Doctor Who, Series 4. Discuss.

Ever since Rose Tyler left Doctor Who at the end of Series 2, Saturday night’s highlight show had lost a bit of its sheen. Freema was pretty good. Blink was superb. Paul Cornell’s episodes were a tour de force. But The Shakespeare Code was terrible, the Daleks in Manhatten disappointed and 42 was formulaic. Even RTD’s final trio of episodes, whilst having not a little hyperbole and a lot of fun (I LOVED John Simm), rather lacked substance.

So the prospect of Series 4, not least fearing the return of shouty cockney Donna Noble played by Catherine ‘what a fackin liberty” Tate, had me behind the sofa and quaking with fear before the theme tune even began. But thankfully Series 4 has so far not disappointed. Catherine Tate is, gasp, actually rather good and the character is a good counterweight to the Doctor: we were all getting a bit tired of the simpering companion thing, right?

The scale of the episodes has been huge. From thousands of cooing Adipose ascending to the spaceship, to the destruction of Pompeii and, forgetting the slightly rubbish Ood brain, it looks bigger and better than ever. God bless all those clever people who make it all look so exciting and real and god bless The Mill. UNITs back, the Sontarans were suitably bellicose, The Doctor’s Daughter was a belter and we’ve had fleeting glimpses of Rose and just what is on Donna’s back? I’m as giddy as a schoolboy about it.

For 45 minutes every week I’m transported far away from my adult life, back to the Eighties and the corner of my school playground (just by the canteen) that served as the Tardis. Friends would be Tegan, Nyssa, Peri (never Adric though, I wonder why) and I would be the Doctor (always Peter Davison, because he was MY doctor too) and we’d wage war against daleks and cybermen at playtime. It’s reassuring to think that the kids are still doing that today because Doctor Who is better than it’s ever been.

3 thoughts on “Doctor Who, Series 4. Discuss.”

  1. I love it. I’ve finally come to terms with DT as the Doctor.

    I spent series 2 sulking because I wanted Eccles back: mean and just a bit dangerous works so much better for me than DT’s toothy good looks… Actually I just figured it out; it’s childhood trauma watching Tom Baker turn into Tristan Farnon!!! Sorry, but I like my Doctors a bit ugly.

    I loathed series 3 to the point where I thought I might have to stop watching. Yes, we are all very sick of that simpering companion thing.

    But series 4… brilliant. I get cross (as you know) about certain aspects of it, the Doctor’s belief that “what you should do” is a simple mathematical equation, for example. I’d like the issue, just once, to be the life of a single individual, rather than the survival of the planet.

    There’s a Dorothy L Sayers short story about a man who has to choose between saving from fire a brilliant medial research paper which would save the lives of thousands, and an actual baby, and he saves the baby and the baby grows up to be hanged for murdering little girls. That’s the kind of dilemma you could do wonders with on Dr Who.

    (Apologies for length and wittering.)

  2. I’m afraid I’m going to be boringly out of character & say that I utterly agree with most of what has already been said.

    I, too, got rather bored during series 3 as Martha was little more than a Rose clone, RTD stuck ‘religiously’ to his new formula & we had a bad Dalek story. But my interest was recaptured by 3 fantastic episodes back-to-back – ‘Blink’ & the Doctor becoming human & almost shacking up with she who will forever be known as ‘her out of Spaced’.

    I feel series 4 has so far been ok but nothing special – the doctors’ daughter is a cool new character but her slo-mo bullet-diving was utterly cliched (didn’t she also shout ‘no’ at the same time?) & while the Sontarans storyline kept me guessing, they were ultimately too rubbish to ever take seriously. I don’t like Catherine Tate, although I enjoy the way her characters’ down-to-earthiness gives them more scope to emphasise the Doctors’ alienness. But it seems there’s a Steven Moffat (Blink, Girl In The Fireplace) 2-parter to come. It’s being postponed due to Eurovision of all things but as he’s written my favourite episodes of the new run so far, it should be worth the wait.

  3. Oh yeah, and I see UNIT haven’t improved their military tactics sicne the ’70’s, ie ‘hey let’s send just 2 blokes to investigate the basement & not worry if we loose contact with them for a bit. Tell them not to come back for help if they see any alien goo or their radios get jammed.’

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