I actually knew who you were talking about. It is going to be a bit odd seeing a character who was killed in the first part of the season finaly of the previous season come back as a different character.
Personally, I was disappointed with it. No spoilers for those that haven't seen it yet, but I didn't think the story really held together terribly well. Catherine Tate is not an actress, and I just found the main villain terribly tiring. And, even more so than last year, the Christmas elements were just tacked on.
Still, there was some good work, particularly by David Tennant still coping with his loss of Rose.
But all in all, not one of the better episodes, I thought.
I disagree. I really enjoyed it, and I thought Tate acted Tennant off the screen! (and I'm not a fan of Tate)
The problem (as usual with RTD scripts) was the pacing - it felt terribly padded at the end.
The music was also rather jarring.
The villain was straight out of Hercules The Legendary Journeys, and didn't do much, and the, er, "central" plot nicely contradicted previous stories, but *overall* I thought that it was a fun, frothy adventure, with several neat touches (e.g. the scene with the sonic screwdriver, and the other one of calling the TARDIS). Oh, and one horrendously awful pun.
I enjoyed the special. I thought it was light and fun christmas entertainment, not really needing to be Deep and Heavy like Doomsday or The Parting of Ways. The car chase was fun (how do you claim something like that on your insurance?) and I had a huge smile on my face when Gallifrey got namechecked.
I love how this always works out: "Give up or face the consequences!" "Never!" "Right then. By the way, I'm the Doctor." "Oh bugger. . . ."
True, even that article is ambiguous. Some of the comments make it seems like it was by her wishes, others seem to indicate the producers chose that direction.
I would have preferred to see her stay. While I like the show, it has some problems going in, poor production values, etc. Now in these latest reviving of the show, we have had 2 Doctors in 2 years and at the end of the second year, we're losing the companion as well.
I have to disagree with the BBC Christmas day episode, most of it was bad with a few exceptions. A friend sent me a copy (for my personal use only) to watch. As I said before, that english lady and her broke gets on my nerves in a few seconds. Her voice cuts through me like a knife! I'm just glad she isn't the NEW companion or I would stop watching the show until there was a replacement. Hopefully the new lady will be OK, even if not a Billy Piper.
The pilot show was on over Christmas in the UK (see a description of it in the other Dr Who thread). I personally enjoyed it. The series will be aired later this year. It's intended as a children's TV programme, and at least at first will be aired on the BBC's digital channel specifically devoted to kids' programmes.
I enjoyed the Christmas special. It was suitably silly and provides a useful bridge to the next Dr Who series. Incidentally, I re-watched the first Christmas special a couple of days ago, and it improves on re-viewing.
This may be a Brit cultural thing, but (1) Xmas is a much bigger holiday in the UK than the USA (remember we don't have Thanksgiving, so imagine Christmas and Thanksgiving rolled into one) and (2) some of our all-time great programmes (particularly in comedy/light entertainment) have been Christmas specials, so there's always an unrealistic expectation of quality about anything with the 'Christmas special' label slapped on it.