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226 of 232 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Final 5 4 10
After the tragic events at the end of series 4, the tenth Doctor chooses to travel alone and over the course of his final year in the role this equates to 5 longer than usual "special" episodes for David Tennant leading up to the very impressive arrival of Matt Smith at the end of THE END OF TIME PART TWO on 1 1 10 (which might be significant to any numerologists out...
Published on 22 Jan. 2010 by Emanon

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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The greatest doctor, but not his finest hour...
For me, David Tennant is the greatest Doctor we have seen since Tom Baker. David is for 21st century Who, what Tom was to the 20th. The strength of David's performance has carried these specials, and made every one absolutely worth watching.

At the same time, I've become increasingly frustrated with Russell T. Davies' (RTD) writing for the series. Not that I am...
Published on 21 Mar. 2010 by K9


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who Specials - really special, 29 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful set of Dr Who adventures made to accomodate David Tennant's acting commitments elsewhere (otherwise there would have been no Dr Who at all in 2010). While fans were always left wanting more, time really did fly by until the end of the year when the reappearance of the Time Lords caused a real emotional stir. Russell T Davies had originally decided when he became Dr Who producer that the Time Lords would no longer exist!
Not only was that the stupidest thing that man ever did it was also arrogant and typically self-indulgent, It was offensive and nonsense to any real dedicated fan of Dr Who. So I cheered loudly when it was announced that at the end of the specials season it was announced that RTD would step down as producer. So the Time Lords appear in their regal pomp and splendour having lost none of their arrogance (RTD would have been well suited to life on Gallifery).
The Master brilliantly played by John Sim really does bite off more than he can chew when he colludes with the Time Lords....well you can just guess the rest. David Tennant exited Doctor Who in one of the most exciting endings since 1974 when the Jon Pertwee |(my favourite!) changed into Tom Baker. Ste Johnson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Eleventh Hour has come, 27 Oct. 2014
The Tenth Doctor's regin comes to an end with a series of specials running from Christmas 2008 all the way to New Year 2010. While many of these may not stand out as classics compared to previous episodes during David Tennant's run, there is still plenty to enjoy here as The Doctor battles the Cybermen, alien and human eating giant insects, creatures who prey on their victims with deadly water and of course the man who proclaims that 'He Will Knock Four Times'.
'The Next Doctor' while possibly the weakest of the specials is still a fun story which sees The Doctor confront a stranger who claims to be The Doctor himself. 'Planet of The Dead' is an entertaining and fairly underrated story with a great performance from one off companion Michelle Ryan (who was rumoured at one point to take on the role as The Eleventh Doctor's first full time companion). 'Waters of Mars' is probably the best the serials featuring some entertaining characters and storytelling. 'The End of Time' is also a great if overlong final story for David Tennat and final scene with the arrival of Matt Smith shows that the series was in safe hands.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! :D, 13 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
Good quality DVD's which open up like a 5 segment book which is very cool. Everything is in good condition along with the free episode guide which tells you about the episode and the special features of which includes Doctor Who confidential, audio commentaries and Doctor Who at the Proms to name a few. Overall fantastic :D
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great end for Mr Tennent - over 5 discs?, 9 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
There is no doubt about the quality of the special episodes that constituted series 5. Highlights are definitely the spooky, revealing 'Waters on Mars' and shocking 'The End of Time'.

My only issue is why these five 1 hour long episodes are spread over 5 discs? The previous 4 series contained three 45 min episodes per disc, 5 discs seems like overkill, particularly having the final two part episode split over two discs.

Overall though, a worthwhile purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The End Complete, 3 Dec. 2010
By 
ratmonkey (Hardy Country) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
This is a mixed bag, containing one of the very best episodes written for the show, two ok romps and the hyperbolically silly finale which ends superbly but does take its time to get there. David Tennant's stay in the iconic role defined the brand for this era, so much so that he became a sort of ambassador for the BBC. His presence was felt strongly by the entire nation. The show during his tenure (no pun intended) went from strength to strength, soared in the ratings and became one of the most popular programmes again, cemented by its inclusion in the primetime slot of early evening Christmas Day for annual 'Specials'. Despite what your personal view of the show or Tennant's Doctor is, the fact remains that Doctor Who with David Tennant as the Time Lord did astonishingly well. However, his last few adventures varied wildly in quality and tone.

