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on 3 October 2014
These are David Tennant's five final episodes as the 10th Doctor. They range from bad, to okay to very good. David Tennant has always been my favourite Doctor and I was sad to see him go at the end of "The End of Time, Part 2."

Here are my thoughts on all the five specials:

The Next Doctor - This is by far the worst of all Russell T Davies Christmas specials for Doctor Who. The concept is a good idea that is badly executed. It's not that great at all and surprisingly dull. I find it really boring. The Cybermen are okay but not very menacing. The acting is solid, but the episode itself is underwhelming. Grade: F (4.5/10)

Planet of the Dead - This is an improvement over "The Next Doctor", but it's still nothing spectacular. The character Christina is annoying and the plot is nothing "special." The story is basic and the episode lacks substance. David Tennant plays really well as the Doctor as he does in every episode he's been in. It is just not up to the standard you would expect. The ending is bad, it's contrived. Making the bus fly is silly and the characters on the bus are not well developed. Nearing the conclusion, someone who can predict things (we never knew how she was able to) says to the Doctor "he will knock four times." I liked that and it resonates into the next special, which is a vast improvement over this episode. There are some enjoyable moments and funny scenes but it's not that memorable at all. Grade: D- (6/10)

The Waters of Mars - This episode is very good. It's the darkest episode of Doctor Who I have ever seen and the real villain of the episode is the Doctor himself. It contains some very powerful scenes, creepy monsters and is highly thrilling. A few flaws are contained within it but this is a great special. I was so happy seeing this after the last two let-downs. Grade: B (8.5/10)

The End of Time, Part 1 - This is the best episode of the two-parter. John Simm plays brilliantly as the Master and some of the scenes are creepy. I like the emotional scene in the café, featuring the Doctor and Wilfred Mott. It's a very good set-up for Tennant's epic exit in part two. Grade: B (8.5/10)

The End of Time, Part 2 - This episode is very good as well. David Tennant's acting is phenomenal and I like how he says goodbye to his companions at the end before he regenerates. When David Tennant does regenerate into Matt Smith it will most likely leave a tear in your eye, especially if you have been watching the 10th Doctor all the way like me. The plot itself feels over the top in some places but it's the acting and emotion that makes this episode so wonderful. It's not as good as part 1, but still great. Grade: B- (8/10)

The Specials for Doctor Who is a good box set to collect, particularly if you are a fan of the show or Sci-Fi in general. I would get this set to own the great episodes "The Waters of Mars" and "The End of Time, Parts 1 and 2." I have thoroughly enjoyed the Russell T Davies era and I feel that some of the emotion which made these earlier stories so great is lost when Steven Moffat takes over as showrunner. I still like Matt Smith's era, but the RTD era is my favourite.
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on 17 March 2015
David Tennant had a back injury when making the previous season so we have to consider this a piece of Dr Who made when he was avialable, however the stories themselves are well executed and do the job to the bitter end, this time they have spent the budget on the Doctor and it shows, the production values are very high and they don't let up save for significant moments in the overall story arc, the best kind of Dr Who story are all in this collection, the guest stars in these all perform with gusto without overwhelming the plots, Timothy Dalton as Rassilon is an inspiration, he dynamites his way through the story as you would expect the top timelord to do, Bernard Cribbins, he just needs to be there, John Simm plays the master at his most full throttle, If you watch this lot you need to space it out, try and watch it all in one go and you will need a defribulator and a nurse on standby. Set aside a period for this, it needs to be watched without distractions. get this while you can you won't regret it.
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on 6 April 2015
I really enjoyed David Tennant as the Doctor, especially as my kids loved it too and we watched it together, so his tenure as the Doctor will always be special to me. His final episodes are mostly great. David Morrissey is always a treat, he shows up in the first special. The second one is OK. Best is the third one, Waters of Mars, and I think most agree on that. The End of Time has come in for some stick from long-time serious Doctor Who fans, but I think it's great. John Simm is magnificently over-the-top as The Master and I'm a sucker for the extended sentimental ending.
Matt Smith was to take over from DT and I think he was even better. Unfortunately my kids started growing up and drifted away from DW during season seven, and now I'm the sole member of my family watching Peter Capaldi take his turn. Oh well.
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on 2 January 2014
... even though I don't like all of them, but that's not what a product review is about. My subjective opinion on the episodes themselves is not why stars should be knocked off a product review (as far as I'm concerned). It's the equivalent of giving something a two star review just because you don't like the colour, even though the product is perfectly adequate for the job it's designed for!

