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Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (2008 Christmas Special)

54 customer reviews

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(Sep 15, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (2008) (DVD)

Christmas Eve, 1851, and the Cybermen stalk the snow of Victorian LondonWhen the Doctor arrives and starts to investigate a spate of mysterious deaths, he's surprised to meet another Doctor and soon, the two must combine forces to defeat the ruthless Miss Hartigan. But are two Doctors enough to stop the rise of the CyberKing?


Broadcast under intense speculation as to whether it would lead to David Morrissey taking over the title role (he didn't), Doctor Who: The Next Doctor actually turned out to be a really enjoyable 2008 Christmas special for the show, crammed with action and ideas. The premise of The Next Doctor, that there are two Doctors on the go, is set up early, as David Tennant’s Doctor encounters Morrissey’s character wielding a screwdriver, talking of the TARDIS, and fighting foes. This allows Tennant to slip into the role of the assistant, and his double act with Morrissey is excellent, with the latter making the most of a meaty, evolving role.

Also winning the acting plaudits though is the villain of the piece, played by Dervla Kirwan. She’s scene-stealingly good here, and next to her, the returning Cybermen look surprisingly tame, even considering the surprises that the episode throws up as it enters its final act. The Next Doctor isn’t a perfect episode by any means, and the terrific Christmas Invasion is surely the best Yuletide installment to date. But it’s an entertaining, busy, and ambitious hour, and worth seeing for Morrissey and Kirwan alone. --Jon Foster

Special Features

Doctor Who at the Proms

Product Details

  • Actors: David Tennant, David Morrissey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,628 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (2008 Christmas Special)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on June 30, 2009
Format: DVD
The thing that immediately impressed me about "The Next Doctor" was that you don't necessarily have to be a long-time fan to enjoy it. But for those viewers who ARE faithful followers of the traveling Time Lord (myself included), it's a fine combination of elements that have traditionally worked in Doctor Who stories. The episode is full of action, humor, pathos, better-than-average performances, and a sense of wonder that has long been missing from t.v. science fiction.

[SPOILERS AHEAD] The Doctor is delighted to find himself in Victorian England at Christmastime. He is soon surprised, however, to encounter another fellow claiming to be "the one, the only, the best" Doctor. With his own companion, sonic screwdriver (sort of) and TARDIS (a wonderful twist which I refuse to spoil), this Doctor is man with some crucial memories missing. What the REAL Doctor finds out about this mystery man is tragic yet inspiring, and touches on the whole history of the series. Oh, and did I mention the Cybermen are on-hand as well?

The entire production is first-rate, from the gorgeously-realized snowy streets to the impressive spectacle of the Cyber King on the march. Guest star David Morrisey is so good in his role, you almost wish he WAS the next Doctor. And like the best of the modern episodes, the resolution is both satisfying and leaves you wanting to see more.

The disc also includes an interesting special, "Doctor Who at the Proms." This is an hour-long concert of the show's music peformed at the Royal Albert Hall. In addition to big screens projecting images from the show's first 4 seasons, there are actors dressed as Cybermen, Judoon, etc. that roam through the aisles to the delight of the crowd. Freema Ageyman hosts, with a special appearance by Catherine Tate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By FLYingG0D VINE VOICE on September 19, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This Christmas Special has a bit more comedy than others, in my opinion. The whole "Next Doctor" bit is very entertaining. Although the method of how he came about, and their primary weapons against the Cybermen seems a bit far-fetched and silly.

In comparison to the general series, this special is a bit less serious and is not as thoroughly backed with details, but as long as you are familiar with the series most of the information fills in. It does introduce a new type of Cyber-unit and these information storage units called "Info-Stamps" that hold a load of data in picture format, it would seem. There is no real information on where this new Cyber-critter came from, and the Info-Stamps are a bit overly powerful. They can project the information on a wall, be plugged into the Cybermen and the information is immediately transferred, or one can pop the cap off of them and obliterate most anything with the wonderful power core. How handy! Sounds like the ultimate weapon/tool all wrapped up into one handy hand-held cylinder! Oh, and apparently, they can imprint a lot of information into a person's mind if they hold it wrong. I kind of feel that these little Info-Stamps were given a bit too much weight in the show. It just seemed like a much-too-easy solution to everything.