The first here is the Christmas Special, 'The Next Doctor', from 2008. It was the fourth Christmas Special since the show returned and the fourth featuring David Tennant and the Tenth Doctor (seems strange that, at time of writing - Xmas 2010 - , we're coming towards the sixth series since the show returned and the sixth Christmas Special, but only the first to feature a different Doctor). By then the annual crimbo hour of Who was almost expected and the quality of them had lulled slightly, but they are always great fun to watch and superb Christmas evening viewing. 'The Next Doctor' was very Christmassy, set in Victorian London with all the faux cockerney 'ow's yer faava' that it entails. It is a slight tale, with an overly complicated narrative concerning a plot devised between a megalomaniac anti-heroine (scene-stealingly played, in a deliberately over-the-top manner, by Dervla Kirwan) and some crafty Cybermen that managed to just squeeze out of the split in the void (it does seem increasingly easily done!) to put the cast of Oliver to work in a steampunk version of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory in order to create a giant Bender from Futurama. For some reason. Oh and there are actors in ape-suits with cyber-masks on. For some other reason. Yes it is truly ridiculous but I enjoyed it, especially David Morrissey's turn as 'a' Doctor. It was not award-winning but it was fun on a Christmas tea-time. Out of that context, it is rather below average.

The Easter Special followed with 'Planet of the Dead'. A great title that evoked images of ancient tombs and artifacts and a Lovecraftian alien menace, almost a sci-fi Indiana Jones. What we got was a knackered London Bus that could fly, Lee Evans and a climax that never came. And a walking fly. Michelle Ryan was ok but the character was more interesting than her performance exuded. Lee Evans was welsh. And David Tennant went through the motions. The effects were pretty decent and it wasn't bad but it was a bit nothing. All talk and no trousers. The 'prophecy' at the end was exciting but only made you wish that 'Planet of The Dead' was over so you could get on with finding out how the Tenth Doctor dies.

'Waters of Mars' came as a breath of fresh air (or water) after the two preceding mediocre instalments. It is nothing other than a stunning acheivement. Base under siege Who (or any drama really) is a recipe for tense viewing. The threat, the Flood (nothing to do with Take That), was excellently realised and completely terrifying. The direction was spot on and well paced and the acting calibre was on the button. David Tennant had to raise his game with Lindsay Duncan on the payroll and he struck a perfect balance between jokey and shouty, overdoing neither and completely understanding the place that his character had reached by the end. And it was a dark place. And it was a dark ending but an ending we have never seen before in the show's history with the possible exception of 'Earthshock'. Barn-storming stuff that raised the game considerable and made everyone very keen to watch the two-part finale that was to follow at Christmas and New Year respectively.

When it did finally appear, the finale, 'The End of Time' was a bit of a damp squib, sadly. The first part, broadcast on Christmas Day 2009, was anticipated with slavering delight after the perfection of 'Waters of Mars'. John Simm was back as the Master (how, we didn't care it was just very cool - especially with bleached hair), the Time Lords were hinted at and Donna Noble was to return. Sounded promising. The Master was reanimated by a spell and now had the ability to 'zap' things with his hands together with having an x-ray skull (?), Donna was back for a few slight scenes and when the Time Lords did return, they were 'lever-pulled' back very quickly after a few talky scenes in a dark room. To be fair, the Time Lords' return as the cliffhanger was pretty spectacular but the dross that came before was literally enough to make your head spin. And the culmination of the plot was the Master turning everyone in the world into himself. Very silly.

Part Two was better only because of the end and the Tenth Doctor's wondeful demise. The tieing up of the story was the usual race-against-time shenanigans. The explanantion of the Mater#s drumming noise was trite and seemed handy, rather than creatively woven into the plot, as did the Whitepoint star ridiculousness. It was bad writing really as these things should have been forshadowed earlier, but not by 2 series. The Time Lord forced evolution was interesting and the use of the Doctor's race as baddies was always the way the show should have gone; it worked brilliantly and Timothy Dalton's Rassilon was fantastic. But it all ended with an easy to guess sacrifice from the Master and the Time Lords disappearing back up their rift, if you will, which was lazy. The inclusion of a CGI Gallifrey over Earth was unecessary too and added nothing to the tension, especially with the bad extra-acting as the planet's inhabitants, 'once again!', take to the streets to gasp and point.

