It was excellently done. And, as is the way with excellence, once it's gone, it's hard to imagine anything ever being done that well again. I'm not talking about Late Beethoven here, but Dr Who.
One might envy Matt Smith landing the role of the new Doctor, but not for having to take over from the man who was probably the best ever. The manner of David Tennant's leave-taking said it all. This was no bog-standard "regeneration" in which the Doctor, being a Gallifreyan, merely changed his face: this was a death, with all the attendant pain. The Doctor paused, wistfully: "I don't want to go," he said. His body first glowed, then exploded. The pillars of the Tardis fell in, the windows smashed outwards - one was reminded of the events immediately following Christ's death on the cross. Then straight on to the resurrection: Matt Smith picked himself up, wondered if he was a girl, discovered that he wasn't, and picked up the role where Tennant had left off. If the trailer below is anything to go by, we're in for another good one.
Which would hardly be surprising. Tennant is an excellent actor (he packs a mean Hamlet in his spare time). But, much as I think he was the best Dr Who ever, it would be wrong to him single out. If one person could be singled out as being responsible for reinventing Dr Who, it's probably Russell T Davies. Tennant's predecessor, Christopher Eccleston, did an excellent job too - possibly an even a harder job than Tennant's, as he had to revive a role that had been mothballed for years by the BBC. And it's not just about individuals, it's about the whole production. As anyone who has watched the behind the scenes programmes, Dr Who Confidential can see, the show is produced with unbounded creativity, commitment and energy.
What exactly is Dr Who? These days TV pads the gaps between the reality shows with entertainment masquerading as drama in the form of realist soap, hospital dramas and whodunnits. For me, Dr Who is the opposite. It's drama masquerading as entertainment. It is itself: there is nothing quite like it.
The 10th Doctor's 10 Greatest Moments. A great link for Who fans (worth it for the clip from The Christmas Invasion), but none of them are from my favourite episode (well, it's a two-parter):
5 years ago