Doctor Who - The New Series
Sp.01: "PUDSEY CUTAWAY"
TX: 18 November 2005
Written by: Russel T. Davies
Directed by: Euros Lyn
Running time: 7' 5"
Location: The TARDIS.
Date: N/A; travelling through time
Monsters and villains: None
Plot Synopsis: Rose meets the new Doctor, but something has gone wrong with his regeneration!
Trivia: (1) This mini-episode was written and filmed especially for Children in Need 2005 and is set directly inbetween the events of The Parting of the Ways and The Christmas Invasion.
(2)The scene was introduced by vanguard of British TV Terry Wogan, who repeatedly thanked Russel T. Davies for writing it. It began with a brief summary of The Parting of the Ways and a full title sequence. However, it was not given a title card and neither director nor writer received credits. Outpost Gallifrey, a Doctor Who website, later revealed the episode to have been directed by Euros Lyn, while Russel T. Davies told Doctor Who Monthly that the episode's title was "Pudsey Cutaway" - a reference to Pudsey Bear, the charity's mascot.
(3) Immediately after it was shown on British television, a digital version became available on the Children in Need website. This version ended with four short clips of Billie Piper and David Tennant asking viewers for money. In the first, Billie introduced herself as Tennant and vice versa; in the second, Billie introduced herself as Latitia Dean and Tennant claimed to be comedy actor Nicholas Lyndhurst. The third had David Tennant alone, introducing himself properly and asking for donations to help children in his home country of Scotland. In the last one, Tennant pretended to be Shereen Nanjiani, a TV broadcaster, and gave the same message.
(4) The bell that rings as the Doctor messes with the TARDIS controls is the Cloister Bell, first heard in the fourth Doctor story Logopolis.
Spoiler Synopsis: The scene begins directly after the end of The Parting of the Ways. The Tenth Doctor sets the co-ordinates for Barcelona - the one in space, not the city on Earth - completely oblivious to Rose's horror at seeing him regenerate. He examines his new body and asks Rose for her opinion. Rose, horrified, assumes that the Doctor has been teleported away and replaced with an impostor. He explains that in order to cheat death he has replaced every cell in his body, but it's not until he takes her hand and reminds her of the first word he said to her - "run" - that she believes him.
Realising that Rose is still frightened, he asks her if she would rather he changed back. She says she would. He explains that he cannot, and offers to return her to London instead. He takes her silence as a confirmation and sets the TARDIS on course for December 24, 2006. Suddenly, he is overcome with convulsions and a puff of golden mist - residual radiation from the time vortex seen in The Parting of the Ways - bursts out of his mouth. Rose suggests going back for Captain Jack, but The Doctor refuses, saying that he'll be too busy rebuilding Earth.
Suddenly, the Doctor becomes manic and sets the TARDIS to super speed. The Cloister bell begins ringing in alarm as the TARDIS vibrates. Rose asks what's going on and the Doctor manically cries, "we're going to crash! Woohoo!" and sprints back to the console. He manages to gain enough composure to explain that the time vortex is interfering with the regeneration process, and he's no longer in control of his actions, then goes back to hammering at the controls. Alarm bells ringing, the TARDIS spins wildly out of control...
TO BE CONTINUED.
Review (may contain spoilers): Well! After listening to several godawful pop "artists" (including nauseating pesudo-celeb couple Peter Andre and Jordan singing a song from Disney's Aladdin), this brief Who scene seemed all the sweeter. Admittedly there wasn't much to it, but what was there was polished and entertaining. Billie Piper's Rose was as good as ever, and she handled the character's fear and confusion with confidence.
David Tennant's Doctor, on the other hand, is less easy to place, particularly since he's supposed to be suffering from some kind of post-regeneration disorder. He's clearly supposed to be childlike and playful - the moment in which he hops around is very endearing - but runs the risk of steering too close to Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor, who similarly swung from mania to seriousness. He also sounds worryingly like a children's TV presenter.
Then again, this is just seven minutes long and really can't be used as anything more than a taster for the new season. Roll on Christmas!
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