So, this product is perfectly adequate for what it's designed for - the only reason I'm knocking off a star is because they were the first episodes since the revival to not include full DVD commentaries on every episode (which, personally, I really enjoy because you hear lots of things you wouldn't otherwise, and to me that really enhances even the worst episode and makes it watchable!). I believe it was a cost-cutting exercise, although I'm not sure how getting a few people together to basically talk for and hour about something they acted in or directed/wrote/produced can cost so much money in the first place (perhaps someone can enlighten me?!). It just comes across (perhaps I'm being unfair in saying so) as a bit 'mean' after having had commentaries for every episode in Series 1-4 (albeit some better than others). However, there are commentaries provided for 'The End of Time Part 1 and 2' (David Tennant features in both, obviously, as they were his final episodes as the 10th Doctor prior to the 50th anniversary, and John Simm joins him for the Part 2 episode and they make a very enjoyable pairing to listen to!). There are also 'Confidential' episodes included in the extras, and few other bits, but not as much as they could have - it feels a bit lacking in that respect.

Whether or not I liked the stories themselves is a different issue - I liked some, hated others - but as a part of the Doctor Who DVD collection this does what it sets out to do, I just wish there'd been a few more extras and commentaries, hence four stars.
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on 18 April 2013
In this boxset you get the last 5 episodes of David Tennant's Doctor. These are The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, Waters of Mars and End of Time part 1 and part 2.

The box is a nice a box, you get a slipcase and inside a box with the pull out section which is decorated with screenshots from all episodes. The outer box as David Tennant's Doctor on the front and on the back him walking away. The box for the DVDs has The Doctor and his companions and on the other the bad guys. You also get a little booklet which tells you whats on each disc and about the episode.

The Next Doctor- This was a Christmas special in 2008 and runs for 60 mins. The Doctor arrives in London on Christmas Eve in 1851 where he encounters the Cybermen and a man who claims he's a Time Lord called the Doctor. Like the past Christmas specials, this for me, isnt that good compared to some of the others. Its entertaining and engaging but it didnt really all gel together.
Tennant is brilliant in the role as The Doctor, Morrisey is also good in the role as "The Doctor" but he gets better towards the end. The supporting cast are also good and Dervla Kirwan gave a brilliant performance.
Id give this a 4/10 as its a good start to the specials, but compared to some other episodes you will probably only watch once or twice.

Planet of the Dead- This was broadcast on the 11th April 2009. The Doctor (David Tennant)is joined in the episode by actress Michelle Ryan, who plays Lady Christina de Souza, a one-off companion to the Doctor. The episode was co-written by Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts, the first writing partnership since the show's revival in 2005.

A meeting in a London bus with jewel thief Lady Christina takes a turn for the worst for the Doctor when the bus takes a detour to a desert-like planet, where the deadly Swarm awaits.

Like the Christmas Special, I felt a little let down due to having high hopes for this episode just down to the name alone, Planet of the Dead, you start to think of all these different creatures and stuff. But what it turns out to be is a desert with flying sharks, pretty much, and a fly human thingy. There are some really stupid parts in this story, I dont want to give too much away really, but towards the end, you are just waiting for it too finish.

Tennant is again good as the Doctor, the much hyped Michelle Ryan isnt that good to be honest and Lee Evans isnt that good as well. Some of the other roles are ok.

For me this is like The Next Doctor, watchable, but drags on, its around 60 mins long, theres better too come. 4/10

Waters of Mars- This was broadcast on BBC One on 15 November 2009, and pretty much marked the coming to an end of the tenth Doctor.

The story is set on Mars in the year 2059, where the Doctor encounters the first human colony, Bowie Base One. This is commanded by Captain Adelaide Brooke who turns out to be a pivotal character in the history of humanity. In the Mars base the inhabitants are being infected by a mysterious water creature which takes over its victims. The Doctor is thrust into the middle of this catastrophe knowing a larger one is waiting around the corner.

This is brilliant, One of the best episodes too date. The supporting cast are great,even though we only get around 30 mins to know them (im guessing for the time) we do feel and get to understand bits about them, like Captain Adelaide Brooke, played by Lindsay Duncan is incharge and doesnt let her second in command, Ed Gold played by Peter O'Brien, do very much without her say so and he feels held back. We also learn that there is a little more behind the characters as well. Tennant is brilliant and we see something that we havent seen from the 10th Doctor before.

For me, this is up there with Blink, The Satan Pit and silence of the library. Even with this silly robot I would give this 10/10.

The End of Time part 1 & 2- The End of Time is a two-part Doctor Who special, originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 25 December 2009 and 1 January 2010. This is the last story for David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and sees his character regenerating.

