch DUNE was how inventive the visuals were - the shields that Feyd and Paul wore when fighting with the daggers at the end, for example. Sure, it was confusing, but there's been nothing like it since, visually or narratively.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:42 a.m. CST
The Wrong Trousers is perfection and Loaf & Death was good, but definitely the weakest. Maybe about as good as Wererabbit. Although I don't think that the plot gave its reveal too early since it was obvious who the culprit was. I hate when shows and films hold back a big 'secret' which the audience has already guessed 10 minutes ago.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:44 a.m. CST
Fantastic job on the mashup. Very funny. I believe Kirk was clearly "bovvered".
Dec. 26, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST
"He's brilliant with the character development but when action is required it all gets very lazy! The Cybermen were originally the super villains of DrW – cleverer than the Daleks and with a fantastic galactic-spanning back story. RTD has reduced them to the clunking earthbound henchmen of weaker human villains." You've got things wrong by far. The Daleks were the original super-villains of Doctor Who (appearing in the 2nd full storyline) with a 'galactic-spanning' background (for example, The Daleks Masterplan, again with the 1st Doctor well before the Cybermen ever showed up). The Cybermen were originally just on "counter-earth", which moved out of orbit (but never was said to span galaxies), then Planet 14 (implying within our solar system). By the time they were really getting the galactic back-story, Davros was around. Also, RTD wasn't the one to diminish Cybermen, that happened well before. The bit about gold dust plugging their vents (in a 4th doctor story) eventually became like a vampire's aversion to holy water - getting stuck with a gold tipped arrow could finish them by the 7th Doctor (and let's not mention a possibly-or-possibly partially cyber-converted human knocking a Cyberman's head off with a pipe in a 6th Doctor Story). The 7th Doctor story also had the cybermen reduced in status, effectively playing 3rd fiddle to a bunch of neo-Nazis and a time travelling witch who knew about the Doctor's history. They weren't the clever clogs that you assert either - back in the Invasion their plan was to put everyone to sleep and.....lurk around menacingly? Good plan there. Most of their other plans were to just take an isolated space station/equivalent "base under seige" to convert the people. Daleks had grander schemes, and as for their cleverness the 2nd Doctor stories (Power of the Daleks, Evil of the Daleks) help illustrate how clever they can be. RTD actually helped restore the Cybermen when he rebooted them. Just because they can't take on a Dalek one-on-one doesn't mean he cheapened them up.
Dec. 26, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST
Mark my words.
Dec. 26, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST
... referred to Donna's loss of what she had become - not just in the final episode, but all the growth as a person she underwent during Season 4.
Dec. 26, 2008, 2:01 p.m. CST
An almost understated DW adventure from RTD. I heard his voice every time the other doctor spoke and at the end felt it was Davies applauding Tennant and I liked that a lot, plus as mentioned giant Cyberman destroying London, cool visuals, usual plot holes but who cares if cybernetic creatures find it more efficient to use child labour instead of doing it themselves, maybe they where bored?<P>All in all after the hate last years super camp extravaganza garnered I felt RTD proved he listens to people and tries to give people what they want, an untampered with Davros and a almost old style new who Xmas special, bring on the wall, er I mean new episodes.<P>Oh and as usual Spud is wrong etc, etc, x
Dec. 26, 2008, 2:02 p.m. CST
I'm hi and thought I was writing a frakking letter.
Dec. 26, 2008, 2:54 p.m. CST
Just watched the last episode from season 4 again on the very overpriced boxset. What a load of tosh it ended up being-that god awful scene where Donna starts spewing technobabble, pressing buttons and defeating the daleks single-handedly is like a shitty catherine tate show sketch-it is fucking embarrassing to watch -what with marbles-gob Rose it was such a dogs dinner. I thought Donna was going to be a hidden female timelord (maybe Romana) who would come to the aid of the Doc at the end-not the convoluted fuck-up it became. I totally agree when it was said that RTD needs someone to hold him back and stop the OTT "Lets throw in the kitchen sink, dahling!!' excesses he puts into his scripts. Having said that, this years Christmas story was a bit of a rein-in (except for the fucking poor mans transformers ending). Would have preferred more focus on the real doctor after we found out Morrissey was a fake though.
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Hey, I'm secure enough in my heterosexuality to accept that kiss you sent me as a manly kiss ;P <P> But seriously - you DIDN'T find the plotholes to be distracting enough to make this whole shenanigan awful? I swear, sometimes I think you might be the kind of guy who ENJOYS the complexities and multi-layered plotting of, say, POWER RANGERS.<P> Bring on the Moffat!
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST
by Leafar the Lost
...and you know it!
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
His overacting made Tennant seem like Olivier. I mean, as much as I like Tennant, you can't deny he has a bag of schtick he uses all the time - rising voice accompanied by manic rictus grin, over-accentuating the last syllable of every last sentence when he shouts, the whole constantly-showing-us-his-tonsils thing - but next to David Morrissey in this episode, Tennant is the model of restraint. I loved Morrissey in CAPE WRATH - loathed him in this Christmas special. Ah well, can't please us all...
