Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: The Next Doctor

In the fourth Doctor Who Christmas special, the Doctor meets himself in a future timeline. Maybe? Or maybe not? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

David Morrissey? IN MY DOCTOR WHO? There will be absolutely no protesting from me.

I was first introduced to David Morrissey through State of Play (WHICH IS SO FUCKING GOOD YOU SHOULD REALLY WATCH IT) and I’ve enjoyed him ever since. (On a complete sidenote, I just realized that both John Simm and Philip Glenister were on that mini-series and I just finished Life on Mars this past weekend, so excuse my mini freak out over here.) My favorite role of David’s is his work as Maurice in the Red Riding trilogy. He’s virtually unrecognizable in that role and he plays a character so wonderfully understated and conflicted that I quickly fell in love with him. Platonically, of course.

So the second he strolled on to the screen dressed in that utterly fabulous (and very classic Who) suit, I squealed. Thankfully, I’ve avoided the great number of spoilers that are floating around the Net and SOMEHOW FIND THEIR WAY INTO MY COMMENTS (I am looking at you and shaking my fist, FYI.) This episode is crafted in such a way that I thought that there was a real chance that Matt Smith wasn’t the Eleventh Doctor and that David Morrissey was actually number eleven. WHICH IS INCREDIBLY EXCITING TO ME BECAUSE I LOVE DAVID MORRISSEY, OK? DON’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME.

This is a really, really strange Christmas special and is kind of sad in a subtle way, but those are all compliments. On top of its weirdness and the all-too-convenient way in which the story is resolved, this special is just plain tons of fun. Seriously! It’s true!

(Thinking aloud: I thought Davies was done after season four? Why did he write this episode, too? Don’t tell me quite yet.)

The Doctor lands in London in 1851 and the real magic of “The Next Doctor” is in the first half hour or so. I know that, at the time, everyone was unsure when David Tennant’s reign as the Doctor would come to an end, so I watched this special with that context in mind. I wondered how anyone would know to call out to the Doctor since we’d seen him dispose of all of his companions in “Journey’s End.” Was the show bringing back someone else we might have known? Instead, we’re introduced to the rather feisty (and fiercely smart) Rosita Farisi, who balks at the idea that David Tennant is the Doctor. David Morrissey comes running into the frame, bedecked in a suit that would make Patrick Troughton and Peter Davison blush, an air of confident respectability surrounding him. (Granted, I’ve only been exposed to a few of the older Doctors, but David Tennant seems to be the silliest one so far.)

But the absurdity and excitement of this situation becomes a lot more worrisome as we learn more about this next Doctor. We know pretty quickly that the Cybermen are involved and let me just say this now: as silly as the Cybershade look, they creep me out. A lot. It’s the way they move. It’s too much for me. They look like shadows crouching just out of your line of sight and no thank you forever.

Anyway, back to the actual “Doctor.” It worried me that the next Doctor couldn’t remember why he regenerated and what it had to do with the Cybermen. (For the record, I did not actually guess the reveal. Bravo, Davies.) What had happened that was so traumatic to the Doctor that he might forget his memories? Or did someone steal his memory? Was it a way for him to forget what had happened to his past companions?

Regardless of this, the episode continued to get weirder. Why were so many of the things this specific Doctor had slightly (or wildly) different than what Ten used? (Two examples being the “sonic” screwdriver and the TARDIS: Tethered Aerial Release Developed in Style.) I thought that we had been watching the transformation and evolution of the Doctor. He does change with each regeneration, personality-wise, so why couldn’t other things change as well?

This is yet another episode of this show, however, where the character exploration between the Doctor and his “companion” (I don’t know what else to call David Morrissey) is simply far more interesting to me than the actual villainry going on. (“Villainry” is now a word. Use it sparingly.) I like the Cybermen. They’re not particularly scary to me, but they are an interesting force to go up against the Doctor. I don’t think they’re used poorly here and I actually really liked the explanation given for how they returned. It makes sense that the walls of the universe were weakened by the battle with Davros, allowing them to escape. Still, I found that I had no real desire to pay much attention to the story with Mercy Hartigan. I mean, I did, but it just wasn’t as captivating as watching David Morrissey and David Tennant interact with each other.

On that note, there was a part of me that wished we’d see more of David Morrissey. His story here is rather wistful. Upon the discovery of the infostamps, we learn that this next Doctor is actually a man named Jackson Lake. I can’t imagine how gutting it must be to see the Doctor’s life, to truly believe that you are the Doctor, only to discover that it’s a trick. That you’re not that person you believe to be. That you are someone else. Oh, and that someone else watched their wife die in front of himself. I would have loved Morrissey as the Doctor. Ok, DAVID Morrissey. Damn, it is unfortunate that his last name is also the name of Moz because I can’t refer to him by his last name, like I often do with actors and actresses, because then we all have to think about Moz being the Doctor and seriously that is one of the most irritating thoughts that has ever crept into my head.

I’m not really sure I liked the ending to the general story. I found the use of the Dimension Vault a little too convenient, though it does allow for the Cybermen to return. I mean…a giant Cyberman-shaped robot ship crushes part of London and NO ONE seems to remember that? What? However, it’s not all this way. I loved that the Doctor offered Hartigan a choice to live in peace. Would he have made such an offer without Donna Noble’s existence? I’m not really sure. Then I think about Donna and I get really sad and then I feel a strong urge to punch Davies in the face for doing what he did to Donna and this review has to have the most tangents I’ve ever written. Sorry. My brain is wandering today.

If anything, though, I appreciate the final scene between the Doctor and Jackson Lane. It’s not often that someone changes the Doctor’s mind, indeed, and Jackson proves to be a brave and resourceful person without thinking he’s the Doctor. I feel that there’s a subtext to what happens here: did Jackson make the Doctor think about his life in this (tenth) body? I’d like to think so. The Doctor’s quote at the very end is heartbreaking because, despite his fault’s, loneliness is not something that anyone deserves to experience.

“They leave. Because they should or because they find someone else. And some of them…some of them…forget me. I suppose in the end, they break my heart.”

As the Doctor headed off to enjoy Christmas dinner with Lane, I wondered: How much more heartbreak could the Doctor stand?

THOUGHTS

  • Rosita is grossly underused here. I wanted to see more. But I guess that also ties into my desire to see David Morrissey as the Doctor, too.
  • Does everyone who works with the Cybermen expect not to be converted? LOL.
  • I really liked the visual reference to all ten Doctors. We haven’t seen many references like this, have we?
  • “Don’t blink. Do you remember that?”
  • “It makes noise. That makes it sonic.”
  • Seriously, I would have loved for David Morrissey to be the Doctor. Seriously!
  • Classic Who is tomorrow. “Genesis of the Daleks”!!!!

