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New Who: The Story Thus Far – Series 4 (Episodes 6-13)

John Hussey continues his series analysing the revival, this time with Series 4.

‘The Doctor’s Daughter’

the-docs-daughter-promoSeries Four continued after the mini cliff-hanger with the TARDIS taking the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), Donna (Catherine Tate) and an unwitting Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) to an unknown destination. This led to the Tenth Doctor being forced into using a progenation machine on the planet Messaline which resulted in him creating an offspring in the form of Jenny (Georgia Moffett). The story revolves around the Tenth Doctor coming face to face once again with the reality of the Last Great Time War’s aftermath at his hands. All of his family and friends perished after the usage of the Moment and now the Tenth Doctor was presented with a half-child and cruelly had to deal with his loss and emptiness his lost loved ones left behind within his broken hearts.

‘The Doctor’s Daughter’ really gave Donna a lot to show for herself as she uncovered the meaning of the number codes throughout the base. Using her skills as a temp she realised the numbers stood for the date in which the different sections were finished and this indicated the war between humanity and the Hath had been going for a mere week. The progenation machines had in fact been breeding generation after generation of soldiers who all simply passed on the legacy of the war and lost track of time. The meaning behind the Source, something both sides thought was a weapon to bring their enemies’ defeat, was revealed to be a terraforming device. The tragic ending saw Jenny shot by General Cobb (Nigel Terry), leaving the Tenth Doctor once again alone with the pain of loss. It was a tense moment to see the Doctor actually contemplating shooting his enemy in a peak of rage, but ultimately choosing the high ground and proving himself better by not firing. This in many ways was a clear sign the Last Great Time War still hung heavy on his shoulders and pushed his emotions in the ongoing plotline. The two species finally gained their alliance and the war came to an end. Martha was kept amongst the sidelines (resulting in the tragic death of Peck) and ending the story with her second return home. Unbeknownst to the Doctor, Jenny had in fact survived and took off to explore the galaxy.

‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’

The Unicorn and the Wasp‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’ was a fun story playing on the concepts of classic murder mysteries. There was even a mockery of the game Cluedo thrown in just for the laughs. The continuous idea of using historical figures pulled in Agatha Christie (Fenella Woolgar) to solve a plot that resembled one of her own stories. I’d never have guessed upon first viewing of this bizarre plot that the Vespiform was a vicar in disguise and that the Unicorn was in fact a thief (with her being a woman for extra shock value). It was an enjoyable watch, positioned as a stand-alone-story within Series Four which acted to showcase the continuous banter and friendship of the Tenth Doctor and Donna. One can never forget the fun watching Donna trying to solve the Tenth Doctor’s charades and then giving him one hell of a shock in order to grant him ingredients to the antidote to his poisoning. Doctor Who + murder-mystery = bonkers (in a good way).

‘Silence of the Library/Forest of the Dead’

silence-riverThe most important part to Series Four was the introduction of River Song (Alex Kingston) who later became a major character to both the Doctor and the show. During the original airing of ‘Silence of the Library/Forest of the Dead’ fans were left in confusion as to who this strange woman was. It was interesting how Steven Moffat introduced his wonderful character by having her know more about the Time Lord than he did. It left the Doctor completely stunned and somewhat uncomfortable. The chemistry River showcased indicated straight away that there was something important about her character and that she meant something of importance to the Doctor within his established future (something he wasn’t aware of yet but was obviously past history for River). This awkward introduction was the establishment that the two of them didn’t always meet in the right order and River’s diary was the key to syncing up their different and complicated time-streams.

It also became clear that this was in fact the Doctor’s first encounter with River and it would become her last (until the events of ‘The Name of the Doctor’). The tragic part about this love story was seeing River’s heartbreak knowing her beloved Doctor didn’t recognise her and that the Doctor from the future knew all along that her death would come. Though she didn’t fully die as the Doctor saved her to the Library’s databanks due to his unwillingness to escape endings, a fact he hates almost above else (as brought across strongly in ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’). River also let across earlier that she knew the Doctor’s name which ensured the Tenth Doctor believed her words and he finally started to trust her. It was the beginning to their long and complicated relationship.

