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The Doctor is Back and Better Than Ever
on February 27, 2006
I was a huge fan of Doctor who has a kid growing up on Tom Baker. Towards the end of it's run though the show had in my view run out of magic and was a shadow of the Tom Baker ERA. With a terrible 1996 film version nailing the coffin into the series for good I never gave much thought to the possibility of a new series.
Skeptical as I was hearing that the show was being made again I decided to watch the show to see the beloved blue box travel through time. Indeed, I was curious. After watching the show on the CBC run it began to grow on me more and more. Gone were the laughable sets to a more sophisticated visually impressive slicker production.
More importantly though is the improved writing by Russell T. Davis who has made the best supporting character the show has ever had with the beautiful and exceptionally talented Billy Piper who unlike the damsel in distress is anything but in this series. The show Dalek which is the 6th episode in is the point where the show finds its true footing and begins to take off in political and social satire, the actors are in their groove and the show seems surer of itself. There are human stories here not the usual mania wants to destroy the universe repetitiveness of the older shows.
There is a lot of heart in this series and by the end of it I found myself truly caring about Rose and the Doctor.
The DVD has very clear picture excellent sound, and a lot of goodies sprinkled in like commentaries for every episode. There are 13 episodes here but in reality this would be the equivalent of 26 episodes for a normal half hour program in the old series. Each episode here is ~45 minutes. Add to this 14 segments of making of featurettes and 2-3 additional ones in each of the episode discs as well as a behind the scenes with the tenth doctor David Tennant who stars in the Christmas Special then it's a pretty fair deal.
Tom Baker is still king of the Doctors but Eccleston by the end is second best. The writing, overall cast performances, and effects are leagues better and more up to date than any I've seen from the old series. Episodes like Father's Day create genuine emotion that even a big tough guy like me had me go for a hanky.