Bernard Cribbins, who appeared in the story "Voyage of the Damned" and throughout Series 4 as Wilfred Mott, grandfather of Donna Noble, acts as the companion to the Doctor in this two-part story The special also features the return of many other actors to the show, including Catherine Tate, John Simm, Jacqueline King, Alexandra Moen, Billie Piper, Camille Coduri, Freema Agyeman, Noel Clarke, John Barrowman, Elisabeth Sladen, Tommy Knight, Jessica Hynes and Russell Tovey.

In part one- The Ood have given a warning to The Doctor. The Master is returning yet that is not the biggest threat. A darkness is coming which brings with it The End of Time.

In part two- Following on from the events of the first episode, The Doctor realizes there is something else returning and not just The Master.

John Simm returns as an unstable Master, giving an insane performance, with brilliance of a time lord. Bernard Cribbins is brilliant, he plays one of the best characters they have created since returning. Tennant is brilliant in this episode, the last few scenes are amazingly acted.

If I remember this is the second time, The Doctor didnt want to regenerate but is the first time he wasnt forced to regenerate. You really feel for The Doctor in the last few mins of the show. 10/10
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on 3 July 2012
The product arrived promptly and well packed. I received an excellent service from the seller, it was a pleasure to do business with them. Of course the Doctor Who specials are brilliant and very much loved and watched.

This box set includes the Waters of Mars, The End of Time part one and two and The next Doctor.

Starting with The Next Doctor, The doctor arrives in Victorian England only to hear someone shouting for the Doctor, he arrives only to find that the woman who shouted did not mean him and another "Doctor" appears. My first reaction to this was regrettably to shout NO!! very loudly at the television. Of course my instincts proved right, but it was a worrying time for a whovian who loved Tennants version of the Doctor. Yes, the large Cyberking was a bit under par but the woman in the story was beautifully wicked and excellently played, a pitty that the writers had to follow form and kill her off like all the rest of the strong women charecters they have had in this series. That is the only down side to an other wise lovely TV story. There are some good psychological twists and turns in this story, after all it is a chirstmas special, so ther is a nice ending to it.

I actually liked the Planet of the Dead story and I especially liked Lee Evans as the mad scientist in it. There were some good lines woven through the story, including the Doctors (almost forgotten) relationsip with UNIT. I felt sorry that Christine did not come with the doctor and was quite surprised to find that they did not kill her off as they seem to do for other female charecters. It is well worth a viewing.

Lastly, the End of Time, I did feel this went on a bit, especially about the drumming in the master's head and it was also a bit of a streach for the doctor to regenerate back to his original form when the Master prematurely aged him. His monologue with Bernard at the end had me in tears as did his farewell speach in the Tardis. I enjoyed the fact that he had time to go and see his companions one last time and who can blame him or the writers for doing that. After all, he could afford to delay his regeneration. It made sense therefore that after his delay, the regeneration was more powerful and took out the TARDIS consul as well.

The story lines are well thought out and the acting is very good from Mr David Tennant. As a long time fan of Doctor who and considered Tom Baker to be the best of them all, with Chirstopher being the darkest. I find it a difficult choice now to choose my favourate. Tom only comes out better because he had to act against poor scenery and a limited budget and dealt with it all with humour and skill. David had it better overall but even so, his proformance shone. He should be very proud.

All in all a very enjoyable and exciting purchase. I have waited 20 years for this programme to return and this was my second purchase of Doctor who. I now want to buy all the rest!
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on 17 November 2012
well here we have christmas and easter and christmas specials.
david Tennants final Hoorah as the doctor.
We start of with
The next Doctor (9/10)
Cybermen in old London time. And the doctor is joined by another doctor wait another doctor? another timelord mmmmmmmn interesting. this being a fun christmas special. And starts us of on the journey to the end. an enjoyable first of the specials. Special featues full confidential and bbc at the proms dr who special
Planet of the dead (6/10)
If i had to choose a weaker episode this would be it; though enjoyable just didnt really match the other episodes. Though Lee Evans is in it. And if your a fan you will find the malcolm references on here to. 100 Malcolms or a million bernards (when you watch it it will make sense)
The Waters of Mars (9/10)
a horroresque episode as something lurks on moon base Bowie one a rather darker episode than normal. enjoyable and very good episode.
End of time part one and two (10/10)
the doctor goes out with a bang as the master returns; i think this episode does sum up the relationship the doctor and the master have. and it is a great final hoorah for David Tennant and Russel T Davis.
Only thing i have (is regarding the release) is why put seperate the two parts of end of time between two discs. That in itself makes no sense but hey.
The blu ray quality is good. and a must for doctor who fans. Do like the dr who at Comi-con feature very nice. seeing the doctor invade America :)
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on 3 December 2010
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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on 20 January 2013
I enjoyed the first 3 specials, but felt it was completely let down by end of time...
The next Doctor was a fun festive Cyberman story & the Cyberking looked awesome...
Planet of the dead was great, great aliens, UNIT, Lee Evans & of course Michelle Ryan is a hottie...
Waters of Mars, the Timelord victorious, going against a fixed point in time, great tension & drama throughout...
So I felt the end of time was a big pile of s***e & an insult to David Tennant as his last story... Big build up for the Timelords, come & gone 5 minutes tops, the master leaping all about the place (WTF was that about? Tom Baker wouldn't have fallen to his doom in Logopolis if Timelords can leap about like that), & since when can the Doctor hold back a regeneration to go about such important business as setting Jack up on a date & buying lottery tickets & seeing Rose before they met? What a load of bollocks... Just my opinion of course, but I'm glad RTD is gone...
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VINE VOICEon 20 February 2010
These specials marked the end of David Tennant's period as everyone's favourite time-travelling busybody who can never leave well-enough alone. It also marked the end of Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner's time with the show. The feeling was that there would be nothing anti-climactic about the end of Ten's time; and so it proved.

