Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Doctor Who-The Next Doctor
                                        After landing in 1850's Victorian era London during the Christmas season,the Doctor finds himself confronted not only by a Gorilla-like creature with a Cyberman like mask on but a man who,much to his confusion,also claims to be the doctor. Wielding an antique tool for a sonic screwdriver and a hot air balloon for a TARDIS this "other" doctor claims that he,along with his companion Rosalita whose life he'd saved,were investigating the mysterious deaths of two individuals in London-one of whom was a mathematics professor new to town named Jackson Lake. In the meantime,one of the most recently deceased funerals is crashed by Miss Hartigan,who runs one of the local workhouses and leads an attack upon the procession by the doctors old adversaries the Cybermen. The two doctors,working in concert without the actual one revealing his identity of the other,soon become aware of this. It isn't long before the new doctor begins to have re-awakened memories that torment him. 

                       Turns out that when the doctor had repelled the Cybermen in his last encounter with them,they fell through the time vortex to land here,seeking a new CyberKing to replace their departed one and finding a willing mistress in the bitter and vengeful Miss Hartigan. At this time the doctor is forced to reveal that the new doctor is in fact Jackson Lake,whose wife was killed by the Cybermen and his one son kidnapped by them into Miss Hartigan's workhouse,which is being used to generate the energy needed to create the giant CyberKing. The Cyberman had unintentionally given Lake an infostamp giving him personal information on the doctor,and believe Lake really is the doctor. When Miss Haritigan is made into the new cyber king and nearly destroys all London,the doctor using Lake's hot air balloon appeals to her letting go of her anger and not transforming humans into Cybermen  as she planned. He is forced to kill the CyberKing she's now become by sending it back into the time vortex. And in the end even makes time to join Lake and his rescued son for a Christmas feast before departing.

                   This wonderful and heartwarming story is one of my favorites of the tenth doctor Christmas tales. David Tennants doctor himself takes the role of assistant for a change to David Morrisey's superb portrayal of Jackson Lake,a noble and deeply caring human being actually more than worthy of the mantle of a time lord himself. Though Lake is tortured by the loss of his wife,and absent minded in some of his interpretations of time lord technology, his motivation in saving his son shows his courage and depth of spirit. As the doctor pointed out,it was more than the time lord's memories that motivated his actions. The really captivating character is the protagonist Miss Hartigan.  A 19'th century English take on Annie's Miss Hannigan,her main motivations are proving her mettle in a male dominated world,no matter the orphans she exploits in the process. And that bitterness and anger have led her,as the doctor pointed out,into being more of a pawn to the Cybermen more than she thinks. Although again forced into destroying his nemesis rather than reforming her this is a sweeping,epic tale of heroism,redemption and a celebration of good heartedness.
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