But after the Time Lords had slipped away and the Doctor realised he was still alive the denouement, of not only the story but of what felt like the entire series since it returned, was magical. His heroic death to save the excellent Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott was apt and perfect. The character's almost child-like way of dealing with the fact was also interesting as it showed a selfish side, only to form the realisation that it was the right thing to do and his fate was sealed. Many balked about the time it took for the Tenth Doctor to finally regenerate but I liked the way it was done, by visiting all of his companions and comrades and helping them out in some way one last time. And then seeing Rose, which was not overdone and it was actually quite nice to see a pre-Who Rose. And the regeneration itself was, again, narratively sensible. This Doctor HAD to go with a bang. As the energy spewed from David Tennant's Doctor and the TARDIS began to demolish itself in response to the overwhelming power, the nation also felt a little bit of loss. Our Doctor was leaving, his TARDIS was dying. Was the new bloke going to be any good? Can I enjoy a different console room? Etc etc etc.... It was sad. But it was also exciting. And Matt Smith's first minute or so in the Tenth's burning ship perfectly introduced us to him, together with a catchphrase.

A fitting tribute and ascendency for the Doctors and the show. The specials as a whole are great, but individually some are of less quality than others. But it's worth the money alone for 'Waters Of Mars' and the regeneration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swan song for Ten, 30 May 2014
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Ok, there is nothing much to say about it:
Good video quality (even considering the first special is a mere upscaling as it was the last Doctor Who episode to be shot in standard definition PAL) and tons of extras.
The packaging is a good amaray with a slip cover.

The only bad thing is the fact that the episodes are encoded in 60i instead of the correct 50i.

While the conversion is good anough not to be immediately noticeable, it's still utterly nonsensical that here in Europe we have to get the same "adapted" master of the US edition as, last time I checked, all our HDTVs and BD players are perfectly capable of displaying 50i unlike the ones on the other side of the ocean.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "I don't want to go!", 18 Jan. 2015
By 
Stotzy (North East England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
These specials bring to an end, not only the era of the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) but also that of the showrunner, Russel T Davies, who would make way for the Grand Moff & his timey-wimey fairytale version of the programme. These four stories perfectly encapsulate the strengths & weaknesses of the era as a whole:-

The Next Doctor - The Christmas special from 2008 has a fairly mundane script but is lifted by the performances of it's cast, particularly that of David Morrisey. The Cybermen look quite impressive, especially in the well-shot graveyard scene but they are not utilised well & the Cyber King striding through Victorian London is way over the top! All in all, a middling story.
Planet Of The Dead - This Easter special is anything but! The Doctor's fellow passengers on the bus are all poorly written & then there's Lady Whatserface, perhaps the smuggest character in Dr. Who's history & as all followers of Nu-Who can attest, that's quite an achievement! I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Doctor said no to her travelling in the TARDIS. As for the rest...the story's blah, the location looks great, Lee Evans is fine, though a little too gushing at times & the bus over London is awful!
Waters Of Mars - By far the best of the specials, with some very creepy moments! Davies & Ford's script pushes the character of the Doctor into uncharted waters & Tennant is more than up to the task, as he gives a superb performance! Lindsay Duncan is a match for him however & the final 20 minutes of nail biting tension is brilliantly directed by Graeme Harper! A triumph!
The End Of Time - The 2-parter to close the era divides opinion & it's not hard to see why!.. It's overlong, self-indulgent & sentimental, with some pretty poor dialogue to boot but I think the positives outweigh the negatives! Bernard Cribbens as Wilf always gives good value & his quiet scenes with Tennant are excellent! I also think John Simm gives a better performance as the Master, this time round. Then there's Timothy Dalton, who pitches it just right. In the end, it's all about the regeneration & saying goodbye to Doctor Ten... I can recall how sad I was to see him go on New Year's Day, 2010 & watching it again recently, I felt the same way.