 

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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375 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: The Next Doctor

  1. Spugsy says:

    Oh I actually like this Christmas episode, especially the first fifteen minutes! The whole CyberKing thing was kind of weird in my opinion but there was definitely a lot to like.

  2. arctic_hare says:

    Sometimes I feel like the only person in the fandom who likes this special, haha. It's not my favorite Christmas Special, but it's fun, I think it ranks at #3 for me as far as Christmas specials go. I had a good time watching it, mainly cause I really liked Jackson Lake. David Morrissey is great in the role and I like the character himself. He was adorable thinking he was the Doctor, with his screwdriver and "TARDIS", and then the super-sad reveal made me feel really bad for him. 🙁 I also really liked Rosita, and the Victorian London setting, it looked lovely.

    And, a giant Cyberman stomping around?

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/21o21s8.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Is the kind of cheese I don't find grating at all.

    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/majnmd.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Nope. Not sorry one bit. 😀

    Overall, it's just a fun bit of cheesy fluff with some touchingly sad stuff mixed in. And hey, a Blink reference, really can't complain about that.

    Oh, and since it's no longer spoilery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I8qGdjiqic. The 12 Pains of Christmas, Doctor Who style.

  3. Wookie_Monster says:

    Morrissey and Tennant, your FoeYay in Blackpool was epic!
    <img src="http://www.gifsoup.com/imager.php?id=1582923&t=o&quot; border="0"/>GIFSoup

    Full delicious video here (not sure if it can be called "context"): <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlgALLxgR4g” target=”_blank”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlgALLxgR4g

  4. Karen says:

    Yeah this is going to be shorter than my normal comments because WHAT IS THIS EPISODE. I DON’T EVEN. I JUST CANNOT. Ok, I’m sure most of you are aware that I stan RTD to a weird degree. I love so much of what he does and he’s written many hours of television that I adore.

    This is not one of them.

    Tragically, it was also the first episode of Doctor Who that I ever got to see ~live~ since I was living in London at the time (as I am now).

    The plot makes so little sense, and Cybermen are never my favorite to begin with. Just bah. And like Miss Hartigan’s “You never paid attention to me, so I am going to work with the Cybermen!” or something motivation. I get that she wants to be liberated and have freedom that was denied her as a woman at the time, but like… no need to become evil and start making deals with Cybermen. Idgi. LOL And then the Cyber King stomps all over London… and no one ever speaks of it again, apparently. Or maybe there was mass amnesia. idk

    With this episode, I get the impression that RTD was like, “Do you know what would be really cool? A ~Victorian Christmas.” And it all just spiraled out of control.

    The special effects in this episode are even more ridiculous than usual. LOL. The shades crack me up. And the CGI for London at the end? HILARIOUS.

    But there are a few things that I have found to enjoy about this episode.

    Firstly, when the Doctor makes the sonic screwdriver noise with his mouth, I cannot control the giggles. Oh Doctor.

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/2v1wyu9.jpg"&gt;
    And the Dickensian workhouse orphans bring the lulz too. I especially like Jackson’s son, the waifish one that the Doctor saves all heroically.

    I also do enjoy the heart warming moment at the end where the Doctor who fights so hard and has lost so much, finally gets some recognition for all that he does.

    I really enjoy the Christmas dinner invite which is a nice parallel to the invites he received in “The Christmas Invasion” and “The Runaway Bride”.

    The “break my heart” speech is legitimately good.

    Jackson Lake: Tell me one thing. All those facts and figures I saw of the Doctor's life, you were never alone. All those bright and shining companions. But not any more?
    The Doctor: No.
    Jackson Lake: Might I ask why not?
    The Doctor: They leave. Because they should or because they find someone else. And some of them, some of them… forget me.
    [pause]
    The Doctor: I suppose in the end, they break my heart.

    I am a huge sucker for Time Lord angst, and yeah. Ten’s had a rough time of it recently. 🙁 ILU TEN.

    But really the best part about this episode is that David Tennant and David Morrisey are working together again. They’d previously worked together in Blackpool which is MAGICAL show. IT WAS A MUSICAL/MURDER MYSTERY. This episode NEEDS MOAR MUSICAL NUMBERS. I’d bet it improved the episode by a fact of 50. (sidenote: The actress who played the Empress of the Rachnoss in “The Runaway Bride” was also in Blackpool. She played the love interest for David Tennant’s character.)

    Some links to youtube videos from Blackpool featuring the two Davids. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlgALLxgR4g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh4z81aa8BE

    P.S. I'm glad you liked Life on Mars! I like it a bunch too. Are you planning on watching the spin off, Ashes to Ashes? You should definitely consider it. I actually like A2A even better than LoM.

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      Ugh, when Tennant said "I suppose, in the end, they break my heart." with that little crack on the end bit, nearly killed me, I was so sad.
      Then I thought, "Wait, you mean hearts. Heart plural. You have two."

      • Hypatia_ says:

        LOL, I always think that. It's a good speech and Tennant delivers it well, but I get distracted at that line. "Wait, heart? But you've got two, shouldn't that be 'hearts'? Or did your companions only break one of them and the other one is still okay? Is that how it works?"

        I think about these things more than I should.

      • roguebelle says:

        lol, my exact thought was, "Which one?"

      • michelle says:

        Aw, c'mon you guys, it's a metaphor, not a reference to the actual organ. 🙂

    • leighzzz31 says:

      I remember being legit freaked out by that kid! His eyelashes are really weird….

    • calimie says:

      I also laughed at that kid, with his mouth open like that.

    • rys says:

      And like Miss Hartigan’s “You never paid attention to me, so I am going to work with the Cybermen!” or something motivation. I get that she wants to be liberated and have freedom that was denied her as a woman at the time, but like… no need to become evil and start making deals with Cybermen.

      I think it was more because she had been mistreated. I recall reading about Davies telling the actor that Hartigan had had difficult experiences and had been prostituted out among those men but it would all be implied rather than written in the script because its a) Doctor Who and b) Christmas special.

      • nanceoir says:

        *nods* She has a line to the Doctor near the end of the episode, something about him being another man to basically force himself on her in the middle of the night. Not quite those words, but close enough.

        To be honest, watching it for today was the first time I'd noticed it, so it's subtle enough but still noticeable.

    • mkjcaylor says:

      Agree with you completely about the episode. Too fuzzy and cheesy and bored me, sadly.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Yes, I will be watching A2A as soon as MY HEAD REPAIRS FROM THE LoM FINALE.

    • Starsea28 says:

      I actually like A2A even better than LoM.

      Yeah, me too!

      I suppose in the end, they break my heart.

      Yeah, but at least they don't wipe your memory.

