Doctor Who review: The Other Doctor

I love the Doctor Who Christmas specials. They always feel Christmassy with just the right level of adventure to stop them being schmaltzy. We’ve had three specials set in modern times so I was really excited about getting a Victorian Christmas. The setting just seemed to suit the idea so well.

I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed. Yay!

The sub-plot with the ‘other Doctor’ was absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. I figured out what he was as soon as I saw the data-stamps (the ‘sonic’ screwdriver had been a big clue) but watching as he remembered was amazing. The two Davids both gave stellar performances whenever they were together.

Why yes, I did also adore the montage of previous Doctors. Every now and again, RTD puts in those little shout-outs to old Who fans and I adore it. Please let Moffat continue that tradition. Continuity may be problematic at times, but it’s nice to have that acknowledgement of what went before.

And we have total confirmation the McGann!Doctor is canon. Hee.

Dervla Kirwin did a great job, just the right kind of chilling rage to keep from being OTT (mostly) without being underplayed, either. I liked the idea that she had such a strong mind that she took over control, adding her rage and passion to the Cyber monstrocity to create something new and even more evil. Having her absorbed into the Cyber collective would have been too easy.

Sadly, I was a little confused about one bit. The Doctor didn’t intend to kill her, just seperate her from the link and from her rage. Very cool and the heartbreak and pain she showed for those seconds was amazing.

Um, why did her scream blow up the rest of the Cybermen?

It felt like something had been cut, perhaps only a couple of seconds, that rendered the logic of that scene rather…lacking. Rusty, please sort that out in the commentary or possibly on the DVD. For my sake.

The final scenes were beautifully done, from the other Doctor (um, can’t remember character name at this moment in time) being completely overwhelmed by the TARDIS to ‘our’ Doctor’s eventual agreement to have dinner. It seemed perfectly played and I loved the hope and joy amidst the sadness.

I don’t think that a Christmas special will ever make every fan happy, but it made this fan happy and that’s what matters.

When is the next special?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dawne
    Jan 10, 2009 @ 18:10:42

    I “heard” they were filming four specials this month with David Tennant. I’m not sure when, or IF, it will air in Canada.

    I also liked the Christmas special this year and thought the 2 ‘doctors’ played off of each other brilliantly. I’m glad the fake doctor’s companion didn’t jump into the TARDIS with the Doctor at the end. Would have been a bit too predictable for me.

    A moment stuck in my mind is the moment the angry, intelligent and bitter woman learned that SHE would be the Cyberking. The actress played that scene awfully well.

    All in all this fan is awfully pleased too!

    Reply

  2. archerygirl
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 09:17:02

    It’s been confirmed that there will be four specials broadcast this year, including the annual Christmas one, so I’m assuming that the regeneration will be in that Christmas episode. I have a source for getting them before they’re broadcast here ๐Ÿ™‚

    I really enjoyed the interaction and relationship between the two doctors, they got it just right. It didn’t even occur to me that Rosalita might go into the TARDIS. She seemed like she was too firmly a part of her own world and had been taking fake!Doctor as she saw him, which was never really anything too far beyond her experience of the world. He was more of a steam-punk Doctor who’s ideas and inventions were completely in tune with the Victorian world around him.

    Dervla Kirwen usually plays sweet, lovely people so it was amazing to see her playing someone like that. I agree that the scene where she realises she’ll be the Cyberking was one of the highlights.

    I am a very happy fan ๐Ÿ™‚ Just got to wait for the next special now…

    Reply

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