So...if you're a fan, this is an essential purchase. If not, buy it anyway, for there is much to enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, but still well worth it., 11 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
Five extra-long episodes including the Christmas specials from 2008 and 2009. The Next Doctor sees the Doctor going back in time to the Victorian era. As a story, you can't help but think the production team were looking for things that would make a good trailer and then fitted the story around them later. This special has Cybermen, a man who seems to be a future incarnaton of the Doctor, snow and the giant Cyber King. As a story it's a mess, and those stupid tacky-looking things dressed in black rags are never explained, but it's still entertaining and looks good. Planet Of The Dead is without doubt the best story on this DVD set and is also an all-time great. It's genuinely tense and exciting and features that classic sci-fi "group of characters stuck together in peril" idea. There are new monsters which work well and also a charismatic female aristocratic cat burglar (in a way it's a shame she didn't remain as a companion). Waters Of Mars features a base under siege. An old idea but it's done so well here. The End Of Time, despite being the 10th Doctor's swansong, is the weak link of this DVD set. The first episode is intriguing and sets up interesting ideas. But before long we have the Master leaping and flying around and the Doctor casually walking away from the kind of fall which finished off his 4th incarnation. It feels like a superhero fighting some super-villain arch-nemesis. The second episode of this 2-parter is very padded and long-drawn-out, and the over-done "farewell" scenes are quite the most gratuitous "the story's ended but we've still ten minutes left to fill" I've ever seen in a Dr Who story.

Overall, however, this DVD set is well worth buying. It comes with commentries and mini-documentaries on the episodes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So easily could had a five stars, 10 Feb. 2010
By 
F. Wight "F.W" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
I really enjoyed these episodes - at least other than Planet of the Dead - and was looking forward to getting the boxset.

My problem with it is the missing commentaries - I've never understood in the past why podcast commentaries arn't also used on the DVD's but in all the episodes other than the Two 'End of Time' episodes there arn't any whatsoever!

Its a small annoyance I know but its a bit of a let down - full confidential episodes are pretty good to finally have though

So on with the review!

THE NEXT DOCTOR - 7/10
Not the christmas episode, but good fun, my only real fault with this episode is the resolve as it was a bit too 'oh look a plot device!' and a confusing defeat of the enemy.

PLANET OF THE DEAD - 4/10
Its kinda fun, but Michelle Ryan was a real fault in this episode with some good scenes, but also some really terrible ones to be honest.

THE WATERS OF MARS - 10/10
Wow! Thats all I have to say, anything else might give away too much of the plot - but this is a great episode of DW as well as TV as a whole.
Although more grown up so don't know how the kids will react.

THE END OF TIME - 8/10
PART 1 (6.5/10) Not a great episode, kind of slow and not much happening, acts more as a 'prequel' to the final episode. John Simm is great again as The Master, while Bernard Cribbins was FANTASTIC as a companion.
PART 2 (9/10) Lots of fun, tears, and cringe of disbelief! Okay sure some things didn't work and it could have been better maybe. But overall a lot of fun, and the best regeneration scene for any Doctor.

I'll finish by saying - Matt Smith has a lot to prove, but bring it on!
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5.0 out of 5 stars 2009 Specials boxset, 12 Feb. 2010
By 
Ms. E. Usher (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
For me, at least, this boxset is a brilliant buy - it contains all four 2009 specials, and the 2008 Christmas episode, as well as loads of added extras (including the Doctor Who proms, which is brilliant).

The specials aren't particularly popular among many fans and watchers; the content or the writing is widely bashed. And I can see these points, they probably aren't the best episodes ever written, there are a few problems, and they're just not to everyone's tastes - well, not every episode can be, but I still enjoyed watching these (and will carry on enjoying them)! The extras all thrown in are a great bonus.

While I watched the specials as they were aired, I personally didn't notice any of the issues with writing that are sometimes brought up. I laughed at the jokes, appreciated the new characters, and cried - sometimes quite a lot - at the appropriate moments. These episodes are fairly different to those shown during 'proper' Who seasons, because they weren't shown as part of a season, and because there wasn't a consistent companion hanging around. Views on these vary from person to person, so don't be put off by a lot of criticism, and don't leap into buying this because other people (like me) say it's excellent; it's probably wise to try and see the episodes before you buy so you know exactly what you're getting.

I'd recommend this to big Doctor Who fans and casual viewers alike - the tenth Doctor's send-off and the eleventh's arrival are not to be missed!
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