This DVD comes with a 1 Hour "The Next Doctor" episode, along with a 1 Hour "Doctor Who at the Proms" special which is a musical special that takes place at the Royal Albert Hall. It is entertaining to watch as well, although they mixed in a lot of clips from the show with the video of the performance. There were many familiar aliens from the new Doctor Who series running about the audience. It must have been an awesome experience to be there!

All in all, for the price, it was wonderful! Maybe not the best Doctor Who plot of all time, but it certainly helps break up this year without any new episodes! I enjoyed it, and am happy to have bought it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Beckstrom on September 17, 2009
Format: DVD
Doctor Who: Next Doctor is the 2008 Christmas special, a Doctor Who tradition. It is, in a word, superb. Writer Russell T. Davies continues to add layers to Who mythology, and to the character himself, as he consistently does. The characterizations of Dr Who, the "next dr," and Rosita ("next dr's" companion) are fun and vibrant, the episode is loaded with action, and the FX in the climactic scenes are quite a spectacle. I will give nothing away, but let me say that the final scene is another one of those great, poignant moments that can't help but make you love the character of (and David Tennant's rendition of) the good doctor more than ever.

I suggest you also watch the extra, which is a concert, "Doctor Who BBC Prom," hosted by Freema Agyeman, and recorded at Royal Albert Hall in London. It includes a full orchestra and choir performing music from the new series, including the epic Rose's Theme, along with various alien creatures from the series 1-4 interacting with the audience. It's great fun watching how the kids in the audience respond when, for instance, they are approached by a very convincing Cyberman. In addition, a mini-episode featuring Tennant, "Music of the Spheres," is projected for the audience. It is interactive and pretty clever. This is just a very fun disc. The only flaw is that the episode is only an hour long :(
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By B. Starbuck on July 27, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
... and it's not a horrible story. I've seen worse.

Plus, most of the Christmas specials are filled with fluff anyway, in keeping with the holiday spirit. That being said, this story is a fun bit of Christmas cheer, although it lacks depth on some levels, but I'll still line it up with the other Christmas specials for Christmas morning viewing. I will say though, I thought the Cyber-Shades were kind of creepy and I hope they bring them back at some point. On the other hand, the Cyber-King "ship" was a bit too much on the cheesy side for me, and while I first relished the character of Ms. Hartigan, she completely crashed and burned into the cheese fest.

Another thing that stirred the bee in my bonnet was the Rosita character, and I'm going to say something that a lot of people ~ especially fans of the new series ~ won't like: Enough with Rose Tyler, already! I mean, come on. Bleeding hearts of the world unite! Enough with the references, the inferences, the parallels, the longing, the tragedy of it all, etc. The writers, including Russell T. Davies, whom I happen to actually love, being a writer myself, have beat this like a dead horse and to a bloody pulp. Yes, we know the Doctor has great affection for her; yes, we know he can never be with her, but let's move on. Please.

It's for this reason that I am really anxious for Steven Moffat to take the reins of the series ~ and in a way, I'm glad there's a new Doctor. I love David Tennant and I think he's been absolutely brilliant ~ right up there with, if not surpassing, Tom Baker ~ but this whole, galactic playboy thing (as further evidenced in Planet of the Dead) is wearing thin.
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Topic From this Discussion
On Season DVD's?
No. There are 5 specials so far. The next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The waters of Mars and The end of Time parts 1and 2. These are sold as singles but are soon to be realeased as a box set in Feb.
Dec 19, 2009 by J. Forman |  See all 2 posts
Because The Next Doctor wasn't made in HD.
Aug 2, 2009 by Christopher Krisocki |  See all 4 posts
I would imagine that after all the specials have been released by themselves, BBC will release a boxset containing all of them. In the UK they released DVDs with 3-4 episodes a couple months after their airing before releasing the boxset with the entire season. They tried it here with the first... Read More
Jul 26, 2009 by S. Hall |  See all 2 posts
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