Doctor Who

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" gives "Doctor Who - Season 2" a 9.5."
Written by on 10 November 2013.
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Doctor Who - Season 2

‘Inside the TARDIS. Dark. A figure up the ramp pulls down a lever. The chain becomes alive. The Doctor, in his element, the same old ship, but a new man.’

That’s how the first read-through of the script of ‘The Christmas Invasion’ starts. The read-through isn’t part of the actual episode, but you will of course see what it describes. After the regeneration of the ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston made place for his successor: the tenth. It’s quite a difference, from tall, lanky, and balding to David Tennant (‘Spies of Warshaw’), a smaller, hyperactive man with hair you just want to ruffle continuously. It is a good change, though. David Tennant is dynamic, quick, animated, changeable, and apart from that an amazing actor who is able to grab the core of the character.

Companion in both season one as two, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper, ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’) forms the bridge between the two Doctors. Even though the Doctor is the same person in essence, the chemistry between Rose and the different Doctors is rather distinctive. It’s interesting to see how it’s played out; with the Ninth Doctor, Rose was mainly astonished by everything she saw, but now she’s quite used to the adventures and sensation that accompanies this man, and she plays a big role in his actions as well. There’s still the astonishment, yet slowly but surely it’s becoming a very close partnership. Especially in ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’, it becomes clear how important their relationship is: both Rose and the Doctor realise how terribly much they care about each other, and it becomes apparent how vital it is to have such a relationship if you want to save the universe together.

In this season as well the first, there are a couple of spooky and sometimes paranoia-inducing episodes, even though, as in the previous season, the special effects don’t seem all that polished. In the behind-the-scenes material of this season (‘Doctor Who Confidential’), the producer explains why they choose to do it like that. In the Christmas special, for example, the Doctor’s hand is chopped off, but we don’t see any blood. The reason is that the series is aired at 7 PM: children also watch the series, so it can’t be too graphic or bloody. Nevertheless, the scary element is in there; as co-writer Stephen Moffat says this is a vital element for the series, because it grabs you and doesn’t let you go.

This season we’re going to more places than just the future; my favourite type of episode are the episodes that go back in time and explain certain occurrences that happened in the past. In season 2, we’re going to Victorian England, New New York, Versailles in 1800, the 1950’s... and everywhere, the Doctor plays an essential role. I think it’s an interesting idea that the Doctor appears to be behind these big actions that happened in history. A couple of things that have happened become almost credible with the Doctor as explanation, which doesn’t make much sense... a science-fiction series that adds truth value to actual things. But it’s not just about happenings in ‘our’ reality; there are also hints towards the brilliant plot line of this season, like they’ve done BAD WOLF in the first season.

All in all, there are some amazing episodes in ‘Doctor Who’ season 2. The story, decoration, and the set itself are superbly created, the acting is amazing, the characters’ relationships are so incredibly well thought-through, and the season finale is heartbreaking. I’m awarding it with a big, fat, well-deserved 9.5.
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