David Tennant’s turn as 1913 schoolmaster John Smith, his innocence shredded by the realisation of who he really was, and had to become once more:
I'm John Smith! That's all I want to be! John Smith. With his life. And his job... And his love. Why can't I be John Smith? Isn't he a good man? Why can't I stay?
was heartbreaking. And his final scene with equally capable Jessica Hynes turned me into mush.
And let’s not even go anywhere near the horror of his retribution...a lot of the Doctor’s actions in this story really were quite questionable, even if they sprung from an initial desire to be merciful.
Awesome on every level. A fantastic adaptation (the original novel is available to download here, along with Cornell’s notes on turning it into a TV story). A great character study. Brilliant baddies (wasn’t Will Scarlett terrific?). Deserving of a Hugo. Give this show to Paul Cornell when Russell Davis leaves.