THIS EPISODE TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE TV
EPISODES "THE PARTING
OF THE WAYS" AND "THE
RUSSELL T. DAVIES
'THE COMPLETE SECOND
SERIES' CYBERMAN HEAD
AMAZON EXCLUSIVE DVD
BOX SET (BBCDVD2122)
RELEASED IN NOVEMBER
Doctor attempts to
convince Rose that
he's the same person
in the same old body.
But something goes
vitally wrong as
he starts to behave
18TH NOVEMBER 2005
I was delighted when I heard that I wouldn’t have to wait until Christmas Day for my next big Doctor Who fix – a few minutes of November’s Children in Need telethon would be set aside for Rose and David Tennant’s new Doctor. Better still, and in sharp contrast to its star-studded charity predecessors, this little episode would count. This would be pukka Doctor Who; canon!
The mini-episode’s pre-title sequence consists of a spectacular, cinematic montage of The Parting of the Ways’ most memorable scenes, reminding the ten million-strong audience not only how poignant the ninth Doctor’s sacrifice was, but also just how fantastic the actor that played him was. Needless to say, David Tennant has the most difficult job to do of any incoming Doctor since Patrick Troughton entered the fray back way in 1966.
Russell T Davies’ script for this skit picks up right from where we left the Doctor and Rose back in June, Tennant looking distinctly svelte inside Christopher Eccleston’s voluminous outfit. Essentially what we are treated to is little more than a lengthy-scene, nonetheless it
is a vital one for fans of the series as we need to see how Rose reacts to the new Doctor; something that would have surely eaten up too much of what promises to be a fast-paced, prime-time Christmas special.
The Doctor’s explosive regeneration has clearly left Rose in shock, and she reacts much in the same way that Ben and Polly did way back when – “You’re not the Doctor”. Billie Piper is utterly convincing as Rose blabbers out her stream of consciousness: Slitheen, teleport, bodyswap…. but, unlike her 1960s’ counterpa-rts, it takes her six minutes, as opposed to six episodes, to reluctantly accept the Doctor’s new incarnation.
As for Tennant’s tenth Doctor, he seems to be a little off the wall; even a little bit unstable, though he doesn’t try to throttle his companion, which is always a good sign. He does, however, spend a worrying amount of time hopping about on one leg, which brought back vivid memories of Tom Baker and a skipping rope. Despite his post-regenerative state though, the tenth Doctor enjoys a few startlingly arresting moments which I think bode well
for the incarnation, most notably his taking Rose by the hand and asking her to remember when they first met. Such intensity. I’m not sure about the mockney accent, mind. Up the north.
At the end of the day though, the man that was born David John MacDonald cannot be judged on what amounts to around seven minutes of static television, nor can the new Doctor be fully appreciated in his traumatised, post-regenerative state. As such, I shall
have to reserve judgment for the time being...
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
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