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Doctor Who - Series 7 Part 2

Review by: 
Black Gloves
Release Date: 
BBC Worldwide
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Matt Smith
Jenna-Louise Coleman
Bottom Line: 

To scan the instant outpouring of virtual chatter which now emerges literally seconds after the broadcast of each and every episode of DOCTOR WHO in its fiftieth anniversary year, its sprawling nature made manifest in countless blog reviews, tweets, Facebook updates and the multitude of internationally produced podcasts now in existence (and probably innumerable other forms of strangely named net-based social media of which I remain blissfully unaware), one might be left with the impression that the most recently broadcast eight-strong block of episodes (which the BBC insist should be lumbered with the ungainly moniker ‘part 2 of series 7’) has been met by fandom with a unanimous verdict of … ‘patchy, could do better’. On the face of things, everyone seems to agree that the quality of this series of episodes has varied more readily from week to week than it ever has before, or at least ever since the show’s 2005 re-launch. Even though almost everyone seems to have at least one episode from this block that they can cite as being absolutely excellent, and representative of what the series should be aiming for on a weekly basis, the same anonymous ‘everyone’ also has another episode at the ready to be offered up as consideration for being the absolute nadir of the series so far; while most of the rest of the series has been viewed as consisting of a clutch of okayish eps that can be taken or left.

Something rather mystifying happens when you actually come to exam the individual content of this amorphous, digitally generated data-cloud of fan criticism, though. There appears to be very little consensus on which episode fits into which category. One fan’s ‘worst episode ever made’ is another fan’s unqualified favourite; a middling ‘filler’ episode for one virtual critic represents the series at its most inventive for yet another.

It is actually nothing very new, of course, for opinion on certain stories to shift radically over time as fandom itself matures. But these days the divergence of the viewpoints on all of this series’ episodes, seems to tell us more about the sheer range and diversity of fan appreciation these days -- and the differing requirements of the many constituencies that now make up a modern TV audience -- than it does about the quality of the show itself.

When the series was first created in 1963, appealing to the whole family was generally looked upon to mean bringing people together as a TV audience, uniting them around the comforting patrician glow of the television screen on a Saturday evening, in a world in which there were only a handful of viewing options to choose from to start with. Now, not only are viewing options unlimited, but no-one is tied to any particular start time anymore; episodes can be Sky +’d, streamed or downloaded on demand at any time one feels like watching. Consequently, the viewing audience appears to have shifted to include a greater array of viewer types, many of whom may not previously have been watching at all had they still been required diligently to plonk themselves down in front of their flat screens at 6:15 on the dot (or thereabouts) every Saturday evening. Furthermore each episode now commands a much wider audience in general. The series has gone international on a much bigger scale, and each episode now screens in America, Australia and New Zealand -- and probably a small forest hovel in Madagascar for all I know, given the global reach of the show these days! -- with hardly any delay after its initial debut on UK TV screens. Thanks to the internet now contributing to making instantaneous our ability to access any and all of the fan responses that are circulating out there on the ether, reactions to the modern series can have a tendency to make it seem as though what would have once constituted the entire evolution of  thought and opinion on any episode over its lifetime, is suddenly now occurring all at once, as though someone where tampering with the time stream to bring every era of criticism together in one place at the same time (there’s an idea for a DOCTOR WHO episode in this, surely?). It also reminds us just what an impossible job Steven Moffat and company have these days in attempting to satisfy everyone who now considers themselves a fan of the series; one can see perfectly plainly from the irreconcilable babble of demands, counter-demands, criticisms and prescriptions which greet the initial transmission of every single story, just why the guy stays well away from twitter these days!

One of the most persistent complaints levelled at series 6, for instance, was that the complex story arc woven throughout it was far too complicated and intricate for a large section of the younger audience to follow. In response, series 7 was announced and initially promoted by Steven Moffat as being made up of a season of stand-alone stories, pitched as big, bold, colourful marquee poster ideas condensed into forty-five minute episodes. This has proved to be the case, but with the splitting up of the season into two distinct parts (the first five-episode block being broadcast throughout September of 2012) a strain of counter-criticism has emerged, mainly it seems from international viewers who got on-board with series 6 and are now wondering where all that dense, convoluted multi-episode plotting has suddenly disappeared to. For these viewers, any episode that doesn’t contribute to an on-going arc feels like ‘filler’. In the first half of the season, the fate of the Ponds managed to mitigate such criticisms to some degree: even though all five episodes also told individual stand-alone stories and were in a sense quite separate from one-another, each still contributed in some small way to a feeling that the mini-series as a whole was nevertheless clearly building up to the final parting of the ways between Matt Smith’s eleventh Doctor and the longest surviving companions since the show returned in 2005, namely Amy and Rory Pond/Williams, played by Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill.

