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Doctor Who - Individual DVD Release Announced for 2008 Christmas Special The Next Doctor *UPDATED*

Date, specs, extras, cost and package art for this Cybermen-infested release!

Posted by David Lambert
    Christmas Eve, 1851, and the Cybermen stalk the snow of Victorian London. When the Doctor arrives and starts to investigate a spate of mysterious deaths, he's surprised to meet another Doctor. And soon, the two must combine forces to defeat the ruthless Miss Hartigan. But are even two Doctors enough to stop the rise of the CyberKing?
As most fans of the revived Doctor Who know, the show is taking a year off from regular seasons between the 4th and 5th seasons (or series, as they say in the U.K.) and instead putting out several special episodes throughout 2009. We say "2009," but most consider that these actually began with the 2008 Christmas Special, "The Next Doctor," which follows onward after the conclusion of 2008's 4th Series storyline. Next after was Easter's broadcast in the U.K. of Planet of the Dead, featuring Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman).

(WARNING: Mild spoilers are found in this paragraph) The third special, tentatively planned to air overseas around November, is titled "The Waters of Mars," and will co-star Lindsay Duncan (Rome) as a one-time companion named Adelaide. Then there will be two more specials, both said to be halves of a single story that is untitled so far. These will air around Christmastime, with their U.K. debuts rumored to possibly be on Christmas Day for part one, and then New Year Day for part two. Take that with a grain of salt, however. The main thing we know about those specials is that Bernard Cribbins will return as "Wilfred Mott," grandfather to Donna Noble, and that HE will actually be the Doctor's companion on this particular adventure (making him the oldest companion to date). It's also expected that this will be the story which shows David Tennant's 10th Doctor regenerate into the highly-publicized introduction of the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith.

Before we get to all of that, though, there's the mystery of David Morrissey as Doctor Who - The Next Doctor. The 2008 Christmas Special comes to DVD in North America on September 15th. Note that this is two weeks after the 9/1/09 release of classic Doctor Who DVD titles "Story #088: The Deadly Assassin," "Story #094: Image of the Fendahl" and "Story #150: Delta and the Bannerman." It's also a couple of months following the 7/28/09 release of the second of the above-listed 2009 specials, "Planet of the Dead," on both DVD and high-def Blu-ray Disc. Note also that The Next Doctor is only announced for DVD release, and not Blu-ray. The reason for this isn't given, but we feel confident in saying that the cause has to do with the fact that "Planet of the Dead" is the first-ever Doctor Who installment shot in high definition during production, so previous stories would need to go through a remastering process to achieve a high-def release.

Doctor Who - The Next Doctor on DVD will cost only $14.98 SRP in the USA, for a 60-minute episode and a bonus featurette, on a single disc. Video is anamorphic widescreen, and audio is English - Dolby Digital 5.1, with English subtitles. An online trailer is available from the original BBC One broadcast. Below is a look at the North American package art for this release.

UPDATE: An alert sent to retailers today explain what the bonus featurette is on this release. The alert says that the title "Includes the hour-long special musical feature - Doctor Who At The Proms." This was originally recorded for BBC Radio 3 broadcast in July 2008, but a visual recording with David Tennant was also made, and shown on BBC One this past New Year Day. More information is available from the official BBC Proms site.

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Doctor Who - The Next Doctor

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