Forget the painfully long-drawn yawn-fest that was Tony Blair’s handover to Gordon Brown, the real interest in recent weeks has revolved around a much more credible and believable character – Doctor Who.

The hype that led up to the finale of the third series was always going to feel fairly anti-climactic once the Doctor had defeated The Master, as we all knew he would.

The real intrigue, mystery and eager anticipation, however, surrounded the fate of the lead characters.

Would David Tennant continue into series four of the revitalised adventures of the the Time Lord, or would we be in for a surprise regeneration?

Would Martha Jones stay on board the Tardis despite the unrequited love, pestering parents and ghost of Rose dogging her every move?

Would Captain Jack look any older?

The answers have come thick and fast since last weekend’s series finale.

David Tennant will remain for the duration of the next series – although it will be his last, along with that of the godfather of the revitalised Doctor Who (writer, producer, director and all-round driving force Russell T Davies).

Freema Agyeman will make it to series four as the magnificent Martha, although she will only rejoin half-way through the run and we can expect her to pop up in the largely disappointing spin-off Torchwood alongside Captain Jack. She will once again hook up with the Doctor and his new companion, who will join at the start of series four.

There really wasn’t sufficient time for speculation about who that new assistant would be, so today’s announcement that Catherine Tate will take up the role has a strange mixture of faint surprise and inevitability about it. After her successful outing as Donna in the last Christmas special – The Runaway Bride – Tate is a natural choice.

It has to be said that Russell T Davies and his team have pulled off master-stroke after master-stroke in bringing about the return of Doctor Who – throw in a lead role for Kylie Minogue in this year’s festive one-off and the golden touch becomes even more apparent.

Of course, the big unanswered question will linger until after series four runs its course – namely, can Doctor Who survive the departure of both David Tennant and Russell T Davies?

There’s plenty of time to ponder such an intriguing conundrum. And if the evidence of series three is anything to go by, where some of the best episodes were largely Russell T free, then there’s plenty of life left in the Time Lord yet.

In an age of mediocre television, it is refreshing to see there is no substitute for a fairly simple formula done well and backed up by clever writing and direction and good acting.

The only downside is that we have to wait so long for series four to start.


2 responses »

  1. […] This blog is philosophical. Posted in Nu-Who. […]

  2. […] assistant during The Runaway Bride, a previous Christmas spin-off special. So, her character Donna seemed a natural choice as a new assistant for David Tennant’s […]

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