The Vastra Nerada proved to be another of Steven Moffat’s brilliant designs. The idea of Piranha-like creatures living within the shadows waiting for you is quite chilling and gave the story the edge and atmosphere it needed. Sadly the part I hated most about the plot was Donna’s scenes in the alternative world within the databanks. Due to not fully liking her character I found them distracting and detracted from the main action I was quite frankly more bothered about. Overall, it was a good plot and led towards one of the best eras of Doctor Who so far. The story also foreshadowed Donna’s fate within ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’.

‘Midnight’

Sky-Silvestry-midnightThe next two instalments of Series Four were interesting in the sense that they were both ‘Lite-episodes’. ‘Midnight’ saw the Tenth Doctor having an adventure on his own whilst ‘Turn Left’ acted as a ‘Doctor-Lite-Episode’ like with previous adventures ‘Love & Monsters’ and ‘Blink’. ‘Midnight’ was without a doubt the better of the two Series Four episodes and showcased a real breakthrough within storytelling (and it was also without a doubt one of RTD’s best stories). Like with ‘The Deadly Assassin’ from the Fourth Doctor’s era, we were shown the dark scenarios the Doctor could get into without a companion either to stop him or to aid him because on his own he was vulnerable to both temptation and danger.

Once again it was shown that humanity could truly be the greatest monsters of them all. The tense storyline really did bring about all that is dark within our species and showcased that fear and the unknown will break us apart and reduce us to such a primal state to the point of being irrational. This left the Tenth Doctor more than vulnerable as his fellow passengers grew ever more hysterical from the presence of the Midnight Entity possessing Sky Silvestry (Lesley Sharp). The entity was completely unseen throughout the entire episode, giving the story that extra edge of terror as even we the viewer couldn’t see what the Doctor was facing. ‘Midnight’ got to the point that even the Tenth Doctor was overpowered by his passengers and he displayed genuine fear as he knew he had lost control and was completely open for attack. The story got even more tense when the Tenth Doctor had his voice stolen by the Midnight Entity with the passengers made to believe that he was now the enemy and was nearly thrown out of the vehicle into the X-Tonic radiation outside. It was certainly a close-call for the Doctor and one of the most terrifying adventures to date. ‘Midnight’ also had the third cameo by Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) as she appeared briefly on one of the broken television screens (unknown to the Tenth Doctor). It also gave another indication to the ‘stolen planets story-arc’ with the mentioning of the lost Moon of Poosh.

‘Turn Left’

turn-left-donna‘Turn Left’ saw an opportunity by Russell T Davies to show us what would happen if the Doctor wasn’t around to save us: answer; everything would fall into the pits of hell. It was a clever idea to tackle but unfortunately it wasn’t done to its fullest. It fell apart firstly by placing the companion centre stage. That’s all fine and dandy but I’m not the biggest fan of companions getting all the glory in a story and the Doctor being pushed to the sideline even though he is meant to be the main character we follow each and every week of a series (thise happened a little too much in Russell’s era). Donna wasn’t one of my favourite companions and ‘Turn Left’ began the turning point of her character that led into inconsistent writing which made her character go from a more confident Donna who had done so much, to a Donna who doubted herself without any true meaning. The concentration was too much on Donna rather than the consequences of doomed Earth itself. Donna’s character was made to be far too important for reasons that weren’t all that great.

The nice spin on the episode was the death of all the companions who had aided the Tenth Doctor along with their little gangs (i.e. Luke, Clyde, Maria, Gwen and Ianto). The problems with ‘Turn Left’ are the major plot-holes. With the absence of the Tenth Doctor all of the major modern-day disasters are explained and dealt with but what about major points within the past? Who prevented the Carrionites from taking over Shakespearean England? Who erupted Mount Vesuvius to destroy the Pyroviles and finally who saved Agatha Christie from the Vespiform? Also I seem to recall in ‘Voyage of the Damned’ that the idea of the Titanic crashing into the Earth was to destroy it as part of Mr. Capricorn’s (George Costigan) mad money-making scheme and yet in ‘Turn Left’ it merely destroyed London instead. This I never understood. And finally the major continuity error is the fact the Daleks master plan of destroying reality still occurs despite the fact the Tenth Doctor was never around in 1950s New York to prevent the Final Experiment, thereby causing Dalek Caan to become the last Dalek and use Emergency Temporal Shift to go crash through the Time Lock to save Davros. ‘Turn Left’ was an mediocre episode in my eyes and could’ve been a lot better if it hadn’t been so Donna-central and the plot-holes were tightened up to a more believable degree. The main point of the episode I suppose is the return of Rose Tyler, which had been hinted at throughout Series Four, in order for the relevance of the series finale.

‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’

davros-stolen-earth-palmSeries Four came to a climatic conclusion with ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ which was jam-packed with so much action, drama and suspense to the point were surely it would be considered the best finale of all times? In my opinion that would be utterly incorrect. The major issue with this finale is too much happens. It is a massive cluster of mental ideas crammed together into one giant mess. To some degree ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ reads like a fan-fiction story seen on the internet. It brings back old characters, joins together the spin-off shows and respective characters, has tons of Daleks, resurrects Davros and joins all these points together for a pointless plotline. It really didn’t come across too well.

Russell T Davies’ problem was he didn’t think too much out of the box and so kept repeating himself in storytelling for finales and story-arcs. The usage of Daleks every series was another point that became tiresome and extremely boring and unimaginative. They came back from being apparently extinct and then miraculously became apparently extinct again. Same old, same old. Davros didn’t get nearly enough screen-time he deserved and was wasted in the long run. The only redeeming factor of his appearance was shock value and his ultimate speech about the Doctor creating an army of murderers through his companions and causing the death of the innocent he encounters due to his dangerous lifestyle. Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton) was the latest victim to pay the price as her minor return saw her give her otwn life to bring the Tenth Doctor to the Medusa Cascade to help Earth and his friends stop the Daleks.

The Daleks masterplan was way too far-fetched for my liking. I know the Daleks hate everything in the universe but would they really go to the length of destroying everything within every single universe? Plus this goes back to the plothole I mentioned in ‘Turn Left’ about the foreshadowing of the Daleks’ Reality Bomb. As someone once said in the comment section – if the Reality Bomb transmits to every single parallel universe then surely at some point a reality would be met with an alternative scenario in which the Reality Bomb isn’t stopped and would therefore cause the end of everything?

The inclusion of all the different characters wasn’t very clever and just created a fan-fiction style mash-up and it made the story too cramped. But episode length isn’t everything and Steven Moffat has proved on countless occasions that a great story can be told in a short time-span. Russell’s god-complex seemed to grow out of control at this point and it showed with the inclusion of all his characters and ideas in one massive story. I for one would’ve preferred Torchwood not being included as I’ve found over time that its nature just contradicts the overall story of Doctor Who and with this inclusion it basically means we are forced to consider it canon whether we like to or not.

Donna-Noble-Journeys-EndThe thing I hated most was the utter destruction of Donna’s character. Anything redeeming in her went out of the window when she became a super human merged with a Time Lord mind through the means of a Meta-Crisis. The creation of another Tenth Doctor was just madness and didn’t really make sense nor bring anything to the plot other than giving an excuse to send Rose Tyler back to the parallel world at the end of the story. Seeing Donna defeat the Daleks in such a humiliating fashion made me cringe and really feel bad for them. It could’ve been handled better. Also the revelation about Donna’s strange connection with the Tenth Doctor was really bad.

The idea of Dalek Caan having a radical character shift was just completely hypocritical to his last appearance (i.e. him hating Dalek Sec for believing the Daleks ways were wrong). Then creating a scenario where it can destroy every last Dalek (after time allows it to see the Daleks for what they are) by manipulating Donna (making her character far too important through stupidity) was just bad writing. Almost a massive cop-out to what was an already average finale. I will admit Donna’s exit was truly shocking and completely sad having all of her memories taken away and turned back into her former useless self, leaving the Tenth Doctor completely destroyed by her loss. ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ tied up what little story-arc there was in Series Four by explaining the stolen planets were a part of the Daleks grand master plan of creating the Reality Bomb and Rose was returning because of the Reality Bomb (and her undying urge to be with the Tenth Doctor). The only important plot points from this story is the revelation of the Tenth Doctor using up a regeneration (which would become important within ‘The Time of the Doctor’) and his slow decent into despair after wiping Donna’s memories.

