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New Who: The Story Thus Far – Series 4 (Specials, Episodes 1-5)

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


‘Time Crash’

time-crash-davison-tennantNovember 2007 saw nice little treat for Classic Who fans with the reappearance of the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) for the fun-filled Children In Need special, ‘Time Crash’. Set directly after the events of ‘Utopia/The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords,’ the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) finds his TARDIS colliding with his fifth incarnation’s and the two of them must figure out a way of solving the problem. Like all multi-Doctor stories prior to this, it contained a nice amount of banter between the different Doctors, with the Tenth Doctor resorting to cheap jokes about his previous self’s methods of engagement, while the Fifth Doctor insults his future self’s childish behaviour. The Fifth Doctor even went as far as believing the Tenth Doctor was a fan from LINDA (first established in ‘Love & Monsters’). Steven Moffat devised the ingenious solution of the Tenth Doctor preventing the two TARDISes causing a black hole the size of Belgium (very under dramatic as the Fifth Doctor pointed out) due to him simply remembering what the Fifth Doctor saw him do. Timey-Wimey and extremely clever, it concluded with a hint of nostalgia. The Tenth Doctor said farewell to the Fifth Doctor with admiration and the we were thrown into the deep end as the Titanic crashed into the TARDIS once again. Needless to say this wouldn’t be the last time Moffat would conduct a brilliant extravaganza containing multiple Doctors.

‘Voyage of the Damned’

tennant-doctor-kylie-voyageAfter seeing the cliff-hanger of the Titanic colliding with the TARDIS twice, it was nice to finally see the resolution in ‘Voyage of the Damned’. With a quick rewind of time, the Titanic reversed out of the TARDIS and landed the Tenth Doctor onboard a spacecraft replica hovering above Earth on Christmas Eve. This adventure continued the tradition of giving the Doctor a one-off companion, this time Astrid Peth (Kylie Minogue). Forming as a space waitress seeking to see the stars she easily caught the Tenth Doctor’s eyes and became an instant friend.

The Christmas Special was extremely dark and depicted a terrible scandal that would cost the lives of millions if not stopped. The scandal itself from Max Capricorn (George Costigan) made him a vile enemy, one of the worst Doctor Who has produced. His shared lust for vengeance over money caused the lives of nearly everyone onboard the Titanic and nearly everyone on Earth below. The Tenth Doctor was disgusted by him and was near enough speechless by the end of the story.

‘Voyage of the Damned’ had its fair share of casualities and more importantly surprise deaths. The group of friends accompanying the Tenth Doctor was what made the adventure that more tragic, gritty and fierce. The story took the lives of Foon (Debbie Chazen) and Morvin Van Hoff (Clive Rowe) along with Bannakaffalatta (Jimmy Vee). The biggest shock factor was the death of Astrid Peth, the first companion to die since Adric in ‘Earthshock’. Her fate was sadly obvious to me once she asked to be the new companion and the Tenth Doctor accepted. It was a tragic moment seeing the Tenth Doctor struggle to bring her back and faced with the reality that he isn’t above the laws of life, death and loss; three problems the Tenth Doctor constantly battled against and slowly brought about his downfall. Unfortunately Rickston Slade (Gray O’Brien) survived in the end when all the good people perished. At least Mr. Cooper (Clive Swift) and Midshipman Alonso Frame (Russell Tovey) got happy endings. The ending was devastating and still stands as a long tragic road for the Doctor and one of his darkest Christmas adventures. ‘Voyage of the Damned’ brought about the introduction of Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins) who would become a new central character within the next episode.

‘Partners in Crime’

Partners in CrimeSeries Four kicked off in full with ‘Partners In Crime’ which brought about the re-introduction of Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). After declining the Tenth Doctor’s offer of travelling with him the first time, Donna tried to find the Time Lord again, regretting her previous decision. I will be honest in saying that Donna’s character divides me, I just can’t make up my mind about her. One minute I like her and the next I don’t. The one thing that bugged me about her character the most was her attitude problem and what came across as disrespect towards the Tenth Doctor from time to time. Though what I loved most about Donna was her emotional side which gave her so much depth beyond her comedy routines and attitude. In some ways I would’ve preferred a brand new companion coming onboard, but I’m glad her character improved from what we received in ‘The Runaway Bride’ which would’ve only served best as a one-off thing.

