TV on DVD: David Tennant's Doctor Who, Now Available for Home Crushing On

I'm still getting used to the new Sci Fi Sunday -- I preferred Sci Fi Friday as a way to wind down at the end of the week, rather than a ramp up to the next one. And I'm especially feeling the absence of Sci Fi Friday's Doctor Who in my life, once again. I fell in love with the goofy '70s and '80s editions of the show as a teenager, and then it disappeared for a long time (which was a good thing -- the show needed a rest). When it returned to the BBC -- and eventually to American TV -- last year, I dreaded it, afraid it would be a desecration to the memory of one of the best SF TV shows ever produced, and then I rejoiced when it turned out to be even better than I could have possibly imagined.

So imagine how hard it was for my dedicated, longtime, geeky Whovian heart to conceive that the second series of the new Doctor Who could be even more deeply thrilling than the first one. And now I can relive it on DVD, for though it just finished its run on Sci Fi at Christmastime, it's already available for home crushing on.

I was among the many fans who didn't like seeing the wonderful new Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, leave after only one season, but Scottish actor David Tennant takes up the Time Lord mantle here 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 make appearances 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. If you missed Tennant and Piper -- and Daleks and Cybermen -- on Sci Fi Fridays, then give yourself a treat and catch up now.

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MaryAnn Johanson
author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride
minder of FlickFilosopher.com