My Verdict

  • ‘The Doctor’s Daughter’ – 9/10
  • ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’ – 10/10
  • ‘Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead’ – 8/10
  • ‘Midnight’ – 10/10
  • ‘Turn Left’ – 3/10
  • ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ – 4/10

 Continues tomorrow with the remaining Tennant specials.

Step back in time...

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103 comments
LucasW
LucasW

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree - I think this is one of the strongest runs in Who history. The final three episodes are, for me, some of the best Doctor Who has ever produced. Turn Left is wonderful and powerful and moving, and I also love the companions getting their chance in the spotlight. It's important to remind the audience that the Doctor affects his companions greatly, and this episode exemplifies that. Also, of the Doctor is going to be the centre of attention, why include companions at all? Window dressing? To ask "what it is Doctor?" And proclaim "I don't understand, Doctor" and infinite number of times? They are all strong characters who need a chance to shine.

And I love TSE / JE. It's fun, epic, exciting, joyous... And then takes a sudden dive into heartbreak which is a real punch in the stomach every time. I loved Donna, and the brutal ending shows how brave and daring the show can be while telling us about the consequence of travelling with the Doctor.

I think it is fair to call Davies' finales a bit formulaic, but it would be a lie if you were to say that Moffat's finales weren't. Someone with a grudge against the Doctor does something which eventually causes the collapse of the universe, preferably with some weird timey-wimpy ball and a gaggle of old friends.

I'm the Doctor, I've lived for over 2000 years
I'm the Doctor, I've lived for over 2000 years

The Doctor's Daughter - 9/10

The Unicorn and the Wasp - 9/10

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead - 10/10

Midnight - 5/10

Turn Left - 6/10

The Stolen Earth/Journey's End - 10/10

The 11th Doctor
The 11th Doctor

My Verdict on Series 4, Episode 6-13

The Doctor's Daughter: 6/10 (60%)

The Unicorn and the Wasp: 7/10 (70%)

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead: 10/10 (100%)

Midnight: 8/10 (80%)

Turn Left: 6/10 (60%)

The Stolen Earth/Journey's End: 7/10 (70%)

Average Rating: 7.3/10 (73%)

Lord of Time
Lord of Time

As for Turn Left, in the first draft of the script UNIT tested their time machine by sending a soldier back in time to the Elizabethan era, but it was cut for time. I believe Rose also said something about Alonso Frame minimizing the damage of the storm drive.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

I think 'Turn Left' is great. I didn't like it greatly the first time watching it, but it shows a very interesting look into what the world would have been like without the Doctor. Also, Rose returns, and that ending is really good, in my opinion.

DaftDalek
DaftDalek

Regarding the plotholes you're talking about in Turn Left, you should remember it was a different universe, which means certain time-locked events were different.

The Finn
The Finn

My favourite of these is TUATW.

arlene1999
arlene1999

I think you are wrong on several counts. First I think Donna was the best of the new who companions with Amy Pond being the worst. I can already see that you think the Steven Moffat era is the best , which I disagree with because his use of reset buttons and no real consequences. As far as rating the episodes, mine go like this.

The Doctor's Daughter - 7/10 they should have shown blood or the wound, as it was Jenny just has her hand their. The emotional content was excellent in this episode, but I don't think Martha should have been in it.

The Unicorn and the Wasp - 6/10 silly episode.

Silence in The Library/Forest of the Dead - 9/10 I liked Donna's ark.

Midnight - 10/10 Brilliant.

Turn Left - 10/10 Brilliant  Things in the real world didn't have to be the same in Donna's world.

Stolen Earth/Journey's End - 8/10 It was a celebration and the only wrong was the Meta-Crises Doctor

AllonsyGeronimo
AllonsyGeronimo

Dalek Caan would have ended up saving Davros regardless of The Doctor's involvement. The other members of the Cult were already against Sec's plan and so when events unfolded and the Daleks couldn't activate their army, the other Daleks would have turned on Sec and Caan would have survived to go back in time and rescue Davros. Sorted :)


.
Very good write-up, I enjoyed reading it.

