Doctor Who

Doctor Who 2008

Doctor and DonnaI enjoyed this season. I know I’ve loved the show for decades, but they do seem to keep coming up with new, clever stuff.

Voyage of the Damned: A little over-long and plodding in places. I suppose it was a Christmas episode.

Partners in Crime: Got the shock of my life at the end when Rose appeared, even though I had heard she’d be coming back. Other than that, not a spectacular story, but enjoyable enough.

The Fires of Pompeii: Good stuff. Liked the Roman name and Celtic gags. The Confidential episode that went with it showed David Tennant walking around the ruins of Pompeii, which was interesting.

Planet of the Ood: The Simpsons reference had the kids laughing. I was scratching my head until I worked out the boss character was Tim McInnerny. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to think Eww when he turned into an Ood.

The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky: Hooray, the Sontarans! Hooray, Martha’s back! Hooray, so is UNIT! Laughed at the reference to the UNIT dating controversy. Chief Sontaran played by Christopher “Mike Thecoolperson” Ryan. Naturally I liked the transport politics references too.

The Doctor’s Daughter: Given the name and premise, I thought I was going to hate this, until I saw how she was created. Some neat stuff with the dating on the city sections. I’m assuming we’ll see more of Jenny in the future.

The Unicorn and the Wasp: What, two historical stories in one season? Good stuff, it kept me guessing until the end. I liked the idea of the alien basing its activities around Agatha Christie’s plots.

Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead: Oh Stephen Moffat, you are a genius, and not just because you managed to again use wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff and childhood fears made real. The whole thing had me guessing until right near the end, Doctor Moon had me creeped out at first, and the Vashta Nerada is pure brilliance. The River Song character was terrific too, though I wonder if we’ll ever see her past when she meets the Doctor.

Midnight: This year they did the main actor’s time-off over two stories. I thought this story was interesting, both for the alien that was invisible, and the way they played the “trapped in a room” plot, involving people who might consider themselves normally civilised going feral on each other.

Turn Left: Best story of the year, I thought. Bringing back the last year or two’s events and seeing how they would have played without the Doctor being involved — very clever. The acting — including minor characters like the Italian housemate bloke — was great, and it really brought out how much Donna matured throughout the series. The only thing that let it down slightly was the beetle. What a cliffhanger!

The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End: There’s no doubt about it, executive producer Russell T Davies loves a shock-and-awe season finale; he does them every year. But just when I thought I was tiring of them, this had some clever stuff, plenty of returning friends and villains, celebs like Richard Dawkins, tying up a multitude of plot threads and… well, the ultimate in nostalgia, Sarah Jane meeting Davros again for the first time since 1975. I found the ending poignant — the “loss” of Donna (or at least that whole aspect of her) was quite sad. Let’s just hope she doesn’t run into Martha or Sarah Jane or Mickey or Jack in the street…

The year’s episodes might have started a little slowly, but they built up to a great conclusion. (Go look at the early ones again and you’ll find clever forward references, like mentions of the missing planets, bees, and Lucius in the Pompeii episode telling Donna “There’s something on your back!”)

Looking forward to what happens next.