Saturday, 4 April 2009

Doctor Who: Born Again (Children in Need Special)

The Doctor: 'Back to your mum. It's all waiting. Fish and chips, sausage and mash, beans on toast... No! Christmas! Turkey! Although, having met your mother, nutloaf would be more appropriate.'

The Children in Need Special follows on directly from last season's finale. After a lengthy recap, the story picks up minutes after the Doctor's regeneration. The Doctor's full of energy, enthralled by his new body, his new appearance and his new existence. Rose, however, is far less enthusiastic. On finding herself aboard the TARDIS with a man she's never seen before, she can only conclude that the Doctor's been captured and that the man before her is an impostor.

This vignette focuses primarily on the Doctor and Rose as they work through the changes forced upon them by the Doctor's regeneration. Both actors I think did brilliantly. Billie genuinely looked freaked out by the Doctor's metamorphosis and subsequent weirdness, and Tennant put in a brilliant performance as the Doctor, projecting a perhaps more familiar, affable persona than Eccleston's darker creation. Like the Doctor of old, Tennant's Doctor is unpredictable, a little manic, and prone to talking gibberish.

There was a lovely moment at the end, where the Doctor wasn't sure whether Rose would want to travel with him, and Rose looked similarly unsure whether she'd be welcome. Again, great acting. This is a time of confusion for both their characters, and Russell T. Davies captured their emotional struggle perfectly. They both looked so vulnerable.

Amidst his ramblings, the Doctor managed to garble something about his regeneration going wrong. Yeah, we'd kind of figured that out, Doc. Best forget Barcelona and hot-foot it back to Earth then, eh?

Roll on Christmas!"

Other Thoughts:

—For those of you wondering what Children in Need is, it's an annual British charity appeal that airs on the BBC every year. Popular TV shows produce truncated episodes in order to raise money for various children's charities. They're usually aired across one evening.

—Tennant usually speaks with a Scottish accent, yet his Doctor speaks Estuary English. I wonder whether they were afraid of having two strong accents so close together (what with Chris having a strong Mancunian accent).


Doctor: "Rose, it's me. Honestly, it's me. I was dying. To save my own life, I changed my body. Every single cell, but still me."

Rose: "Can you change back?"
Doctor: "Do you want me to?"
Rose: "Yeah."
Doctor: "Oh."
Rose: "Can you?"
Doctor: "No. Do you want to leave?"
Rose: "Do you want me to?"
Doctor: "No, but, your choice. If you want to go home."

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