DW_girl
DW_girl

I completely disagree with the low markings for Turn Left and The Stolen Earth/Journey's End. It seems the reasons you've marked them so low is because of things which don't quite 'click' or are apparantly plot holes. I see no plot holes in 'Turn Left'- the Carrionites could have been stopped by just Shakespeare even without the Doctor there (he is a clever man with a brilliant way of words!). And i don't think the finale is nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It didn't feel 'fanfiction-y' at all; it felt like a celebration and an epic two-part story which was very fulfilling. The DoctorDonna revelation was a great unexpected twist, but I do agree that the Daleks were defeated all too easily (but oh well, no episode is perfect!)

My ratings would be:

The Doctor's Daughter 7.5/10

The Unicorn and the Wasp 8.5/10

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead 9.5/10

Midnight 10/10

Turn Left 10/10

The Stolen Earth/Journey's End 8.5/10

mgm1229
mgm1229

I think that the end of this series was exquisitely planned. In Midnight, we came uncomfortably close to losing the Doctor; his powerlessness was terrifying. Then in Turn Left, we did lose him, as well as all of the companions we know and love, in heartbreaking fashion. (Except Jack, who still can't die) So when everyone shows up in the finale, it is emotionally very satisfying. I can live with some plot holes if a story has a big emotional payoff, and nothing in all of new Who is as sad as Donna's fate to lose everything she's become by traveling with the Doctor.

Thesilence_1994
Thesilence_1994

I certainly wasn't expecting 'Unicorn and the wasp' to get 10/10 while 'Turn Left' gets 3/10. I'd personally  swap them around, but that's just my opinion. I agree on pretty much everything else. I absolutely HATE 'Stolen Earth/'Journey's End' I think it's one of the worst finales we've had.

MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

As for series ranking so far (best to worst)

1. Series 1

2. Series 4

3. Series 3

4. Series 2 (Only bad series so far. The other three have been brilliant)

MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

People think that the only people who love Journeys end are Rose lovers....Well, I absolutely hate Rose. I think she is the worst companion of the modern series by a mile.....And yet I still liked Journeys end.

chinnysandshoes
chinnysandshoes

I think The Daleks will never ever be completely wiped out. They are the Doctor's arch nemesis and like all 'good' nemesises, they will endure as long as the Doctor endures. Like Joker for the Batman, Lex Luthor for Superman... Long may they live, I say!

I get why RTD would destroy Donna so completely. 1) It catalysed the utter unraveling of Ten; 2) It demonstrates that running with the Doctor is a dangerous business and some make it, some don't but all will ultimately pay a price for it. So good on RTD for not giving fans their satisfaction in giving Donna her consolation prize like Metacrisis Doctor for Rose *rollseyes*. I may hate it for Donna's sake, but it was right.

I really liked Turn Left for the themes that were explored - concentration camps from xenophobia in times of war, the course of our lives shaped from simple everyday decisions... I think they were far more meaningful compared to episodes like The Doctor's Daughter. 3/10 for TL vs 9/10 for TDD? Seriously?? Well ok. For me, it's the other way around.

TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

See, my understanding of Turn Left was that the parallel universe that Donna was in existed alongside the, for lack of a better term, main universe, so it makes sense that Davros' plan would still be affecting that universe because the reality bomb, as Davros said, pierced through the rift of the Medusa Cascade and affected all universes and all of existence.  And then when Rose traveled to the alternate universe and led Donna to change her decision and turn left, that parallel universe kinda' sorta' looped back into the main universe, and left Donna with just faint memories of it, and the warning that Rose left her with.  And because we're dealing with parallel universes and thus there are no rules here, the parallel universe that Donna was in just happened to be one in which Vesuvius happened by some other means, the whole Vespiform episode didn't happen, the Cult of Skaro didn't attempt what they did in the Evolution two-parter, and the Titanic ship... well, okay that's a bit of oversight that's a lot harder to explain away, so I'll grant you that one.  It's kind of a cheaty explanation, but you know what, it's Doctor Who: a show replete with cheaty explanations and things that aren't fully explained for us.  This actually makes the episode more enriching and entertaining for me.  And it's such a strong episode besides that it's easy for me to forgive certain things in this episode.  


