"Doctor Who" The Next Doctor (TV Episode 2008) Poster

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Doctors Who
Lejink21 April 2014
Somehow I'd missed this old Christmas episode of David Tennant's "Dr Who", but even watching it in mid-April, found it to be one of the best of the whole new-Doctor episodes I've seen.

Cleverly riffing off the ever-attendant speculation on who will be the new Doctor, Russell T Davies cheekily casts one of the then prime contenders for Tennant's trainers, David Morrissey, opposite the incumbent, intriguingly as an apparently till-now unknown Victorian incarnation of our favourite Gallifreyan time-lord, complete with his own Martha-like companion, sonic screwdriver and even his own TARDIS.

Davies spins out the confusion just long enough before he gives us the crafty explanation leaving room for a big (and I mean big) finish where our Doctor naturally saves the day in a massive C-Gen set-piece against the backdrop of London itself.

There are some great in-house jokes, none more so than Morrissey's Doctor's explanation of the acronym of his own TARDIS and yet it's his Heath Robinson-type contraption that saves the day rather than Tennent's own.

This episode cries out not be taken too seriously as every serious Dickensian reference is riposted with light-hearted sideways nods at more contemporary action characters as the Doctor makes a Superman-type rescue of a young boy and of course that whole over-the-top "Transformers"-style climax as the gigantor Cyber-King is brought back down to earth, almost literally.

Morrissey's great as the deluded Jackson Lake, Tennant as usual is too-cool-for-school, gently bursting Morrissey's bubble, while Dervla Kirwan makes for a great villainess. I enjoyed that Tennant flew solo on this occasion, his between-partners status causing some considered reflections on the transient nature of all his past fellow-travellers.

This was classic Who, one of the best I've seen and also offers a tantalising look at an alternative future Doctor who didn't quite get the nod, but would surely have done well in the part in an alternative future.
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Christmas Special 2008: Solid special that entertains even as it gets silly
bob the moo25 December 2008
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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Tennant/Morrisey flashback
dramachat11 September 2013
If you were a fan of Tennant before Doctor Who and one of Morrisey before The Walking Dead, then this episode is a dream. As an adversarial pair in Black Pool, these two actors chewed up the scenery and gave an audience something spectacular. In this episode they truly work off that chemistry as eventual allies, and the performance is one based on familiarity and trust. That permeates the episode. RTD gives enough cheek (Rosetta), sentiment (the son) and emotional foreshadowing (the next Doctor) to create a fully satisfying episode. To look back and see The Governor in such a sympathetic role speaks volumes to his talent.As to Tennant - well, if you're a fan, you know his work here, there, and recently on Broad Church speaks for itself. Wonderful episode.
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The Doctor takes on the Cyber work house
Sleepin_Dragon29 August 2015
It's Christmas Eve 1851, and the Doctor lands, with no companion, he encounters Rosita, searching for her Doctor, who turns out to be David Morrissey. The Doctor thinks he's his future self, but certain things don't quite make sense, a pocket watch may hold the key. New Doctor explains the Cybermen are at work in the area, aided by local Miss Hartigan. At the funeral of the local Reverend Miss Hartigan turns up wearing a bold red dress, and a Cyber attack takes place on the gathered guests, killing some and rounding up select members. They then round the children into the workhouse, with one aim, re birth of the Cyber king.

There are quite a few surprises in store, the Cybermen pop up in some unexpected ways.

I think the scene when Miss Hartigan attends the funeral in that red dress is one of the most visual I can think of in the show's history, it looks so good.

The episode rather a fun romp. Dervla Kirwan is rather brilliant as Miss Hartigan. I must applaud David Morrisey, no wonder he was touted to play the Doctor, he was so brilliant, I loved his performance. A slight tease as Morrisey was tipped to take over the reigns of the TARDIS at the time. A Christmasy Oliver feel, the Children, the Workhouse etc. Not so sure about the Cyber King, it's a little bit over the top. Overall it's fun and quite heart warming. 7/10
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Doctor & "Doctor"? Yes please.
Gelaos2 March 2019
Nice episode, the plot isn't bad and the Doctor-duo works just as I expected.
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