  5. calimie says:

    I like this special and while I'm happy with Eleven, I wish David Morrisey *had* been the Doctor, I love him here.
    Rosita is great and I love her interactions with both Doctors.

    Then I think about Donna and I get really sad and then I feel a strong urge to punch Davies in the face for doing what he did to Donna
    Mark, ILU, but there's a line for that.

    A friend of mine watched State of Play and liked it, I really should get to it if it has Morrisey in it. I also loved him in Blackpool.

  6. flamingpie says:

    DAVID MORRISSEY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

    seriously he needs to be Doctor #12, WHO AGREES?

  7. znachki says:

    This has actually been my favorite of the Christmas episodes. I'm strange that way. I loved David Morrisey in this. Also – Mark I too am a huge fan of State of Play and Life on Mars. I hope you are going on to Ashes to Ashes – starts slow, but really gets going around ep 5.

    And of course, if you really want to see Tennant and Morrisey (althought not 10 and Jackson) together, Blackpool aka Viva Blackpool is a must.

  8. NB2000 says:

    This was the first episode I ever watched (before this I'd caught the very end of what I now know is Rise of the Cybermen and bits of the TV movie) and the first one I'd seen "live". Despite some of it's faults (really? giant Cyberman in Victorian London? Ooookay) I will always love it for being my first episode.

    Rosita is AWESOME, I love her so much. She's totally in charge of this operation, cutting the rope attached to the Cybershade, dismantling the traps and decking Miss Hartigan. Love her can she please come back at some point? Please?

    I love the Regeneration Slideshow, mostly because YES, PROOF THAT EIGHT IS CANON! Yes technically he was in the Journal of Impossible Things but the picture was vague, this is clearly Paul McGann so YAY FOR EIGHT!

    Frederick Lake has the BEST EYELASHES EVER! They are amazing and slightly distracting if I'm honest.

  9. literarylucy says:

    May I just say that this was filmed in MY city of GLoucester! Our Cathedral was also used for Harry Potter…nah nah nah!

    • Starsea28 says:

      OUR city. God knows why RTD felt he had to set it in London in the first place.

      • Bobcat says:

        Jesus christ, Mark's got a lot of Gloucester readers. (Representing too, by the way!) Did either of you two watch it being filmed?

        • Starsea28 says:

          No, because by the time I found out when it was being filmed, I was at work and it was too late to book the day off and be a sad stan. 😀

    • banans13 says:

      eternal win. hahahahaha XD

  10. literarylucy says:

    Oh and I have a deep and abiding love for David Morrisey…he is so tall and has such a lovely northern voice 😀

  11. Fuchsia says:

    This episode is why I wished that you didn't know Matt Smith would be the next Doctor. When I watched it, I didn't know and I found the two versions of the Doctor working together fascinating. Ah, well. I like that you still don't know when he regenerates so all these fake-outs are throwing you for a loop. 😀

    I didn't actually get to watch most of this episode last night because netflix was having severe loading issues, so I can't really comment on much of the episode. I'll have to fix that when I get home.

  12. Minish says:

    For once, I have nothing to say about this episode.

    Just an intense apathy.

  13. Hypatia_ says:

    Arctic_hare, you are not alone in liking this episode. It's not my favorite by any means, but I enjoy it. David Morrissey's "Doctor" is a ham to rival Davros, and it's so very entertaining.

    (Granted, I’ve only been exposed to a few of the older Doctors, but David Tennant seems to be the silliest one so far.)
    Two is pretty silly. He's not quite up to Ten levels, but he's close.

    I enjoy watching Ten think he's bumped into his next incarnation, then slowly realize what's really happened. You can tell Ten likes Jackson Lake and would have been quite happy to know that one day he'd be him. And while I also like Lake's adorable hamminess, his sexism does bother me. I know he's a product of his time. but it really bugs me near the end when the Doctor suggests that he hang onto Rosita, and Lake's response is that she'd be the perfect nursemaid for his son. Sigh. Though Ten does give him this look that says, "That's…not really what I was thinking of…" Historically accurate? Yes. Bothersome? Also yes. However, I love Rosita and am confident that she will totally rule the Lake household, even as the kid's nanny.

    It's kind of kept in the background in this episode, but the parts where we see just how broken the Doctor is by this point are terribly sad. When he tells Lake that he's got something to live for now that he's got his son back, and Lake asks him hasn't he got anything to live for, and the Doctor just stares at him, my heart breaks.

    All in all, a fun, fluffy Christmas episode. Miles better than "Voyage of the Damned" in my opinion.

    • echinodermata says:

      "Though Ten does give him this look that says, "That's…not really what I was thinking of…""

      That may be one reason I don't care much for the writing of Rosita: she's a stand in for basically all companions (and it's hard for me to value her in her own right and not what she represents), and basically Ten wants to ship them. I'm just really tired of Doctor/companion shipping on the show, apparently even when it's not even a real Doctor/companion ship.

  14. nextboy1 says:

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS…MORRISSEYDOCTOR!!!

    <img src="http://i.picasion.com/pic39/9ece79daef28e36b31edf55a4e28a0eb.gif&quot; width="300" height="331" border="0" alt="make avatar" />Make avatar

  15. psycicflower says:

    Firstly David Tennant and David Morrissey singing 'These Boots are Made for Walking' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DBEqK3a4lY

    The first time this episode aired was actually at the height of the speculation for who the next Doctor would end up being. If I remember correctly Morrissey was on the bookies list of favourites so for fans there was a high chance that this episode would be our first with Eleven.

    ‘Do you have your legs on silent?’
    Like most Christmas Specials this episode doesn't really stand out from the series as a whole but it is a nice bit of harmless fun. I like Jackson Lake, Rosita and their TARDIS. Jed is also quite nice to look at. I also liked how excited the Doctor was to be meeting himself from the future and speculating how he regenerated. ‘I hope I don’t just trip over a brick, that’d be embarrassing. Then again, it’s painless.’ The plot with the Cybermen is secondary to home much I enjoyed the characters.

    My favourite scene is Miss Hartigan in the snowy graveyard though. Visually it is just gorgeous, especially with how that red dress stands out against it all.
    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/311wgef.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Agreed about the graveyard scene. That red is beautifully striking. Love it!

    • Lolua says:

      I agree that the red dress is good in the cemetery scene — in my opinion, Mercy Hartigan's best scene in the episode.

      Of course, I just think Dervla Kirwan is awesome in general. I was a big fan of her character in Ballykissangel, and I also loved her [as David Tennant's character's mother] in Casanova.

      …And I've just realized I watch entirely too much British TV via PBS.

