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Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 3/26/19 12:29 pm
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This was broadcast as an Easter Special in a year when there were only 4 new stories for fans to see on TV. I suspect that is why it seems to have received an overly negative response and dismissed as disappointing. Fans were eager for more Doctor Who that year and expected that if they only got 4 stories they should all be awesome classics. Understandable reaction and indeed this is not an awesome classic so I guess it failed to meet expectations but I do think it was a decent episode.

Michelle Ryan as guest character lady Christina is very good, the other passenger characters are decent with future Hollywood star Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) doing as great a job as you would expect in a small early role. David Tennant acts brilliantly as always but has less meaty material than in other recent stories. Comedian Lee Evans has a fun appearance and the Tritovores are a fun alien race although with not much to do. The visuals of the episode are great and there is some nice action and dialogue.

The story and certain ideas and scenes are more suited to a mid series filler episode than a special and are not totally satisfying but it is still pretty good fun.

7.5/10

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Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 3/26/19 11:59 am
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This Christmas Special is very good. It has a very effective premise as it begins with a suggestion that the Doctor has possibly met a future incarnation of himself. SPOILER ALERT: This character, played brilliantly by David Morrissey, turns out to not be the Doctor and I think some viewers felt disappointed or tricked by this but I think that it is the essence of good storytelling, present an exciting, intriguing situation and then bring the story round to a logical conclusion. Davies could hardly impose the next Doctor on forthcoming Showrunner Steven Moffatt so there had to be an explanation. I felt the interest and anticipation provided by suggesting it WAS the next Doctor was really good and feel that viewers always wanting pay offs for their expectations are rather shallow. I enjoy having my expectations turned upside down if it is done well which this is. The storyline about Jackson Lake and his family is touching and interesting.

What I like slightly less here is the Cybermen aspect. i was not a big fan of the Cyberking and one or two other bits. The less satisfying aspects detract a little but it is overall a fun, entertaining adventure with David tennant on usual great form. There is great humour, strong dialogue and fine acting from Dervla Kirwan as Miss Hartigan.

8/10
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Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 3/26/19 11:37 am
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This electrifying finale is the 6th episode in a row to get 10/10 from me and the 4th in a row of those written by Russell T. Davies. He brings his final full series as Showrunner to a wonderful conclusion. The superb Graeme Harper directs as expertly as always and the effects and make up are top notch.

The Daleks are properly menacing and exciting in this story which is great and Davros is magnificently brought back to life by the flawless acting of Julian Bleach who matches original Davros Michael Wisher for creepy, intelligent face offs with the Doctor. The moment he remembers Sarah Jane is magic and overall he manages to return Davros to greatest villain status.

The storyline is epic which is quite challenging at times as so much is jammed in and so many big ideas are thrown at us but it is all internally logical as well as entertaining. The heartbreaking conclusion with Donna was hard to accept but although it is gutting I see it as a huge credit to Davies and the story he has given us because unlike Steven Moffatt who always reversed and cheated his way out of sad events, Davies hammers us with a fate for Donna which is almost more hurtful than if she had died. It is hugely emotional and the acting of Catherine Tate, Bernard Cribbins and David Tennant is phenomenal throughout the story as well as in the tear jerking ending.

Elisabeth Sladen brings joy as sarah Jane gets a lst proper adventure with the Doctor and other great characters Martha, Captain Jack and Rose also get in on the action.

The action, drama and every aspect of this is just great entertainment. 10/10.
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 3/26/19 11:19 am
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This is the 5th episode in a row that gets the full 10/10 from me as the brilliant series 4 continued at top standard. This is a thrilling episode as the Earth is plunged into peril with the Doctor's friends banding together to help try to help. The Daleks are revealed as being behind the terrible events and their creator Davros is back leading them.

The exciting tension, menace and action in this episode is terrific and the arrival of the daleks and reveal of Davros returning really were heart thumpingly good. The friends of the doctor teaming up was also exciting and joyous. The storyline manages to really make the events really feel threatening and scary and the cliffhanger was incredibly surprising and suspenseful.

Getting the Doctor's greatest ever companion Sarah Jane Smith back was wonderful and we also get Donna and Wilf who had been shown in this series to first ones to challenge Sarah Jane for greatest companion status. Truly wonderful characters. Of course Rose, Captain Jack and martha are also fantastic and the fabulous Penelope Wilton as Harriet Jones redeems her great character which is very pleasing.

This is filled with danger and big epic entertainment but it also has some dark, thoughtful and interesting themes threaded through it and excellent dialogue bringing emotional drama.

The story also is technically exceptional with great effects and superb make up for Davros. Julian Bleach is mesmerisingly good as Davros emulating the tremendous original Michael Wisher.

10/10

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