Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited 9-11
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In this triumphant 50th Anniversary year for Doctor Who, we complete our celebration of the extraordinary actors who have starred as the Doctor with this look at three exceptionally gifted performers, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith. The year 2005 was an historic year in the world of Doctor Who. After a 17-year hiatus broken up only by 1996 s one-off Doctor Who television movie, the series made a glorious return to television screens worldwide. The newly launched Doctor Who features impressive special effects, powerful stories, monsters new and newly conceived, and most important of all, a trio of engaging actors who each brought their own unique individuality to this iconic hero. Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat leads this exceptional review of each actor s tenure as the Doctor followed by a thrilling 2-part story for each Doctor. Celebrate the glory that is Doctor Who with The Doctors Revisited.
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In July 2013, the Specials for Doctors 1-4:
Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited 1-4
In October 2013, the Specials for Doctors 5-8:
Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited 5-8 (2013)
There is also a combo set of all three boxed set releases.
Doctor Who: Doctors Revisited Set (3pack/ Giftset/ DVD)
9th DOCTOR - CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON (Series 1, 2005)
Special commentators include Neil Gaiman (writer of "Nightmare in Silver"), Marcus Wilson (Dr Who producer), Steven Moffat (Dr Who showrunner and writer), Noel Clarke (plays Mickey Smith), Corey Johnson (plays Henry van Statten), Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Daleks), Camille Coduri (plays Jacki Tyler), John Barrowman (plays Captain Jack Harkness). Sometime between Sylvester McCoy's Doctor besting Davros in "Rembrance of the Daleks" (see "The Doctors Revisited 5-8") and Christopher Eccleston's Doctor meeting Rose, Gallifrey is obliterated (as the Doctor mentions in episode 1.2 "The End of the World"). Eccleston's Doctor has a deep down haunted seriousness that we haven't seen before, making him a totally modern Doctor. As Moffat says, to end the Time War, the Doctor "commits double genocide. He does it for the best of reasons.... But that is a terrible wound in him." This Doctor has not a hint of the absent-minded professor about him.
This special is followed by the two part story made up by "Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways", the 12th and 13th (final) episodes of Eccleston's Dr Who.
Something very very strong plucks the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack off the TARDIS and onto a space station orbiting Earth 200,000 years in the future. They don't know that at first. They don't even know where the others are. The theme is game shows - Rose lands as a contestant on "The Weakest Link", Captain Jack meets Trine-e and Zu-Zana in "The Makeover", and the Doctor is dumped into "Big Brother House".
Just like the real shows, millions of watchers on Earth watch contestants answer incorrectly or they vote which contestants have to go. Unlike the real shows, the consequences are deadly. Rose doesn't take her game seriously until Fitch loses and Ann Droid, the quiz show host, zaps her into nothingness. "Big Brother House" has a vote, and the Doctor sees the evicted contestant disintegrated.
It's a brilliant beginning. And there's humor, too. Captain Jack is having a lark as the android ladies undress and dress him with the defabricator. He asks, "Am I naked in front of millions of viewers? ... Ladies, your viewing figures just went up." But then they tell him it's time for a new face. And bring out the saws.
The game shows are run by Bad Wolf Corporation. Rose and the Doctor keep running into that name, over time and space. What does it mean? Finally, in these last two episodes, we find out. And we get a classic villain with a twist.
"We waited here in dark space, damaged, but rebuilding. Centuries passed and we quietly infiltrated the systems of Earth, harvesting the waste of humanity."
10TH DOCTOR - DAVID TENNANT (started 2005 Christmas Special, then Series 2,3 & 4, through the 2-part Christmas Special 12/09-01/10))
The Special commentators include Camille Coduri, David Tennant (10th Doctor), Marcus Wilson, Steven Moffat, Freema Agyeman (plays Martha Jones), Noel Clarke, David Morrisey (plays Jackson Lake), Peter Davison (5th Doctor), Dan Starkey (plays Commander Skorr), Adam Garcia (plays Alex), John Barrowman, Jacqueline King (plays Sylvia Noble, Donna's Mom), Bernard Cribbins (plays Wilf Mott, Donna's grandfather), Tom McRae (writer "The Girl Who Waited"), David Morrisey and Dan Starkey.
Freema notes that Martha was "the only companion that was strong enough, from the modern [Doctor Who], to walk away" from life with the Doctor.
In Moffat's introduction, he is excited about the cliffhanger at the end of episode 1 "that is so sensational, that it was featured on the news! It was newsworthy."
This special is followed by the linked "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End", the last two episodes of Series 4 (2008).
Donna and the Doctor just finished their adventures in episode 11, "Turn Left". Donna asks the Doctor, "So, I just met Rose Tyler?"
Doctor: "Yeah... If she can pass from her parallel world to your parallel world then that means the walls of the universe are breaking down. Which puts everything in danger. Everything. But how?"
There's a huge crash - the whole earth is shaking. They open the TARDIS doors to find out that they are in the middle of space. The Doctor is flummoxed: "The TARDIS is still in the same place, but the Earth is gone!"
