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Doctor Who - Voyage Of The Damned (DVD)

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Genre: Television - Doctor Who / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Exempt / Director: James Strong / Actors: David Tennant, Kylie Minogue, Geoffrey Palmer, Clive Swift ... / DVD released 2008-03-10 at 2 Entertain Video / Features of the DVD: Colour, PAL

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      09.11.2011 17:37
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      Oh Christmas Specials, will you ever stop disappointing me?

      We never learn do we? Ever since I was a little boy, I've got carried away by the hype of Christmas Specials. I've sat down in front of the TV, drooling with anticipation, only to emerge later feeling disappointed and cheated. You see (whisper it - there may be innocent young children reading) Christmas Specials often not actually very good. They're just longer episodes of your favourite show; and by longer, I mean the same amount of plot stretched out to double the amount of time. Oh and in a vain attempt to make them feel Christmassy, they usually feature Spielbergian levels of saccharin-sweet emotion and are overly reliant on "special guest stars".

      In fact, you've pretty much just summed up the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas Special - Voyage of the Damned. However, whilst it is (at best) a mediocre episode, it does have moments when it sparks into life.

      The plot sees the Tardis crash into the spaceship Titanic. With a name like that, disaster is inevitable and the ship threatens to crash into 21st century Earth, wiping out all existence on the planet. As if things weren't bad enough, The Host, an apparently servile race of robots suddenly turn hostile and start killing passengers.

      In many ways, this episode is little more than The Poseidon Adventure set in space and, indeed, it deliberately apes some of that film's most famous moments. It's also packed with other film references (particularly disaster movies) which are quite fun for film fans to try and spot. These have been cleverly woven into the main story so that they are part of the plot or setting, rather than being forced in as a way of showing how cine-literate the writers are.

      Unfortunately, this is about the nicest thing you can say about the adventure and the rest of the episode boils down to a lot of running around corridors and unlikely, last minute narrow escapes. At the end of the day, you can't get away from the fact that this is really a 30 minute storyline stretched out to over an hour. Everything feels thin, stretched and dragged out and little kids (and many adults) will start to get fidgety long before the final credits roll.

      It's not helped by the fact that The Host are not actually that scary (presumably on the grounds that you don't want a Christmas Special putting you off all those turkey leftovers). There are two real issues: these angel-like creatures have their faces hidden behind gold masks, which makes them expressionless; it's always difficult to convey scary when your face is hidden or for other actors to respond convincingly to a blank face. Secondly, The Host are rather unoriginal, essentially being a weak mix between the Ood and the Weeping Angels.

      There is also a fair amount of cheesiness to the plot. Probably the worst example comes late in the episode (shortly after the Doctor has witnessed yet another tragedy). Everything goes into slow-motion, flames burst into life around him as he strides purposefully towards his goal and stirring music roars from your TV speakers. All you need is some woman with big hair and you could be watching an 80s soft rock music video - it's that cheesy!

      There are also times when the music is far too loud and drowns out the dialogue. This can make it hard to pick up on some developments or even miss out on some of the episode's better banter.

      Even the cast don't look terribly engaged with the proceedings. David Tennant looks as though he is operating on auto-pilot and, whilst there are odd sparks, he lacks the life and vigour that he has brought to the main series. Geoffrey Palmer is typically lugubrious, but rather limited in his role as the Titanic's Captain and he too looks rather bored much of the time.

      Where the episode really suffers, however, is in the choice of assistant. The departure of Martha Jones left a vacancy here and (inevitably) a big-name star - Kyle Minogue - was drafted in for the Christmas Special to make sure headlines were well and truly grabbed. Minogue has never convinced me as an actress (in truth, she's never convinced me as a singer either, but that's probably a discussion for another day!). As Astrid, a waitress on the floundering Titanic, she is rather vapid. Her facial expression remains the same for much of the episode, whether she is meant to be portraying fear, surprise, anxiety or tenderness, and this (combined with The Host's shortcomings) doesn't do a great deal for the emotional level of the show. Her relationship with The Doctor feels empty and false so that, come the show's climax, there's not the emotional intensity the writers seem to think there is.

