Most have agreed that the BBC's decision to revive Doctor Who
has proven inspired, with the Christopher Ecclestone-led 'first' series proving a critical and ratings success. Yet when Ecclestone announced he was departing the role after just one season, eyebrows were raised. Could the momentum be kept going for a second series?
Absolutely. The seamless casting of David Tennant as Ecclestone's successor in the TARDIS has been equally inspired, and while it's a fair debate as to whether he matches the standards set by his predecessor, the show rarely lets you draw breath to think about it.
This second series collection kicks off with the 2005 Christmas special, which finds the Doctor struggling to overcome the effects of his regeneration, just as the Earth happens to be being invaded. It's a smashing episode, and many of the thirteen that follow manage to match it. Particular highlights? There's "School Reunion", which cleverly works old favourites K-9 and Sarah-Jane back into the mix, while "The Girl In The Fireplace" finds the Doctor in a slightly more romantic frame, "The Idiot's Lantern" is a super, snappy episode set just before Coronation Day, while the two-part "Impossible Planet" and "Satan Pit" shows just how far you can stretch a BBC budget.
Yet the series will ultimately be remembered for different reasons. The triumphant return for the Cybermen for one, and the depature of Billie Piper's Rose Tyler in the superb final two-parter, which also happens to see two of the Doctor's deadliest foes waging war. And while it's not unfair to say that this series of Doctor Who hasn't been without one or two low moments too, the vast majority of it has been really quite brilliant. Fast, energetic, well-written and cracking entertainment, you're only left wondering how they can top all this next time round
All 14 second-series episodes of re-launched BBC television sci-fi classic, written chiefly by Russell T. Davies and starring David Tennant as the latest incarnation of the legendary Time Lord. In this series, the tenth Doctor, takes companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) to New Earth and struggles to overcome the effects of regeneration. In the opening Christmas episode London is deluged by Santa Claus impersonators and Christmas trees intent on malice. Mankind is threatened by a planetary invasion and there's only the Prime Minister to battle it out. Episodes are: 'The Christmas Invasion,' 'New Earth,' 'Tooth And Claw,' 'School Reunion,' 'The Girl In The Fireplace,' 'Rise Of The Cybermen,' 'TheAge of Steel,' 'The Idiot's Lantern,' 'The Impossible Planet,' 'The Satan Pit,' 'Love & Monsters,' 'Fear Her,' 'Army Of Ghosts' and 'Doomsday.'