After the conclusion of 2008's Series 4 The Doctor strikes out alone in an effort to avoid causing pain to those who mostly choose to travel with him. But what of the adventures themselves?

The Next Doctor is something of a mixed bag. David Morrissey is wonderfully intense as Jackson Lake and the supporting cast, including Dervla Kirwan are nicely and unseasonably icy, but the resolution involving the Cyberking is deeply unsatisfying, possibly being the first tangible sign of RTD's increasing reliance on the deus ex machina to get himself out of plot holes. He also is starting to write the Doctor as an increasingly messianic figure, though the hints at vulnerability at the very end are rather touching.

Planet of The Dead is simply odd and can't really decide what it wants to be. It clearly pays more than passing homage to The Flight Of The Phoenix , but then uses Lee Evans to provide some odd (but not unwelcome) comic relief. There are plot holes aplenty but, once again, the performances are uniformly excellent. And I include the much-derided Michelle Ryan here, who is actually rather spiffy. True, Christina de Souza is a barely concealed Lara Croft clone, but Ryan does her work deftly and provides a nicely sardonic foil to Tennant. It is also in this episode where we start to get some small clues about ten's future and his eventual demise, "he will knock four times", in amongst the Doctor's rhapsodising over the minutiae of average lives that have become as much an RTD writing trope as those of Tarantino or Kevin Smith. Fun but ultimately lightweight.

Then we hit Waters of Mars, which is quite clearly the pick of the bunch here. The claustrophobia and the Doctor's crushing realisation of where and when he is is quite beautifully made flesh. And Lindsay Duncan is quite, quite fabulous. It's not all perfect, though. That bloody robot, Gadget, does grate but does have a part to play (however credibility there is stretched). However, in the last 10 minutes it gets even better, with the Doctor's latest meddling resulting in an unexpected and messy conclusion. Of course it also serves to immediately rein in The Doctor's burgeoning monomania: however much he tries, some things just are not fated to be changed, because 'little people' get in the way. This little passage was probably the most shocking one of these specials and shows that Davies' instincts for good dialogue and characterisation are still very strong indeed when he does get it right.

Given the hype and the kitchen sink being thrown at the series 4 finale, it was fair to assume that the final two part adventure that ends Tennant's time as the Doctor was not going to be an understated affair. As a result there were lots of things in The End of Time to love: John Simm's increasingly unhinged Master; the rather tender interactions between Ten and (undoubted national treasure) Bernard Cribbins' Wilf. And then there was Timothy Dalton and the increasingly complex and twisty plot (but once again shot through with holes - if Gallifrey was indeed timelocked, just how could they get that White Point Star out of the lock? Hmmm). And this was the central problem of the last story: RTD's insistence on continually gilding the narrative lily, including the last 15 minutes of the second part. I simply thought Tennant's regen sequence was way too long and way too self-indulgent. If he'd pared things down to the Sarah-Jane segment, Donna's wedding then Rose he may have got away with it. As it was the Jack and Mickey/Martha inserts felt a bit arbitrary and bolted on. It partially spoiled what could have been pitch perfect.

But, the first few seconds of XI look really rather promising: "Chin - blimey!"

I think that these specials ultimately show that RT has made the right decision. There is a danger that to stay any longer would have seen the creative well run dry. As it is, I think he just about gets away with it, and leaves Steve Moffat a blank canvas to work form. I'm looking forward to it already.

As ever, with the annual Who releases, the series extras are compendious and worth splashing the cash for: stripped back Confidential episodes, commentaries and video diaries all help to fill out the already good material.
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