      Thank heavens, then for Clive Swift's superb performance as the "expert" on Earth culture; a stereotypical academic he might be, but his garbled, misunderstood explanations of Earth culture are just priceless. Whilst Swift only has a couple of "lecturing" moments, they are superbly constructed, possessed of a bizarre logic based on simple misunderstandings. Indeed, you wish that the brief sojourn on Earth could last so much longer, just so you could hear more of his theories.

      Sadly, at the end of the day, this remains a weak episode. It might not be as bad as the Christmas Specials some shows churn out, but neither is it up to the standard we have come to expect New Who. Too little plot, too long a running time and an overreliance on a big name guest star means that that little boy in me still ends up disappointed.

      On the plus side, it can be picked up now for around £2, which has got to be a bargain in anyone's book!

      © Copyright SWSt 2011

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        21.03.2010 03:03
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        all in all, one of the better specials.

        It's a pity that David Tennant left on such a low note (I thought the final special - The end of time - was a really poor effort, mawkish and hammy). I was glad, therefore, to revisit happier times, with this real humdinger of an episode.

        Firstly, the setting: although it seems rather borrowed Douglas Adams' (and Terry Jones') epic 80s computer game "Starship Titanic", the steampunk sensibility and lavish sets really make you feel as if you were there (I love the ball scenes).

        Secondly: Kylie - who dazzles in her slightly naughty (or is that just me?) maid's uniform. I would really have liked her to become a permanent companion - I think she would have been terrific (much better than Catherine Tate - but that's another story).

        Thirdly, Tennant skips and bounces his way through the events with his usual great aplomb, and the chemistry between him and Kylie is electric.

        The downside: The angels make for rather unconvincing "monsters" (as soon as I saw them, I knew that those halos would become deadly frisbees), and the villain of the piece, when he is eventually revealed, seemed a little too much like end of the pier pantomime villain, rather than the Davros-style mastermind I had been expecting.

        Just two rather lacklustre extras, though - a children in need spacial and a "confidential" feature, which I always find a bit boring.

        Anyway, it's pretty cheap at the moment (I picked mine up in a Fopp for 3 quid), so it's worth getting it if you haven't seen it. Do be aware it's in the series box set, though, so don't buy it twice!

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          22.01.2010 10:29
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          Not very good

          2007's christmas special of Doctor Who, featured David Tennant as the famous time lord with Kyle Minogue as the "assistant".

          On the surface the production looks great the galactic spaceship Titanic is very well realised as it goes on it's space cruise. However I was never convinced by the way it 'crashed' into the TARDIS which seemed very contrived. I thought the TARDIS was indestrucable? Yet the ship seems to break through it very easily. Fixing the TARDIS he lands on board, but soon the ship gets hit by meteors and starts to loose orbit. It turns out that the meteors weren't random but that someone wants to kill everyone on the ship. The doctor must try to save any survivors.

          For me this was a very weak story, now the third consecutive aleins at christmas story, a non christmas one would have been nice. The episode even makes in jokes about this - big mistake - but the worst part was to come. As always with these specials they are written like 45 minute episodes and then padded out to 1 hour 10, making them 20 minutes plus too long. I've never understood why they have to be this long to be a special as it never seems to work.
          The plot could have been interesting but Kyle Minogue for the most part is quite weak (except in the scene on Earth's surface which she did play very well) and too many ideas are reused to exhaustion point. The final straw comes with the Titanic flying over Buckingham Palace - Doctor Who has never been so bad.

          As usual with these discs, there are absolutely no extras included with this. The running time is 72 minutes and the certificate is PG.

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          29.07.2009 00:45
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          I hated this more than other christmas specials.