But despite the BBC’s insistence on referring to the nine episodes which followed “The Angels take Manhattan” as though they were the second half of a single season 7 block, come the transmission of the 2012 Christmas Special “The Snowmen” on Christmas Day (which is the first episode included with this UK three-disc DVD set [also available on Blu-ray] -- though for Region One territories the episode was made available individually and does not come with the rest of the series), everything humanly possible appeared to have been done in order to differentiate the up-coming run of episodes from their five predecessors: a new title sequence (complete with the return of the pre-titles ‘face of the Doctor’ image); a remixed version of the theme music; a new, more ‘machine-like’ TARDIS console room from series set designer Michael Pickwood; a new Doctor costume (introduced proper with “The Bells of Saint John” episode) and, of course, the introduction of a brand new companion: all reinforced the perception that  this was to be a fresh new beginning and the start of a new story, focused on the mystery surrounding Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Clara Oswald character. After cleverly perplexing us by unexpectedly presenting a doomed version of the character, named Oswin Olswald, in the Steven Moffat scripted series 7 premiere “Asylum of the Daleks” back in 2012, the expectation had been created for another complex saga that would have to start by providing an explanation for how the new companion could apparently have already been killed off at the end of her introductory episode. “The Snowmen” stoked this expectation up even further by re-introducing Coleman as a Victorian Governess called Clara Oswin Oswald, who proves herself a resourceful and lively aid to the Doctor’s battle against Dr Simeon (Richard E. Grant) and The Great Intelligence (the first of what turned out to be many references to the classic series which pepper this run, here voiced by Sir Ian McKellen) before dying again, for a second time, at the end of the episode.

In doing so she piques the Doctor’s interest enough to bring him out of mourning for the loss of the Ponds, causing him to come down from the literal cloud he’s been living on, inside the now rather cold and gloomy-looking TARDIS, and cementing the notion that the theme of the following series would be to provide clues as to the explanation and meaning of Clara Oswald, ‘The Impossible Girl’. This episode also presented a beautiful visually lush palette, overseen by director Saul Metzstein, in which we were re-introduced to the wonderful residents of 13 Paternoster Row: Silurian consultant detective to Scotland Yard, Madam Vastra (Neve McIntosh); her former maid-of-all-service and now wife Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart); and their recently resurrected Sontaran butler, Strax (Dan Starkey). This trio are still badly in need of their own spin-off and come dangerously close to stealing every scene they’re in,  but the very fact that they’re here at all after only originally being written to appear as one-off guest characters, testifies to the notion that somebody must actually listen to fan criticism since the one thing almost everybody agreed on about season 6 after the trio’s introduction during the episode “A Good Man Goes to War” was the dynamic chemistry that was instantly apparent between these three evocative characters -- their steam punk Victorian milieu being something DOCTOR WHO has started to do particularly well under Moffat’s reign as show runner.

And so the series got underway properly with “The Bells of Saint John”, another Moffat-scripted episode which introduces the Clara Oswald who becomes the Doctor’s bona fide travelling companion during a modern day story grounded in the notion of an alien malevolence manifesting itself through the Wi-Fi networks, and isolating souls in a babble of voices preserved for its very own virtual Platonic data cloud. With The Great Intelligence re-appearing once again, this time fully in the guise of Richard E. Grant’s Doctor Simeon, it’s easy to see why one might think that we were being set up here with the beginnings of a intricate arc connecting the Intelligence to the solution to Clara’s ability to pop up in alternate bodies sprinkled throughout the Universe; but in fact, after this episode, we get precious little else to advance the idea until Steven Moffat’s series finale. Thus, the Clara mystery becomes just background to a series of very diverse but unconnected stories -- occasionally referenced, along with all the other quotes from the classic series this block ostentatiously includes (and little did we realise that that was a clue to the Clara conundrum in itself!), but which play no real part in its eventual resolution. If you were into the idea of the Clara mystery being this great over-arching umbrella theme that would bring together all the episodes as though they were pieces in a puzzle, then clearly you were destined to be disappointed or frustrated by this series.

