Doctor Who: Born Again (Children in Need Special)

The Doctor: 'Back to your mum. It's all waiting. Fish and chips, sausage and mash, beans on toast... No! Christmas! Turkey! Although, having met your mother, nutloaf would be more appropriate.'

The Children in Need Special follows on directly from last season's finale. After a lengthy recap, the story picks up minutes after the Doctor's regeneration. The Doctor's full of energy, enthralled by his new body, his new appearance and his new existence. Rose, however, is far less enthusiastic. On finding herself aboard the TARDIS with a man she's never seen before, she can only conclude that the Doctor's been captured and that the man before her is an impostor.

This vignette focuses primarily on the Doctor and Rose as they work through the changes forced upon them by the Doctor's regeneration. Both actors I think did brilliantly. Billie genuinely looked freaked out by the Doctor's metamorphosis and subsequent weirdness, and Tennant put in a brilliant performance as the Doctor, projecting a perhaps more familiar, affable persona than Eccleston's darker creation. Like the Doctor of old, Tennant's Doctor is unpredictable, a little manic, and prone to talking gibberish.

There was a lovely moment at the end, where the Doctor wasn't sure whether Rose would want to travel with him, and Rose looked similarly unsure whether she'd be welcome. Again, great acting. This is a time of confusion for both their characters, and Russell T. Davies captured their emotional struggle perfectly. They both looked so vulnerable.

Amidst his ramblings, the Doctor managed to garble something about his regeneration going wrong. Yeah, we'd kind of figured that out, Doc. Best forget Barcelona and hot-foot it back to Earth then, eh?

Roll on Christmas!"

Other Thoughts:

—For those of you wondering what Children in Need is, it's an annual British charity appeal that airs on the BBC every year. Popular TV shows produce truncated episodes in order to raise money for various children's charities. They're usually aired across one evening.

—Tennant usually speaks with a Scottish accent, yet his Doctor speaks Estuary English. I wonder whether they were afraid of having two strong accents so close together (what with Chris having a strong Mancunian accent).

Billie says...

Not much to add. I actually missed this little mini-episode the first time I watched the series, since it was hiding in the special features of the DVD. And it was only seven minutes long, some of which was recap.

But it did give us Rose's first awkward minutes with the new Doctor, and it wasn't surprising that Rose was pretty much thrown. Not exactly an easy adjustment to make. Even though the Doctor seems to be much like the Doctor. Except Rose never met Tom Baker.

And what's with that throw-away line about Jack being busy rebuilding the Earth? They just left him in 200100 without knowing Rose/Bad Wolf had brought him back. How could they know what Jack is doing, or even that he's alive?

Quotes:

Doctor: "Rose, it's me. Honestly, it's me. I was dying. To save my own life, I changed my body. Every single cell, but still me."

Rose: "Can you change back?"
Doctor: "Do you want me to?"
Rose: "Yeah."
Doctor: "Oh."
Rose: "Can you?"
Doctor: "No. Do you want to leave?"
Rose: "Do you want me to?"
Doctor: "No, but, your choice. If you want to go home."
---
Four moor peaces eye rote, sea hear.

7 comments:

shawnlunn2002 said...

Cool episode, lots of fun but in a few ways essentially a recap and prelude to The Christmas Invasion.

daniel c w said...

I ahve never ssen this "episode". Is it part of the canon?

It never aired over here.

[quote]
And what's with that throw-away line about Jack being busy rebuilding the Earth? They just left him in 200100 without knowing Rose/Bad Wolf had brought him back. How could they know what Jack is doing, or even that he's alive?
[/quote]
Didn't they mention in "Utopia", that the Doctor knew that Jack is alive, though he shouldn't be, and left him there on purpose.
One could even say, the Doctor ran away from him

Paul Kelly said...

Hi Daniel,

The episode was only 7 minutes long and was written by Russell T. Davies. So its an official release. Steven Moffat confirmed the canonicity of "Time Crash" (another Children in Need Special) in Doctor Who Magazine, so I'm assuming the same would apply to this episode.

PK

daniel c w said...

Thanks Paul

Anonymous said...

David Tennant makes an awesome Doctor. But, speaking as someone who's never seen any of the original series before, and only the new incarnation, I have to say I really prefer Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. Am I the only here who feels that way, or do people like David Tennant better?

Paul Kelly said...

Hello Anonymous,

I've come to like David Tennant better. But it wasn't that way from the start. There were some things about Tennant that attracted me to him immediately. Speaking as someone who's watched the show from the Pertwee era onwards, I always though Tennant was better suited to the role than Eccleston. His portrayal seemed more traditional somehow. But, in my opinion, his first season was scuppered by some pretty ordinary scripts. I don't think he fully found his way until around season three. So I prefer Tennant now...but I still think Eccleston did a fine job. I just wish he'd stayed a while longer.

PK

Mark Greig said...

This always felt more like a glorified deleted scene than an actual mini-episode. You could easily edit into the beginning of the Christmas Invasion and it would fit in perfectly.

It’s still a great little scene, mind you. The Doctor is suffering from the usual post-regeneration mania while poor Rose is forced to go through the five stages of regeneration; shock, confusion, denial, grief and finally acceptance. She’s not at acceptance just yet but give her time.