The Rundown: Series Two of the new Doctor Who sees a new Doctor, new threats, and familiar fun. Picking up where Series One left off, the new season ramps up the action, adding new worlds to explore and new threats to face. While they don’t really shake up the monster-of-the-week format, they still manage to keep it feeling fresh. So, if you’re done with Series One of the new Doctor Who, you’ll notice there’s something I didn’t mention in my first review. This is because I wanted you to be surprised. It is the fact about the alien known as the Doctor that has made the show able to run for 30+ years. It’s the fact that when the Doctor is about to die, he can regenerate himself with a new body, and new face. This is probably one of the things I love the most about Doctor Who. Not only does it allow writers to reinvent an established character every now and again, it is an awesome take on a science fiction universe. One of the things that many sci-fi shows suffer from are testy actors, actors who get bored playing the same role year after year, or, if they’re lucky, actors who have been on the show long enough that they can die from old age. This usually means an end to the show, or a revolving door cast trying to replace a character that will never quite be the same. Doctor Who has been able to avoid all that by having a main character that is meant to change drastically every now and again. This also means they can pit him against foes that can beat him. The hero can lose, and this makes the show all the more compelling. Season Two starts with a new regeneration for the Doctor played by the brilliant David Tennant. Tennant’s Doctor is much less moody than Eccleston’s, with a more whimsical attitude toward the wonders he gets to experience every day. Every now and again throughout the season he will encounter something that makes him put his serious face on, but for the most part it seems like all fun and games. Whereas Eccleston’s Doctor raged at the ineptitude of the human race, all the while saving us from ourselves as well as extraterrestrial threats, Tennant romps around marveling at what the human race is able to accomplish. Even in the face of an interdimensional crisis, Tennant’s Doctor has a huge smile on his face, finding the whole thing fascinating. One death removed from his great tragedy, and the Doctor seems less the warrior, and more the intergalactic tour guide. It’s not necessarily a bad change, but it definitely is a different tone than what we got in series one. Not only do we get more of the Doctor in Series Two, we get more of his companions. Mickey gets to spend his own time on the TARDIS and Rose is sometimes joined by her mother Jackie who loves to give the Doctor a hard time. They continue to serve their function of giving us a human lens by which to see the wider universe that the Doctor inhabits. We also get more of Rose’s continued interest in the Doctor as a love interest. This is another interesting thing about Doctor Who that deviates from a standard monster of the week type show. The two main characters, while opposite sexes, have very little chance of ever ending up together. The Doctor is enamored by humans, but since they are different species, he has little to no interest in actually hooking up with one. This creates a dynamic by which the people he hangs around with are drawn to him, entranced by him, but can never really get close to him. As an extension of Series One, Series Two is mostly just more of the same. We have new episodes that show the future, new episodes that show the past, and more threats from the long thirty year history of the Doctor and his myriad incarnations. We even get to see some familiar faces from Series One. If you enjoyed Series One, you’ll enjoy Series Two. It doesn’t just add, it builds more of the myth of the Doctor, and makes his persona even larger. They do a good job of raising the stakes and making each new universe-shaking threat seem just as imminent and unstoppable as the last. So, yeah, get out there, watch the Doctor be more awesome, and stay tuned for Series Three. See larger image Doctor Who: The Complete Second Series New From: $31.99 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related George I wonder how many people really wouldn’t know by now that the Doctor regenerates – just because they must surely have seen promotional material with different faces in it, you would think. If you really got through (new) series one without knowing, it would be an amazing shock. Now this one would have been a shock. Seemingly the regeneration wasn’t even in the original script; Hartnell only agreed to give up the role late on in the production. Tennant now seems to long ago. I’m tempted to go back and watch a couple of episodes to see how his “style” has aged. I think it might seem a a bit too pleasing-and-mugging now. “I’m so sorry.” [Aside: Shame more people don’t comment on this site. The material is often really good.] Paul Brian McCoy I forget sometimes that many (most?) people aren’t as into this stuff as I am (we are). Every time I think something is obvious, I get reminded that there are always newbs. George You’re right of course. With Doctor Who now having become a big international property though, it may be becoming the exception – getting to X-Files level. Promotional world tour and all that. That done, we can concentrate on getting Sapphire and Steel brought back… Paul Brian McCoy Sapphire and Steel is one I need to familiarize myself with. I just got my hands on the complete series, now just need to find the time to watch it! Same with Department S, Jason King, The Sandbaggers, Van Der Valk, and everything after S1 of Blake’s 7. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. All are in my possession, but I can’t make the time to watch them, what with the real world closing in and all. George The real world, so inconvenient! Good selection there. On Sapphire & Steel – which is brilliant – just note that ‘Assignment 5’ wasn’t written by P.J. Hammond and meddles a bit with the usual ambiguity when it shouldn’t; give it a wider berth accordingly, or even return to it after viewing the rest. It does have one nice little teleport sequence in it though… I loved Blake’s 7. The theme tune and ship design and shady characters manage to compensate for the pretty variable/repetitive stories. It just has an ‘atmosphere’. That British actors seem to treat everything as Shakespearian helps pull through even the most dodgy episodes! There were efforts to resurrect it I think, but I think Firefly has already burned those boats, unless they were willing to go for something really gritty and serious, and not be tempted to comic/action it up even a bit, as so many US series do at the moment (even those I like). George Since I’m thinking of this stuff: Somewhat of their time, but worth looking at if cheaply accessible (recently viewed, having come up in conversation recently): Children of the Stones, Escape into Night and King of the Castle. How did British TV get away with broadcasting such sinister fare, ostensibly aimed at children? (And Sapphire & Steel was intended to be a children’s show originally too, supposedly.) Explains a lot, maybe. Paul Brian McCoy Children of the Stones was very nicely done. Haven’t seen the others, but will be on the lookout! Thanks! The Owl Service was also fun. In a creepy way. George A new one for me, will check. I’ll leave you with The Children of Green Knowe for another posh-kid-and-mystery, and the more adult and excellent The Green Man with Albert Finney. Difficult to get hold of now, but also not.