The problem with this particular half of the season is exemplified by the fact that “The Bells of Saint John” clocks in as being the third Moffat-scripted episode we’d had in a row, and although season 5 and particularly 6 had introduced the idea of the series entertaining a more American style of season long planning, full of complex set-ups and twists and surprise revelations, unlike most American shows which employed this style using  a variety of writers, (such as “Lost”, for instance), all of the season arcs in DOCTOR WHO are planned out and plotted by Steven Moffat on his own, and then appear in episodes entirely written by him alone. Very little development of on-going plotlines occurs in non Moffat episodes, and most of the show runner’s work for the series tends to push the ostensible threat facing the Doctor that week into the background to concentrate on other arc-related character issues. “The Bells of Saint John” is a fairly bog-standard reworking (by Moffat’s standards) of some of the writer’s older ideas, already amply addressed in previous episodes; although in Celia Imrie’s Miss Kizlet and her team of deskbound uploaders, operating out of modern day London’s Shard building, it manages to develop a visually contemporary edge. Moffat’s inventiveness and his uncanny way of getting one of his plots from point A to point Z in the narrative in a single bound, continues to challenge the viewer’s ability to keep up as the action moves breathlessly from a 13th century monastery (where the Doctor has been pondering in solitude the Clara Conundrum) to motorbikes zooming up the glassy side of The Shard building in modern London.

Moffat is still, in truth, by far the series’ most versatile and mentally agile writer, but with the next episode, Neil Cross’s “The Rings of Akhaten”, the first episode since “The Angels Take Manhattan” not to be written by Steven Moffat, the apparent dip in quality appeared much worse than it actually was, simply because, although this was one of the few episodes in the series to attempt a fleshing out of Clara’s background  (the Doctor begins by stalking his new companion through her childhood, in an attempt to understand who or what she really is) it actually offers such a radically different take on the form a DOCTOR WHO  episode can exist in. It becomes a baroque allegory that moves at an unusually stately pace for the current series, which has all too often been forced into rushed expositions to paper over plot holes. This was about as un-Moffat-like an episode as anything we’ve seen since the start of Matt Smith’s tenure, though; but unfortunately, despite some frequently arresting visuals (and it does look incredibly cinematic at times) there are also far too many curiously cheap-looking moments that slip through the net here as well. The ambitious story (which seems to be attempting a critique of the sclerotic nature of religious ritual while lauding the storytelling traditions which often underpin it) is ultimately ludicrous and eventually collapses beneath the weight of its own self-importance. The episode is largely dependent on Murray Gold knocking up something fabulous for the ‘Continuing Song’ that the Queen of Years (Emilia Jones) is supposed to sing in order to pacify an angry planet-sized god; but for some reason, despite also being the author of the moving aria Katherine Jenkins sang at the end of “A Christmas Carol”, his choral music in this episode is particularly weedy and soporific, thus making the already hard-to-swallow premise even more unpalatable than Smith’s grandstanding in front of that giant pumpkin head at the end. Nevertheless, this is very far from being the worst episode the modern series has ever foisted upon the nation, and many viewers appreciated this attempt to do something very different from anything we’d seen before.

“The Rings of Akhaten” did signal one other development that marks out this eight episode selection from others: their total diversity. Despite evident problems with several of the stories here, their sheer range of vision is the reason, ultimately, why there can be no consensus among a now equally diverse fandom on this second part of the series. Mark Gatiss’s “Cold War” was the closest the run got to an uncontroversial, straightforward, monster of the week knockabout that found classic series favourite The Ice Warriors getting a light makeover, robbing them of their ungainly waddle and impracticable pincer claws, but causing some consternation by revealing Grand Marshal Skaldak, frozen in ice for 5000 years, to be a spindly, stick-like creature with the head of the Cookie Monster underneath his green battle armour! Set in the claustrophobic surroundings of a Russian nuclear submarine circa 1983 (“The Hunt for Red October” and “Alien” were the most frequently quoted reference points, but I reckon Gatiss had been watching those DVD box set re-issues of Irwin Allen’s 1960s series “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” as well), this ‘base-under-siege’ episode provides plenty of scene-stealing opportunities for David Warner’s New Wave electro pop-loving Professor Grisenko, and plenty of atmospheric scary moments which allow Clara the opportunity to develop further in her curious role of trainee companion. But even this episode was judged to be rather stale by a significant minority of the viewership, who considered it to be merely a remake of the 2005 episode “Dalek” … with an Ice Warrior replacing the Dalek!