Dec. 26, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
As long as it's Chiwetel Ejiofor, I'm down with that, hood G.
Dec. 26, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST
who the next dr is but would like a woman. Lesley Sharp or La zeta Jones.
Dec. 26, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST
And this special was lame. What happened to the "10 minutes so epic the press weren't shown it"? as described by digitalspy? I can only assume it was the transformer they didn't show, as RTD and co woulda been laughed out the building! I can't wait til RTD fucks off - with crap like this is it any wonder Tennant is leaving? As someone else said, when RTD is good, he is really good - I'll give him that. Problem is, he's rarely been good in the whole run.
Dec. 26, 2008, 6:33 p.m. CST
This was a pretty lame episode if you ask me. <br><br>Was there anyone that really thought that this new "Doctor" was really the next Doctor?<br><br>As soon as they introduced the thing with the history of earth wasn't it entirely obvious what had happened with the "Next Doctor?"<br><br>I'm not from the UK so I don't really care about the Victorian period. I also don't like steampunk so the whole appeal of the setting was lost on me.<br><br>Was that really supposed to be that guy's kid? The kid didn't seem like he was all too excited to be reunited with his dad. <br><br>The end was nice but it didn't make up for the 40 or so minutes in the middle that were just padding.
Dec. 26, 2008, 6:41 p.m. CST
I'm not sure what to make of it. I've been reading a lot of Charles Stross so Implied Spaces seemed weak. But then again I had been immersed in shit like Accelerando. Anathem was good also. Some things like Implied Spaces and Anathem take a bit to sink in. I would say the ideas in Implied Spaces are just as eye opening as when Farcry used the wormhole as a weapon. Or the idea that anything we may conceive could possibly be in use somewhere in the universe by beings that just "doing their jobs".
Dec. 26, 2008, 6:41 p.m. CST
we only get 5 one-hour specials in 2009, all you Sisgel & Eberts will only be heard 5 times thur out the year, instead of 13 straight weeks. But, if you guys enjoy complaining about Doctor Who, go for it. Yes, I was disappointed David Morrissey wasn't "The Next Doctor" or any Doctor for that matter, but, I thought it was an interesting twist. I now get to say something I have not said on a DW talk-back in 8 months, I hope you all enjoy the next Doctor Who Special, (An Easter Special?) "Planet of The Dead", I already know I will.
Dec. 26, 2008, 6:43 p.m. CST
But no such luck. How cool would that have been?
Dec. 26, 2008, 7:41 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
It's good to hear from you, axcel1, and you're by far the most polite talkbacker AICN has probably ever had, but I have to ask you this:<P> How do you KNOW you'll enjoy the next Doctor Who program before you've even seen it?<P> If you're taking the time to post on an AICN TB, you'll already be the kind of person for whom the SF/fantasy genre is a significant part of their life and/or choice of entertainment. You always have something to say about the episode you've watched - such as thinking that there was an interesting twist in this year's special - so you clearly understand how to clearly criticise something, whether good or bad. You're intelligent, eurdite, polite. Not to mention civilised. And then you end by contradicting all that by saying you KNOW you'll enjoy the next episode. Maybe it's me nitpicking, but how do you KNOW you'll enjoy it? I mean, I enjoy some parts of every episode, and htis year was no exception - though dumb-looking, at least the Cyber-Monkeys were original, and the whole Next Doctor thing was interesting until the dumb-ass let-down revelation of what was REALLY going on, but still - both interesting concepts to begin with. Do you mean that you will always find SOMETHING to enjoy in that given episode? Or do you watch these episodes so determined to enjoy them that you cloud your ability to dispassionately judge and/or criticise them as a piece of entertainment?<P> Talkbacks are effectively a tool for the global viewers of entertainment to be their own critics - to let everyone know what they think. To post on a talkback just to tell everyone that they are all moaning minnies for no reason, then to say you already know you'll enjoy the next episode - despite not having seen it! - seems to be at best incongruous, and at worst downright nonsensical. You can't hold a position where you8 criticise others for being critical, when clearly you have no intention of being objectively critical yourself - you may as well chant "you're all wrong, nah-nah nah-nah nah" whilst sticking your fingers in your ears.<P> That said, I hope you DO enjoy PLANET OF THE DEAD - I hope we ALL do. I only post these negative posts when something that promises to be as cool as a title like THE NEXT DOCTOR suggests turns out to be an SFX CGI encrusted turd, as this episode did.
Dec. 26, 2008, 8:29 p.m. CST
Who gives a shit about Doctor Who, where's my damn Torchwood.
