Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Pick of the day

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2005-12-23 Evening Standard.jpg


Doctor Who 7pm, BBC1

Yes, it's the Doctor — but not as we know him. Out goes the old Christopher Eccleston model and here, at last (cue fanfare), is the David Tennant incarnation. This is the first outing for the new Doctor —although with all the pre-show hype, interviews, picture publicity, chat-show appearances and trailers you might be forgiven for feeling that he is already old pyjamas.

But this splendid hour-long special is our big chance to get to know the latest Timelord — although for much of the first half of the programme he is flat on his back in bed, so don't expect too much in the way of action from him. He has to re-generate, you see. Leaving his faithful sidekick, Rose (Billy Piper), to deal with a terrifying invasion that is threatening the future of the world.

It is a hugely entertaining, funny, clever adventure with a script by Russell T Davies that manages to be exciting and packed with special effects (for younger viewers) as well as satirical and knowing (for the adults). And Tennant is a quirky and believable Doctor. The story opens with the Tardis making an erratic landing in the London council estate that Rose comes from — where she introduces the new Doctor to her mum and boyfriend Mickey. But, knowing the old doc, they don't recognise him. "What do you mean this is the doctor?" demands her mum. "Doctor who?"

While the Timelord takes to his bed, Rose and Mickey go Christmas shopping and everything looks very homely and festive. Of course, it can't last. And before you can say "Father Christmas gone bad", they are under fire from a gang of sinister Santas, while in Rose's mum's flat a whirling Christmas tree goes on the rampage.

This all presages the arrival of the Sycorax, a band of powerful aliens (right, with Tennant) intent on taking over our planet.

Penelope Wilton turns in an excellent performance as the British prime minister, Harriet Jones, who has to try to fend off the invasion —as well as interference from the USA. "Tell the president, and please use these exact words, that he's not my boss and not to turn this into a war." There is an anti-war message in the Christmas special, Davies has already admitted. And why not? This is, after all, the time of peace and goodwill to all men. Surely it's only fair to extend that to aliens, too.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Ramsey, Terry (2005-12-23). Pick of the day. London Evening Standard .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Ramsey, Terry. "Pick of the day." London Evening Standard [add city] 2005-12-23. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Ramsey, Terry. "Pick of the day." London Evening Standard, edition, sec., 2005-12-23
  • Turabian: Ramsey, Terry. "Pick of the day." London Evening Standard, 2005-12-23, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Pick of the day | url= | work=London Evening Standard | pages= | date=2005-12-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 June 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Pick of the day | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 June 2024}}</ref>