About Christmas TV History

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Doctor Who Christmas: The Next Doctor (2008)

It's Doctor Who week as we continue our SCI-FI Christmas in July celebration! Christmas TV History would like to welcome the next guest blogger, Brit Charek, who shares with us her passion for another favorite Doctor Who Christmas episode.

Doctor Who: "The Next Doctor" 2008
By Brit Charek

What could possibly be better than the Doctor sweeping in to save Earth? Why, two of them of course! Apparently writer Russell T. Davies decided to give Doctor Who fans just what they wanted for Christmas in 2008 when "The Next Doctor," the first of a run of five TV-movies, was aired featuring both David Tennant as well as David Morrissey as the Doctor.

David Tennant on the left, David Morrissey on the right--this Christmas installment offers 2 Doctors.

Being that fans knew David Tennant’s time as the Doctor was coming to an end (The actor who plays the Doctor only does it for a limited time, James Bond-style), it was exciting to see the Doctor faced with the man who could potentially be his replacement. Although he was definitely weirded-out when face-to-face with the Next Doctor when he landed the TARDIS in London on Christmas Eve of 1851, the Doctor was excited to meet what he suspected to be himself at a different point in time and space.

Could the Doctor have bumped into a future regeneration of himself?

(You see, in the universe of the Doctor, time is far from linear. It is, in his words from my all-time favorite episode Blink, “more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff,” which basically means that, well, pretty much anything can happen.)

Actress Dervla Kirwan plays Miss Hartigan.

Naturally, nothing is how it seems. Despite who the Next Doctor really is, the two Doctors team up, along with the Next Doctor’s companion, the saucy Rosilita, against a band of Cybermen led by Miss Mercy Hartigan, a cold villainess in a stunning red gown.

A giant-sized Cyberman known as the Cyberking threatens to destroy the entire city.

Not only do they have to deal with a giant Cyberking that would crush all of London, but Miss Hartigan has kidnapped and exploited children as laborers to generate energy for their project, in true Dickens fashion.

The next doctor's TARDIS?  If he's not a time lord, just who is this next doctor?

The banter between the two Doctors is delightful. The Next Doctor seems to know what he’s supposed to be, but doesn’t quite get it right—his sonic screwdriver is simply a screwdriver, his TARDIS is a hot air balloon that has never left the ground—but you can’t help but be charmed by his enthusiasm.


  1. This is my favorite Doctor Who episode/special, partially because it's great to see David Morrissey as the Doctor alongside David Tennant. They're two of my favorite actors--and they're also fantastic as adversaries in Blackpool, a 6-episode mini series about organized crime, murder, and familial dysfunction--oh and it's a musical! Haven't seen it? Go now!!!!

  2. YAY for 'Blackpool!' This is where I was first introduced to David Tennant--I've been a big fan ever since.