Dec. 26, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST
Have to say sat down on Christmas Day, watched it all the way through and enjoyed pretty much all of it.<p> Great introduction, wonderful to see two great actors bouncing off each other. Any one with any sense knew he wasn't really the next doctor but it was enjoyable finding out how and why he was the way he was(If that makes any sense) <p> Spud Mc Spuds criticisms are all fair and valid and the part of the special that really makes you incredulous was the ending. Why do the Cyber men suddnely all blow up? why does she blow up? It may be Christmas but It's not bloody Panto.<br> Wallace and Gromit had some great scences and seemed to feel a bit rushed and lacked a large cast that would have made a real who dunnit possible. you can't have a who dunnit with only 1 character.<p> So apart from that a damn fine episode of Doctor who and pretty good Wallace and Gromit. <p> Oh and Torchwood is festering in the hole RTD left it in. Long may it rot.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:06 p.m. CST
Yes, they make the entire series for you, and because you didn't like it..well..it sucked...narf. <p> It was great, if you didn't like it, then don't watch it anymore..nuff said.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:14 p.m. CST
It's good to hear from you, too, again. Sorry if I sounded a little too rude, everyone has the right to their opinion. I guess I just enjoy being in the world of Doctor Who too much. It's my favorite scifi show. Oh, and, I guess, in a way, i do like reading the negative and positive reviews. As for what I said before, ok, how about this, I hope WE all enjoy the next Doctor Who Special, (Easter?) "Planet of The Dead", RTD always delivers the goods?
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:16 p.m. CST
Where's The Handsome 12th Doctor?
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:28 p.m. CST
Davies could have made Morrissey a throwaway Doctor, only seen once, never knowing where he fits in the Doctor's life. Hey, I never said RTD was perfect, no one has.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST
The throwaway Doctor's have been Paul Mcann and Christopher E, sadly we didn't get enough of them on TV!
Dec. 26, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST
Ok, even though I've been a fan of the show since I was a kid I'll stop watching it because I didn't like this episode. I didn't know that I had to like every episode of a show in order to keep watching it. Thanks for the info.
Dec. 27, 2008, 1:13 a.m. CST
No, it's time for an American Doctor<br> Actually a Texan Doctor<br> Boots, Belt Buckle, Shoe String Tie, Texas Accent, the works<p> George W Doctor
Dec. 27, 2008, 2:57 a.m. CST
No shit...I'd mark my calendar for every new episode.
Dec. 27, 2008, 6:17 a.m. CST
I hope we all enjoy the next Doctor Who Special, (An Easter Special?) "Planet of The Dead", I already know we like the title?
Dec. 27, 2008, 6:23 a.m. CST
I still want John Simm.
Dec. 27, 2008, 6:26 a.m. CST
Leaving words out of sentences. The word "like" should be between "would and "as".
Dec. 27, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST
the episode where Zoidberg's people invade and build the 'mobile oppression palace'
Dec. 27, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST
by Kurutteru Yatsu
Watched all four Christmas specials in a row on the day, and for me 'The Next Doctor' is the best of the lot. Yeah, it had a couple of minor nitpicky bits, but as overall entertainment my friends and I got a kick out of it. I'd be perfectly happy to see some novels or audio productions in the future of Jackson Lake and Rosita flying around in the hot air TARDIS.<p>As for Wallace and Gromit...it was Wallace and Gromit. Of course it was going to be excellent.
Dec. 27, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST
Dec. 27, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST
Second half was garbage. RTD is all hype and no content. Fingers crossed for Moffat.
Dec. 27, 2008, 1:43 p.m. CST
"do you watch these episodes so determined to enjoy them that you cloud your ability to dispassionately judge and/or criticise them as a piece of entertainment?" you ignore the fact that you yourself are watching these episodes so determined to hate them that you cloud your ability to dispassionately judge and/or criticise them as a piece of entertainment. The sheer over-the-top venom of your series of "Oh, and another thing I hated!" posts above are maniacal. If you hate it so much, please, spare yourself the grief and move on to another show. When I hated hated hated Voyager, i stopped watching, i didn't keep going just to get the bile and venom going. sheesh. Was this a fantastic episode? Nah. But it was fun. and it doesn't deserve the level of unadulterated hate you're spewing. And no matter what you think, no matter what you say, no matter what you do, too bad, so sad, RTD DID save Doctor Who. Just not for you. But for enough people to make a long-dead kids show into a mainstream hit, so I doubt he gives two shites what you think.
Dec. 27, 2008, 5:12 p.m. CST
That's one way of putting it. When I watch Doctor Who, I focus on the good, no, the great stuff in the episode and shove the not so great to the side, if there is any, of course, in my opinion, of course. I felt the same way about "Enterprise", I wanted to like it, but, didn't care for idea of going backwards instead of going forward. I always go into the world of Doctor Who looking for a good time for that 45 minutes to one hour he is on.
Dec. 27, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST
I hope we all enjoy the next Doctor Who Special, (An Easter Special?) "Planet of The Dead", I already know it's got dead people?