For those who found “The Rings of Akhaten” a painful experience, “Hide” must have come as something of a shock. Neil Cross’s second episode for this season (but the first of his scripts to be completed) ends up being one of the most inventive and accomplished stories of the run, and comes closer to mimicking the mercurial, changeable plotting of a Steven Moffat script than any other writer ever has, in what starts out as a ghost story but eventually turns into a weird love story by its end. Cross takes up the challenge of telling a complex tale in just forty-five minutes with aplomb, here, and although there are those who found the breakneck speed with which the writer ratchets up the changes rather trying, as the tale transforms itself from a 1970s-set haunted house story in which Professor Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott) and psychic medium Emma Grayling (Jessica Raine) find themselves receiving unexpected help in their ghost hunting activities from the Doctor and Clara, into a bizarre tale of pocket dimensions and stranded time travellers – and some ugly-looking, ‘crooked’ tree-bark creatures that just want to be together across space and time – for the most part this is a beautifully executed delight, with convincing performances from regular cast and guest actors alike, and an atmospheric haunted mansion location. The most explicit reference to the classic series yet occurs during this story when one of the blue crystals from Metebelis III (seen in the Jon Pertwee stories “The Green Death” and “The Planet of the Spiders”) becomes a major plot point; and the story has the general air of a classic Nigel Kneale drama such as “The Stone Tape” or “Quatermass and the Pit” about it, perfectly enhancing the 1970s period mood.  

Stephen Thompson’s “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” comes with the kind of fan-baiting title that was obviously designed to get people excitedly speculating as to what we might get to see, but once again no clear consensus emerged on what to make of this attempt to take us deep into the heart of the Doctor’s labyrinthine, bigger on the inside ship for the first time since the series’ 2005 return. Indeed, the results are pretty much a mixed bag, with the TARDIS mostly coming across as a dark, threatening, shadowy place of unrest rather than a magic box of endless wonder and awe. This is because of the disaster movie, race-against-time plot mechanics involving a rupture in the ship’s engine room after a run-in with a cowboy space salvage operation, leading to the TARDIS implementing all sorts of time-related defence mechanisms in an attempt to preserve its structural integrity when the Doctor tricks the three brothers who run the intergalactic salvage business responsible for the ship’s plight into helping him find Clara, who has become lost deep inside the constantly re-aligning corridors of the damaged vessel, with hideous ‘Time Zombies’ in hot pursuit. This episode’s rather flimsy story ends up being a fine excuse to showcase a selection of design ideas for rooms and otherworldly spaces that have apparently existed unseen inside the TARDIS all this time. Some are interesting, others seem a bit dubious, but the story’s ‘big friendly re-set button’ Deus Ex Machina resolution, and the fact that the TARDIS can re-configure itself into pretty much any desktop form it wishes, seems to render most of what we see during the episode rather moot anyway; even the tease for the series finale, when Clara discovers a room dedicated to the display of a single volume of ‘The Complete History of the Time War’, with the Doctor’s real name written in it, is erased from her memory after the re-set, so the episode feels a little bit of a damp squib overall – setting itself up to host some really big game-changing reveals, but actually contributing very little of substance at all when we get right down to it. 

Meanwhile, fans of the Paternoster trio are finally given something to hurrah about with Mark Gatiss’s fantastic “The Crimson Horror” -- for me by far and away the best episode of the series, although I’m fully aware that there are those who absolutely hated it. For the first fifteen minutes this is practically a backdoor pilot for Victorian detective trio Madam Vastra, Jenny and Strax and they prove themselves well up to carrying an episode by themselves … to such an extent in fact that it’s almost a disappointment when the Doctor and Clara finally get to intrude on their turf a third of the way in, although they aren’t able to do so until the Doctor has first been rescued by Jenny, who sheds her maid costume to reveal a figure-hugging cat suit and one or two Emma Peel fight poses to boot. The episode represents Gatiss firing on all cylinders, treating us to a ripe recipe of Victoriana pastiche that feels like it combines elements of all the best projects he’s ever been involved with during his illustrious career behind the typewriter: from the macabre, classic horror-referencing humour of “The League of Gentlemen” to the fruity language of Gatiss’ series of Lucifer Box novels (particularly the first one, “The Vesuvius Club”), this episode has a slice of almost everything that's inimitably Gatiss: there’s horror, history and devilish humour in plentiful supply for all, here. When he’s not furnishing us with lovingly rendered appeals to Victorian pseudo-science and imitations of the popular periodical pulp literature of the era, Gatiss delivers a plot (and more than one or two running gags) that appear to have been lifted wholesale from “Carry on Screaming” … but since when has that been something to complain about!

