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2009 Specials (Doctor Who): Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

The 2009 Specials were broadcast between the end of Series 4 and the beginning of Series 5. The four specials were broadcast at various points in 2009 (though the final special was broadcast in 2010). Of the four specials, one aired at Easter 2009, followed by a second that aired in November, and a third one aired on Christmas 2009 with the final one airing on New Year's Day 2010. These four specials were overseen by Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, but traditional line producer, Phil Collinson, did not return for them. All starred David Tennant. For the 2009 Specials, the Doctor was traveling alone, with each story featuring a one-off companion.

There had been conflicting reports given as to why the decision was made to take a year off. Initial media reports suggested that this was in order to allow David Tennant to perform a season of Shakespeare during the time a regular season would have normally entered production. However, these reports were directly contradicted in Russell T Davies' book Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, which contains correspondence from the spring of 2007; months before the gap year plan was announced; in which Davies indicated that the intent was to take the series off for a year, except for a few specials, in order to allow a new production team to make its transition, as Davies had already informed the BBC that he would not executive-produce a fifth season.





# Title Writer Notes
1 Planet of the Dead Russell T Davies
Gareth Roberts
2 The Waters of Mars Russell T. Davies
Phil Ford
3 The End of Time, parts 1 and 2 Russell T Davies Final appearance of the Tenth Doctor and first appearance of the Eleventh Doctor. Reintroduction of Donna Noble, Wilfred Mott, the Master, and the Time Lords

Animated special

# Title Writer Notes
NA Dreamland Phil Ford

Dreamland was a serialized animated story initially made available on the BBC's Red Button service before being televised in December 2009. Its writer has stated it takes place after the events of The Waters of Mars but it is not officially considered one of the Specials.

Other productions

Disputed productions

The Next Doctor

Main article: The Next Doctor

The status of the 2008 Christmas special The Next Doctor is a matter of debate. Officially, it has been called the 14th episode of Series 4, however as noted below, the 4th series numbering also applies to the specials. Conversely, The Next Doctor was produced during the same production block as Series 4, and also was produced differently than the specials, which were shot in high definition. It remains to be seen if over time The Next Doctor becomes accepted as a 4th season episode, as one of the 2009 specials, or as a complete standalone. BBC Video released it as part of the 2009 Specials box set on DVD and Blu-Ray; in the past, BBC Video's titling and programming has come to be considered definitive.

Music of the Spheres

Main article: Music of the Spheres

Produced at the end of production on Series 4, this mini-episode was produced as part of the Doctor Who at the Proms concert which was aired on radio in the summer of 2008, with the episode initially available visually online. It did not receive official TV broadcast until early 2009, after broadcast of The Next Doctor. Like the Christmas special, its formal season placement is debated. Like The Next Doctor, it was released by BBC Video in the 2009 Specials DVD box set.


Primary Cast

Secondary Cast

Guest Cast




Aliens and Enemies

DVD Releases

UK Releases
  • Planet of the Dead was released in the UK BBC DVD and Blu-ray on the 29th June 2009 -- it is the first Doctor Who story to be released in Blu-Ray.
  • All the specials, plus The Next Doctor and Doctor Who at the Proms (including Music of the Spheres) was released in a box set in both Blu-Ray and DVD format on 11th January 2010; The Next Doctor was upconverted to high-definition for the release, the first Doctor Who episode to undergo this process.
  • The Waters of Mars and The End of Time were also released separately on DVD/Blu-Ray on 11th January.
  • Doctor Who: The Complete Specials was released on UK DVD and Blu-ray on the 11th January 2009 - the Box Set consisted of 5 discs, which was The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars, The End of Time Part 1 and The End of Time Part 2, each on a separate disc. They each contained the special features that were released on the single DVD's.
  • Dreamland will be released on UK DVD and Blu-ray on the 1st February 2010. The official cover and special features are TBA.
International Releases
  • Planet of the Dead was released in North America on 28th July 2009 in both DVD and Blu-Ray formats -- the first Doctor Who story to be released in high definition.
  • It has been announced that the four specials plus The Next Doctor and Doctor Who at the Proms/Music of the Spheres will be released in North America on both DVD and Blu-Ray in a box set on 2nd February 2010. As with the UK release, The Next Doctor is being upconverted to high-definition for the release.[1]
  • The Waters of Mars and The End of Time will also be available separately on DVD/Blu-Ray on 2nd February.


  1. The Doctor Who News Page: Waters of Mars American Airdates accessed 9th January 2010
Doctor Who by season/series
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1996 movie
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2009 Specials
Planet of the Dead  • The Waters of Mars  • The End of Time  
See also: The Next Doctor  • Dreamland  • The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith 

This article uses material from the "2009 Specials (Doctor Who)" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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