Dec. 27, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST
Phil Segal saved Doctor Who back in 1996 and proved it could be done well and with a fitting budget for one. The only problem was that the BBC were a bunch of cheap fucks who wouldn't shoulder the cost of the show without other co-producers footing the bill. Fandom got dragged along for years of them making excuses until they finally decided to go with it and give it to RTD to produce. The blueprint for modernization was already there.
Dec. 27, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST
Dec. 27, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST
I liked the episode. I think it was probably RTD's best, and I still would say that "The End of the World" was previously his best. I really dug the visual references to all of the previous Doctors. But one thing's for sure, I want Doctor Who in HD. And a return by Paul McGann, thank you very much.
Dec. 27, 2008, 5:21 p.m. CST
I don't spell-check, that word should be, "say", not, "sat"
Dec. 27, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST
I'm a bit late to the party as I missed it on Christmas Day and have only just downloaded it via BitTorrent.<p>I really don't understand what some of you are complaining about! I'm not a RTD fan AT ALL - the guy has written some terrible episodes during his time but this was good, solid entertaining television. Sure there were plotholes but I sat transfixed throughout the entire episode, and loved Morrisey's take on The Doctor. Tennant gave another great performance (as he always does!) and there was SO much to enjoy here! The explanation about 'The Next Doctor' was also great and I actually let out a sigh of relief when it came (as I thought RTD was going to give us one of his typically stupid explanations).<p>This was perfect Christmas television and was, by far, the second best of the Christmas Doctor Whos (with last year's being the worst by far and Tennant's first after his regeneration being the best).<p>If you really hated it so much, I feel sorry for you. You should just stick to Coronation Street and Eastenders. Leave Doctor Who to those of us who have a little warmth left in our hearts and the capacity to enjoy something without shouting 'Plot hole!' at it every ten minutes.
Dec. 27, 2008, 5:46 p.m. CST
The Doctor finds himself in a typical AICN talkback only to discover that most of the inhabitants have no heart.
Dec. 27, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST
by The Handsome 12th Doctor
I've been away over Christmas and so only just watched the episode tonight. I wasn't thrilled by it.<p>Last's years Xmas special may have been as camp as a window but it did entertain me for most of it's runtime. This year's episode felt a little soulless to me. And like others have said before me – How come the Cybermen have become such rubbish villains in new-Who?<p>I hope the Doctor gets a companion for next year's specials. Even if it's a short-term one. The show has more life to it when the Doc has someone.<p>Now unless anything unforeseen happens I will return to review "Planet of the Dead" at Easter.
Dec. 27, 2008, 6:47 p.m. CST
by The Handsome 12th Doctor
I've now had chance to catch up on the only other worth recording over Christmas - A Matter of Loaf and Death<p>That's more like it. Fun, funny, sweet and stylish. All at once. And containing a reference to the original Adam West 'Batman' film to boot.
Dec. 27, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST
Good to see you here, sorry to hear you didn't like this Xmas special, I did. It helps that The Cybermen (Even the Alternate Earth ones.) are one of my favorites. I wonder if we will ever the Cybermen from Mondas & Telos?
Dec. 27, 2008, 9:43 p.m. CST
that the 'fake' doctor would become a companion to the Doctor. But him having a son pretty much killed that idea. How cool would it be to have a companion that knows so well how the Doctor thinks. Then again, it could overshadow the doctor. <p> Well it would be neat if he went on one or two adventures, then got ditched.
Dec. 27, 2008, 10 p.m. CST
Watched it via Youtube here in Canada (since we probably won't see it on tv for another bloody year). Kept thinking Mercy was Gillian Anderson doing an evil Lady Dedlock from that Bleak House miniseries.
Dec. 27, 2008, 11:38 p.m. CST
...that Morrissey's Doctor was actually the First Doctor in an unseen early adventure. Of course then it would be a bit inconsistent with established canon but it would've been interesting. As it stands, I was happy with the performance and the writing.
Dec. 28, 2008, 3:36 a.m. CST
The shippy stuff was starting to wear on me a little, so I'm glad 10 won't have companions in the next two specials (I've heard rumblings that he'll regenerate in the middle of the 2009 specials). All Tennant needs is a good one-off helpmate (as Morrissey's character was in the Xmas special) for each show and he'll be fine. I will, however, be extremely sorry to see Tennant/Ten go - he's been an exemplary Doctor, and the person who follows him (Carlyle?) had better be an actor of great substance, or he'll be totally screwed.
Dec. 28, 2008, 4:18 a.m. CST
was the usual RTD affair - 10% greatness, 90% shite. In the tradition of xmas specials I had every one of my friends and relatives round for xmas, and every one of them thought it was 100% shit. Loaf and Death however was excellent and so thought everyone else.