Besides that, I would rate The Doctor's Daughter and The Unicorn and the Wasp a few points lower than you did, the library two-parter at least one point higher than you did, and I've already talked extensively about the fan service element of the series finale, but I still think that that had everything else going for it, so I would rate that a couple of points higher than you did.  So the only thing I unequivocally agreed with you on was Midnight.  But hey, opinions and a**holes and all that.  I find it enriching to read/hear what other people have to say about this show that we all love, even if I disagree with them almost entirely.  So thank you for enriching my experience regardless.  I hope I've done that at least in some small part for you as well. :)

Galax
Galax

‘The Doctor’s Daughter’ – 7/10


Quite good, but not full marks. Martha is AWFUL in this episode. I really like Freema Agyeman but she was just rubbish in this episode. Her line "Ok. I'm doctor Martha Jones. Who the hell are your ?!" was the poorest deliverance I've ever seen in Doctor Who... I feel so bad for her... And she isn't even helpful with the plot. She is just there, she goes from A point to B point, she says "oh, it smells flowers !" and that's all. Her story with the bravest Hath was touching but it felt like a B-plot and nothing more... Otherwise, I really LOVE Jenny. I love how she came, I love the moral dilemma about the Doctor and his past, I love how the Time War is related to the episode, I love the "Source" and god, that "It's only been a week !" was one of the cleverest twist of the Series. Jenny's death is pretty sad too and the ending was perfect (Thank you Moffat !). And it's so cute to think that it is thanks to that episode David and Georgia meet each other :)

‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’ – 7/10


One of the best episodes focused about a famous historical figure, just behind Vincent and the Doctor of course. The plot is clever, the murder is catchy and Donna and the Doctor are at their best. I don't really like the necklace stuff, that was pretty "meh".

‘Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead’ – 9/10


Come on, it's a masterpiece, and by far the beststandalone two-parter that exist (= behind TPO/TBB and TIA/DOTM). The storytelling is absolutely amazing. The only flaw was the fact that I don't really care about Donna's life, I mean, it's good but the "Cyberspace world" was a twist I guessed a long time before Miss Angelista revealed it... But it is still one of the best, really. And RIver ! And the Vashta Nerada ! I'm going to stop here, everything in it is just... beauty.

‘Midnight’ – 9/10


Well, there are the ones that hated it, there are the ones that loved. I loved it, I think everything has already been told.

‘Turn Left’ – 8/10


What if the Doctor had passed away ? Is the Doctor the trigger of disaster, or is he the savior ? The idea is just wonderful, and even if there are some little plot holes in my mind, I loved how they took every plot involving Earth's fate, and turned into into "end of the world !". Donna, Wilfried and even Silvia are fantastic. RTD's writing is very precise, searching, earnest... Just look at this text :


(Rocco gives Wilf a salute. Wilf salutes back. Both grave. Then Mr Colasanto heads for the truck. Donna goes to stand next to Wilf.) 


Donna: It'll be quiet with him gone. Still, we'll have more room. 

Wilf: Labour camps. That's what they called them last time. 

Donna: What do you mean? 

Wilf: It's happening again...

Donna: What is? 

(She looks at the truck. Mr Colasanto is hugging his wife. And the pretence has fallen away. Both are crying.)

Donna :Excuse me? Excuse me, where are you taking them? Where are you going? Rocco, where are you going ?! Where are you going ?!!...

Brr, give me chills every time. RTD at his best. The run Silence in Library - Turn Left is one of the strongest in the show's history, by the way, along with the Series 3 P2 run, the "Toby Hynes episodes" run and the Doctor's Series 7 trilogy.


‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ – 8/10

Well I don't share the hate for it. The Stolen Earth is by far the best "pre-final" in the show. Of course, the end of Journey's End is awful (magic deck-controller that can control all the Daleks ?? in Davros' room, the mad-one, the Daleks' pet ? Please !), with a big plot hole and deus-ex-machina... But the whole story and reunion is amazing ! A dream ! Donna's last moments are excellent, and I pretty liked Rose's proper end too, I liked her in Series 4 and I still cried every time in Doomsday.