          Until last year's "The Next Doctor" I was getting all settled in to the belief that I wouldn't enjoy Doctor Who's christmas specials very much. Thankfully, I thought that one was a really excellent, well played piece of drama. The first two, Christmas Invasion and Runaway Bride however hadn't been my thing. It's not that I thought they were bad, I just felt that the christmas outings had been more for the kids. I don't mind that, it is a children's show after all. There are plenty of episodes in the normal run that I think are brilliant for kids even though I can't stand them (Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel and Fear Her spring to mind.) 2007's Voyage of the Damned was something else though. I honestly think that this is the lowest point since the series returned.

          The Doctor has been rudely interrupted by a space age replica of the Titanic crashing through the TARDIS doors. Sneaking on board he finds a christmas cruise ship full of intergalactic yuppies and Kylie Minogue. Soon the ship suffers serious damage and begins crash towards the Earth. The Doctor together with Kylie Minogue must work his way through the bowels of the vessel and save the day.

          The result was predictably awful. Everything I don't like about Tennant's Doctor was on show. The lofty god-like poses, the oh-so-quirky quips and the endless smugness becoming overbearing in no time. Kylie Minogue is supposed to be playing a down and out space waitress but just plays Kylie Minogue and the supporting cast is all made up of the tiredest of cliches. The story can't decide who the villain is and what the message of the story is supposed to be. An interesting, anti-commercialism subplot is left largely ignored until the last five minutes when it all seems rushed up and it all seems like a waste of time. It is also incredible busy, moreso that The Runaway Bride, there is simply too much irrelevant nonsense going on and by the end of it all I have given up caring.

          As usual for the new series of Doctor Who, it has the advantage of being visually stunning with some of the most effective CGI of the year turning up. The ship and its innards are wonderfully well realised and this DVD shows them in the best possible image.

          There are no other features on this DVD as with all of the BBC's rather expensive individual DVDs. I'd give it a miss unless you're one of those David Tennant obsessives.

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            10.04.2009 18:55
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            Could have been better, but can't complain

            This is under the movie section here, and I can clarify right away that this is not a movie, however it is a feature length episode of Doctor Who and longer than the normal episodes.

            This is basically the Doctor Who version of the Titanic story. I am sure most of you know about the Titanic but for those of you who do not, it was a ship back in the early 19th century that was 'unsinkable', until it hit an iceburg and killed around 1500 people who were onboard.

            The big difference here is that the ship is effectively a spaceship and the Doctor's tardis bumps into it at the end of the previous series, so this christmas special continues and he joins the passengers on another hectic day.

            I am sure you can see my review is for those of you who understand who the Doctor is and what he does. For those of you who do not, then the Doctor is basically a man who has a police box that can time travel through the universe. Whever he does evil seems to be and through the episode he usually stops this evil from overtaking the planet.

            The Doctor here is played by David Tennant, who has established himself as an excellent Doctor, he gets into his stride quickly here and gains a companion in the form of the actress Kylie Minogue.

            As you can guess the Spaceship version of the Titanic gets hit by some huge rocks and there is nothing that can be done to stop the ship from going down. The doctor and his small crew of companions he is introduced to try their best to stay alive and get out. The companions are all very different. Some fat, some thing, some aliens, some human.

            In terms of villains we have the 'hosts', they are are robots that are meant to be helpful but turns against the humans their only function becomes to kill. Think IRobot but much lower budget. They are OK, and not the best villains that Doctor Who has had, but certains not the worst.

            There is always a man behind the curtain, and you can easily guess through the episode who this will be, however I will not ruin that here, for those of you who are looking to watch this feature length christmas episode.

            It seems that Doctor Who is now a regular part of the BBC Christmas special, and the quality really has been reduced in recent years, so Doctor Who does stick out as a decent show. When the competition is shows like Little Britain and the Green Green Grass, then Doctor Who wins hands down every time.

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              03.03.2009 15:26
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              Much better than your average TV show, but falls short of the best from Doctor Who.