Dec. 28, 2008, 6:19 a.m. CST
What I'd really like to see is number 11 turn up in the middle of these specials, but still follow 10's story through to the last one . . .
Dec. 28, 2008, 6:51 a.m. CST
Funniest show on tv right now.
Dec. 28, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST
It won't be Robert Carlyle, he just signed on to Stargate Universe, the next Stargate spin-off. And, I hope you are wrong about the regeneration happening in the middle of the specials. RTD did say that choosing the next Doctor would be the new producer job, so, I just thought Tennant's last scene in the last special would be the Doctor regenerating and the first scene of the first regular episode of 2010 would be the completed regeneration, showing us the real "Next Doctor". Of course, it would be great if the new Doctor teamed up with the old for the last 2 Specials.
Dec. 28, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST
Robert Carlyle has signed onto SG:U? I'm so sad about this. What a great actor. What a terrible career choice,
Dec. 28, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST
I havent seen much of the third series. but I am thrilled that he That Graham Linehan won an emmy. First series was mixed. Second series took off. Third series I havent seen. I love Moss and Roy. The geek calendar episode was very funny a couple of days ago.
Dec. 28, 2008, 10:55 a.m. CST
I'm guessing you don't like Stargate SG1 or Stargate Atlantis? I'm happy with the news because both shows are my second and third favorites, Doctor Who being my all time favorite, of course. I thought Robert Carlyle was great in "24 Redemption", which made me think he would have made a great Doctor!! My first choice is still John Simm!!!!!
Dec. 28, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST
rather a boring Dr Who episode. It's all just going to the predicatable motion. Had an awesome viewing experience though; I downloaded it from the newsgroup and watched it in 1080i on the PS3! Agreed about the 'reviews' not being 'reviews' but just terrible transcriptions of everything that happened, and spoils everything. I had avoided reading them, luckily.
Dec. 28, 2008, 1:19 p.m. CST
I say "if", not "when", as I won't get my hopes up. If they don't, however, I can't be held responsible for my subsequent internet shenanigans.
Dec. 28, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST
Then, I say, start your subsequent internet shenanigans.
Dec. 28, 2008, 5:09 p.m. CST
I think it was e4 where they out did the hilarity of Googling Google. If you haven't seen that ep from s2 watch it first.
Dec. 28, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST
Jesus watch some Life on Mars then see him as the Master and EVERYONE wants Simm. Richard Ayoade would be good and Colin Salmon or Matt Berry or Mark Heap. But overall Michelle Gomez would be the best choice for New Doctor.
Dec. 28, 2008, 6 p.m. CST
You didn't watch it in true HD because the show is shot on DigiBeta which has around 700 lines of resolution (but it ain't 720p, low grade HD). BBC does not upscale it or televise it at 720p but at standard PAL resolution, so if you were lucky to snag the copy online that had been captured in true digital, you were watching it at 576p at best. To my knowledge, the PS3 won't upscale files but only MPEG2 formatted DVDs, but maybe I'll try on my PS3 to see if I can get it to play the episode at simulated 720p.
Dec. 28, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST
My question to you is, why are you asking Jesus to watch Life On Mars and the last 3 episodes of Doctor Who season (series) 3? both are great, yes, but, I'm sure he has more important things to do.
Dec. 28, 2008, 7:56 p.m. CST
The Doctor wouldn't stand a chance then!
Dec. 28, 2008, 10:12 p.m. CST
well then god bless the PS3 upscaller, it looks great. The CBC also airs Dr Who here in 16:9 on the HD channel. I guess it isn't full HD.. but it looks great.
Dec. 29, 2008, 12:37 a.m. CST
I want Glenister to play Oliver Cromwell in an historical episode. That would totally rock. But until then, I guess I'll have to settle on the Richard Harris portrayal in *Cromwell*, or perhaps I'll check out the recent *To Kill A King* from the past year...I know that's on Blu-ray.
bacci40 wrote: >> didn't know that Brits minded other accents so much << Neither did I (and I am an English Brit with an accent not too dissimilar from the one that Tennant uses). I really have no idea why Tennant's Scottish accent wasn't used. It seems rather an odd choice to change it. I wonder what he used for Hamlet? <<
Dec. 29, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST
Spud McSpud wrote: >> Jump forward into the realms of RTD's THE NEXT DOCTOR, however, and a black Martha clone called Rosita is running around London in the Victorian era doing all manner of unladylike (or so the Victorians would have thought) things, and no-one bats an eyelid. << Well, they were pretty busy batting eyelids at Cybermen. They would have been used, in Victorian London, to seeing black people around - but not Cybermen. I would agree that a comment or two from the kids would have been appropriate ("does it rub off", kind of thing), but is a minor comment. Family of Blood was a 2 parter character piece, but this was an actioner with little time for subtlety of any kind - so I'll certainly cut slack: this may be the first time that many people have considered that there may have been black people around in the UK in Victorian times.