Series Overall : 7.42 (but I will count 2009 Specials as Series 4)

Series Ranking so far : 4 > 1 > 2 > 3. 







JolomontheCube
JolomontheCube

Oh come on! Turn Left and the finale wasn't THAT bad!


here's my list:


The Doctors Daughter: 5/10


The Unicorn and the Wasp: 7/10


Silence in the Library/Forest of the dead: 10/10


Midnight: 8/10


Turn Left: 6/10


The Stolen Earth/Journey's End: 7/10 (ruined only by Journey's end's ending)

TheAmazingSkyFaller™
TheAmazingSkyFaller™

I can appreciate 'Turn Left' now. Whether it's age or maturity, or both; I can see the underlying themes and consequences and I adore the episode. 10/10. Or a 9/10

floppy_who
floppy_who

A minor point, but wasn't The Dalek story being referred to here in Turn Left set in 1930, not the 1950s?

The Genie
The Genie

“The Daleks masterplan was way too far-fetched for my liking. I know the Daleks hate everything in the universe but would they really go to the length of destroying everything within every single universe?


Yes.  They would…. Because they hate everything in the universe.

I too felt really bad for the Daleks.  All they wanted was to commit mass genocide so that they could have a bit of privacy… they really didn’t deserve to be blown up.

Fan-fiction can be a wonderful thing, by the way… it’s developed a bad name.  Uch, ‘fan-fic’… Doctor/Rose naughty scenes, returning Vervoids, et cetera, et cetera… but a good fan-fic often does something the show can’t do (i.e. bringing back old companions en masse) and makes it work.  I’ve read lots of terrific fan-fictions.  Just because a fiction is written by a fan, doesn’t make it a bad fan-fic.

Well-written article… but I disagree on most counts.  I suppose that’s what our opinions are for, though.

JoehWh0
JoehWh0

Only 3 for Turn Left? I would've given it a 9 or 10, but that's just my opinion I suppose :)

ClassicWhovian
ClassicWhovian

I give Turn Left a 10 with absolutely no doubt at all, but there you go.


StephenAHayes
StephenAHayes

I disagree somewhat with this. I thought The Unicorn And the Wasp was utter rubbish yet Turn Left was brilliant. However, your analysis of the final was spot on: a series that falls on it's own sword ruined by another cop-out flimsy rubbish series finale.

Pertbaker34
Pertbaker34

Okay, John Hussey, your verdicts are just silly.

Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd
Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd

For me I'd say 

6.The Doctor's daughter 8/10 

7.Unicorn and the wasp 6/10 

8.Silence in the library 10/10 

9.Midnight 10/10 

10.Turn left 10/10 

11.The Stolen earth 7.5/10 (first part 9/10 second part 6/10 

TheWhiteGuardian
TheWhiteGuardian

Reading the comments, I have found that series 4 seems to be one which people either seem to love or hate. This seems partly to be influenced by the character of Donna. I think that people seem to have the same attitude to these as they do to Donna, particularly because she was the first continuous companion of the new series to be almost as involved with the story as the Doctor and had the attitude to match. In my own opinion, I think that series 4 has the strongest track record of any of the new series. I love the character of Donna and her relationship with the Doctor. And I must admit that I love Stolen Earth/Journey's End despite the abysmal cop-out ending for the Daleks. The defeating of a major villain was not even this bad in the Power of Three. Even so, I felt it really was a finale to end all finale's and is one of my favorite episodes, even if it is just because of all the fan orientated moments aka Russel T Davies going slightly mental with power.  Any sweeping statements made in the above comment are because of time constraints. Clarifications can be made upon request




Leggy
Leggy

Well if there's a side to choose, which I don't like doing, I'm RTD all the way. To quote you on part of your Stone Earth/Journey's end review - "The major issue with this finale is too much happens. It is a massive cluster of mental ideas crammed together into one giant mess". You could have used that line to describe the entirety of series 6... Series 4 IMHO was a lovely, well crafted mix of stories, some better than others, but as a whole it stands as one of the best. And don't get me started on Donna, after SJ Smith, she's the best companion ever. 











MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

The doctor's daughter gets a 9/10

Stolen Earth/Journeys end gets a 4/10 and Turn left gets a 3/10

*Face palm*

gunslinger19
gunslinger19

series 4 in my opinion is very overrated. sure the second half of the series upped its game tremendously (with the exception of the finale which was unbelievably bad i think) but the idea that it is the best series baffles me.


partners was mediocre, i dont think that much of it i can see why some people might like it.

 pompeii is considered to be really good but im not sure why. why is it hard for the doctor to blow up pompeii when he has no choice. they would all have died anyway. how does this constitute a massive emotional dilemna? and donna was just being stupid. i mean, why is she questioning the time lord on matters of time. theres a difference between stubborn or strong willed and arrogant and idiotic. the pyroviles were just fire demons, quite forgettable enemies i thought.

planet of the ood was similarly weak imo, it took the interesting theme of slavery and just went no where. very broing imo. and that claw thing was stupid.

the sontaran episode was okay with the cliff hanger being the best bit i think. i quite liked rattigan. doctors daughter was quite clever though martha makes me cringe with her crying and i felt like it had very little interesting happen throughout it. 

unicorn was, imo, just fairly weak. i think that the vespiform was a silly alien to have in a murder mystery. they could have created a real sense of fear or threat. but instead we get a huge wasp. 

after that i have no complaints until the finale which was dreadful. how did donna defeat the daleks? forget moffat, that is the biggest plothole in the whole show. i think you are a bit harsh on turn left though, it was meant to be character based and although the plotholes were bad, the story and ending were solid. also, the premise was very strong :)




Malohkeh
Malohkeh

Wow, I disagree with this one. I'd say

  • ‘The Doctor’s Daughter’ – 5/10
  • ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’ – 7/10
  • ‘Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead’ – 10/10
  • ‘Midnight’ –7/10
  • ‘Turn Left’ – 9/10
  • ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ – 5/10

The Outer Space K9
The Outer Space K9

Glad to see that Unicorn and The Wasp is generally thought of as a great episode. I loved it but then again I love detective stories. And Midnight is definetly a classic in my opinion.


stargazer0118
stargazer0118

Turn Left is one of the truly brilliant stories in all of New Who, plot holes or not. Besides, People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.



TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

I can't fathom how The Doctor's Daughter and The Unicorn and the Wasp both got a higher score than Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead...


TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

The Unicorn and the Wasp - 7/10; Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead - 9/10; Midnight - 6/10; Turn Left - 7/10; The Stolen Earth/Journey's End - 4/10


Trenzalore
Trenzalore

Unicorn and the Wasp is one of my favourite episodes ever (with City of death and Carnival of Monsters just ahead of it).

Pertbaker34
Pertbaker34

@arlene1999  Donna is the biggest reset button of all, and Rose gets a Doctor as a parting gift - talk about no consequences!... I don't have a problem with either of those outcomes but they contradict your reasoning.

Tomb of the Cyberbob
Tomb of the Cyberbob

@JoehWh0 Yep - 3 seems a little, well - harsh.  I guess it takes all types.   A really clever episode, would definitely watch it again and again.   9/10 from me.

supermoff
supermoff

@gunslinger19  I share your belief that Series 4 is overrated, but only mildly. It was a darn good series, and it was considerably better than Series 2 and 3 (at least I find). But I agree that it started with a few average stories and then the quality skyrocketed consistently upwards, at least until the finale. 

stargazer0118
stargazer0118

Oh and The Stolen Earth and Journey's End are FUN and throughly entertaining with a solid finale, poignant moments, memorable characters and wonderful visuals. That's all I needed really. 

The Outer Space K9
The Outer Space K9

I started watching classic Who before the 50th thinking i'll watch just one episode from every Doctor but I liked it so much and i was sorry i didn't start earlier. Now my list of all time favourite episodes got totally scarmbled.

I'm watching Carnival of Monsters right now (I'm on part 3) and I really love it. I tried to watch them in order and I hope I'll finish before series 8 starts. It's the perfect way to pass the time.

 Notsosmartguy  the dalek of Jersey
Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey

Turn left is a good story in spite of it's flaws and deserve the love it gets.

The stolen earth is a great 1st part.

Journey's end.....is my 2nd least favorite Dw story yet. I really tried to like but there's too many things I don't like about.