The new Doctor Who series, starting in 2005, has been quite the
success for BBC. Integrating the old features of the Doctor Who
series with more modern special effects, stories, and themes. BBC
series' tend to be rather short - only 13 episodes a season.
However, in between each series there has been a "Christmas Special"
which inevitably has The Doctor saving mankind from certain doom on
Christmas Eve, or the big day itself. The interesting thing about
these specials is that has so far always been in a very public, very
dramatic fashion. It is now Doctor Who canon that earthlings are
fully aware of the existence of aliens thanks to one of their
spaceships crashing into parliament building, and another year
landing one on the Thames.
The 2008 Christmas special changes things up only by having it occur
in Victorian England and battling the Cybermen - probably The
Doctor's second-most famous enemy. Victorian England is a perfect
time to pull out some cyper-punk themes, and so this episode does.
The episode has The Doctor stumbling across a second Doctor already
battling the Cybermen and together they try to save old London town
from annihilation (remember what I said about very public displays.)
How that is all possible I will leave to the episode itself to
explain - but it does so with the usual Doctor Who flair and a
unashamed sweeping under the carpet for the details - stuff that The
Doctor understands, but we - the audience - couldn't possibly.
It's a fun episode and explores some relatively new territory with
the presence of the second Doctor, and our Doctor being without a
companion at this time (having left Donna behind with an erased
memory in "Journey's End") while tying in elements from the past -
such as the Cybermen and the exploration of The Doctor's
The DVD includes only one special feature of "Doctor Who at the
Proms" which is basically a live performance of many of the Doctor
Who scores while actors dressed up as Doctor Who's best enemies from
the series wander about and terrorise the crowd. It looks like it
might have been a lot of fun to be at the Royal Albert Hall, but it
doesn't translate quite as well on DVD. Kids and orchestra fans
might get a kick out of it.
It's only one episode, but it's a good one. If you're rounding out
your Doctor Who collection, you really need to include this one.