Dec. 29, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST
Jen dinner party. Where she invites her gal pals over and makes the mistake of also inviting over MOss and Roy. after telling that her gal pals have problems. Hilarious. Made me want to piss my pants. or there is classic ep where Jen takes her boyfriend to the opera. But invites moss and roy also. Roy is late and may or may not have lost his ticket. So in order to get some sympathy and to let him in, he nicks a wheelchair and pretends to be disabled. He finds that that is an easy way to get sympathy by saying Im disabled........ That is how Chris O Dowd new he had become famous. people kept coming up to him and saying "say the line" or saaid the line "im disabled". Graham Linehan is a genius.
Dec. 29, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST
I thought some of the metaphysical imagery was quite effective... <br /><br /> Ok seriously, bad Doctor Who is always better than NO Doctor Who, but whiny fanboys who don't like RTD will be the same nitpicks who won't like Stephen Moffat either. Compare this Christmas special to "Horns of the Nimon" and it looks pretty fcking fantastic. <br /><br /> And Harry, you're running this site on Drupal, so how about enabling the ability to preview comments so we can review before committing. Much easier.
Dec. 29, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST
by I am the most horrible
I liked it just fine.<p> PREDICTION: Tennant's Doctor will expire via tripping over a brick.<p> WISHLIST for the real Next Doctor... Nesbitt is my #1 choice. Paterson Joseph would be good too. I love the idea of the Doctor being regenerated as a person of color or a woman. If it's a woman Dawn French would be fine, hell, Jennifer Saunders would rock too. I'd LOVE to see Jane Horrocks (Bubble from AbFab) as the Doctor or at least as Romana if and when she returns.<p> COMPANIONS: Change it up. I don't want to see another female unless it's River Song. The Master should still be in some detention hold in the bowels of the TARDIS. He'd have made a great anti-companion. Give us a robot. maybe some twist on K9. Give us an alien picked up along the way. How about some well known historical figure that disappeared and fill in their mysterious gaps.
Dec. 29, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST
by I am the most horrible
Give us a bunch of them in the next series. The Doctor could have a companion for one or two eppies, picking them up, changing their lives then dropping them off. Raise the stakes and let them die. <p> And let us see some more of the geography within the TARDIS
Dec. 29, 2008, 2:49 p.m. CST
The idea of the brooding Doctor who is constantly in pain started off nicely but IMHO is very tired now. The Daleks came back from the Time War a couple of times, the Cybermen came back, but how is it that the Time Lords are so utterly beated that they have not somehow reconstituted?
Dec. 29, 2008, 5:21 p.m. CST
...Who's been watching Doctor Who half of his life I have to say no to a "just for the sake of being different" Black Doctor Who. Especially if it's Patterson Joseph. <br> <br> I know that he's an alien and regeneration is "a dodgy process" but there has been a progression between regenerations where the 10 doctors do look somewhat alike in their facial features. The 1st four could be brothers. They all look like turkeys or somewhat birdlike, every last one from Hartnell to Tennant. I don't mind a Black Doctor Who but he should at least remotely look something like one of his predecessors. Somebody here brought up Chiwetel Ejiofor. That would be brilliant. <br> <br> Paterson Joseph is that favourite amongst you brits but for me he will always be "the idiot who refused to believe the Daleks were real until it was too late"and he looks nothing like a bird. <br> <br> Chiwetel Ejiofor looks like he could be Tom Baker's long lost Black love child and I'm guessing he's a better actor too. <br> <br> Whoever Moffatt ends up with in the Tardis I hope we will see a return to some of the darker mystery/horror elements of the original series and an end to the "feel good gay-friendly cheeseball"stuff. Bring back the excitement and the "oh shit where the fuck did we just land!?!? Let's get back to the Tardis before we're eaten by Zombies, Monsters, Androids etc"spirit of Doctor Who going all the way back to Unearthly Child. Let this new generation of who fans actually have their own experience hiding behind the couch. Let's see some danger and some mystery. Lets see future earthlings that actually dress like their in the future. Give me that and I won't care what color the Doctor is.