  16. Kaci says:

    I…barely even remember this episode. The only thing I actually remember about it was that, while, like you said, we DID know that Tennant's time as The Doctor was coming to an end soon, we didn't know who had been cast as Eleven yet, so I remember for months, David Morrissey was the center of a shitstorm of media attention because everyone was convinced that he was, in fact, The Next Doctor. And kudos to him, if I were in that position, I don't know that I'd have been able to keep my mouth shut for that many months and not just snap and say, "NO, ACTUALLY, I'M NOT THE STAR, THEY JUST WANTED ME FOR ONE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, OKAY?" Kind of like…a weird slap in the face, sort of. An odd position to be in, either way, and kudos to him for handling it all with aplomb.

    That's really all I got about this episode. My mind is drawing a total blank.

    • nextboy1 says:

      I remember watching David Morrissey being interviewed on BBC Breakfast in the buildup to this episode. I didn't even watch the show then, but I remember him being brilliantly coy about whether he was actually 'The Next Doctor' or not. And yeah, I think the documentary revealing the real successor wasn't long after this episode. Around New Years 2009 maybe?

  17. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    This is one of those episodes that tends to somehow get lost in my memory – ironic as that may be. When I think about my favourite Christmas Specials, I can often forget this one even exists. Perhaps it’s because it’s not part of a series and gets lumped together as one of the five `2009 Specials`. (And that’s a misnomer in of itself, since only 3 of them were actually transmitted in 2009.) But having just rewatched it this evening, I found myself truly loving it to bits. It’s not an Event like The Christmas Invasion. It doesn’t have the frenetic pace and humour of The Runaway Bride. Nor does it have the size of the disaster movie blockbuster, The Voyage of the Damned. It’s quieter, more thoughtful and moves at a slower pace…and actually it’s all the better for it.

    Giving the 2008 Christmas Special the title of `The Next Doctor`, must have been an irresistible piece of cunning. Russell T Davies was naturally in on the fact the *true* identity of the next Doctor, Matt Smith, would not be announced until Saturday 3rd January 2009 – 9 days after the Christmas Day broadcast. So at this point in time, David Morrissey -(I’m resisting the urge to call him Other Dave)- could indeed have been the literal next Doctor, taking over from David Tennant –(Proper Dave, obviously)- and the early part of the episode plays with those expectations. The scene where our attentions are first brought to bear on the fob watch is undercut brilliantly when a broken spring pings out.

    However, as the story unfolds, the truth is revealed to be much more interesting than that. Here we have a man who has seen his wife murdered and his son taken by Cybermen. Quite naturally, he’s in trauma and has lost his memory because of what has happened to him. There’s a lot of bluff and bluster to Morrissey’s `Doctor` performance because he doesn’t have the true experiences that back that up – it’s just a role he assumed. It’s a performance within a performance, and I agree with RTD’s statement that, “If David M hadn’t been free, we might as well have called the whole thing off!”

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      Meanwhile, Dervla Kirwan is simply fabulous as Miss `Mercy` Hartigan. There’s clearly some terrible history of abuse with her, as a result of which she can’t help but sexualise everything. It’s how she sees the world – or how she’s been forced to see it. “Yet another man, come to assert himself against me in the night,” is as dark a statement as you are likely to get in family viewing Doctor Who on Christmas Day. By wearing that red dress at the graveside, she is out to shock every 1850’s convention going. Red is a very deliberate choice. In that one moment, she upturns the standards of the church, her society, her class – and again, sexually.

      What about the Cybermen? Well, I think, having seen them last as a massive army conquering the world, it was good to have them used in a much more low-key and creepy way. Opening a cupboard in a house to find one standing there, waiting silently – well, it certainly made me jump! They’re somewhat cannon fodder, plot wise, but that’s OK, because the story isn’t *about* them. As part of the Dickensian Victorian backdrop, they fit in so well. The clattering and whooshing of their pistons and hydraulics have never been more at home than in that cyber-engine powered by children. It’s interesting that we can’t really blame the cybermen for the treatment of those children, because they are doing nothing worse than what society considered normal in that age. Children being worked to death on a Cyberking engine or in an 1850s workhouse makes very little difference. So I can totally see why the emotionless Cybermen would have children designated as workforce.

      The Cybershades are in interesting addition. The production is perhaps guilty of allowing us to see a little too much of them at times, because their execution is somewhat less effective than the concept of them. But I’m a classic Who fan – I have years of experience of overlooking things like that. (I can imagine, given the CGI budget, them being a sort of cross between a Cyberman and a Dementor.) Conceptually, they seem to hark back to the 1960s Patrick Troughton Cybermen stories, where they always seemed to turn up with something new, and I like that.

      • nyssaoftraken74 says:

        The climactic scenes with the giant Cyberking rising from the Thames and striding over London gets all the love from me. Yes, I know it completely screws with history, but I don’t care! Who knows why the story of those events was lost? It’s not as if there could be any hard evidence, so beyond those who actually saw it, maybe nobody else believed them. Maybe Victorians, being Victorians, simply didn’t talk about that sort of thing. Doesn’t matter. That scene is simply Doctor Who’s typical scale of ambition writ large – very large!

        The Doctor confronts the danger, flying high in Jackson Lake’s TARDIS (Tethered Aerial Release Developed In Style – aka `Other TARDIS`!) and the `awakened` Miss Hartigan turns her rage on the Cybermen and the Doctor sends the Cyberking into the void.

        At last, Jackson Lake is himself again, his son, Frederick, returned to him. His faithful companion, Rosita, becoming Frederick’s nursemaid is a bit of an assumption on Jackson’s part, but given the period, it’s probably a reasonable one. Jackson’s reaction to the Doctor’s TARDIS (a.k.a. `Proper TARDIS`) is lovely. “This is nonsense!” Russell has remarked that in true fanboy style, he has a story in his head, where Jackson actually had one trip with the Doctor before returning to request – nay, demand – that the Doctor accompany him for Christmas dinner. And against all odds, the Doctor actually changes his mind, and agrees.

        And so, we come to our beautiful final scene of the two men heading off in the snow. The two `Doctors`…the two Davids…and you know, if anybody had to be the `other Doctor`, I’m glad it was you, David M.

    • darth_eowyn says:

      Other Dave and Proper Dave– excellent.

  18. Anon says:

    And Eight.

    • jennywildcat says:

      THIS! If and when they do a multi-Doctor special for the 50th anniversary, I soooo want Paul McGann to be in it.

  19. who_cares86 says:

    This episode was more of a piece of clever marketing than anything else at this point we had no idea who'd be the next doctor so it could have been David Morrisey. It could have been a clever twist to meet the next doctor before we meet meet him. Anyway Matt Smith was announced as the real Next Doctor the following week in a special Doctor Who Confidential on BBC 1 (it usually airs on 3) that got… wait for it 6.9 Million viewers. That's more than some episodes.

