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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

Doctor Who: The Complete Second Series (review)

It’s hard for my dedicated, longtime Whovian heart to conceive, I who dreaded the reimagining of her beloved goofy British sci-fi TV show of the 70s and 80s, but this second series of the new Doctor Who is even more deeply thrilling than the first one, even as hard as it was to see the wonderful new Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, leave after only one season. Scottish actor David Tennant takes up the Time Lord mantle with cocky aplomb, bringing a youthful exuberance and an old-soul mettle to the adventuring, 900-year-old time traveler, intensifying the mysteries we were introduced to in the first new season — just what did happen to the Doctor in the years since we saw him last, in the old show? — and letting swell into sweet agony his unrequited love affair with traveling companion Rose (Billie Piper). Friends and enemies old and new appear in these 14 hour-long episodes, which make bittersweet the loneliness of the eternal (or nearly so) and highlight the necessity of seizing the moment while you have the chance; oh, the finale is heartbreaking. Satire and sentiment — of the genuine, sincerely affecting kind — sit side by side in some of smartest writing and cheekiest performances you’ll find on TV today. This is as good, as smart, as satisfying as contemporary entertainment gets. Extras include video diaries by stars Tennant and Piper, commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and more. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

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