              I'll admit that this isn't my favourite Doctor Who Christmas Special, but I'm not sure why !! I love Kylie but her character didn't really make me think 'possible companion' even though her character, Astrid, was lovely and obviously very brave since she does whatever she needs to do to help The Doctor in his mission, but it's just the little things I think !! I'm going to sound soooooooo picky but for example I felt that Kylie spent too much time trying to disprove the 'botox' rumours and scrunching her face up as much as possible !! Also, whilst Astrid is obviously lovely and she made a great sacrifice for the Doctor I didn't really feel the depth of despair that The Doctor did afterwards. I felt more upset during an episode in Series 4 that looks back on all those who had sacrificed themselves for The Doctor than I did in this episode even though her bravery was never in doubt, but I'm not sure why. I think the character was just 'lacking' in something and so I didn't really buy into the fact that Astrid had the qualities to become a companion in any way, shape or form even though The Doctor obviously took a liking since she was lovely and she was brave.

              That aside, it's still a great little adventure. We ended series 3 with something striking the Tardis whilst the Tardis defences were down and we learn that it's the Titanic, although not THAT Titanic, but an inter-galactic flying version which has been set up to crash into Earth. The Doctor and his little band of companions onboard the Titanic ( along with Alonso onthe flight deck ) fight to try and stop this becoming reality since it will cause many deaths on Earth should this happen. Along the way we meet some 'Host' out to thwart The Doctor which remind me of a cross between the Pilot fish and the Weeping Angels from earlier episodes and the likes of Mr Copper ( who is VERY bad at his historian type job but look out for a reference to Mr Copper in series 4 ) and a certain newspaper seller who will become better known in Series 4 !!

              All in all, a great piece of Christmas entertainment for all the family, but not my favourite of The Doctor Who Christmas specials.

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              15.10.2008 23:51
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              Pefect Christmas telly - very entertaining but not too taxing on the brain.

              Half a year after it was announced to the public Kylie's mucho publicised 'acting return' finally arrives in the form of 'Voyage Of The Damned'. She plays Astrid, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed waitress on board a spaceship replica of the Titanic that the Doctor accidentally crashes into. They team up, flirt and, like Rose and Martha before her, Astrid immediately fall for the Doc. I'm wondering whether David Tennant has it written into his contract that he'll cop off with his companions - seriously, the Doctor has never been so sexually active since Tennant took over the role.

              Soon the Robots of Death-like waiters (or 'Hosts' as they are called here) turn eeevil and start trying to kill the passengers, Geoffrey Palmer's ship Captain engineers a crash with meteorites and soon nearly everyone dies apart from the Doc, Kylie, Tony Gordon, Hyacinth Bucket's husband and that one from 'The History Boys'. After much Towering Inferno-style heroics the Doc finally comes face to face with the madman behind the chaos - Max Capricorn, the designer of the spaceship who has gotten a bit power mad and wants a load of cash in compensation for trashing the joint. Or something.

              It's all very silly and highly entertaining - perfect Crimbo veg-out telly in fact. Clearly a lot of money has been spent on the production (most of it paying Kylie's fee) and as a result it is the best Doctor Who Christmas special yet. There's scares, thrills and a cameo from National Treasure Bernard Cribbins which pre-empts his recurring character in Series Four. Tennant is as reliable as ever and Kylie, despite just playing herself, gets a genuinely moving final scene when she karks it.

              This DVD also contains the Children In Need special 'Time Crash', where Peter Davison just about manages to squeeze back into his '80s Doctor Who costume and trades insults with Doctor No 10. It's great fun, and I particularly enjoyed the incidental music which had clearly been lifted directly from several of Davison's stories.

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                20.09.2008 21:45
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                Can the Doctor save the day yet again?

                Writer: Russell T. Davis
                Director: James Stron
                Producer: Phil Collinson, Russell T Davis and Julie Gardner

                With the third series ending, leaving the Doctor alone once more, he is stunned to find the TARDIS defences being infiltrated by a massive spaceship, aptly named 'the Titanic' (after the famous unsinkable ship which met disaster in 1912 after hitting an iceberg)

                So as this 2007 Christmas special begins we see the Doctor taking a quiet break on a galactic tour spaceship, orbiting the planet Earth... only this time he has no companion... for now.



