Anywho the fourth series of the revived Doctor Who is notable for several reasons but mainly that it was Russell T Davies’ final full season as show runner and that it would be the last season until 2010, a nearly two year hiatus (in lieu of a season 2009 had several Doctor Who specials). Change was fast approaching the show, bigger than the new series had experienced thus far.
Full review after the jump.
|Pictured: Pretty much the best thing ever|
A new series begins with a new companion so let’s talk a bit about Donna before we get too far into this review. So I LOVE Donna Noble despite what a surprising number of Doctor Who fans seem to think about her. In my opinion Donna represents everything that a Doctor’s companion should be: she was brave, she was smart (despite appearances she was very clever), and most importantly she would call the Doctor out on his bullshit when needed. She was flawed; she was loud, argumentative, and too quick to react to things. However having flaws in your fictional characters is a good thing. The thing I like the most about Miss Noble is the sheer amount of character development she goes through from her first appearance in “The Runaway Bride” all the way through the series four finale “Journey’s End”. No one, with maybe the exception of
|It's in your best interest to avoid pissing her off, mate|
Anyway let’s take a look at series proper. Like with the previous season there’s no terrible or even really “bad” episode to be found. The difference is that the overall quality seems to be high. At this point we’re several years into the revival and if there’s a time where Davies has pretty much mastered his craft it’s in series four. In addition to having no true weak spots the series has several particularly strong episodes, probably the best the entire show had to offer at this point outside of “Blink” (which I maintain is the best episode of the entire revival). There’s “Midnight” which is written by Davies which is a thousand times better than everything he wrote prior to it. Also the two parter “Silence in the Library” and “The Forest of Death”, which introduced the character River Song whom I don’t think we ever see again after this episode whatsoever, were equal parts terrifying and heartbreaking. The two part finale, while bumpy, was a great way to cap off an era of Doctor Who as all of the main companions, Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, Rose (boooo), and Mickey along with Sarah Jane Smith, returned in a big reunion. It was a great moment for any fan of this show. In fact in a lot of ways this felt like it could have been the end of the Tenth Doctor’s tenure and it would have been pretty satisfying. It was a good finale except for about the last ten minutes or so which I will get into shortly.
|Ah, the days when River Song didn't split the fandom down the middle|
A simpler time, a better time
My major issue with rose as a character comes near the end so I suppose this is a good time to talk about the last bit of the season finale. I 100% believe that if it weren’t for this part of the episode I would have given the season a perfect score. This is spoiler territory so you might want to skip this part of the review if you haven’t watched this far into Doctor Who.
So first of all it needs to be mentioned that as part of the story (a convoluted part of the story) a part human clone of The Doctor, henceforth known as the Meta-Crisis Doctor, was created and in the same event Donna gained the vast knowledge and intellect of the Doctor. When the crisis was over the Doctor and Donna dropped Rose back on the parallel world she was originally stranded on while also exiling
|It's almost sweet until you realize that ain't the Doctor she's kissing|
So between the final fates of Rose and Donna I lefty this season feeling pretty disgruntled. Despite a very well-paced, well written season with almost no real low points I was left with a real sour taste in my mouth. But, the ending aside, it’s hard not to consider this an incredibly well done season and head and shoulders above the early attempts. If this was Davies’ final full series he did a nearly perfect job with it. He just spectacularly fumbled when he reached the goal line and that’s really disappointing. Also Rose sucks.
|That time Mr. Potato Head's people invaded Earth|
I give Doctor Who Series Four 4 Adorable Pandas out of 5.
-Overall great season with few low points
-Anther great performance from David Tenant
-Donna Noble is an awesome companion
-A mostly great finale
-Too much Rose Tyler crap and an overall ridiculous ending to her relationship with the Doctor
-The exit of Donna felt needlessly cruel