Doctor Who (2005– )
7.6/10
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The Doctor arrives in London on Christmas Eve in 1851 where he encounters the Cybermen and a man who claims he's a Time Lord called the Doctor.

Director:

Andy Goddard

Writers:

Russell T. Davies, Kit Pedler (characters: "Cybermen") | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
David Tennant ... The Doctor
David Morrissey ... Jackson Lake
Dervla Kirwan ... Miss Hartigan
Velile Tshabalala Velile Tshabalala ... Rosita
Ruari Mears Ruari Mears ... Cybershade
Paul Kasey ... Cyberleader
Edmund Kente Edmund Kente ... Mr Scoones
Michael Bertenshaw Michael Bertenshaw ... Mr Cole
Jason Morell Jason Morell ... Vicar
Neil McDermott ... Jed
Ashley Horne Ashley Horne ... Lad
Tom Langford Tom Langford ... Frederic
Jordan Southwell Jordan Southwell ... Urchin
Matthew Allick Matthew Allick ... Docker
Nicholas Briggs ... Cybermen (voice)
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Storyline

The Doctor is in a seasonal mood when he arrives in London on Christmas Eve 1851. There are snowflakes in the air, carol singers in the market square and a generally festive air all around. When a woman in distress calls for him to help her, he arrives to find someone else answering her call and calling himself the doctor. The alternate Doctor seems to know more than he should, dresses like the real Doctor and even has a Tardis - though in his version, it's actually a hot air balloon. While The Doctor sorts out just who this impostor is and why they find themselves in the same time and place, Mercy Hartigan and the Cybermen are kidnapping children to work in building their weapon that will allow them to crown their King. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Release Date:

27 June 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Wales See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Russell T. Davies considered setting the story in the court of King Henry VIII, but rejected this notion on the grounds that it would not feature enough recognisible Christmas traditions (since these typically postdated the sixteenth century). He also mulled another completely new idea, about a hotel which becomes displaced in time. See more »

Goofs

This story is set in 1851 but the streetlights seem to be electrical rather than gas powered. Electric streetlights weren't invented until 1875. See more »

Quotes

Jackson Lake: With all the things a Time Lord has seen, everything he's lost, he must surely have bad dreams.
The Doctor: Yeah.
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Crazy Credits

Credit at the end of "The Next Doctor": "Doctor Who will return in Planet of the Dead" See more »

Connections

Features Doctor Who (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Doctor Who Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Christmas Special 2008: Solid special that entertains even as it gets silly
25 December 2008 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The Doctor arrives in Victorian London just in time to meet two very familiar creatures that he did not expect to ever see. The first is some form of creature that is instantly recognisable as being, at very least, some derivative of a cyberman. The second is the man who is chasing the cyberman creature whose memory is blocked for some reason but whose name is The Doctor, who has a Tardis and has a feisty female assistant helping him out. Naturally, the Doctor (the other one) is curious about all of it.

Last year the Doctor Who Christmas special offered much and had lots of noise but was essentially a noisy and rushed version of the Poseidon Adventure that was too full of sacrificial "disaster movie" death to be much fun and too lacking in heart to really engage. As a result I was concerned about yet another special that just seemed to offer easy spectacle to distract you away from the fact that you saw all the "big" movies about three years ago on DVD or Sky. The Next Doctor offered more though because it was talked p for potentially being a handover to a new doctor, or that it had former doctors in it or several other theories. It plays with the audience in this regard early on as the suggestion is that the Next Doctor may either be another time lord or potentially a future version of the Doctor himself. While this concerned me in regards fitting in with the series, it did interest me.

The plot is simple but it helps that there are several threads that are developed across it as it did make it more interesting and engaging. I wasn't ever gripped but it did have a solid pace to it that made it easy to enjoy. The spectacle is there as well and, being Christmas, I didn't really feel inclined to make a big deal out of the logic of the cyberman ship or whatever it was – I can understand why some would have been annoyed by it but for me I was enjoying the special so wasn't in the mood to pick on it. The reason I was enjoying it was that the pace to it also gave some quieter moments and some comic moments that both the "doctors" were able to deliver quite well. I thought Tennant was on good form as he slightly toned down the "OH OF COURSE" delivery while also keeping the essence of "his" doctor. Morrissey has an interesting character throughout and his performance adds much more than another female assistant would have done. Speaking of which – was the casting of Tshabalala as Rosita a plot to make Agyeman seem like a better actress by way of comparison? If so then it worked. If not then I'm afraid I cannot see why she was cast. Kirwan is enjoyable as the main human villain whether it is at her most confident or most frightened. The extras run on command and the cybermen march on cue.

The Next Doctor did not hold the revelations that it was marketed to perhaps have maybe, but it was still enjoyable. The device of the other Doctor makes the plot engaging and I was interested even as the running and explosions started and, as it got silly, I still hadn't stopped enjoying it. A solid Christmas special that did what it was expected to do.


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