The Christmas InvasionBookmark and Share

Monday, 26 December 2005 - Reviewed by Mark Hain

How to begin....

Christopher Eccelston was an excellent doctor. Someone who could express the feelings of deep sorrow and resignation The Doctor would have been going through after the destruction of Gallifrey. He also had the ability to be light hearted and show moments of charm. After such a long break and what had happened within the universe of Doctor Who, it was what the series needed and he was fantastic.

David Tennant on the other hand (as several other reviewers have stated) IS The Doctor. I am American so I really don't know this guy as an actor. I know he is well known in the UK and I know he has theatre in his background but I simply can NOT believe how much I love this Doctor in such a short amount of time. I will admit that part of it is relief that RTD and the boys found someone talented and worthy of the role but it is so much more than that. Several reviewers have said some of the things I am going to say but this is how I feel so I'll sound like a parrot through some of this review.

David Tennant is in this show for about 20 minutes. Some people have said it's not a good thing but I believe the buildup is excellent. In some of my reviews of Season 1 I stated that I kind of got tired of the Earth episodes. I really liked all of Series 1 and I understand budgetary reasons but I would have liked to have a few alien worlds in the mix. Hopefully that will happen this season or the next. At any rate, this episode was perfect even though it was yet another Earth episode. If there were plot holes, I didn't see them or I didn't care. Yes, the Santas got alot of play before TCI aired and they didn't really play a role but they were just the small fish and that's the way it was. Also, it helped tie in to make this a Christmas episode (because there wasn't a whole lot about the show that made it "Christmasy"). Tennant takes a hold of this role and never looks back. Someone said he had an interview where he didn't seem interested in going on for the third season. I really don't believe this after seeing his performance last night. He took a part of just about every Doctor so far and made the role his own. He mimicks our own questions about what type of Doctor he is. Is he an intellectual like Hartnell, a clown like Troughton, a physical and intellectual warrior like Pertwee and so on.... We don't know yet, neither does he and Tennant revels in it. Where Eccelston clearly liked the role (especially in the first couple) and commanded respect because of his tone, this Doctor has a wide range of emotions. In the span of 1 minute he shows he can be humorous, goofy, funny and extremely commanding with amazing believability. He speaks a word of the Sycorax (when he asks the leader if he is a cowardly name) so it appears he knows of them (very Doctor-ish, even if he doesn't know them he acts as he does, with authority and pulls it off perfectly). He has a better opinion of humans (at least until Harriet Jones betrays him) as he talks to the Sycorax leader about their potential instead of just calling them "apes". I could go on and on but Tennant is amazing and I don't at all say this lightly--he really could be the best Doctor ever. Just to put this in perspective I love Doctor Who and every single Doctor has many aspects I love. Tennant seems very capable of encompassing them all and you can feel his love for this show.

As for the episode, I could see where some people might think it was slow at times before the Doctor wakes up but I didn't care. We waited for years before Series 1 and even then the wait until this episode from "The Parting of the Ways" seemed like a lifetime. As a huge Doctor Who fan, I don't see any of these episodes as slow. For god's sake they are only an hour long. Some of the older episodes were up to three or four hours long! Yes, the Doctor could have regenerated and been just fine but that would have been a contradiction. RTD knows and shows how much he cares for Doctor Who by making Tennant's regeneration just that: An unpredictable process that is complicated and can be very unpredictable to say the least. Plus, as I said before, it makes Tennant's entrance that much more powerful.

Harriet Jones didn't mean a whole lot to me, she was a good actress in the role in World War Three and it is neat that she ends up being Prime Minister but her use of weapons to kill the Sycorax didn't bother me as much as the fact that it was Torchwood that did it. I feel that Captain Jack was one of the best companions Who ever had and he grew enormously in the short time he was in the Tardis. The fact that in his first "appearance" he is a party to murder like this is disturbing. Hopefully the fact that Torchwood lost 1/3 of his staff means that he had not joined them yet or that in Torchwood's first episode their side is explained because as it stands I don't like it. The fact that Harriet destroyed them though and that the Doctor says he gave them the wrong warning shows volumes about how they both feel. Harriet grew up quite a bit (though she still feels she needs to flash her badge which was amusing as was the Sycorax leader saying "Yes we know who you are") and though it was hard for her she felt that to protect the Earth this ship had to be destroyed. A far cry from the woman who hid behind a couch when the Slitheen were attacking. The Doctor on the other hand wanted to be more optimistic than his predecessor about the human race and might have been but after the destruction of the Sycorax ship he has no choice but to admit that humans are dangerous to say the least. He also shows just how much he is a master of human nature by planting the seed of her defeat with just six words. A brilliant way of showing how everyone has stayed the same, and yet changed dramatically since Season 1. Rose has grown up as well. Several times she takes charge and several times she explains herself and her positions quite clearly in a very short amount of time. Again, a far cry from the girl working in a department store and unsure of her place in life. All around an excellent episode. Very entertaining, a great idea of what is to come and an absolutely brilliant performance by a very worthy 10th Doctor.

Last of all the shots of what's to come was AWESOME! The Cybermen and K-9 in motion! Sarah Jane Smith, those cat people, Queen Victoria.... I'll have to agree with a few others that have said, this could very well be the best season of Doctor Who ever. I can't wait!!!