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Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (DVD Review)

8 Aug, 2009 By: John Latchem

Next Doctor

Prebook 8/11/09; Street 9/15/09
BBC Video
$14.98 DVD
Not rated.
Stars David Tennant, David Morrissey, Dervla Kirwan.

The Next Doctor is better known as the 2008 “Doctor Who” Christmas special, which aired in Britain but was left without a home in the United States when a fifth season of the series was put on hold in lieu of four one-hour specials. This final story arc represents the end of David Tennant’s run as the 10th Doctor.

While the first of these specials, Planet of the Dead, hit disc in late July, The Next Doctor takes place before it (coming right after the fourth season). Contrary to its title, The Next Doctor does not involve Tennant making way for the actual next Doctor, to be played by Matt Smith. The Christmas special was actually filmed before Tennant decided to step down.

The plot involves The Doctor teaming with another man who calls himself The Doctor (David Morrissey) to stop a 200-foot tall robot from rampaging through downtown London in 1851. In other words, it’s a typical “Doctor Who” plot, perfectly balancing high-energy and cheesiness, with all the sensibilities of a 1950s sci-fi throwback and a dash of steampunk tossed in for good measure.

It’s complete and wonderful nonsense, and Tennant’s manic portrayal and utter belief in the material keeps us interested.

As a special treat the disc contains “Doctor Who at the Proms,” an hour-long concert special recorded in July 2008 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The concert includes Murray Gold’s music from the show with some special guest appearances, including a taped segment with Tennant.

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