This second season of the
recent Doctor Who revival by the BBC not only
survives the departure of its charismatic lead actor (Christopher Eccleston)
at the end of the previous season, but positively flourishes under the
auspices of the same creative team that made the first season one of the
best science fiction television shows in simply years.
If you're unfamiliar with
Doctor Who, then where have you been
for the past four decades or so?
It is one of the longest-running
English-language sci-fi TV shows clocking in at 723 and counting episodes
thus far. Concerning the adventures of an eccentric time traveler simply
known as The Doctor who traipses around time and space in a spaceship
resembling a blue phone booth, this British television series has always
been praised for its clever writing whilst also being derided for its cheap
sets and obvious special effects.
This latest incarnation of
the show boasts the best of both worlds, combining clever set designs and
up-to-date computer-generated special effects and make-up with clever
writing. Unlike most American heroes, the Doctor seldom solves his
adventures using violence, instead preferring more cerebral solutions. This
series features anything from the Doctor protecting Queen Victoria herself
against a predatory werewolf to scientists unearthing what might be Satan
himself on a distant asteroid orbiting a Black Hole. One episode pokes
tongue-in-cheek fun at the show's plot conventions whilst another two-parter
pits two of the Doctor's biggest arch enemies against each other in the sort
of thing that makes fan boys wet their pants.
New Doctor David Tennant (Viva
Blackpool, Harry Potter) plays the
role as a young Tom Baker might have played it, with his anti-authoritarian
stance. Still one of the best SF shows on television one is sure that it
would also survive the departure of yet another major character at the end
of this season.
THE DISCS: The
fourteen episodes of the second season are contained on five of the box
set's six discs. The sixth disc consists of several making of featurettes
broadcast on the BBC which should preferably be viewed after viewing all the
episodes as they do contain spoilers.
WORTH IT? Yes.