    First interview. For all who wish to see it or see it again. (No spoilers apart from the fact that this guy will take over at some point in the future) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zog-6SrGxE0

    • psycicflower says:

      I instantly fell in love with him during that interview for his fidgety hands and enthusiasm.

      • who_cares86 says:

        Oh god those hands. Totally sold. I always felt Tennant was a little bit too human in the role and you can tell he's over-acting when he needs to be eccentric. Matt Smith on the other doesn't need to act to be eccentric, you can tell straight away that he's an eccentric individual, which is a plus for anyone looking to play the Doctor.

        • Fuchsia says:

          Those hands HHHNNNNNNGG. I love David Tennant, but Matt Smith is my favourite Doctor. And one of my favourite actors in the show. He's just so dorky! And eccentric, definitely. That's why I love him.

          I've actually never watched *any* of the Confidentials (I don't know why), I think that shall be my mission tonight.

  20. jennywildcat says:

    And thus begins the "break year" in which Doctor Who did not have a full-on season, but instead broadcast specials interspersed throughout 2009.

    By now, I had accepted that this was how RTD writes Doctor Who Christmas specials, so I was more or less all right with it. It's not my absolute favorite, but it's okay for a Christmas special – full of scenery porn, explody-explosions, plenty of action and a bit light on the plot (but after the gut-wrenching finale of Series 4, I can handle having a bit of a breather). The ending where Lake leads everyone in cheering the Doctor after he defeats the Cybermen is so sweet, though – one of my favorite parts of this episode.

    I also liked the little montage of the past Doctors where the Doctor is explaining info stamps to Lake. I think this is the first time they'd done any kind of flashback to the Classic Who in the new series ('Human Nature" had the drawings in the journal, but this was actual footage from the old episodes projected on the wall and I really liked that they did that).

    I'm not 100% sure, but I think David Morrissey was once considered for the role of the 11th Doctor. Or maybe it was the 10th – maybe he just said he wanted to play the Doctor at some point? Anyway, he'd been in the picture for Doctor Who casting for some time and they finally got him for this one. I do love the way he cheeses up the role here and it makes me think of What Could Have Been (I watched "Blackpool" after I'd seen "The Next Doctor" and I honestly kept thinking that it was the Doctor and Jackson Lake dancing together. I'm really bad at separating actors from their characters sometimes).

    • calimie says:

      I remember those rumours too, and I cheered for that, but possibly, they refered to this episode only? I don't know, but I really liked him as not-Eleven.

      • jennywildcat says:

        It could be that they were just talking about it for this episode – I honestly don't remember the details.

        • calimie says:

          They probably encouraged us, he *does* play the Doctor so they'd guess everyone would jump to conclussions

  21. Eleventh Hour says:

    I found the first 30 minutes fun, especially the pre-credits. The rest got pointedly silly and the child laborers bit pretty stupid. (it felt as manipulative for emotional impact (oh noes, the children!) as the slave children in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. There's other ways to do it and this came off as a cheap bid that well… cheapened the rest of the special because it was ham handed). Not a bad special though, but there's some lows in it.

    However Jackson Lake is the best thing ever.

    Sooo… Morrisey for Twelfth Doctor? Y/Y?

  22. Maya says:

    All I remember about this episode is being really, really excited about David Morrissey being in it because I had watched the new "Sense and Sensibility" about a billion times and was totally in love with him. Still am.

    Other than his gorgeousness, I thought this episode was sort of meh. RTD's other Christmas specials were far more engaging than this one tbh.

    • Tenalto says:

      The first time I saw this, I kept staring at my screen thinking, "Where have I seen him before?" When I finally figured out the "Sense and Sensibility" link I just about literally fell out of my chair, clapping like a seal.

      • sabra_n says:

        See, I spent about thirty seconds trying to remember at what point he was in the Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility before realizing the reference must be to another version.

  23. Eleventh Hour says:

    Only if Eight can come too.

  24. psycicflower says:

    It's a long line too. He's going to have to wait a while.

  25. Laura says:

    See, I actually loved this Christmas ep. It's fun, which is exactly what they're supposed to be. It really played on the idea of everyone taking bets on who Eleven was going to be.

    Oh, and it didn't ignore how broken and alone Ten was after End of Time. In fact, it dealt with that. Ten not only admitted it, but you know what? Jackson Lake already knew it. He felt the Doctor's pain. Which is what Ten needed – to see that pain, his own pain, reflected back at him. Someone else understood. So he got thanked – heck, applauded! And went to Christmas dinner anyway.

  26. NB2000 says:

    Oh god would that be awesome. I have to agree with everyone above me, Eight needs to be there too!

  27. arctic_hare says:

    I'm deleting this because it's not really a good idea to use Eleven gifs just yet, even though Mark knows Matt Smith is taking over.

  28. Angie says:

    When we last saw the Doctor, he had just saved the universe for the umpteenth time, said goodbye (again) to his friends and companions, left his Rose and part of himself in a parallel world (in which I choose to believe they live happily ever after, tyvm), and brain-wiped Donna in order to save her life, which was tragic. And he was standing in the rain, soaking wet and it was heartbreaking.

    But onwards and upwards! How picturesque is that, the TARDIS materializing under an archway in the snow. The Doctor is delighted, look at that grin! Can I just say, I much prefer happy Doctor than angsty Doctor. I'd be grinning too, I'd love to visit Victorian London at Christmas.

    "Doctor!!!" He looks around "Who, me?" And I love David Morrisey as "the doctor"/Jackson Lake. And I love it when men wink.

    * Let's see, we've got an "allons-y" and a "timorous beastie" and a "whatever you do, don't blink."
    * "Tethered Aerial Release Developed In Style." I love it. I know some people with hot air balloons. Next time I see them, I'll have to try that phrase out.
    * Those poor kids. This might be a poor time to start singing songs from Oliver! but I can't help it.
    * Holy crap, it's Giant Steampunk <s>Bender</s> Cyberman.
    * "You've got something to live for." "But you haven''t…" 🙁

    * Bravo, Doctor. I like the applause and cheering for the Doctor. He would never, ever ask for it, but I think it does him some good. Everybody has a need for acknowledgment and recognition for one's deeds or accomplishments, even non-human Time Lords who save the universe time and time again. Bravo, Doctor.

    * I love Jackson's reaction to the TARDIS. (The Time And Relative Dimensions In Space one). "Nonsense!" That pretty much describes the whole of the Doctor Who television series – in the best sense of the word. It is nonsense, but sometimes it makes a whole lot of very good sense in nonsensical situations. Or sensical situations with surrounding nonsense that makes some sense some of the time. And now I'm confusing myself.

    * "Onwards and upwards." I swear I didn't remember him saying this. I often say "onwards and upwards." I think it's something I got from one of the Narnia books as a child. 😀

    * They break my heart." His whole speech here makes me sad.