Best of all are the wonderfully evocative characters the writer creates for guest-starring mother and daughter duo Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling. As the villain of the piece, the diabolical Mrs Gillyflower (Rigg), self-styled, hymn-singing mother of the Yorkshire-based, factory community known as Sweetville, is a rarity for the series these days: an irredeemably bad person who is totally dedicated to her crackpot plans for no other reason other than the fact that she is completely bonkers. She’s devoutly dedicated to the dire ‘Mr Sweet’, eventually revealed to be an amusingly silly-looking alien parasitic thingummy that, let’s face it, Gatiss probably would’ve loved to have had clamped to one of Gillyflower’s teats had this not been an early-evening show for all the family. Just the name Mr Sweet is macabre enough, but Gillyflower’s fantastically ghoulish, crab-like persona makes one inclined to think of the parasite as a witch’s familiar – a creature that encourages such devotion from its host that Gillyflower is even prepared cruelly to neglects her horribly scarred and blinded daughter Ada (Stirling), who then has to look to her dear ‘monster’ in the attic for friendship. As was once the case with the material Gatiss used to write as one quarter of the “The League of Gentlemen” comedy troupe, there’s something unsettling behind the humour of this episode, but that never stops it being utterly enjoyable from start to finish.

Somewhat less successful is Neil Gaiman’s follow-up to the universally acclaimed “The Doctor’s Wife”. “Nightmare in Silver” was supposedly Gaiman’s attempt to make the Cybermen scary again but it ends up being a beautifully designed muddle; full of ideas for sure, but few of which ever come together terribly well. The story turns out to be another base-under-siege adventure, but given a fantastical Gaimen-like spin with its Hedgewick's World of Wonders fairy tale setting: a closed-down, extra-terrestrial theme park which is also home to a military unit made up of ex-convicts, and also to ‘Webley's World of Wonders’ – an carnival-esque attraction full of deactivated alien tech including among its ancient exhibits a Cyberman that’s been converted into a Chess-playing ‘Turk’ machine. Unfortunately, this is just a lure designed to test possible prospective subjects for cyber-transformation. Slithering Cybermite bugs, capable of converting and upgrading their victims in order to make them part of a currently slumbering Cyber-army, are lurking all around the place, ready to transform any unsuspecting theme park visitor into one of a new breed of invincible Cyberman units. When the Doctor and Clara take Clara’s young charges Angie (Eve de Leon Allen) and Artie (Kassius Carey Johnson) on a trip to Hedgewick’s in the TARDIS, it’s not long before the Doctor himself is partially converted while investigating the bugs, and becomes the Cyber-Planner (or ‘Mr Clever’ as he prefers to be known), while Clara is charged with licking the hopeless military unit into shape as the re-activated cyber-hordes advance.

There were, understandably, high hopes for this one; but while guest star Warwick Davis gets to shine as reluctant emperor Porridge, Tamzin Outhwaite is wasted as the army battalion Captain and the child actors are absolutely hideous while contributing nothing to the story. It’s hard to see why they are even here, since neither is even particularly likable. It appears they might have been a carry-over from an earlier draft in which the Victorian Governess version of Clara was to have taken her two charges on a trip in the TARDIS – which would also explain why the uber confident version of Clara seen here seems nothing like the ‘normal girl’ we’ve come to know throughout the rest of this series. Matt Smith does his best in a difficult episode for him, which requires him to play against himself as the Doctor in a chess battle with his Cyber-planner alter ego; but even he struggles with some of this material, and the episode fails to do much for either the eleventh Doctor and Clara as characters or the Cybermen as villains. In fact, it’s probably contributed to our need for a bit of a cyber-rest from them for the time being.

