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A Fine End To A Fine Era
, 18 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Doctor Who - Complete Specials (The Next Doctor/ Planet of the Dead/ Waters of Mars & Winter Specials) [DVD] (DVD)
Christopher Ecclestone left the audience wanting more having relaunched the show, David Tennant gave a defining performance and a fine era.
These last specials were a mini series in themselves, and link nicely, with the Doctor left alone to face his demons, and face them he does.
The Next Doctor is a fun Christmas romp, with some impressive looking scenes, and the teasing idea of a peek into the future, which is ultimately revealed to be folse. David Morissey puts in a sterling, warm performance and Dervla Kirwan is icy cool in the villainess role. The only trouble is that the Cybermen suffer from what they often suffered from in the original; they were badly used, and the attempt to update the Cybermats just doesn't quite work.
Planet Of The Dead, again, thanks to its' location work looks spectacular, and works well as a sort of mid season adventure. Lots of nods here to past ideas and references in the Who mkythology; the replacement for Ace was originally intended to be an aristocratic cat burglar, which Michelle Ryan does well. Her leaving in the flying bus has more than shade of Iris Wildthyme to it. Lee Evans is obviously enjoying himself too.
Waters Of Mars is, for me a classic. A base under seige story with a twist, the Doctor knows what is supposed to happen. Lynsay Duncan and the rest ratchet up the tension in this wonderfully. The idea of the Doctor, knowing his own mortality is nearly up (a Time Lord only has 13 lives) and getting drunk on the power that he can have is a wonderful sinister ending, especially when time shows him who is really in control.
The End Of Time works on a gloriously silly grand stage; The Master having a cult, and the Master race themselves being very grand and positively daft ideas, althought it does really give John Simm a wonderful second bite of the cherry at the character and he takes it with relish. Bernard Cribbins, as ever, is superb, and Timothy Dalton as Rassilon (how did they get him back from the long dead?!) plays the part with relish. It only loses a star for what has to tbe the most drawn out regeneration of the show's history. In the usual scheme of things, he would have saved Wilf, fallen out of the booth, collapsed, regenerated. Here he does a very over done curtain call, but with two nice touches; the farewell in the mind to Rose, as well as the line, 'I don't want to go', makes a stark change as he nears the end of his lives when compared to the resignation of his predecessors. This is hardly Ecclestone's last grin!
A fine end to a fine tenure.
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