Planet of the Dead is a special of Doctor Who, released at Easter of 2009. It was the second in the series of specials that formed the bridge between the end of Series 4 and the beginning of Series 5. It starred David Tennant as The Tenth Doctor, Michelle Ryan as one-time companion Lady Christina de Souza. It was written by Russel T. Davies and Gareth Roberts.
The show begins with a cat burglar conducting a raid inside a museum. She runs from the museum and jumps onto a waiting bus. The bus leaves, pursued by police. But she isn't the only person of interest on the bus: there is also The Doctor, tracking a rip in the fabric of space-time, which promptly swallows the bus and leaves it on a desert planet. Lady de Souza shows her competence to The Doctor, and together they go about solving the mystery of what has happened on this planet. There is a red herring in a race of fly-like aliens who appear to be the villains, but turn out to be similarly stranded on the planet. The Doctor must keep the people on the bus calm (in a reference to Midnight) and return home before the plague that turned that world into the "Planet of the Dead" reaches earth. And, in true cliff hanger fashion, they do. The Doctor considers letting Lady de Souza travel with him, but finds her background to be a bit too questionable to board the TARDIS.
This is a good adventure. Despite its title, it is one of the more upbeat and simple Doctor Who adventures we had seen in a while. It is mostly a self-contained adventure, although a prediction by one of the passengers on the bus forsees the end of the Tenth Doctor with the warning "He will knock four times". Other than that, it seems to speak little to the Doctor's recent troubles. One of the ideas of the specials is that freed from the regular production schedule, the show could take on a more epic quality. While this is a good adventure, and it did take the step of being shot in Abu Dhabi, with some great special effects, it also doesn't rise above the level of a monster of the week episode. This would be quite a contrast to the next special, the epic The Waters of Mars.