The Next Doctor was the 2008 Christmas special for the new Doctor Who series. After losing Donna Noble, the Doctor heads off in the TARDIS and ends up in Victorian England. There he finds a man claiming to the Doctor (David Morrissey) and his companion, Rosita (Velile Tshabalala). After this new Doctor defeats two Cybermen, the Doctor (David Tennant) sticks around to find out why there are Cybermen in this time and who this new Doctor is.
Morrissey did an excellent job portraying the new Doctor. He showed all the right characteristics, concern for others, and he was a quick wit, too. He had a certain flair that worked really well for the role. Whenever a new Doctor is presented, the viewer has to buy into the change quickly, and Morrissey’s acting helped that tremendously. He even overshadowed Tennant’s Doctor quite a bit; I found him more interesting.
The Doctor’s companions always play a significant role in giving a relatable character for the audience. Tshabalala was great in that role in The Next Doctor. She was very protective of the new Doctor, and had a very strong will. This makes for a great dynamic between the Doctor and the companion as the new Doctor really showed respect for Rosita, something missing in many incarnations of the Doctor.
The story worked rather well, too. As a special, it stood out as one of the best. All of the characters were interesting, including the villain, Miss Hartigan (Dervla Kirwan). As far as villains go, she is one of the best, most devious, and most memorable in the new series. I’ve never seen her in anything else, but I hope to.
Of the four specials between Series 4 and Series 5, this is my favorite. It works really well as a solid story, it fits well within the Doctor Who universe, and it was just a fun episode. It’s only an hour long, but it was a very solid hour of fun. I highly recommend The Next Doctor.
Original Air Dates: December 25, 2008 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-PG
Network: BBC One
Language: 1 (brief, mild)
Violence: 2 (Cyberman fighting, destruction in London, some death)