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There were five specials between the end of series 4 and the start of Steven Moffat's series 5. There was no full tv series in 2009, but between the episode 'Journey's End' and the start of series five in 2010, there were four one hour Doctor Who Specials in 2009. All starred David Tennant as the 10th Doctor.

Doctor Who 2009 Specials

1. The Next Doctor (4:14 - Christmas Special)
     Writer: Russell T. Davies
: Andy Goddard

This episode was screened on 25 December 2008. It featured David Tennant as The Doctor, David Morrissey (as a possible future Doctor?), Cybermen and more. The Doctor lands in London on Christmas Eve, 1851, where he encounters a woman called Rosita Farisi and another man who calls himself "The Doctor". After failing to capture a Cybershade, the two men talk, with the Doctor believing the other to be a future regeneration. Unfortunately, the other (dubbed "the Next Doctor") is lacking many memories. Meanwhile, the Cybermen are planning an attack with a human ally, Miss Mercy Hartigan.

2. Planet of the Dead (4:15 - 1st 2009 Easter Special - 11 April 2009)
     Writers: Russell T. Davies & Gareth Roberts
: James Strong

Planet of the Dead Dvd

Planet of the Dead Dvd

This episode was screened on 11 April 2009 on BBC1. Planet of the Dead was the first of four Doctor Who specials in 2009, marking the end of David Tennant's tenure as the Time Lord. The 2009 Easter special was scripted by Davies along with Gareth Roberts who also wrote 'Attack of the Graske', 'The Shakespeare Code' and 'The Unicorn and the Wasp' as well as various new era Doctor Who novels. The script marks the first time that a Doctor Who episode has had more than one writing credit since it returned.

Former EastEnders star Michelle Ryan and comedian Lee Evans guest star in Doctor Who's Easter special, the BBC confirmed this info in January 2009. Ryan plays the mysterious Lady Christina de Souza in the special episode, entitled Planet of the Dead. Evans plays a character called Malcolm, whose life becomes connected to the Doctor's in unusual circumstances. Noma Dumezweni returns to the series as Captain Erisa Magambo, last seen helping Rose and Donna save the world in Turn Left.


When a London bus takes a detour to an alien world, the Doctor must join forces with the extraordinary Lady Christina, in this one-off seasonal special. But the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets, hidden in the sand. And time is running out, as the deadly Swarm gets closer.

Did you know?

Michelle Ryan is best known for playing Zoe Slater in the BBC One soap and starring in the American remake of Bionic Woman.

3. The Waters of Mars (4:16 - 2nd 2009 Special)
     Writers: Russell T Davies and Phil Ford
: Graeme Harper

This episode maybe screened in November 2009 on BBC1. The Waters of Mars is the second special of 2009. The story is set on Mars and the Doctor will be joined by a new companion named Adelaide, played by Lindsay Duncan.

The Waters of Mars Picture

4. The End of Time (4:17 - 3rd 2009 Special - Christmas Special)
     Writers: Russell T. Davies
: Euros Lyn

This story is a two-parter. It was televised on BBC One on Christmas Day. It features the Master. There was speculation that the 3rd 2009 special was going to be shown during Halloween.

The Doctor learns from the Ood that the Master will shortly return, but that there is something else emerging from the darkness that will lead to "the end of Time itself". As the Doctor races to Earth, a cult loyal to the Master perform a resurrection ritual, using the Master's genetic material from Lucy Saxon's lips to complete the process before offering their lives to the revived Master. Lucy, aware of the Master's failsafe, introduces a fatal component to the ritual, destroying herself and everyone else in the prison. The Master escapes, having gained supernatural agility and telekinetic powers from the failed ritual that drain him of his life energy, making him suffer from constant hunger.

The Doctor arrives on Earth on Christmas Eve and begins to trace the Master. He encounters Wilfred Mott, who reveals that he has been having nightmares and worries for the Doctor; the Doctor explains to Wilfred of the regenerative abilities of Time Lords and the prophecies of his death about the man that will "knock four times". The Doctor tracks the Master to wastelands outside of London, but the Master subdues him and forces him to listen to the sound of drums in his head. The Doctor realises the sound is not a figment of the Master's insanity, but before he can learn more, elite troops under billionaire Joshua Naismith's employ abduct the Master.

The Doctor returns to Wilfred the next day, who is able to help identify Naismith's involvement with a book gifted to him by Donna Noble. Wilfred retrieves his old service pistol after being warned by a mysterious woman in white before joining the Doctor in his TARDIS and travelling to the Naismith's estate. There, they discover Naismith has recovered an alien device called the "Immortality Gate" and has enlisted the Master to correct its programming in order to grant Naismith's daughter immortality. The Doctor and Wilfred reveal two of the technicians as Vinvocci aliens working undercover to retrieve the device themselves, but fail to understand the Doctor's concern when they tell him it is a simple medical device designed to heal the population of an entire planet.

The Doctor is too late to stop the Master from completing the programming, breaking free of his bonds, and jumping into the gate. The process turns every human—save for Wilfred whom the Doctor protected in one of the isolation booths for the Gate and Donna due to her half-Time Lord nature—into clones of the Master, supplanting the human race for the "Master race". The victorious Master and his doppelgangers taunt the Doctor, who can only look on in horror, at his loss.

