Doctor Who has once again rebooted itself. There is now a new Doctor, played by Matt Smith. There is also Amy (Karen Gillan), the new companion, and a newly designed TARDIS. For those missing David Tennant as The Doctor, and for those wanting to complete their Doctor Who DVD collection, a five -disc set of the five special episodes, which aired in 2009 is available. Doctor Who: The Complete Specials is a must have for any fan of The Doctor.
In the first of the five specials, The Doctor finds himself in 1851 London at Christmas time. Upon hearing someone crying “Doctor,” he dashes off to find himself face to face with…The Doctor. This Doctor of the past (or perhaps future?) is played by David Morrisey. Unsure of what to make of this Doctor, Tennant’s Doctor keeps his identity a secret and tags along with the other Doctor and his companion Rosita. It’s apparent this other Doctor is suffering from amnesia, and The Doctor (Tennant) is determined to solve the mystery.
Memory loss, however, is not the real culprit in this story. It’s Cybermen (and one spooky Cybercreature). The Doctor is of course very familiar with Cybermen, having battled them many times during his life. “The Next Doctor” is a very clever episode. It’s fun to see the 1851 versions of the sonic screwdriver and the TARDIS. Morrisey is very good as a very confused Doctor, and the story itself is gripping. As far as Cybermen go, this episode doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, but it stands up with any other good episode of Doctor Who.
“Planet of the Dead” is the second most light-hearted of the five episode series (next to “The Next Doctor”). In the episode The Doctor meets up with jewel thief, Lady Christina de Souza, on a bus and not surprisingly the bus takes an unexpected turn. The Doctor, Lady Christina, the bus driver, and several passengers find themselves stranded on a planet that turns out to be infested with some very nasty bugs.