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 there...).
First up is the 2008 Christmas special THE NEXT DOCTOR in which the whole idea that this Doctor might not be forever is addressed. David Morrissey guest stars when the Doctor meets a figure not unlike himself having adventures during a Victorian Christmastime and a comic tragedy unfolds that mixes Dickensian imagery with Cyberpunk as the Cybermen return with the help of Dervla Kirwan in a plot involving the kidnapping of street urchins to help create their Cyberking where only the Doctor(s) and a very different type of TARDIS can save the day.
By Easter, the Doctor has taken to riding buses around London, but even a simple bus journey can't be uneventful as before you know it he's been transported to THE PLANET OF THE DEAD with only Michelle Ryan's cat-burglar and a busload of passengers (as well as Lee Evans and UNIT) to help get him home. The stakes are high as a race of planet-eating flying manta rays are getting ever closer...
The darkest, scariest moment happens fifty years in the future when THE WATERS OF MARS are threatening to overrun Lindsay Duncan and her crew on Bowie Base One. The fact that they're all already doomed adds a dark edge to the story, but when the Doctor himself decides that he won't put up with that any more things take an even darker turn.
Back to Earth at Christmas again (via the planet of the Ood) for this Doctor's final battle. THE END OF TIME PART ONE is a curiously dark piece for Christmas Day when John Simm's Master is resurrected and attempts to hijack the Immortality Gate project with dire consequences for the whole of mankind. Bernard Cribbins, Catherine Tate and (briefly) June Whitfield are all that the Doctor can rely on as an even scarier menace than the Master - headed up by Timothy Dalton! - plans its own resurrection.
THE END OF TIME PART TWO follows on quite naturally, and the universe must be saved (again) but only at great personal cost to the Doctor. It's no secret that the events of this epic story lead to the end of the line for this particular version of the Doctor, but it's a terrific ride and makes for a rather spectacular sendoff. Bernard Cribbins makes one amazing octogenerian action hero, and John Simm & Timothy Dalton are impressive foes, but the episode really, truthfully belongs to David Tennant.
Quite right too.
With his regeneration fast approaching he does (rather self-indulgently you might think) get to revisit all his best friends, but, you know I think he deserves that at the end of four truly amazing years.
Full length episodes of DOCTOR WHO CONFIDENTIAL are included for each episode, as well as the Doctor Who proms, a selection of deleted scenes and there's a slew of extras for the final episodes including David Tennant's video diaries, a Comic-Con appearance, and the BBC Christmas idents that were so very popular at the time. There are also main cast (David Tennant and Catherine Tate/ David Tennant and John Simm) and director (Euros Lyn) commentaries on the last two episodes which are a lot of fun, there's a rather nice accompanying booklet with a lovely little piece written by David Tennant himself to top off a rather nicely put together set.