- Broadcast: 31 May/7 June 2008
- Viewers: 6.27m/7.84m
- Availability: DVD: Series 4 Volume 3
One hundred years ago, the universe’s greatest library was sealed off, leaving only one warning: "Count the shadows". But now, the shadows are moving again. The Doctor and Donna must uncover the terrible truth behind the Nodes and the horrifying Data Ghost, to find the library’s secret.
As the shadows rise and march, the Doctor forges an alliance with the mysterious River Song. But can anyone stop the Vashta Nerada? While the Doctor discovers long-buried secrets and revelations about his own future, the sinister Nodes declare that Donna is doomed.
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Euros Lyn
The Doctor – David Tennant
Donna Noble – Catherine Tate
Professor River Song – Alex Kingston
Dr Moon – Colin Salmon
The Girl – Eve Newton
Dad – Mark Dexter
Node 1 – Sarah Niles
Node 2 – Joshua Dallas
Anita – Jessika Williams
Strackman Lux – Steve Pemberton
Miss Evangelista – Talulah Riley
Other Dave – O-T Fagbenle
Proper Dave – Harry Peacock
Lee – Jason Pitt
Man – Jonathan Reuben
Ella – Eloise Rakic-Platt
Joshua – Alex Midwood
Donna: "Couldn’t she help?"
Other Dave: "Trust me, I just spent four days on a ship with that woman. She’s, uh …"
Anita: "Couldn’t tell the difference between the escape pod and the bathroom. We had to go back for her. Twice."
The Doctor: "Ah! I’m thick! Look at me, I’m old and thick, head’s too full of stuff. I need a bigger head!"
The Doctor: "You need a good death. Without death there’d only be comedies. Dying gives us signs (stops Donna from reading a book) whey, spoilers."
The Doctor: "These books are from your future. You wanna read all ahead, spoil the surprises, not peeking at the end."
Donna: "Isn’t travelling with you one big spoiler?"
The Doctor: "I try to keep you away from major plot developments."
Doctor Moon: "What I want you to remember is this- and I know it’s hard. The real world is a lie and your nightmares are real. The Library is real. There are people trapped in there. People who need to be saved. The shadows are moving again. Those people are depending on you. Only you can save them. Only you."
Professor River Song: "…your eyes. You’re younger than I’ve ever seen you."
The Doctor: "You’ve seen me before then?"
Professor River Song: "Doctor… please tell me you know who I am."
The Doctor: "Who are you?"
Professor River Song: "I trust this man with my life, with everything."
Strackman Lux:"But you’ve only just met him."
Professor River Song: "Nope, he’s only just met me."
Strackman Lux: "And who is ‘the Doctor’?"
Professor River Song: "The only story you’ll ever tell. If you survive him."
Donna: "What’s Vashta Nerada?"
The Doctor: "It’s what’s in the dark. It’s what’s always in the dark"
The Doctor: "Daleks, aim for the eye stalk. Sontarans, back of the neck. Vashta Nerada… run. "
Possessed Proper Dave: "Hey! Who turned out the lights?"
Professor River Song: "Oh God do I know that man. We go way back that man and me. Just not this far back."
Donna: "I’m sorry, what?"
Professor River Song: "He hasn’t met me yet. I sent him a message but it went wrong, it’s arrived too early. This is the Doctor in the days before he knew me, and he looks at me, he looks right through me and it shouldn’t kill me but it does."
The Doctor: "Almost every species in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark, but they’re wrong… because it’s not irrational."
Donna: "Wait, no… just hang on… so this isn’t the real me? This isn’t my real body? But I’ve been dieting!"
Miss Evangelista: "What you see around you, this entire world, is nothing more than virtual reality."
The Doctor: "Don’t play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand."
Professor River Song:"When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it will never end. But, however hard you try, you can’t run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies, and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it."
A few days before the episode was broadcast, it was announced that Steven Moffat was taking over as Head Writer from Russell T Davies.
Locations included the Old Swansea Central Library and the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, Wales.
"Forest of the Dead" was initially announced under the title "River’s Run"
When Donna asks the Doctor if he is alright he replies, "I’m always alright". He gave the exact same reply to Rose in The Girl in the Fireplace after learning of Reinette’s death.
Alex Kingston will appear with Matt Smith’s Doctor in Series 5.