Review: CiN Mini-Adventure

Last Alteration: Monday 21 November 2005

The Children In Need Mini Episode

Doctor Who and Children In Need. A sentence that provokes mixed emotions due to previous serious and silly attempts of the good Doctor to entertain the charitable masses late in November. When I sat down to watch the mini episode last Friday night the fan in me wanted a serious episode of bone fide Doctor Who to bridge the agonising gap between the end of the last series and the already over hyped Christmas special. It provided a brief let up from the fundraising activities but due to it being a proper episode of Doctor Who rather than having any link to the fundraising it seemed to stick out like a sore thumb within the telethon. It would have worked a treat had they had the advertised appearance of K9 in the studio or perhaps an interview with the stars but this is a minor quibble.

For about 3 and a half minutes we got a proper full on episode complete with mini bits of music from Murray Gold and CGI from The Mill. But above all else we got a good glimpse of David Tennant as the Doctor. His all too brief appearance at the end of The Parting of the Ways was far from convincing but this episode should have silenced all his critics. After this slightly less brief glimpse I think he has the potential to eclipse all of his illustrious predecessors. Wide eyed, mental and thoroughly The Doctor I find myself wondering who the heck Christopher Eccleston was. The truth (I suppose) is that without Eccleston and his brilliant performance we may not have such things as Christmas specials and mini episodes so I'll try not to forget his contribution too much when it comes to revelling in the adventures of Doctor #10. On the strength of this little treat though, us fans are going to be spoilt over the next two years.

Hopefully the Christmas Invasion will not have to repeat all of the themes in this mini episode. Christmas specials exist so that a mass audience can accompany their turkey eating with some pleasant un-taxing viewing and I feel a lot of "my regeneration isn't working" chat may just turn a few people off. It will be interesting to see how they work this as the episode will have a new Doctor, a new dynamic between the main leads and Christmas to contend with. The rumoured solution of having the Doctor sleep through most of it might just work and hopefully the casual audience won't join him.

Doctor Who is back and the main character is right at the centre of the story again. I can wait 6 weeks. Yeah right.

Jonathan Bigger, 21st November 2005