    * I'm so glad the Doctor changed his mind and stayed for Christmas dinner.

    I enjoyed this episode , even with the giant steampunk <s>Bender Bending Rodriguez</s> Cyberking. I loved Jackson and Rosita. I'm going to pretend they and the little boy had more adventures together with the Doctor. I don't think I've watched this since it aired, and I had forgotten how enjoyable it is.

  29. Fusionman29 says:

    OOH I LOVED THIS ONE! THE HAMMING BETWEEN TENNANT AND MORRISEY IS EXQUSITE!!

    Oh yeah I have a job I’ve been slacking on don’t I? LADIES AND GENTLEMEN TRIVIA IS BACK FOR THE NEXT DOCTOR!

    A. The episode was filmed during production of Series 4, the first time a Christmas special has been rolled into production of the preceding series.

    B. A new BBC Wales logo makes its Doctor Who debut at the end of the closing credits.

    C. This episode was the subject of a quite heavy campaign of mis-information which included a false summary of the ‘Fear Factor’ which implied that 2 Doctors would be left in peril at the end. It also included misleading quotes from RTD’s book and threats of not having a press screening. You lying prick RTD!

    D. Dervla Kirwan wore special black contact lenses for the scenes of the transformed Miss Hartigan. Because the lenses didn’t completely cover her eyes, however, special effects team at The Mill had to electronically paint out any glimpes of white eyeballs that appeared in shot.

    E. Paul McGann’s appearance occurred at a time that the actor was also being heard in a new series of Eighth Doctor radio plays on BBC Radio. That is cool.

    F. This was the final Doctor Who story to be produced in “standard definition”. Beginning with the next story, the show moved to high-definition production.

    G. This was the first Who episode aired on BBC America that wasn’t a repeat.

    Anything else I missed?

    • Guest says:

      The name Rosita is intentionally evocative of Rose and Martha.

      • who_cares86 says:

        Talking about Rosita the idea for her character is that she used to be a prostitute. Hence the line "I doubt he paid you to talk". [/getting crap past the radar]

    • literarylucy says:

      Filmed in gloucester!

    • Minish says:

      The room where the children were working away was the same set as the Torchwood Hub, just redressed.

    • who_cares86 says:

      RTD admitted the ending with the dimension vault was a mistake in the commentary. He realised too late that it would have been easier if Hartigan had used her mind blow up the Cyberking.

      • Fusionman29 says:

        He said he wished that that was the official ending. He feels bad for not letting out the best episode he could.

  30. echinodermata says:

    I wish you could have at least gotten a weekend before this ep, Mark. Even when I had months between, I remember thinking that I wished there could have been a slightly different intro, where maybe the Doctor builds up to smiles instead of being cheerful from the get-go.

    Anyway, there's a lot I find endearing about this episode, even though I find it largely forgettable in the bigger scheme of the show. Jackson Lake's screwdriver is an actual screwdriver, and it makes a noise so of course it's sonic! His fobwatch is broken and essentially decorative, and his TARDIS is a balloon (Tethered Aerial Release Developed In Style!).

    And Hartigan at the funeral in her red dress is such a beautiful looking moment.
    <img src="http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/1042/misshartigan4584698.jpg"&gt;
    Seriously, that dress with the umbrella is one of the best costumes on the show, I think.

    Okay, so that's pretty much all I wanted to comment on.
    It's a filler episode, and I feel like it could have been from any season, so I think this is an episode to simply sit back and take in without having to break it down, and that's actually sort of refreshing to me for this show.

    • Openattheclose says:

      I want that dress. Do you think I would look odd walking around in it in suburban Ohio?

  31. Albion19 says:

    One thing I've got from these rewatches is that I enjoy them more because the expectations gone. I knew the giant steampunk Cyberman was there at the end so I was prepared for that wtfuckery 😛

    Like you I really enjoy the scenes between the Doctor and Jackson.

  32. Matt says:

    You might think this is your typical Christmas fluff but . . .

    YOU ARE NOT PREPARED . . .

  33. Tauriel says:

    MARK, WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU WATCHED LIFE ON MARS WITHOUT REVIEWING IT????!!!! I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION, SIR!!!

    Just kidding. 😉 You're free to watch and review or not review whatever you like, of course, but I would've LOVED to read your reviews of Life on Mars. Maybe one special article reviewing the series as a whole? Pretty please? *makes puppy eyes* 🙂

    Oookay, "The Next Doctor". I'm kind of torn on this one – on one hand, the part with Jackson Lake losing his family and taking on the persona of the Doctor is AWESOME (also, brilliant acting on both Davids' parts). And Rosita is a BAMF. And the balloon TARDIS is lovely (WANT!!!). On the other hand, though, we have a plot that makes no sense at all, and the "Cyberzilla" stomping around the Victorian London was simply ridiculous.

    I mean…a giant Cyberman-shaped robot ship crushes part of London and NO ONE seems to remember that? What?

    It seems to me that RTD doesn't even bother to consider such gaping plot holes, and it irritates me to no end, because he IS a good writer when he wants to (Midnight), but when he attempts to be big and bombastic, it always ends in a cringe-inducing nonsense. Ugh. Stick to your strengths, man! And don't insult your audience's intelligence by thinking they'll ignore ridiculous shit like that.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Hahaha, I do want to write a post about Life on Mars. But I write/dissect EVERYTHING in my life, so I wanted to just binge enjoy a show. AND BINGE ENJOY I DID.

      • Tauriel says:

        I shall look forward to reading it. 🙂

        Speaking of which, are you planning to watch Ashes to Ashes, too? It's a sequel to Life on Mars that takes place in the Eighties and has Gene, Ray and Chris returning.

  34. MowerOfLorn says:

    I mean…a giant Cyberman-shaped robot ship crushes part of London and NO ONE seems to remember that? What?

    Mark, are you meaning to tell me that you weren't taught about the great Robot Attacks of Victorian London? I'm simply appalled. Your education is simply lacking. I personally have to applaud Doctor Who for coming to an interesting alternate explanation for that fascinating piece of British history.

  35. Starsea28 says:

    I mean…a giant Cyberman-shaped robot ship crushes part of London and NO ONE seems to remember that? What?

    Yeahhhhhhh. That really made me facepalm. Because this is blatantly filmed in GLOUCESTER and you can even spot Gloucester Cathedral in the background of the first tracking shot as the Doctor spins around to look at the Christmas market (Gloucester Cathedral aka Hogwarts!). A Cyberking stomping over Victorian London and nobody noticing? Highly doubtful. A Cyberking stomping over Victorian Gloucester and nobody noticing? Slightly more plausible.

    I think Mercy Hartigan is one of the strongest villains RTD has created and I would have liked a longer arc for her.

