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Friday, 25 November 2005 - Reviewed by Eddy Wolverson

I was delighted when I heard that I wouldn't have to wait until Christmas for my next big Doctor Who fix – a few minutes of the 'Children in Need' telethon would be set aside for Rose and the new Doctor, and even better, unlike it's star-studded charity predecessors it would count. This would be real Doctor Who; Episode 14; Canon!

The pre-credit sequence is a spectacular recap of "The Parting of the Ways," reminding the audience not only how poignant the ninth Doctor's sacrifice was but how 'fantastic' the actor who played him was. David Tennant has certainly got the hardest task since Patrick Troughton took over the role.

"Barcelona."

The untitled mini-episode picks up right from where we left the Doctor and Rose, David Tennant looking rather small in Christopher Eccleston's clothes. The episode is little more than a lengthy-scene, however it is a vital scene for fans as we see how Rose reacts to the new Doctor – a vital scene that would have surely eaten up too much time of what promises to be a fast-paced, primetime Christmas special.

Rose is in utter shock at the Doctor's explosive regeneration and reacts much as Ben and Polly did way back when – "You're not the Doctor." Billie is excellent as Rose blabbers out her stream of consciousness… Slitheen… teleport… bodyswap…. but unlike her sixties counterparts it takes her six minutes, as opposed to six episodes, to reluctantly accept the Doctor's new incarnation.

Tennant cannot be judged on about seven minutes of TV, nor can the new Doctor's persona be judged in his post-regenerative state. He seems very off the wall, a mockney accent, even a little bit unstable, though he doesn't try to throttle Rose which is probably a good sign. He does, however, spend a worrying about of time hopping about which brought back memories of Tom Baker and a skipping rope. Despite his post-regenerative state, the tenth Doctor has a few lucid moments which look promising, most memorably taking Rose by the hand and asking her to remember when they first met.

Promising stuff.

Of course, the regeneration goes a bit wrong, the Doctor loses it and the Doctor pushes the TARDIS "past the time limit" racing towards Earth, Christmas Eve…

My only disappointment was the lack of a 'NEXT TIME…" trailer!