Skip to FAR ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, New York, Earth. Martha Jones picks herself up after the earthquake flung her around at UNIT HQ. Then we see Rose, with a gun bigger than any Supersoaker beam into London. Sarah Jane and her son rush to their computer to find out what caused the upheaval. And Captain Jack, at Torchwood HQ, weapons up to investigate. All four look up into the sky and see the same impossible sight. Earth went from sunshine at 8:00 in the morning to darkness as in the middle of night. And the sky is filled with the presence of 26 other planets.
Who would have the power to move 26 planets around the universe? And, more important, why?
This is a rollicking good show, bringing back Freema Agyeman (as Martha), Billie Piper (Rose), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane) and John Barrowman (Captain Jack). And then, another character I liked, Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister, rallying the Doctor's army against a classic foe.
"The Doctor. The man who keeps running, never looking back because he dare not, out of shame. This is my final victory, Doctor. I have shown you yourself."
11TH DOCTOR - MATT SMITH (Series 5, 6 & 7, 50th Anniversary Special "The Day of the Doctor", and 2013 Christmas Special "The Time of the Doctor, in total 2010-2013)
The Special commentators include Steven Moffat, Matt Smith (11th Doctor), Mark Sheppard (plays Canton Delaware), Frances Barber (plays Madame Kovarian), Mike McShane (plays Julius Grayle), Marcus Wilson, Tom McRae, Hugh Bonneville (plays Captain Avery), Karen Gillan (plays Amelia "Amy" Pond), Arthur Darvill (plays Rory Williams) and Jenna Coleman (plays Clara Oswin Oswald).
I got a kick out of McShane's description of Smith's Doctor: "He's like an antagonized bookworm."
Moffat introduces the episodes to follow, saying that there are a couple firsts: "It's the very very first time we went and filmed abroad. ... We've done shows that were set in America, but this is the first time we actually shot in America."
AND - they kill off a main character in the first episode!
The Special is followed by "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon", episodes 1 & 2 of Series 6 (2011).
Amy, Rory and River receive mysterious TARDIS-blue invitations to appear at a specific date, time and location in, of all places, the Valley of the Gods, SE Utah. They arrive to find the Doctor, who gives them a picnic on Lake Powell. The Doctor tells his friends, "I've been running. Faster than I've ever run, and I've been running my whole life. Now its time for me to stop. And tonight, I'm going to need you all with me."
He's just told them that they're all going to 1969, because "a lot more happens in 1969 than anyone remembers." When, of all things, an astronaut walks out of the lake and shoots the Doctor dead. As in Dead dead, not regenerating. Strangeness continuing, an old man arrives with a can of gasoline. He shows them his TARDIS-blue invitation for Canton Everett Delaware III, burns the Doctor's body, and leaves, telling the three companions, "I won't be seeing you again. But you'll be seeing me."
The grieving trio settle into a booth at a cafe, deciding what to do next, when the fifth person with an invitation shows up. It's the Doctor! An earlier Doctor, of course, and they take off to April 8, 1969, Washington D.C., where they hook up with an earlier Canton, dismissed from the FBI because he wanted to get married.
This is a wonderfully plotted storyline. And there's bad guys to rival the Weeping Angels; the trouble is remembering them. I love the way they are eventually vanquished, because the first time I watched these episodes, I thought that maybe the writers had gotten themselves into a corner they couldn't plausibly resolve.
"How long have they been here?"
"As long as there's been something in the corner of your eye. A creaking in your house. Or breathing under your bed."
NOTE: In promotional blurbs, the documentaries of each Doctor are described as being 40 minutes each. When I've timed them on my cable's OnDemand, though, they've been of varying shorter lengths. Give or take a minute, the Special for the 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, including commercials and Moffat's special introduction, is 27 minutes.
First we have "Bad Wolf" & "The Parting of the Ways" with Doctor #9 Christopher Eccelston. Features the last appearance of the Ninth Doctor as he takes on his old Dalek enemies and comes face to face with the Dalek Emperor. This one wasn't a bad story, I liked it and found it enjoyable for the most part, but Eccelston certainly had better stories. I think I would have rather had the two-part Slytheen story... that one was a lot more original and action-packed. But overall, not bad. Four stars
Then we have the "The Stolen Earth" & "Journey's End" with Doctor #10 David Tennant. I really liked this adventure. Features loads of companions in it including Donna, Rose, Captain Jack, Micky, Martha, and the one and only Sarah Jane Smith. It also features a cameo with K9. The Doctor must join forces with his companions to stop a new Dalek empire from destroying the universe lead by the evil creator of the Daleks himself, Davros. An epic and action-packed tale with the great David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. Five stars
Last we have "The Impossible Astronaut" & "Day of the Moon" with Doctor #11 Matt Smith. A great new and very scary enemy for the Doctor to face - the Silence has to be the scariest Dr. Who monster of all time! Unfortunately it does leave some unanswered questions at the end and it is a bit slow at times too. But fortunately these unanswered questions are eventually answered in later episodes and even though it is slow at times, at other times it's really quite suspenseful. But I think I would have rather had the two-part Silurian or Weeping Angel story. Three stars
All in all, It's not a bad buy, it's just not quite as good as the other sets in this collection.
Still, I highly recommend it!