Dec. 30, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST
He'd be ace. Truly ace.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:05 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
EXACTLY what I was getting at! In these overly-PC times, it's easy for people with little imagination but full of bitterness to see my comments as being racist, but in truth I'm more interested in seeing a decent actor as Doctor Who than I am concerned with what colour the Doctor is. The Doctor is an alien who regenerates - why can't he be black? Or a female? Or even an alien life form for one regeneration? The possibilities are limitless.<P> That said... It might look as if the Beeb are too busy trying to cast ethnically rather than by talent if they cast Paterson Joseph. Anyone familiar with his little stint in new Who (he was the contestant who beat Rose at the futuristic Weakest Link on the Game Station in "The Long Game", I believe) or on the Beeb's recent SURVIVORS will see that he's a very limited actor: either using his bug-eyed startled face, or his whispering, blank face for pretty much his entire repertoire. You know those actors who look EXACTLY the same whatever emoitions they're portraying? That's Paterson Joseph. Contrast that with Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays so differently in LOVE ACTUALLY, KINKY BOOTS and SERENITY (to name but a few) and you'll see Chi has range, he has depth, he can play wildly different extremes of emotion - from extremely controlled and calm (SERENITY) to the driven Det Mitchell in INSIDE MAN, and all the roles inbetween - Chiwetel is your man for the role. Tennant, as gloriously fun as he is to watch as the Doctor, has certain tics and idiosyncrasies he uses to the point of overkill - his overpronunciation, his adding "YAH!" on the end of every important line, his un-nerving habit of showing us his tonsils every time he yells - but he has energy, boundless amounts of manic energy, which work well for the role of the Doctor. A plank that has two very distinct and very wooden acting faces is not a good choice for arguably one of the best roles on the BBC - and Paterson Joseph is that plank. He's nowhere near as good an actor as you need in that role.<P> Now the argumewnt about black people in period episodes of Doctor Who... the BBC can't have its cake AND eat it. Do you show, historically, how backward and ridiculous it was to have such prejudices in the past, by showing people's ingnorance and racism - then take the chance to have that character prove that such steretyping is ridiculous by behaving bravely, intelligently and morally? Or do you sweep it under the carpet, have black people running around in periods of British history where clearly black people were heavily persecuted and suppressed, and risk forgetting the lessons we should have learned from the past - that such bigotry and racism is WRONG? How does pretending that there was no racism in the Victorian era help the fight to prevent racism in the modern era? And - more sinisterly - where does such revisionism end? Ask a Jew if they think it's a good idea to pretend the Holocaust never happened. You'd likely meet a level of indignance and anger you'd be very unused to - and rightly so: the very idea is abhorrent. So why is rewriting history for a kids' program, that very much impacts upon the thinking of its young viewers, NOT considered ot be abhorrent?<P> It's so disgusting, the level of hypocrisy the BBC exists at, and I just wish the whole damn corporation would grow some balls and decide which side if the fence it REALLY sits on. It's a bit rich to insist there's nothing wrong with recasting Queen Guinevere (in MERLIN) as a black serving girl, while at the same time bleating at how inappropriate it is in this day and age to have white actors playing Othello on stage. Exactly why is this different?!?<P> Ah, hell. I'd be happy if Tom Chambers got the gig. Fuck it - why not?
Dec. 30, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST
Different people had different attitudes towards race even during times that bigotry was rife in, not everyone in the past would be racist, nor would everyone be uniformly not racist, it would depend upon the person and the situation.<P>After all if we can accept the conceit of a time traveller why can't we accept him taking people of all colours back in time?, to accept one and not the other seems ood to me.
Dec. 30, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Interesting points. Obviously I'm generalising, there would of course be some people who are more open-minded and able to see both sides of a story (example: I can buy Morgan Freeman's Azeem in ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, and Robin's acceptance of him as a friend - after all, they both see war as the enemy, not each other), but I think that in Victorian England, the chances of EVERYONE (and in the Who Xmas Special, it was EVERYONE, as no-one made any comment whatsoever in the show) watching Rosita running around doing things that even a white woman back then would have been admonished for doing, is just BBC politically correct historical revisionism at its very worst. I think the way Martha's ethnicity was handled in HUMAN NATURE was so much better on so many levels: it was realistic, it showed the racism and bigotry for the stupidity that it was, and it showed Martha's character to be strong, independent, indomitable and resourceful - surely all things which are more positive than just pretending that a certain prevailing attitude of the time simply didn't exist? I think revisionism is one of the most insidious dangers that political correctness has wrought, and is just plain dangerous in that, in the end, the fact that the old prejudices used to exist will be forgotten - and that's the quickest way to bring them back. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.<P> That said, if you're going to have a Companion of a certain ethnicity in the TARDIS (and there's absolutely NOTHING wrong with that - why would there be?) then you have to accept that in certain less intelligent and less honourable times in England's history, a person of said ethnicity would have been treated offensively. It's the truth, and just because it's disgusting and offensive doesn't make it any less true. If you're going to pretend that a black woman could run around in Victorian England doing what most white men would do - basically doing what the next Doctor was doing - then at least acknowledge that in that time, it was unusual enough to draw significant attention. Pretending that the past was completely different to what is REALLY was is doing new Who a grave disservice - because apart from being an SF show, the main thing new Who is, is a HISTORY show.<P> It's just politically correct nonsense that, left unchecked, just allows white bigotry and racism against non-whites to flourish and be affirmed by the positive discrimination that this is indicative of, and which runs endemically through the entire Beeb output like a vein of festering hypocrisy. It's not just ignorant, it's dangerous, and it's wrong - and it gives REAL racists and bigots ammunition that would be denied to them if the Beeb could just actually listen to people with fucking intelligence (Paul Cornell for instance) and not just listen to those whose views and lifestyle suit the Beeb's predilection for minority box-ticking about actual creative development (Russel the T, take a bow).<P> as you can tell, this irks me more than just a little... But thanks for the comeback, Smashing, and hope you have a great New Year :D
Dec. 30, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Johnny Vegas > Paterson Joseph. Sorry, I REALLY don't like Joseph's acting. Get Chiwetel in there!