5. The End of Time (4:18 - 4th 2010 Special aka New Year's Day Special) 
     Writers: Russell T. Davies
: Euros Lyn

The final special was broadcast on New Year's Day 2010. This was the last story for actor David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor prior to the Doctor's regeneration into his eleventh incarnation, which is played by Matt Smith. The story also featured the Time Lords who returned to the tv series for the first time since The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986.

The Doctor and Wilfred escape from the Master with the help of the Vinvocci, taking refuge on their orbiting ship. Through flashbacks the Time Lord President 'Rassilon' has been shown to have engineered events, first by placing the sound of drums in the Master's head as a young child, such that when amplified by the billions of clones, would act as a signal to the Master in the present. The President has also sent a Whitepoint star diamond to Earth that can boost the signal and lock onto its source. Through these, the Time Lords are able to create a link to the Master to let them escape from the Time Lock placed on the Time War.

The President and his council materialise in the Gate room. The Master attempts to reuse the Gate to transform all Time Lords into copies of himself, but the President stops the attempt and reverses the transformation of the human race. At the same time, Gallifrey begins to materialise above Earth, along with all the other horrors created in the Time War. The President reveals that now free of the Time Lock, the Time Lords plan to end time, destroying the universe and allowing them to evolve into a higher form of consciousness. The Doctor, long aware of the Time Lords' plan, is forced to return to Earth, armed with Wilfred's gun. As he struggles over killing the Master or the President, either action severing the link, the Doctor catches the glimpse of one of the women on the Time Lord council—the same woman in white that Wilfred has seen and who was against the Time Lord's return. The Doctor recognises her and inspired, shoots the Whitepoint star diamond. As the Time Lords are drawn back into the Time Lock, the President attempts to kill the Doctor, but the Master intervenes, sacrificing himself to gain revenge on the Time Lords for tormenting him all his life. In a flash of light, the Time Lords, the Master, and Gallifrey have all disappeared.

Taking a moment to realise his victory, the Doctor hears four knocks, the sound which precedes his death. He finds Wilfred, having returned to help the Doctor, still trapped in the Gate's isolation chamber that will be flooded with radiation due to the Master's modifications; only the self-sacrifice of another will free him. The Doctor releases Wilfred, collapsing in agony as he receives a massive dose of radiation poisoning.

In The End of Time, on the last day of the Last Great Time War, Rassilon intended to spare Gallifrey from destruction by using the End of Time to turn the Time Lords into beings of pure consciousness, but at the cost of the rest of creation. Implicitly, his plan was defeated by the Doctor, who destroyed Gallifrey using "the Moment", destroying most of the Time Lords and the Daleks.

On the Internet there is a lot of speculation of what the 2009 Specials will be about. Some of the speculative ideas include:

1. The Return of Sutekh

Sutekh last appeared in the fourth Doctor story 'Pyramids of Mars'. This story setting could be in in Egypt.

2. The 8th Doctor to Appear

Paul McGann may return as the Eighth Doctor appearing in flashbacks about The Time War.

Paul McGann played the Doctor in the 1996 TV movie, his eighth Doctor has appeared in a lengthy series of original BBC novels and as well as the Big Finish original audio dramas.

3. The Return of the Doctor's Daughter

Jenny (Georgina Moffett), the Doctor's Daughter may return in one of the 2009 Doctor Who specials. At the end of her first story 'Doctor's Daughter', the Doctor believed she was dead but she returned to life in its closing minutes of the episode.

4. Return of Donna Noble, Wilf, the Master

The characters Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), Wilf (Bernard Cribbins) and John Simm (The Master) may appear in one of the 2009 Doctor Who specials.

Donna Noble maybe the Time Lady Romana or the Rani in human disguise. The Chameleon Arch was used by the Tenth Doctor in the episode 'Human Nature' to rewrite every cell in his body, enabling him to hide from the Family of Blood in 1913. The chameleon arch stored the Doctor's Time Lord self in a fob watch. In episode 'Utopia', Martha discovered that the Master used the same process, creating 'Professor Yana' as his persona.

5. Return of Astrid

Astrid (Kylie Minogue) may return as a human Tardis.

6. Return of River Song

River Song (Alex Kingston) may return.

7. Other Monsters / Enemies

There are so many great monsters / enemies from the classic series, new series and novels that have the potential to return. These include: the Silurians, Sea Devils, Slithereen, Omega, Zygons, Rutans, Terileptils, Meddling Monk and Ice Warriors.

8. Time War Story

The Time War was a conflict between the Time Lords and the Daleks, resulting in their mutual destruction. The event has been referred to on several occasions in the new Doctor Who tv series since it began in 2005.

Did you know?

* David Tennant has officially revealed in 2008 that the five new specials of Doctor Who will be his swansong as the tenth Doctor. Thus we will see the eleventh Doctor come into existence by the end of the 2009 Christmas special.

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Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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Features: the Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, Waters of Mars, End of the Time.

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