Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (2008)

doctor who the next doctor dvd cover 2008 christmas special
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

David Morrissey is a good Doctor

Could have played more with the formula before revealing the truth

doctor who the next doctor david morrissey david tennant sonic screwdrivers

Go-go Doctor Twins!!

The Doctor (David Tennant) arrives in London in 1851 on Christmas Eve.  When he encounters another man who says he is the Doctor (David Morrissey) and his companion Rosita (Velile Tshabalala), the Doctor wonders if he’s uncovered his next regeneration.  As the Doctor and the Doctor find themselves pulled into the a mystery involving a woman named Miss Hartigan (Dervla Kirwan) who has a strange connection to a Cyberman invasion, the new Doctor and the Doctor learn the truth about their connection.

Directed by Andy Goddard, Doctor Who:  The Next Doctor is a BBC sci-fi holiday special.  It was the first in a series of specials between season four and season five of the current Doctor Who series.  It aired on December 25, 2008 and followed the final episode of season four (Journey’s End).  In the traditional numbering, Doctor Who:  The Next Doctor is Story #199.

doctor who the next doctor mercy hartigan cybermen dervla kirwan

This isn’t gonna end well for you, lady…

The end of Doctor Who—Season 4 was crushing…and the specials spring out of it.  The holiday specials often stand-alone, but this specials arc has doom written all over it for the Doctor…but it does not start out that way.

Doctor Who:  The Next Doctor is a fun holiday episode of Doctor Who.  Though the Doctor seems quite light hearted after the event which led to Donna’s leaving, he eventually does admit the truth about what is going on his mind, and why he is now questioning the role of a companion.  What is revealed in this episode and the following episodes is that the Doctor can’t help but have a companion because of his magnetic personality.  He just draws people to him…it is like another aspect of his “powers”.

doctor who the next doctor cyberking robot

Hey…are you a Celestial?

David Morrissey would have made a good Doctor.  He’s fun and enjoyable in this story, and Rosita is a good companion (I loved how Morrissey’s character said she could be a nanny or nursemaid at the end instead of the implied love interest).  I kind of wish he had been the next Doctor in some respects.  It would have been an interesting way to introduce the real next Doctor and shot a double episode that would air later in the the next Doctor’s run.  If Matt Smith had been in the episode it could have given a whole different dimension to the story.

Doctor Who: The Next Doctor is a nice story and a bit more light than the other stories in the specials which get progressively darker.  The Christmas episodes are always interesting and fun and they usually allow the Doctor to show another side.  Here two Doctors gets to show two different sides (even if one isn’t real).  Doctor Who: The Next Doctor was followed by Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead.

Followed by:

Doctor Who:  Planet of the Dead (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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