I’m the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am 903 years old and I’m the man who’s gonna save your lives, and all six billion people on the planet below.Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, S04E00
You got a problem with that?
‘Voyage of the Damned’
If Series 3 solidified my love of Doctor Who, Series 4 threw me into pure obsession. At this point, there was no turning back, no reverse Uno card, no getting myself out of the wonderful madness which is Doctor Who. There are no complaints in the slightest (not from me anyway – my immediate family had [have] to deal with the most of my unfiltered ‘Who Chatter’). I am so thankful to have discovered this show, I love it!
Christmas Special S04E00 ‘Voyage of the Damned’
I remember I was in an ABC shop with my family (back when ABC shops were still a thing), some time after the Christmas of 2007 when I hadn’t yet seen the Christmas Special. I remember thinking I had seen an episode of Doctor Who on this tiny TV they had in the corner and I pointed it out to Dad in excitement and I remember he instantly said that it couldn’t be Doctor Who because he’d seen Kylie Minogue on the screen. I was right (of course).
While I love all the Christmas Specials equally, this I think would have to be one of my favourites. It is wonderfully mad, and the robotic ‘Heavenly Host’ staff are almost comically creepy. Plus Kylie Minogue, enough said. It is exciting, funny, and emotional – everything you want from Doctor Who on Christmas Day.
Also, space Titanic!? Amazing. Space Titanic crashing to earth on Christmas Day? Even better. I just really love this episode!
First Episode: S04E01 ‘Partners in Crime’
Oh my, this episode brought back one of my favourite Doctor Who duos and I absolutely love the episode for it. Donna (Catherine Tate) and the Doctor (10th – David Tennant) are the perfect TARDIS team and no one can convince me otherwise. I nearly all the Doctor’s companions, and of my favourites, when asked the question, my answer will always be Donna. She was funny, snarky, and she brought so much to the show. Especially, her heart, and her humanity. Her story as well, while one of the most heartbreaking for me, is one of my favourites too.
The episode itself though? It is strange. As a concept for an episode – a pill that helps you to loose weight, though loosing weight means it quite literally walks away in the form of a walking white marshmallow. The Adipose, are adorable, if you forget what they are purely made of (also how they are made). But if the concept is how you introduce one of the best NewWho duos then it works for me!
Favourite Episode: S04E08/09 ‘Silence in the Library’/’Forest of the Dead’
Series 4 brought me another of my favourite dual episode stories, as well as a new favourite character ( though at this point, I didn’t quite know it yet). River Song’s story arc that crosses multiple series and multiple Doctor’s is, simply put, plain awesome (I am considering doing a whole post series simply on her character arc so stay tuned). She knows the Doctor, but he doesn’t know her yet – so clever!
Along with this, I found the concept of the Vashta Nerada so cool, also very creepy, deadly shadows? Nuh uh, I will be staying out of the shadows now thank you very much. Just, nope. I also really liked the biggest library in the universe as the setting, just so cool! Especially with the home of the Vashta Nerada being trees, so they didn’t really take over the library, as they were brought with the books. This whole episode is so atmospheric and creepy and I just love it!
Scariest Episode: S04E10 ‘Midnight’
Oof! This one spooked me so bad, so much so that I could only just rewatch it for this. I really love the episode but on the whole it just is so creepy. Like many of Doctor Who’s creepiest or scariest episodes, it makes sure to turn something very mundane into something that will forever put me on edge.
The act of repeating what someone says was always an action I understood to be mocking or with the aim to annoy. But now? Repeating, continually is now associated with an alien life form possessing someone. It really creeped me out – especially with the paralysis. This was all intensified with the small space the characters were trapped in. Just, nope, no thank you. Great episode though!
Most Emotional Episode: S04E02 ‘The Fires of Pompeii’
The Fires of Pompeii easily took the cake for most emotional episode for me (beside the series final of course, series 4’s final was heartbreaking, and I still can’t watch it without sobbing). It was Donna’s first trip into history – and I know that the TARDIS has a mind of her own, and the Doctor has a habit of letting her land wherever (more fun for him of course) – but, this could be one of the worst places for them to have landed. Okay, maybe not the worst place to have gone, but the worst time to go at that specific place. Pompeii – and as the Doctor says, it’s volcano day.
I thought the episode was cleverly plotted though, with the stone creatures living in the Volcano, and allowing for certain humans to have access to a form of clairvoyance. This is where the problem lies though – the clairvoyants can’t see the volcano exploding. So the Doctor has a heartbreaking choice to make: save Pompeii or make sure history keeps on track.
My gosh, I sob every time. The acting from Tennant and Tate nearing the end of this episode, especially Tate, is so raw and emotional. Especially with her pleading with the Doctor to save at least one family from all that tragedy.
Series Final: S04E12/13 ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’
Okay. So. I don’t even know where to start with this series finale. I have watched it so often now that I can quote with the characters, and even answer before them in some cases. Some may see this as sad, I see it as a skill. I really do love this dual story episode. It’s story is on an epic scale, and it brings back so many favourite characters from the past three series and beyond. And rightly so – this was Russell T Davis’ last full series as show runner and he pulled out all the stops. Daleks en’ mass, the literally displacing of planets in time, and past companions, even those form parallel worlds. Somehow, in all the chaos, it all works!
This two episode story though is also the heartbreaking ending to Donna’s story and while the lead up during the episode concludes her character’s arc in the most amazing way. It is also as emotionally scarring as an episode of a TV show can get. Donna is allowed the moment to shine and then it is all taken away. I am still not okay after this. Still not okay.
Thank you for reading! I think Series 4 has to be my favourite series of the RTD era with Series 3 in a close second. Especially as this series really got me obsessed! Is Series 4 a favourite of yours? If not, which is your favourite?
What were your picks for the above? I’d love to know your thoughts! Thank you for reading!
2 thoughts on “Doctor Who by Series | Series 4 – 2008”
[…] set up in Series 5, and continues with a reoccurring character (River Song) who was introduced in Series 4 – so an epic set up for these episodes (and the rest of the series) […]
[…] part story from Series 4 ‘Silence in the Library’/‘Forest of the Dead’ that I wrote about here, we also get the return of the Weeping Angels last seen in Series 3 in ‘Blink’ which I wrote […]