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Feigning normality since 1973

Series 4 in Review

Filed in: Doctor Who.

My average rating for episodes this series was 7.153, which is down on Series 3. Though I thought this season was better overall - the finale really dragged it down. A handful of spoilers and misuse of the dl tag:

Midnight [10/10]
Chilling and atmospheric.
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead [10/10]
Brilliant, but sadly let down by certain dodgy effects.
Turn Left [9/10]
The grim reality of life without the Doctor
Fires of Pompeii [8/10]
Amusingly fun
Planet of the Ood [8/10]
If you can ignore the improbability of evolving external brains on an ice world, great!
Partners in Crime [7/10]
Despite the drawn-out reunion, quite fun, and the mimed conversation is worth the ticket price alone.
Sontaran Strategem/Poison Sky [6/10]
Above average for an early-season two-parter. Plus returning old-school monster!
[Sontaran fanart]
The Doctor's Daughter [5/10]
Fun, but crap logic.
The Stolen Earth/Journey's End [5/10]
Even if it had the best cliffhanger so far, it's the same damn thing every year.
The Unicorn and the Wasp [4/10]
Felt vaguely confused. Perhaps I'll like it more on a rewatch.

Overall, I think series 4 was the strongest so far, finale notwithstanding. Speaking of which, I still have questions:

  • Why are there bits left over when Earth is moved?
  • Why is it when they bring the Earth back, the moon is sitting there happily waiting instead of flying off through space because the mass it's been orbiting has been gone?
  • Why do the Daleks steal some planets from the past instead of all from the present?
  • Why do they round up what seems like all of humanity and then just vapourise a dozen or so? What did they do with the rest? How many people were killed when the crucible exploded, exactly?
  • Could the ending have possibly pissed off more people?

Also, I suspect the next time we see Martha, she'll be running UNIT...

Posted July 16, 2008 8:22 PM


I give Earth/End a higher rating than you do, but you are 100%'s essentially the same story as Parting Of The Ways. Major cop-outs, too. Midnight is a season highlight, as you say, and an excellent example of how you can do a great story with one set and next to no money. Turn Left aka Copy Star Trek Voyager was one of my favourites, mainly due to the doomladen atmosphere and Bernard Cribbins' superb acting. Library/Dead had some exceptional moments, and was in many ways the best story of the season, but it somehow left me cold. Not sure why. Perhaps it was because the threat just...gave up and ran away before the end, and was in a lateral sense just the Weeping Angels idea done slightly differently. Partners In Crime is the lowpoint for me, no doubt..."WTF was that?!" sprang to my lips more than once. The Adipose UFO was frakkin' BRILLYUNT, though, especially the noise it made. Planet Of The Ood was meh, Pompeii had a rather original menace behind it...inhaling the enemy....and the Sontaran two-parter was an occasioanlly chilling but mostly childish Sarah Jane Adventure starring the TARDIS crew. Doctor's Daughter was stupid, but great fun! :) Overall, the best season so far, with far fewer weak points and a head writer/exec producer who had decided to take the show seriously at last. All views purely MHO, of course.

Posted by: Jeff Stone | July 16, 2008 10:12 PM

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