Which brings us to this series’ finale, and Steven Moffat’s solution to the Clara Mystery -- which turns out to be founded in the biggest piece of fan service the show has possibly ever delivered. Okay, the CGI grafting of Clara into material from the classic series wasn’t exactly the best it could have been, but the conceit of having every one of the Doctor’s previous incarnations make an appearance during the course of this story forms the spine of what turns out to be another audacious Moffat-penned spectacular that during its course takes us from the very moment the first Doctor stole his TARDIS on Gallifrey to the site of the Doctor’s eventual death. The Paternoster gang are here once more, and Alex Kingston as River Song (a Post-Library River!) also makes an emotional return for a story that deals with an idea which has always been lurking in the background of the eleventh Doctor’s tenure throughout the Moffat era: the fact that, as a time traveller, the Doctor must know that his grave is, in a sense, already ‘out there’.

Out there is revealed to be the forbidding planet of Trenzalore, previously mentioned in connection with ‘the fall of the eleventh’ by Dorium at the end of season 6. The title of the episode, “The Name of the Doctor”, also turns out to be a massive diversionary tactic on Moffat’s part; for it is not the real name of the Doctor which is  important, but the potential power to tamper with time that it gives to anyone who learns what it is. The gigantic TARDIS mausoleum in the fog-shrouded darkness of Trenzalore is a moving, memorable and surreal piece of imagery and although the faceless Whisper Men and even Richard E. Grant’s return as the human face of The Great Intelligence, are mere window dressing to the big iconic ideas that drive this story, the pay-off – the fact that there’s been another hidden incarnation of the Time Lord all along, played by John Hurt, whose apparent ineligibility to be referred to under the moniker ‘the Doctor’ hints at an even greater significance to that title than we’ve previously imagined – is suitably jaw-dropping as the lead-in to the coming 50th anniversary special, which itself seems like it’s going to be the precursor to a Christmas regeneration, as Matt Smith finally departs the role in which he has excelled during the last four years. 

No two episodes of this series have been alike, and doubtless my favourite from this batch will be somebody else’s worst; but to me, the diversity of approaches encompassed by this second half of the series 7 run, which started back in 2012 with the build- up to the Ponds’ fond farewell, is emblematic of a show which is still pushing relentlessly forwards, sometimes taking risks that don’t quite work out, but more often than not continuing to surprise and engage with smart variations of its endlessly malleable formula. Most of the episodes on these discs have weaknesses, but all of them also have much more about them that is inventive, clever and deeply imaginative, which is why this set displays a series that is still very much at the top of its game, however much we debate the merits of individual episodes.

This three-disc set features nine episodes comprising of the 2012 Christmas special and the eight episodes of series 7, part 2 along with a small collection of extras. We get a short mini-featurette making of “The Snowmen” and two minisodes to delight Paternoster Gang fans like myself, consisting of “Vastra Investigates” and the BBC Children in Need Speciel "The Great Detective”, which acts a prologue to “The Snowmen”. We also get the prequels (they mean prologues, but Nu Who seems determined to alter the meaning of the world prequel) to “The Bells of Saint John” and “The Name of the Doctor” (the latter a minisode titled “Clarence and the Whisper Men”). Finally, a rather emotional 45 minute documentary, made for BBC America in advance of Jenna-Louise Coleman’s debut as a fully-fledged companion just before the broadcast in the US of “The Bells of Saint John” is included, featuring some behind-the-scenes footage that UK viewers will not have seen and, more interesting still, new interviews with past companions such as Noel Clarke, John Barrowman, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Freema Agyeman. Steven Moffat and Matt Smith also appear and a recent interview with David Tennant features heavily. It’s fun to see actors who haven’t been part of the show for some time ,such as Tennant, now reflecting on the series and their role in it as a piece of television history. And it's somewhat disconcerting to see that Gillan and Darvill have already settled comfortably into their new roles as ex companions, reflecting on their period of the show's history already in the past tense; and Barrowman is struggling to hold back the tears by the end of this documentary, the big softie!

This is a lovely way to round off this series though, marred only by the knowledge that it is BBC America that seems to be producing all of the extra documentary content for the show these days, and now that Doctor Who Confidential has been cancelled in the UK, British fans have to wait for drips and drabs to appear on DVD before we even get to see any of it! Hey-ho!

Read More from Black Gloves at his Blog, Nothing but the Night! 

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