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Doctor Who’s 4th season retrospective (video).

Our damn fine Stan Fine takes his seat for a retrospective of the fourth series of Doctor Who, where the TARDIS seemed to have a revolving door for companions, and the Doctor’s wardrobe was as unpredictable as British weather. Let’s dive in, shall we? First off, we kick things off with a Titanic-sized disaster in “Voyage of the Damned.” Not the actual Titanic, mind you, but a starliner duplicate. Because why settle for a historical tragedy when you can have a spacefaring one? The Doctor, ever the gentleman, tries to save the day, but not without some celestial shenanigans and a waitress named Astrid Peth who, spoiler alert, doesn’t get to enjoy a long-term stint in the TARDIS.

Then there’s “Partners in Crime,” where the Doctor and Donna Noble, the universe’s most unlikely detective duo, tackle the weighty issue of diet pills. Literally. These aren’t your average weight loss supplements; they turn your love handles into adorable, albeit slightly unsettling, white aliens. A lesson for us all: always read the fine print.

“Pompeii” is next, and it’s hot, hot, hot! The Doctor and Donna drop by a day before Vesuvius decides to redecorate. They face moral dilemmas, stone monsters, and a family that just can’t take a hint. But hey, at least the view is explosive.

“Planet of the Ood” gives us a glimpse into the lives of the Ood, those tentacle-faced, ball-holding aliens. It’s a tale of corporate greed, revolution, and a man who really should’ve checked the ingredients in his hair loss medication.

The Sontarans then decide to crash the party in a two-parter that involves mind control, clones, and a satellite navigation system that’s a tad too deadly. Martha Jones returns, but alas, she’s not quite herself. And Donna’s family gets a taste of the action, proving that no one is safe from the Doctor’s whirlwind adventures.

Next, “The Doctor’s Daughter” introduces us to… well, the Doctor’s daughter. It’s a family reunion with a twist, as the Doctor grapples with the sudden appearance of a progeny he never knew he had. In “The Doctor’s Daughter,” we’re introduced to Jenny, the Doctor’s… well, daughter. But not in the traditional sense. No, she’s a soldier created from his DNA. A bit of a family reunion, if you will, but with more guns and less cake. The episode takes us on a whirlwind journey of war, morality, and the age-old question of nature vs. nurture. And just when you think you’ve got a handle on things, Jenny’s life is cut tragically short. But fear not! This is Doctor Who, after all, and death isn’t always the end.

“The Unicorn and the Wasp” gives us a delightful murder mystery with none other than Agatha Christie. There’s a giant alien wasp, a dinner party, and enough twists and turns to make your head spin. It’s like “Clue,” but with more extraterrestrial interference. And let’s not forget the Vespiform, who’s just trying to find his place in the world. Or universe. Or whatever.

“Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” introduce us to River Song, the enigmatic woman who knows the Doctor but he doesn’t know her. Yet. It’s all very confusing, but in the best possible way. The Vashta Nerada, shadowy creatures that are every child’s worst nightmare, make for formidable foes. And the twist with Donna? Heartbreaking.

“Midnight” is a masterclass in tension. Trapped on a shuttle with a mysterious entity that can mimic voices, the Doctor faces one of his most challenging situations yet. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most terrifying monsters are the ones we can’t see.

“Turn Left” is a “what if” scenario that shows just how important Donna is to the Doctor’s world. With a giant beetle on her back (because why not?), Donna navigates an alternate reality where things have gone very, very wrong. And the reappearance of Rose? Just the cherry on top.

“The Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End” are a Whovian’s dream come true. Old companions, Daleks, and the return of Davros make for an explosive two-parter. The Doctor’s regeneration fake-out is enough to give anyone a heart attack (or two, if you’re a Time Lord). And the creation of a second Doctor? Mind-blowing. But it’s Donna’s tragic fate that truly tugs at the heartstrings. The Doctor’s lonely once more, but with memories of adventures that will last a lifetime. The world of Doctor Who continued to expand with the supplemental episode “Time Crash,” which sees the Tenth Doctor encountering his fifth incarnation. This delightful mini-episode, penned by the brilliant Steven Moffat, is a treat for fans, offering a nostalgic nod to the show’s history. The interaction between the two Doctors is both humorous and touching, highlighting the unique dynamics of the Doctor’s ever-evolving character. The episode culminates in a cliffhanger, with the Titanic crashing into the TARDIS, setting the stage for more adventures.

The casting for this series is particularly notable. After her initial appearance in “The Runaway Bride,” Donna Noble, played by the talented Catherine Tate, returns as the Doctor’s primary companion. The series also sees the return of several familiar faces, including Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), and other beloved characters from the Doctor’s past. The inclusion of these characters adds depth and continuity to the series, allowing for intricate storylines and emotional payoffs.

Guest stars for this series are a mix of returning characters and new faces. Bernard Cribbins and Jacqueline King reprise their roles as Donna’s family, while Penelope Wilton returns as the former prime minister, Harriet Jones. The series also boasts appearances from high-profile actors such as Kylie Minogue, Alex Kingston, and Peter Capaldi, adding star power to an already stellar cast. The production of this series is marked by several significant developments. This is the final full series for David Tennant as the Doctor, Phil Collinson as the producer, and Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner as executive producers. Their contributions to the revival of Doctor Who have been instrumental, and their departure marks the end of an era for the show.

The writing team for this series includes both new and returning talents. James Moran and Keith Temple make their Doctor Who writing debuts, while Gareth Roberts, Stephen Greenhorn, Helen Raynor, and Steven Moffat contribute their expertise to the series. The overarching narrative of the series is intricately woven, with hints and foreshadowing sprinkled throughout the episodes, leading up to a grand finale.

With a mix of nostalgia, innovation, and stellar performances, this series was a must-watch for both long-time fans and newcomers to the Whoniverse.

Doctor Who's 4th season retrospective (video).
Doctor Who’s 4th season retrospective (video).


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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