                ** BRIEF PLOT **

                The Doctor lands the TARDIS on the orbiting spacecraft called the Titanic, from the planet Sto, hoping for a vacation of sorts...little realising that, Captain Hardaker, (played by Geoffrey Palmer) the pilot of the ship, has ulterior motives for the passengers and crew

                With the Doctor relishing the fact that he is on the most gorgeous ship in the universe it is not long before his flirtatious ways attract the attentions of the very lovely waitress Astrid Peth, (played by Kylie Minogue)... the chemical attraction begins.

                The many guest on the ship, such as competition winners Morvin and Foon Van Hoff, (played by Clive Rowe and Debbie Chazen), historian, Mr Copper, (played by Clive Swift), whose facts are a little misleading, and a strange looking alien called Bannakaffalatta, (played by Jimmy Vee), are all enjoying the entertainment and do not realise how much danger the occupants of the Titanic are in...

                As Captain Hardaker puts his devilish plan into action the ship is soon damaged and is heading for a collision with the Earth below... putting the lives of all on board in peril.

                With even the ships 'Hosts', ( robotic androids who act as servants to the guests) being reprogrammed to kill rather than help... all looks hopeless for the ship and its surviving passengers...


                Can the Doctor stop the ship from crashing into planet Earth, killing all on Board and also many thousands on Earth...? Or will the ulterior motives of the ships owner, Max Capricorn, (played by Russell Tovey) cause History to repeat itself with the second sinking of the Titanic... only this one is from space..


                * Other characters in this special episode...


                Gray O'Brien as Rickston Slade
                Russell Tovey as Midshipman Alonzo Frame
                Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott
                Nicholas Witchell as Himself
                Paul Kasey as The Host
                Jessica Martin as Voice of the Queen

                And watch out for Bernard Cribbins who plays the newspaper stall holder Wilfred Mott, You are sure to see him many times in the fourth series of Doctor Who...



                **IN CONCLUSION **

                Another brilliant Christmas day special from the very imaginative Russell T. Davis the rest of the wacky crew...

                This hour and 12 minute show introduces the very glamorous Kylie Minogue, (last seen acting in a dodgy Australian soap... but now more well known for her singing career and rather pert bottom, shown off in very skimpy clothes...)

                Speaking of Kylie, I was in two minds as to her capabilities before watching this show, remembering her from years back in that Aussie soap, where her acting wasn't the best to say the least... the question was has her acting skills improved with age...?
                With the help of her singing career, her music videos helping her out slightly, she defiantly has improved with age, ( still talking about her acting skills people)... she made the role as the rather timid Astrid her own, acting the part like a true professional, ( a far cry from her wooden time in Ramsey street), giving the show that little bit of charisma and beauty with her warm smile and sexy looks...

                And as for Mr Tennent... well, what can be said about this man that has not been said before...? He seems to love playing the part of the time travelling adventurer, his 'wide boy' attitude really makes him come across as approachable and a real ladies man...

                The all round acting in this show is exceptional, with the appearance of the Clive Swift, (better known in the UK as the hen pecked husband of Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping up appearances)... he seems to have left her behind and his confidence has grown, although his character, Mr Copper, is very similar to Richard Bucket.., giving a great performance to please all...


                The story has been well thought out, bringing the past and the future together to create a gripping storyline and some dramatic action... combing this with the visual effects and the splendid acting from all the cast, this episode is a must to watch...
                Would I recommend this...

                Yes I would.
                It is another fine work of art from the cast and crew living around the little blue box... giving over an hour of edge of your seat sci-fi action and entertainment...

                You can get a copy of this Christmas special from www.amazon.co.uk for less than £11.00..
                Go on... add it to your collection...

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                  01.09.2008 22:30
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                  Harmless fun and romping with Doctor Dapper Who

                  Christmas time for me has now gone from counting how much less I got in presents compare to how much I shelled out for other people, to one of pure joy for a measly hour. And this is because of the Doctor Who Xmas specials. I always make sure that I am free at that time and everyone has to shut up, go to sleep or be somewhere else.

