Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Doctor Doctor

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coverage of series 4, 2008

  1. The stars are coming out | Be my guest | The definitive episode guide | A Noble calling | Little monsters? | The Godmother (5 April)
  2. Roman Holiday (12 April)
  3. Ood, glorious Ood! (19 April)
  4. The Sontarans are coming! (26 April)
  5. Friend or foe? (3 May)
  6. Child of time (10 May)
  7. Who-dunnit? (17 May)
  8. Spine-chiller (31 May)
  9. Dark man (7 June)
  10. Stay sharp! (14 June)
  11. The Doctor's women (21 June)
  12. Red Alert (28 June)
  13. Never Mind the Daleks Here's Davros! (5 July)
  14. Doctor Doctor (20 December)

coverage of other series
S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | Specials | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S9 | S10

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David T on David M

"It's a real thrill to work with him again," says David Tennant of David Morrissey, with whom he previously starred in BBC1 drama Blackpool in 2004. Morrissey, Dervla Kirwan (opposite page) and Velile Tshabalala, who plays Morrissey's companion, Rosita, came in for the special at the end of the gruelling nine-month series-four shoot. "There was, I suppose, a danger we'd all be exhausted by the Christmas special," says Tennant. "But to I have David, Dervla and Velile come in with so much energy, always being funny and bright and up for anything, I think it spurred us on. We all got on very well."

What can we expect in this year's Doctor Who special — and beyond? Series supremo Russell T Davies writes exclusively for RT

When we last saw the Doctor, he was travelling through time and space in his rickety blue box all alone. His companions had found better lives for themselves — except for Donna. Oh, poor Donna Noble, with her memory wiped of all her adventures. I can't help thinking of her this Christmas. No doubt she's sitting with the girls in the pub, wearing tinsel, moaning about the credit crunch and wolf-whistling at the barman, not knowing that she once saved the entire universe.

But the Doctor never looks back, always moves on. New horizons! He was born to travel and loves nothing better than arriving somewhere unexpected. And when he materialises in Old London Town, on Christmas Eve, 1851, he soon finds himself fighting alongside the feisty Rosita ... and another Doctor!

As you might have seen on this year's Children in Need preview, this new Doctor is a complete stranger, with his own sonic screwdriver and Tardis. But how is that even possible? And do two Doctors mean double the trouble? I'm saying nothing. You'll just have to watch to find out.

The production team at BBC Wales thinks it's a genuine honour to be given a Christmas episode every year. We're proud of Doctor Who's status as family viewing, and this is the one time of year when you can guarantee that people will gather en masse around the TV. (Though I've been known to throw walnuts at my nieces to stop them talking during transmission. Consider this a warning, girls.)

For this annual episode, all the production departments stretch themselves to the limit to give every single viewer a visual extravaganza. We usually film within Wales, but this year saw the cast and crew venturing to Gloucester, which offered us huge Victorian marketplaces, and cobbled alleyways in which monsters might lurk. All covered by our trusty, festive snow machine. Mind you, I suspect that the shoot was a bit livelier than most period dramas, with explosions and chases and screaming hordes fleeing from disaster!

This year marks our fourth Christmas special, and the first to leave the present day. There's just something about the Doctor that fits the Victorian age; maybe because he's a descendant of HG Wells's time traveller and the sci-fi antiquity of Jules Verne, with maybe a pinch of those spooky tales by MR James. And there's more than a hint of ghost story about this year's yarn. Just as Dickens terrified Scrooge with the visitation of Christmas Yet to Come, so the Doctor finds himself staring at that inevitable day when his tenth incarnation must die ...

And if you've had a new settee for Christmas, make room for the kids to hide behind it. Because the Cybermen are back. They haven't been seen on screen for two-and-a-half years Just think: when you're eight, that's an eternity! When they first appeared in 1966, facing the First Doctor (William Hartnell), they came out of the snow, and now here they come once more, braving a blizzard, wreathed in winter and cold as steel.

Again, there's something about those hissing joints and death-mask faces that goes hand-in-hand with Victoriana. And it just felt right for the combination of two Doctors to be fighting an old enemy. But this time, there are plenty of additions to Cyber-mythology, with the mysterious Cybershades stalking the streets, and the awesome CyberKing waiting to claim his throne.

Providing the Doctor survives then (and with two around, anything could happen), here in Cardiff we're already looking ahead to the new year. David Tennant might have announced he's leaving, but his reign's far from over.

He's got four more specials to film, starting in January. We're already rebooting the computers and fuelling the engines, ready to hit the road.

The first adventure, to be shown in only a few months' time, promises to be the Time Lord's wildest, maddest yet. He won't just be travelling without a companion — he'll be without the Tardis, too.

After that, we'll be heading towards the momentous day when the key to that blue box is passed on, and the 11th Doctor storms into your lives. Just think of the adventures to come. Though you'll still have David at the helm of the Tardis this time next year. But oh, what a Christmas that's going to be. Let's just say that dark forces are gathering already. The Gate is waiting, and life will never be the same again ...

David M on David T

"The show has caught the public - imagination. That's in no small part down to David Tennant," says David Morrissey (far right). He absolutely inhabits the role of the Doctor. He's a fabulous actor. Did you see him in Einstein and Eddington the other week? Brilliant!"

Are you surprised at the level of interest in your casting as the "other" Doctor?

"I'm proud of the episode, so I'm happy with whatever attention come from that. It was a joy to do. It's one of the best atmospheres I've ever worked in. It's a full-on drama. That's what I love about it."

So you'll be watching The Next Doctor at home this year?

"Of course. I have a four-year-old, but I don't think I'll let him watch. He might find it too strange to see Daddy fighting Cybermen."

Of course, you're the bookies' favourite to take over from David as the 11th Doctor. Are you tempted to have a little flutter? "[Laughs] It's just flattering to be in the frame. What David has done is phenomenal, and whoever gets it after him will be a very lucky person. You'd want to keep the spirit of the Doctor, but do it in your own way."

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Cook, Benjamin (2008-12-20). Doctor Doctor. Radio Times p. 22.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Cook, Benjamin. "Doctor Doctor." Radio Times [add city] 2008-12-20, 22. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Cook, Benjamin. "Doctor Doctor." Radio Times, edition, sec., 2008-12-20
  • Turabian: Cook, Benjamin. "Doctor Doctor." Radio Times, 2008-12-20, section, 22 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Doctor | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Doctor | work=Radio Times | pages=22 | date=2008-12-20 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=7 February 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Doctor | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Doctor | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=7 February 2023}}</ref>