Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Next Doctor S04E14 (BBC)

Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia

Doctor Who is a long-running, award-winning British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a mysterious alien time-traveller known as “the Doctor” who travels in his space and time-ship, the TARDIS, which appears from the exterior to be a blue police phone box. With his companions, he explores time and space, solving problems and righting wrongs.

The show’s lead character is currently portrayed by David Tennant. A Christmas special co-starring Kylie Minogue aired in December 2007, and the fourth series started on 5 April 2008. For that series, Catherine Tate will reprise her role of Donna Noble, from the 2006 Christmas special, as the Doctor’s latest companion. Midway through the series, Freema Agyeman will also return to her role of Martha Jones, following a multi-episode guest appearance in the Doctor Who spin-off series, Torchwood. John Barrowman will continue his role as Captain Jack Harkness, and Billie Piper will return as Rose Tyler for three episodes. Elisabeth Sladen is also set to return as Sarah Jane Smith in a cameo role.

After a 2008 Christmas special and three further specials starring David Tennant, scheduled to air in 2009, Doctor Who is planned to return in 2010 for a fifth full length series.

From the Doctor Who entry at Wikipedia.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

The Doctor is a long lived alien from the planet Gallifrey. He’s a Time Lord and travels through time thanks to his aging time capsule the Tardis. David Tennant is the tenth Doctor. My favorite has always been Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor. The Doctor periodically regenerates. When he does so, he changes outward appearance which let the producers change actors easily. All Time Lords regenerate 13 times. The Doctor’s nemesis is the Master, a renegade Time Lord who found a way around this limit. Other enemies include the Black Guardian, the Daleks and the Cybermen.

During the previous serials, before 2005, Gallifrey was alive and well. It appears that for the new series, the Doctor is the only survivor of the last great Time War between the Dalek Empire and the Time Lords.

This is the first of a series of specials that will air this year. Since David Tennant couldn’t commit to a full series this year, due to some previous acting commitments, we are left with a bunch of specials.

This tells the story of how the Doctor saved the past from Cybermen. It was entertaining, though not earth shattering. Since it isn’t part of a series, there is no real background here and it’s really disappointing if you compare it to Journey’s End.

* * * * *

The Tardis appears in the UK in 1851. Another man is posing as the Doctor. He’s got an assistant and a sonic screwdriver as well. They face a strange steampunkish Cyberman. It’s not really like that, but it has a similar face mask.

The next Doctor doesn’t remember his past. The Cybermen came to London and took something of him. He doesn’t remember the current Doctor. The next Doctor is going to a funeral. The Doctor follows him.

The leader of the Cybermen has got a biological brain and identifies the next Doctor as the Doctor. He wants to get rid of him and he is working with a human female. She is getting a position in the court of the Cyberking. She is also going to a funeral.

He late reverend Sir Fairchild is leaving his residence for the last time. Rosita is the next doctor’s companion. The next Doctor hasn’t really got a sonic screwdriver, just a plain one which he believes is sonic.

It all involves a Mister Jackson Lake, a professor, killed some time ago. A series of murders ensued. The Cybermen are to blame. They find some infostamps, housing the compressed information of London from 1066. The next Doctor says that he was holding a device like that when he regenerated. He says that the old Doctor was there as well. The Cybermen changed him somehow. The Cybermen arrive. The Doctor has trouble fighting them off. The next Doctor uses a timestamp to blast the Cybermen after he hears the Doctor saying that he is the Doctor. He didn’t do it this time. He did it last time.

The woman arrives at the grave dressed in red. Her name is Mrs Hartigan. She is the matron of the St-Joseph workhouse. The funeral was the only way that all these men would be in the same place. Cybermen arrive. Mr Cole, Scoons, Fetch and Milligan are the ones that they want. The others are killed. It’s not clear. She says that she needs them for their children. They get assimilated. She tasks them with bringing back people.

The next Doctor hasn’t got a Tardis. It’s a hot air balloon. Lake had an infostamp in his luggage. The last of the Cybermen were in the Void. There was a great battle and the walls between dimensions thinned. The last of the Cybermen fell through the dimensions and time to land here. Lake found the Cybermen as well. The watch belongs to Lake and the next Doctor is Lake. He became the Doctor because the infostamp he picked up was the book on the Doctor. The infostamp must have backfired and sent all that information into his brain. Lake suffered a fugue state, where the mind just runs away. He wanted to become someone else because he had lost so much. There was too much luggage for just one man. They killed Caroline, his wife.

The infostamps start beeping. The Cybermen are moving. Lake sends Rosita to help the Doctor. They see Mr Cole bringing kids somewhere. A Cyberman creature is guarding them. They are bringing children to the court of the Cyberking.

The Doctor comes face to face with Hartigan. The Doctor gives them the infostamp. They repair it and they now identify him as the Doctor. She needs the children for a workforce. She needs them for the birth of the Cyberking. Lake arrives and blasts the Cybermen. They get away not before Rosita decks Hartigan.

Lake says that they found Cybermen in the basement of his house. There might be a way to the Cybermen through there. They find a dimension vault in the basement of Lake’s place. That’s how the Cybermen traveled through time and space.

Hartigan kills the slaves that brought the children. The children are put to work. The leader tells Hartigan that he isn’t going to become the Cyberking, she is. She is converted. There are some unexpected results. She still has access to emotions. The leader wants her removed, but she fries him. The Cybermen are constructing an engine. The Cybermen have reached full power. Once that is accomplished, they will start deleting the workforce. Lake and the Doctor intervene. They save the kids.

Lake remembers that his son was kidnapped by the Cybermen as well. The Doctor saves him. He gets something before leaving.

A gigantic Cyberman rises out of the Thames. It’s the Cyberking. It’s a ship, dreadnought class, the front line of an invasion. Inside the chest there is a conversion factory, ready to convert millions. The Doctor heads back to the hot air balloon. The Cyberking starts firing upon London.

The Doctor fires the infostamps at Hartigan. He broke the cyberconnection. It leaves her mind open to what she has become and what she has done. She starts to scream and the Cybermen break apart. The Cyberking starts exploding. The Doctor uses the device he had and fires it onto the falling Cyberking. It makes it vanish. It will harmlessly disintegrate in the Time Vortex.

Lake offers the Doctor a place at a Christmas feast. The Doctor initially refuses. They arrive at the Tardis. Lake wants a peek inside. Lake asks him about the absence of his companions. The Doctor says that they leave. They break his heart. Lake insists that he joins them.

* * * * *

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Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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