                  From watching the series 3 finale we know that the Titanic crashes though the Tardis wall, so we all know a disaster is going to happen. It takes place between the Children in Need special where the tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and the fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) collide and the start of the fourth season where the Doctor meets up for the second time with Donna (Catherine Tate) in the episode Partners in Crime. Some would argue that it takes place after the season three finale Last of the Time Lords, but we shall beg to differ. Write your own review.

                  We quickly discover it isn't the original ship and as any die hard fan would know the Doctor has previously been on the Titanic. The ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) mentions that he was hanging off an iceberg in The End of the World, so we know it's not the original. This Titanic is a huge space cruise ship for rich people and dignitaries to indulge in spectacular Xmas celebrations and I have to give it to the BBC, they pulled the stops out to make a lush beautiful set full of colourful aliens and divine party frocks.

                  And so we are quickly introduced to Astrid (anagram of Tardis) who is played by the lovely Kylie Minougue. Now I'm not normally a Kylie fan to be honest, although I have been known to strut my stuff to The Locomotion and everyone around commented on how macho I looked while doing it. But it's actually heart warming to see Kylie looking so great after recovering from cancer. I believe that this all added to the Xmas feel of the show.

                  David Tennant looks rather dapper in a dinner suit for this adventure and as much as there is fun and jollity, there is a slight sadness when Astrid asks the Doctor is he's with anyone and slightly stutters that he is alone and between him and Astrid there is a little glimmer. I could have seen Kylie and the Doctor's assistant.

                  Slowly but surely things start to go wrong, the Captain puts the ship in danger and the creepy gold faced robots start to go mental and kill everyone and of course the Doctor is there to save the day. There's not really much to write home about in this episode as it's just a big a big silly Xmas romp and should not be viewed in the same way as masterpieces such as the frightening Blink or skilfully crafted Human Nature. It borrows heavily from The Poseidon Adventure and even has a little bit from Aliens thrown in. The Robots are also slightly reminiscent of the Robots of Death from Tom Baker's fourth Doctor and as this is a Xmas episode I'm that it is no coincidence. I know I certainly smiled when I saw them.

                  It's nice to have a few famous co stars like Geoffrey Palmer (Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin) and Bernard Cribbins (also in the Xmas Invasion and the Peter Cushing Doctor Who Daleks Invasion Earth 2150ad). Clive swift (Keeping Up Appearances) and Nocolas Witchel as himself reading the news.

                  It's sentimental, dramatic, over the top with the music and scenarios, explosions, death, heroism, there's even an annoying posh bloke there to create tension.

                  But hey, it's Xmas. Still a million times better than most of the rubbish that was on.

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                    14.05.2008 19:13
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                    Voyage of the damned

                    Over the last few years the DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special has become something of a staple at that time of year. As a child I always used to look forward to the 'big movie premiere' on BBC1, which would always be something from a few years back. As time has moved on and movies are shown on television within only a few months of having been released to cinemas, it has taken a long time for a new variety of Christmas Special to take the place of these movie premieres. However a few years back came the first ever Doctor Who Christmas Special, and a new tradition was born.

                    VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED is the most recent example of this tradition, airing for the first time on BBC1 on Christmas Day 2007. The story stars David Tennant, who for my money is perhaps the most effect Doctor since the days of Tom Baker, although I will always have a soft spot for Peter Davison. Along with Tennant is the special guest star Kylie Minogue, who takes the place of his 'companion' for this episode only. I was concerned that this was a bit of 'stunt' casting and that she would be detrimental to the show. However she is an excellent addition and it is a shame that she was not able to continue as the character in the current series.

                    I am not going to spoil the story for you - suffice to say that it has something to do with the Titanic, although not quite as you would expect.

                    This DVD release is a 'vanilla' release, with very few special features - we will need to wait for the box set release of the current series in order to be treated to more. I'd advise waiting until then to buy it, but if you really can't wait then buy this release.

