The premise of The Next Doctor, that there are two Doctors on the go, is set up early, as Tennant’s Doctor encounters Morrissey’s character wielding a screwdriver, talking of the TARDIS and fighting foes. This allows Tennant to slip into the role of the assistant, and his double act with Morrissey is excellent, with the latter making the most of a meaty, evolving role.
Also winning the acting plaudits though is the baddie of the piece, played by Dervla Kirwan. She’s scene-stealingly good here, and is the most sinister foe on offer in The Next Doctor. Next to her, the returning cybermen looking surprisingly tame, even when considering the surprises that the episodes throws up as it enters its final act.
The Next Doctor isn’t a perfect episode by any means, and the terrific Christmas Invasion is surely the best Yuletide instalment to date. But it’s an entertaining, busy and ambitious hour, and worth seeing for Morrissey and Kirwan alone. Rollicking good stuff, even if the cybermen seem to quickly need another reboot… –-Jon Foster
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