"Some things are worth getting your heart broken for"
David Tennant's opening season took the template of the opening series and ran with it, Russell T Davies' vision finding its ideal mate in the Scottish actor. The typically adventurous sweep was tempered with a more tender vision, which considerably upped our emotional investment (previous companions returning, romantic connections whether past or present).
Bringing back the Cybermen was an interesting move, as was the introduction of the notion of parallel worlds (and how important that became...). And if the series-long motif of Torchwood didn't really pay off, especially not when one considers what Torchwood the show became, the finale to Doomsday is pretty close to perfection.
Episodes, in order of preference
The Girl in the Fireplace
Army of Ghosts
The Christmas Invasion
Tooth and Claw
The Impossible Planet
Rise of the Cybermen
The Satan Pit
The Age of Steel
The Idiot's Lantern
Love & Monsters
Top 5 guest spots
1 School Reunion is a bit of a shonky villain-of-the-week episode all told, but it is completely redeemed by its parallel plot of the show revisiting past companions and the effect travelling with the Doctor has on those left behind. Lis Sladen's return as Sarah-Jane Smith was simply spectacular and perfect in its emotional nuance.
2 Just as heartbreaking but in a completely different way, Sophia Myles' Madame de Pompadour makes The Girl in the Fireplace a stirring high-point for Doctor Who in its entirety
3 Andrew Hayden-Smith's Jake with his excised gay agenda (see below) still manages to come across as a better companion than Mickey with a fraction of the screen time
5 Only a short appearance in The Idiot's Lantern but Sam Cox's resigned detective is still top notch
Helen Griffin's redoubtable Welshwoman Mrs Moore was a standout in the resistance fighters of Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel
Most wasted guest actor
Personally it's the 5 seconds of Cathy Murphy (Tilly from the amazeballs The House of Eliott) in The Christmas Invasion that annoyed me most, but there's something a little odd about the way Maureen Lipman's Wire in The Idiot's Lantern is portrayed that doesn't make anywhere near the most of her.
Most important thing that is never mentioned again
Anyone who cracks the Skasis Paradigm (also known as the God Maker or the Universal Theory) would be able to control the very building blocks of the universe. So its a wonder that only the Krillitanes of School Reunion have ever tried it.
Gay agenda rating
D - hardly any gayness in this one, indeed references to a gay coupling between Jake and Ricky in Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel was removed into the world of deleted scenes.
Labels: Adjoa Andoh, Billie Piper, Catherine Tate, David Tennant, Doctor Who, Doña Croll, Lucy Robinson, Maureen Lipman, Nina Sosanya, Penelope Wilton, Ron Cook, Sam Cox, Tom MacRae, Zoë Wanamaker