Series 4b ‘ The Specials

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To be honest I’m not quite sure why these specials aren’t counted as a series, theres not much difference in length between this lot and the late 80’s seasons but never mind.
The Next Doctor is up first and it’s another light romp. We get the Cybermen back and there’s some good stuff with them particularly the graveyard massacre and the idea of meeting a possible future amnesiac Doctor is a good one too with the real reason behind it plausible. It’s also nice to have a past Christmas tale.
Planet of the Dead follows and is the 200th story and is another fun romp that rattles along with another good idea at its heart. I’m not very keen on the Christina character,  she feels very one dimensional but I do like Lee Evans character of Malcom. The choice of going on foreign location is very effective as it looks so wonderful.
The Waters of Mars is the third story and it’s easily the highlight of the bunch, in some ways it’s a shame it didn’t immediately follow Journeys End as that would feel very natural. The characters are quickly outlined and the threat is a good creepy one. The whole TimeLord Victorious is a great idea,  this is where it’s a shame we didn’t get a full series as it may’ve been good to see a bit more of this. (Also on a fannish note with the Moffat renumbering it means The Valeyard was born out of the Tennant-Smith regeneration whoch seems plausible)
End of Time concludes David Tennant’s time and is also the end of Russell T Davues time in charge of the show. The contribution Russell has made to the show mustn’t be underestimated,  he took a barely remembered cult show and turned it into a massive and successful family show proving that there was life in the concept. I also think his success will mean that the show will never be gone forever(in the same way that things like Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes always come back)
As for the story itself it’s a good one, Wilf is a wonderful character and the scenes between him and The Doctor are lovely. Also I should put my cards on the table and say I like John Simms crazy Master and again the scenes with him and The Doctor are great, the superpower thing is a bit crap though.
The Timelords return and they’ve gone mad after years of war. Timothy Dalton is wonderful and imposing as The President.
The regeneration is very self indulgent but I’ll forgive Russell for all the reasons I listed earlier,  really he should’ve regenerated when curled up in the booth.
Having said that it was nice to see all the old faces at the end and ofcourse one new face who with those fews lines immediately made me love Matt Smith.

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