Doctor Who went from regular production to sporadic specials last year to freshen up the show and to give former lead David Tennant a shot at playing Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The end results of that year of specials are headed your way on DVD in a five disc set.
Doctor Who: The Complete Specials features what proved to be a mixed bag of special episodes that became a sort of de facto fifth mini-season for Tennant. While you're not going to find a bad piece of television anywhere on this disc (or anywhere in Doctor Who's 21st century rebirth), last year's programs got weaker as they marched toward Tennant's regeneration.
The line-up includes The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars and The End of Time, Parts One and Two. The first two stand alone, but the last three create a sort of trilogy documenting the 10th Doctor's final days.
The stand alone pieces are entertaining and filled with Who's mix of action and spookiness. But, as Mars and End of Time arrived, former show runner Russell T. Davies indulged in a little too much melodrama and overwrought pathos to satisfy as adventure stories.
In edition to the episodes, you get a complete set of special features, including audio commentaries, Doctor Who Confidential behind the scenes looks, deleted scenes, David Tennant Video Diaries: The Final Days and a video of Doctor Who's panel at Comic-Con. It retails for about $50.