Dec. 31, 2008, 5:35 a.m. CST
I still want John Simm as the Doctor!!!!!
Dec. 31, 2008, 7:33 a.m. CST
thats a new one.
Dec. 31, 2008, 7:51 a.m. CST
Cannot wait for Moffatt to take over. Just have to get through 3 more (I think?) RTD episodes. Probably including one in which Tennant stops manically shouting and grinning for a moment to stare moodily at a picture of Rose, and another in which he sleeps with Capt Jack.
Dec. 31, 2008, 8:44 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Don't forget endless tiresome references to Bad Wolf, which in the end even Tennant had to admit (in the Confidential episode following "Turn Left") made no fucking sense whatsoever.<P> Oh, and there has to be a Doctor=Jesus parallel somewhere in there. Cannot WAIT for the reign of the Grand Moff!
Dec. 31, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST
One thing that gets on my tits more than hopelessly unrealistic revisionist portrayals of racial har-mo-nee in historic settings is bolshy, white-man-as-victim pig-headed ignorance which seems to reckon that non-white history in the Britain began in the 1950s, that you can extrapolate current US/UK racism backwards in a straight line, or that being black meant you got treated much worse by those in authority than if you were Irish or Jewish or Catholic or a woman or simply poor or dressed funny. London was centre of the world's largest empire for centuries, a power based on naval and trading strength, with a good dose of slave trading mixed in. By the mid 18th Century, London had 700-800,000 people, of whom 20-40,000 were black. http://tinyurl.com/9kpphw http://tinyurl.com/9zo9t7 Population spiked again in mid-19th century when slavery was abolished in Britain, but still held in the US. You'd be a lot more likely to be abusive a white man with sticky-up hair in a 20th century lounge suit and raincoat than black person in period dress, particularly round the docks or slums. Don't base your knowledge of how ye olde time really were on "whitewashed" films from the 30s, 40s and 50s. They knew a damn sight less about it than we do now, and were in no ways inclined to make an effort to represent what they could have found out. It'd be like someone from 2050 complaining that a film about Texans in the 80s didn't match the portrayal in "Dallas".
Dec. 31, 2008, 4:24 p.m. CST
Just to say to the the Dr Who connection have a happy new year,may you all have peace and prosperity in 2009.
Dec. 31, 2008, 9:45 p.m. CST
Was a Nemesis plot.
Jan. 2, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST
going to be announced on Saturday: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7807742.stm Time to invest in tissue paper. There is going to be a sudden upsurge in big babies crying and in nerds having sci-fi-inspired hand shandies. I will be annoyed if the new doctor is RTD.
Jan. 2, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST
I would pay for there to be a scene in the last David Tennant DrW where RTD has a 2 second cameo before being vapourised/crushed/beheaded/eaten.
Jan. 2, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST
I hope you all enjoy the next Doctor Who Special, (An Easter Special?) "Planet of The Dead", I already know I will. And, no one is stopping me from liking it, enjoying it, etc. there, I said it and, I glad I did!!! And, I still hope the next Doctor is John Simm, too!!!!
Jan. 2, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST
That felt Goooooooooooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan. 2, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST
Jan. 2, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST
by I am the most horrible
Explain to me how that would work. He was just the Master, as well as a very famous Prime Minister. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief as far as the next guy, but really, how is this explained? <p> I'd actually expect them to explain why Paterson Joseph's Doctor looks like two other characters we've seen in WHO already.<P> There is a precedent-in Star Trek people have been known to play two or three bit parts before getting a name role, and Martha was a redshirt on WHO before she was Martha.
Jan. 2, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST
...Patrick Stewart may be the new Doctor. Would make some kind of sense with him currently appearing in Hamlet alongside Tennant.
Jan. 2, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST
The Doctor was holding the Master for a long while, if the Master can stop himself from regenerating, who's to say he can't pass his current DNA to the Doctor, making his current appearance, the Doctro's next regeneration? Ok, I know, I reaching, but, I just think it would be cool for the Doctor to look like the most hated man on Earth, and, cool to have John Simm bring the craziness to the Doctor that he brought to the Master.
Jan. 2, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST
by Jack Parsons
The perfect is the enemy of the good. Try to see an honest work of entertainment as the best those involved can make, and don't judge it against the perfect show you may have in your head. and feel free to share that perfect episode that you imagine so that we can enjoy analyzing it as much as you enjoyed analyzing this special.