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                    07.04.2008 16:41
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                    The Doctors 3rd christmas outing is as good as xmas telly gets

                    The christmas edition of Doctor Who is now almost as much a part of the television tradition as Its A Wonderful Life or The Wizard Of Oz. Now on its third outing, as a companion to the BBC series, 2007's christmas special of Doctor Who was entitled Voyage Of The Damned and saw the Doctor's Tardis crashing into the bow of the doomed ocean liner Titanic.

                    The Titanic was a real life ship that was initially deemed unsinkable. However, on its maiden voyage in 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank and killed 1517 passengers. When the Doctor stows onto the ship, he finds that this isn't the ocean liner though, but in fact a space age replica that has rested just upon the Earth's axis. This Titanic plays host to a group off oddmark alien beings, many of whom are looking forward to their first trip to Earth. When the ship suddenly comes under fire from an unknown source, the Doctor has to lead himself and a small group of misfits to safety. But it isn't only external danger they find themselves in as Max Capricorn, the ship's owner, unleashes his formidable robots name "the hosts" to destroy the survivors.

                    Among the Doctors companions is a waitress named Astrid. Astrid is a dreamer who wants to explore the universe, and relishes the prospect of a trip to earth. She's a noble companion to the Doctor as she is willing to risk her life to save those she cares for. He is also joined by the nice but dim Van Hoff couple, who won their trip to earth, and simply cant stop eating. Banakaffallatta is the dwarfian alien with the bad complexion who refuses to allow anybody to edit down his difficult name. And the last of the misfits joining the doctor is the obnoxious Rickston Slade and the elderly Mr Copper.

                    Voyage of the Damned is an overblown adventure that attributes much of its plot to The Posiden Adventure. The basic premise is just that a group of survivors on a doomed adventure cross a damaged ship, overcoming many obstacles, to reach safety. But like The Poseiden Adventure, not everybody makes it to the finishing line. Its an ambitious turn for the series to take, considering this plays more like a big screen adventure than a christmas day tv special. Russel T Davies' script is often amusing, sometimes unwittingly so, but can also be a little frothy and overly sentimental. He also makes use of his much loved anagram for character names, I wont point it out, but its very obviously there. For the many flaws that Voyage falls under the weight off, it was still the best thing about 2007's christmas television, finding its place among umpteeth film repeats and another endless tirade of screaming and fighting in the soaps.

                    David Tennant is back once again as the Doctor, bringing his combined awe and cynisism to a role that I couldn't now imagine anybody else in. He's appealing enough to pull off a role that doesn't neccessarily appeal to the wide vast public who are now tuning in to this long running show. On his arm is the lovely Kylie Minogue. Okay, so she's the worlds third worst actress (stick Madonna and Mariah in in front and you kinda know what you're getting) but she's so charming and likeable that you dont really care that she's simply playing Kylie Minogue. Grey O'Brien has no other choice but to whine and simper through his role, given that his is the character with the least dimension to him.

                    On the bad side are The Hosts, and boy they are bad. They will never be the Daleks, but they rate up there as some of the better villains in Doctor Who, with their angelic look and relentless stalking of their victims. They are headed up by a starey-eyed George Costigan. Not since Hannibal Lecter first graced the big screen has a man been so menacing inside a cage. The rest of the cast are pleasant enough, but are just there in support of the much publicised joining of Tennant and Minogue.

                    The special effects team go all out on this extravaganza, giving it the feel of a feature film. The re-working of the Titanic ship is a futuristic, but believable one, and the early attack on the ship is literally explosive and convincing. There are moments where the special effects let the presentation down a tad, but its far and few between. Davies once again calls upon a famous event for his storyline, and the only complaint from that is that he also calls upon somebody else's work just a little too much. Voyage feels in places like blatant plageurism. But still, it was the highlight of christmas telly.

                    The DVD has the episode, a charity short episode and an edited version of the Confidential doc that went out alongside the show on BBC3. Its a little Kylie heavy, but hey, whose complaining when Doctor Who can pull in one of the most famous women in pop music for a guest starring role.

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