    I think Rosita's a great character, but I hate her name. What was wrong with Rosemary or Rosetta or Rosie? You know, Victorian names. And you're right, she is underused. "The Doctor's companion does what he tells her!" PFFF, no, she doesn't.

    Jackson Lake is the ultimate Badass Normal and I love David Morrisey in general but I love him even more with David Tennant.

  36. swimmingtrunks says:

    This is definitely a fun episode, though it's not really one you want to linger on mentally, because there's not so much to chew on past what's on screen. There's a bit of half-hearted social commentary with Hattigan/Rosita and the treatment of women, and the use of children as labor- but as the episode doesn't care too much about it, I don't know that I should either. Hattigan is interesting as a villain- here's a woman who's been mistreated and undervalued her whole life so she rises up and controls a patriarchal society (cybermen, cyberking) to destroy those that have oppressed her. I feel like she'd be a lot more interesting if that were explored deeper, and I kind of wish Morrissey and she had each gotten their own specials for their plotlines (god knows there's one or two I think they could have been better than), but alas they're both crammed into this one.

    "Nobody ever thanks the Doctor" is kind of eye-roll worthy, it feels like the writer's voice creeping in again, and honestly if any Doctor needs a pat on the back it is probably not Ten. Sure, he needs something after Journey's End to give a little happiness after all that tragedy, but I'm not sure validation is it.

    • echinodermata says:

      You're very good at expressing things that linger in the back of my mind and stay mostly un-analyzed by myself. I speak in general to your comments, but this line of yours was very nice: "as the episode doesn't care too much about it, I don't know that I should either. " I mean, there was a lot of interesting plot potential here and actual social commentary to be had, but it was sacrificed, perhaps in the name of a Christmas episode.

      And totally, unabashedly agree on the last paragraph.

      • notemily says:

        FFFUUUUU downvoted another comment I meant to upvote. WHERE IS THE UNDO BUTTON

        • echinodermata says:

          We've all (okay, probably just most, but myself included) done it – thanks at least for letting me know. I really don't know why they made it such that you can't change your vote.

  37. buyn says:

    I figured out pretty quick that he wasn't the doctor. But mostly because he felt too Tennanty. Using his phrases, and acting similar. He wasn't a whole new doctor, he was just 10 with a different face, and amnesia. But the grim reality of his situation was just too messed up. And the fact that fugue states are real science?
    BRR. Never going to be warm again…

    BUMBUMBUM.

  38. flootzavut says:

    YAY ANOTHER (original and best) STATE OF PLAY FAN WHOOP!

    And Life On Mars (original and best) is fantastic too 😀

  39. flootzavut says:

    FWIW I thought that Morrisey actually BEING the next Doctor would just be too neat, but I too would have loved it and was a touch sad that it didn't happen.

    Favourite thing ever was seeing the Doctor Who Confidential of the two Davids filming the moment when the shade drags them across that warehouse thing, they so loved that, it was great! 😀

    And whoever nicknamed them Proper Dave and Other Dave? LOVE 😀

  40. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    I like this one as well. I've a feeling that the short series of specials will work well watched one a day, like a mini-season. Doing it in real time, with months between episodes, meant that expectations were rather raised too high.

    People have sort of described the publicity surrounding this one, but here it is in detail. Nobody new that Tennant was leaving during series four, but the Ood saying "your song will be ending soon" rang some alarm bells.

    Then there was the regeneration fake-out that led to Journey's End being the most watched programme of the week, for the first (and, so far, only) time in the history of the show.

    Then, in October, Doctor Who and David Tennant won awards at the National Television Awards, which are shown in prime time on the big commercial network, ITV. Tennant was doing Hamlet at the time, and did his acceptance speech via a video link. It was then that he announced he was leaving – gasps from the crowd and a big publicity coup, on a rival network, for the BBC.

    Then, as part of the annual Children in Need telethon in November, they showed the cold open of The Next Doctor and announced the title for the first time. Cue massive speculation that David Morrissey had been cast in the role – and huge interest in the Christmas special.

    Then, as others have said, Matt Smith was announced in January in a special Doctor Who Confidential that actually did very well in the ratings.

    All the this did skew some people's viewing a bit at the time, though, since Russell T Davies wasn't interested in prolonging the mystery of the next Doctor (he says as much in the commentary) and all their speculation and expectation was somewhat thwarted. That disappointment is understandable, but I like the things he chose to do instead – which is often the way with RTD episodes that come in for flak from some quarters, I like what he does do more than I'm disappointed by what he doesn't do.

    Regarding Genesis of the Daleks, should you read this before you watch it, you don't really need any background information – but here's quick summary anyway. The Doctor is travelling with Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan. Sarah you've already met and had been with the Doctor since the previous season, when he was in his third incarnation. She's an investigative journalist who got involved with the Doctor when posing as her Aunt Lavinia, in order to investigate some disappearing scientists. She and the Doctor have already had an adventure with the Daleks before this one.

    Harry Sullivan is UNIT's medical doctor, assigned by the Brigadier to check the Doctor's health when he regenerates. Sarah and Harry have an adventure with the Doctor and UNIT on Earth and then all three go off on what's supposed to be a jaunt to the Moon.

    Thanks to an accident with the helmic regulator they end up on a space station in the future and, after an adventure there, transmat down to Earth, in the future, for a further adventure. At the end of that adventure, they transmat back to the space station and the TARDIS, or so they think…

  41. darth_eowyn says:

    I just rewatched this episode, and enjoyed it much more than I expected. I remembered it as being forgettable (…yeah…), and it is– especially coming right after the final episodes of season 4. On the other hand, that meant that I'd completely forgotten a bunch of really excellent moments, such as:

    – The "two Doctors" getting dragged around on the rope. And Rosita with the ax. It's silly and cheesy, but I LOLed.

    – Ten's tangent of wondering whether he died tripping over a brick, with Jackson Lake just looking really confused.

    – Ten telling Lake he has something to live for, then looking tragic when Lake asks him if he has anything to live for. Poor Ten. Also, I thought they did a good job doing a fun Christmas episode while making it clear that Ten is still hurting from the events of Journey's End.

    – "They break my heart." :'-(

    There's a lot to be said for fluffy episodes that you can go back and rediscover.

  42. pica_scribit says:

    I was really good at avoiding spoilers, so I had no idea what was up with the "Doctor" in this episode. Bloody marvelous how the characters were handled, I thought. I do love steampunk!Doctor/Jackson. A pity we didn't have more of him. Rosita and Mercy were also wonderful.

  43. I was first introduced to David Morrissey through State of Play (WHICH IS SO FUCKING GOOD YOU SHOULD REALLY WATCH IT)
    It is! You should also check out Blackpool, which features David Morrissey AND David Tennant, just like this episode! AND THEY SING.

    a giant Cyberman-shaped robot ship crushes part of London
    This is why I love this show.

