This post is about the last episodes of David Tennant as the Doctor. As from Spring 2010, we will have a new Doctor, but more about this later.
Firstly, we have the Christmas 2008 episode, "The Next Doctor", set at Christmas Time in London of 1851. Guest starring David Morrissey as a second Doctor! But is Morrissey one of the next regenerations of our beloved timelord, or is there a different explanation for this second Doctor? The answer lies with a fob watch, like the one every timelord has in their possession, like the one the Doctor has in Human Nature/Family of Blood and the Master has in Utopia.
This is a good episode, nothing special though as far as the story is concerned. Here we start to see the influence the events in The Stolen Earth/Journey's End had on the Doctor. This is an episode based on the performances of Tennant and Morrissey, and on this end we are rewarded. They make a good team, especially for the first part, when Morrissey thinks he is the Doctor. The initial scene with the rope was hilarious!
Planet of the Dead and a new companion maybe for the Doctor? I wish! Lady Christina De Souza is an interesting character, and I would gladly have her as the Doctor's companion for another season with David Tennant. The two had good chemistry, maybe Lady Christina has a lot in common with the Doctor, but also a lot of differences. However, this is where Davros' hard words find their aim: the Doctor does not want a companion, he is afraid that those words were true.
The next special, Waters of Mars is maybe the best of the specials. It's neither the story nor the enemies of the Doctor, that are the central theme here. This special is a character study of the Doctor himself, of his feelings, of who he is, and what he is doing. The events of Waters of Mars are fixed in time, and cannot change without dire consequences for the future. Is there a solution? Can the Doctor do something, even a little thing?
But why does he do it? Is it because he really wants to help, or is it because of his pain? Maybe because of his own ego? The last few minutes, from the moment he talks and brags to Adelaide, until the end of the episode, those are some of the series' finest moments.
And here we are at the end of Tennant's Doctor, with the End of Time Parts I and II. I was expecting much much more from a special that marks the end of one of the most loved Doctors, where we have the Master, and the return of the timelords... The first part was such a disappointment, story wise! If it weren't for John Simm and David Tennant's performances, it probably would have been totally unwatchable. Honorable mention to Bernard Cribbins, he is wonderful as Wilfred Mott... I liked his character very much, all through the 4th season.
In the second part, things get a little better, especially in the second half of the episode, where we have Timothy Dalton portraying Lord President Rassillon! Really wonderful to see so many good actors on the screen together.
I didn't like the reason for the Doctor's regeneration at all. I thought it was quite lame, and it was like the writers just put that scene there so that we can have a regeneration. I don't know what or how I wanted it to be, but certainly something a lot better. Anyway, the Doctor has a bit of time before his regeneration, so he goes to say goodbye to all the people he traveled with in the last 3 seasons. He even finds Rose, before the events with the plastic consciousness, before she ever met the Doctor...
I don't want to go, the last words of the timelord before his regeneration. Neither did we Mr. Tennant!
I don't know how Matt Smith's portrayal of the Doctor will be. I am certainly going to give Matt Smith a chance to convince me that he has that special quality to make at least a good Doctor. And frankly, I want Matt Smith to be good in the role, I want to be watching and enjoying Doctor Who for years to come.