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Feigning normality since 1973

The Next Doctor/Planet of the Dead

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Gee, blink and half the month goes by!

Good Monday was good because it brought me The Next Doctor on Prime (which I'd already seen) and Planet of the Dead, which I hadn't. The problem with Doctor Who doing a year with just 4 specials in is that there's not as much lee-way when you get a duff story. Planet of the Dead, the Easter special, is a bit duff, and it's all we're getting until some vague date in November.

Spoilers follow...

The Next Doctor, which I didn't review back at Christmas when it actually screened, is not bad. Perhaps my standards have been lowered by the previous Christmas Specials, but it was quite entertaining. The only downpoints - David Morressy overdoing the acting a bit, and the plot crapping on any sense of menace the Cybermen might have built up. Not as much as Rose did with the Autons, but still palpable. While it wasn't the best of the Christmas specials, it was far from the worst. 6/10

Planet of the Dead unsurprisingly turned out not to involve zombies at all. After some initial excitement, the plot, like the bus, stopped dead and didn't recover again until shortly before the bus did. It was a little apparent that a substantial portion of the budget had gone towards filming in Dubai, and probably on paying for the bus that the dock workers demolished. Great going there, guys! At one point, for a brief moment I thought we were going to get another Torchwood guest spot, but we get UNIT again with a new commander and an overacting scientist who later channels RTD and declares his love for the Doctor. Michelle Ryan is the special's only saving grace. 3/10

Incidentally, have I mentioned how, as an atheist, it's a little jarring that the Doctor seems to have suddenly started taking an interest in only one of Earth's miriad religions? Perhaps we could have an Al-Hijra special. Or a Diwali special.

Posted April 16, 2009 10:16 PM


I have to agree. I enjoyed "The Next Doctor" ( being in the states, I had to watch it on line before the DVD since our lame US sci-fi channel has yet to air any specials). It would have made a decent episode in a proper season. I was really dissapointed with "Planet Of The Dead". It is time for new blood & fresh ideas for the show. I know there is alot of doom & gloom about RTD & DT leaving, but maybe it's time. I was concerned when CE left after one season, but it worked fine. Now I am ready for the real next doctor. Hopefully the rest of the RTD specials will not be so bland as to make viewers lose interest before the new doctor arrives.The show would benefit in the US if BBC America, or another network, or even Showtime would carry Doctor Who in the US. Sci-fi channel (US) is terrible.They always screw up good shows (like Farscape) with poor scheduling.
Doctor Who ( in non-sequential reruns)is currently aired at 5AM on friday mornings. Doctor Who would be a much bigger hit in the US with proper promotion & a better time slot.

Posted by: Glenn Bonat | April 17, 2009 2:05 AM

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