  44. sabra_n says:

    You watched State of Play and Life on Mars? AWESOME. If you want, you can continue this streak with the first series of Clocking Off – it's written by State of Play's Paul Abbott and features Philip Glenister, Lesley Sharp, John Simm, Christopher Eccleston, and Sarah Lancashire. And it's also awesome, though in ways that are very different than SoP and LoM.

    Erm…I'll comment on the actual special in a little while. 🙂

  45. plummy says:

    I just found this clip of a Doctor Who Sketch for Tonight's the Night, I thought it was cute and people here might enjoy it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHAaLrLeXfA&fe… No Spoilers!
    Also: David Tennant reading Shakespeare Sonnets. UNF! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-cuNXsqJZA&fe

  46. sabra_n says:

    Now, if I'm remembering correctly, by the time "The Next Doctor" aired I knew that Eleven wouldn't be appearing in it. The London tabloids would totally have found out and given it away were that the case. 😛 Nevertheless, Morrissey's scenery-gnawing faux-Doctor was a whole lot of fun to watch in the first half of this episode. And really, the whole idea was a lovely conceit – the perfect way to comment on the Doctor indirectly.

    The problem was that those comments were all tired, hackneyed clichés. Rosita, allons-y, lonely emocakes blah blah blah…there was nothing new there, or even something old said in a new way. It just felt like RTD was phoning it in, busting out all the old tropes he'd used again and again and letting them flap limply in the wind. At least Ten joined Jackson Lake for Christmas dinner rather than walking off for a self-pity session in the TARDIS.

    There were nice little bits strewn throughout the special – Lake's "TARDIS" and "sonic screwdriver", that beautiful red dress in the snow, the projection of all ten Doctors. But it was full of too many tired old elements to really come to life in a way I could love.

  47. Anseflans says:

    "What's that sound?!"
    "..Oh, that's just me… Whistling.."
    *makes funny whistley noise*

    That always gets me.

  48. ejays17 says:

    One of my favourite Big Finishes! Also one of the first i ever bought, so that could be why. Plus it's got the Brigadier in it.

  49. notemily says:

    well, but David Morrissey (can I call him DMoz?) could be any regeneration of the Doctor, not just Eleven. He could be from any point in the future.

    although, yeah, it's revealed in the end that he's… not.

  50. awildmiri says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, and at the time I remember a huge conversation with my friend based only off the trailer about Our Thoughts On Morrisey Taking Over From Tennant……..and then nope, fake-out! But a good one. I did pick up on plot points pretty early on – I can't remember exactly what I called, but I think it was that he'd lost his memory 'because the cybermen had done something traumatic, probably killed his family or something', but I love doing that sort of thing so it didn't take away from the episode for me.

    There's only one point that rang a little hollow for me, and it's something Davies really does like to do. The Doctor has to be the Big Hero in the end – the whole crowd cheering for him was sweet, and then kind of hit me afterwards as "….wait." for a number of reasons. And I don't like that Jackson couldn't be the one to save his own son. :C

    But overall, this was a damn good Christmas special.

  51. anobium says:

    My favourite bit: Other Dave demonstrating his "sonic screwdriver".

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  53. kilodalton says:

    Thought 1: Rosita. LOLOLOL. ICWUDT Davies XD

    Thought 2:
    The Doctor’s quote at the very end is heartbreaking because, despite his fault’s, loneliness is not something that anyone deserves to experience. “They leave. Because they should or because they find someone else. And some of them…some of them…forget me. I suppose in the end, they break my heart.”

    I find it hard to engage in much sympathy for Ten, tbh. He brought most of his loneliness on himself. He systematically pushed away everyone who meant something to him, or to whom he was special. Rose LOVED him. Sarah Jane adored him and waited for him for decades. Jack Harkness waited for him for more than a century. Martha would have done anything for him, and we saw how he treated her in s3 … etc. Donna was arguably the only one whom he couldn't have saved.

    Ten seemed to be so chronically afraid of loss, and so determined to push away people because of this fear, that he ended up with a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • FlameRaven says:

      I think it would be really interesting to see a discussion of stages of grief vs. the Doctor's incarnations. Nine was totally dealing with survivor's guilt, understandable because he was responsible for the Time War and he was clearly feeling that loss very keenly. Ten seems to be in a lot of denial about things, both his own nature and maybe that of the Time Lords? I don't know much about them since I didn't see any of the old series but I got the impression that they were not everything Ten makes them out to be. Obviously I can't discuss Eleven here, because spoilers, but I think it would be worth examining, or reading, if anyone's done that.

  54. Jaxx_zombie says:

    The things considered to be spoilers were deleted already (luckily) and I read through to check for anymore… guys you gotta be careful, IF IT HAS NOT HAPPENED DON'T POST A GIF, A PICTURE, OR EVEN TALK ABOUT IT!!!

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  56. Reddi says:

    This was not my favorite episode, but I loved Morrissey and would have loved to see him as the Doctor. I also had mixed feelings about the doctor saying companions leaving broke his heart, because HE is usually the one who either dumps them off and doesn't come back, or cuts them out of his life. There are exceptions, but after JE where he *systematically* cut himself off from everyone who cared about him… I had trouble giving him much sympathy here. I wanted to scream "it's your own fault, you idiot!" All I can say is Davros' words really really got to him, and now he thinks he's poison to anyone he takes with him. Which means… despite the fact he needs somebody (as donna pointed out) he has NO ONE. And is he more dangerous to his companions or to everyone without a companion to stop him?

  57. ScarlettMi says:

    David Morrissey? IN MY DOCTOR WHO? There will be absolutely no protesting from me.

    I was first introduced to David Morrissey through State of Play (WHICH IS SO FUCKING GOOD YOU SHOULD REALLY WATCH IT) and I’ve enjoyed him ever since. (On a complete sidenote, I just realized that both John Simm and Philip Glenister were on that mini-series and I just finished Life on Mars this past weekend, so excuse my mini freak out over here.)

    All that, right there. THAT was my discovery that British television is my own personal happiness and that I have to watch ALL OF IT.

    I saw season one of Doctor Who… then season two… then we met The Master in season three… then I watched LIFE ON MARS FAKDFA;SDHA and then BLACKPOOL (Hi, David Tennant & David Morrissey!) and then Casanova and then STATE OF PLAY which was perfection and I was absolutely fucking riveted to and couldn't look away and I'm pretty sure I was quite literally on the edge of my couch for a significant part of it.

    Anyway… sorry. Had to flail with someone over these amazing actors.

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  94. Nice post. One thing, i’m running Win 7 with the Firefox 4 Beta browser and your columns are overlapping a little. Though you may want to fix it 🙂

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