Not to be upstaged by politics, Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant pulled off the most dramatic job handover of the week – and with way more style.
Time was called for Jodie’s 13th Doctor but the real shocker was when she regenerated into the familiar face, leaving fans more confused than Larry the Downing Street cat.
Doctor Who – The Power of the Doctor, on BBC1 on Sunday, marked Jodie’s final adventure and the Time Lord did not go quietly.
In Doctor Who TV bingo, it was a full house. Yep, there were Daleks, Cybermen, past Doctors, the threat to all humanity, emotional goodbyes, an arch nemesis and several regenerations.
This cult show sometimes feels a bit Scooby-Doo, with wobbly-looking sets and costumes that are more low-fi than sci-fi.
Those Daleks haven’t had an upgrade since the ‘70s, but it’s all part of the old school charm.
It started with a speeding space train being attacked by Cyber Masters, with the Doctor racing to the rescue.
A dozen seismologists vanish from Earth (Sending shockwaves? Sorry) while famous paintings are defaced with an image of the Doctor’s enemy, The Master – Sacha Dhawan on brilliantly psychotic form.
There is also a kidnapped child, an extra planet, an energy-sucking creature from space and a Russian doll Cyberman.
As always, there is A LOT going on, not all of which makes complete sense, but hey!
The Doctor is in danger! Suddenly a whistleblower Dalek lands in the TARDIS, offering to kill off his entire species. Hooray! Except that he is blown to smithereens and the Doctor is whisked off by The Master for a forced regeneration body-swap.
And then the best bit. On the edge of death, confronted with fragments of past self, we hear wise words from Time Lord legends David Bradley, Colin Baker, Paul McGann, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy.
“There’s always a way!” yells the Doctor, remembering she has pre-planned an interactive AI ‘holo-me’. What luck!
The Doctor returns to save the day… but at the last moment, the Master zaps the alien creature’s energy into her.
“She’s fine,” says Yaz (Mandip Gill), carrying her back to the TARDIS. But she’s not fine. The glowing hand is a bit of a giveaway.
Back on Earth and every character the BBC could book is invited to a self-help group, like Doctor Who Friends Anonymous.
Despite becoming increasingly meta, this show never loses its sense of humour.
As Jodie vanishes… an unmistakable suit and tie… it’s Tennant, the tenth Doctor, as confused as the rest of us.
A neat throwback and a new problem for new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa?
Jodie’s five-year tenure possibly wasn’t vintage, but she was hugely likeable and as the first female Doctor, she broke new ground. And this genius twist looks set to spark a new lease of life for this never ending universe.