Donna’s mother, Sylvia Noble (Jacqueline King), still has little faith in her daughter and uses every chance to express her disappointment which made her come across as a very harsh and uncaring character (unlike the previous mothers of companions). It’s fair to say her character didn’t bring much to the storyline. Wilfred Mott on the other hand, now established as Donna’s grandfather, created a nice heart-warming character that people could relate to and love. All he wanted was for Donna to be happy and to achieve her dreams, something he supported throughout his time on the show. Miss Foster (Sarah Lancashire) proved to be a good villain to kick off the new series but was certainly not the best of the best. For an introduction episode it wasn’t half bad though. She was a cunning woman and kept the Tenth Doctor on his toes. The whole Adipose idea was sweet, until of course they reduced their victims (to no fault of their own) to multiple new offspring.

Overall ‘Partners In Crime’ wasn’t all that good and It could’ve been a hell of a lot better. I truly loved Russell T Davies’s era (as with all the eras of Doctor Who) but it did suffer with flaws I find weaken my enjoyment of it when looking at it overall. One of my biggest faults with it is what I call the ‘restart button’ which had each series go back to basic settings within story and quality before rising up as it went on, ending with a massive explosive finale and Christmas Special before toning back down again. I hated this and would’ve preferred it if the show stayed at a constant level of excitement and quality instead of lowering it for the sake of rebooting the show for a new year. The highlight of this episode has to go to the re-meeting of the Tenth Doctor and Donna which is hilarious. It’s fair to say they became the best of friends throughout Series Four. The other highlight was the glimpse of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) which left us all confused as well as excited along with the first indication of the ‘stolen planet’s arc’ which began with the loss of the Adipose’s breeding planet.

‘The Fires of Pompeii’

capaldi-tennant-fires‘The Fires of Pompeii’ got Series Four along the right tracks with a massive, explosive story full of heartache and dilemma. It gave Donna plenty to work with on her first outing in the TARDIS by challenging the Tenth Doctor’s wisdom upon history and fixed points in time. The Time Lord knew he couldn’t interfere with the laws of time (something that slowly became a torture to the Tenth Doctor) but Donna’s human nature wished to do something about it and prevent the massacre of Pompeii.

The story foreshadowed greater events through both Lucius Petrus Dextrus (Phil Davis) and Caecilia Evelina (Francesca Fowler) using their psychic abilities to read the Tenth Doctor and Donna’s minds. We were told about something being on Donna’s back (an indication to the Time Beetle within ‘Turn Left’) along with the mentioning of Rose’s return and the secrets locked away in the Medusa Cascade (an indication to the events of ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’). There was speculation over the Doctor’s name and its meaning. We also had another hint to the ‘lost planet’s arc’ with the inclusion of the Pyroviles home-world Pyrovillia.

The Pyroviles proved to be a formidable foe and faced the Tenth Doctor with his greatest dilemma that resulted in him having to cause the destruction of Pompeii for the sake of saving the Earth. It was a heart-breaking sequence to watch. The Tenth Doctor tried to face it in a harsh tone by comparing the situation to the loss of Gallifrey during the Last Great Time War. Donna was still deeply devastated by the situation (a dark adventure to start her off on) and grew to understand the Doctor a little more. At least the Tenth Doctor returned and saved someone from the chaos Mount Vesuvius released. ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ saw the first appearance of both Karen Gillan and Peter Capaldi who would both go on to receive iconic and important roles within the mythology of the show.

‘Planet of the Ood’

Klineman-Halpen-planet-oodThe next episode ‘Planet of the Ood’ showcased Series Four’s dark tone and serious plot ideas. We’ve had the idea of dieting going wrong, then a dilemma creating a terrible fixed point in Earth’s history, and now the Tenth Doctor and Donna’s chemistry was challenged by the notion of slavery. The Ood’s had previously encountered the Tenth Doctor in ‘The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit’ and now they took centre stage to deliver their saddening truth. It was painful to watch their suffering, formulating a truly tragic tale that both the Tenth Doctor and Donna couldn’t bare to watch.

‘Planet of the Ood’ was a clear example that humanity can be in truth be the biggest monsters of them all and their ill treatment of the Ood really did bring our negative energy and cruelty right to our front doors. Klineman Halpen (Tim McInnerny) was a dirty money-making businessman with Kess (Roger Griffiths) being a ruthless soldier who wanted nothing more than to inflict cruelty upon the Ood and showcase his supposed superiority. Solana Mercurio (Ayesha Dharker) on the other-hand was just a naive idiot who couldn’t see past the reality around her and ended up getting herself killed (quite rightly so). These three villains got what they truly deserved (Halpen the most by becoming an Ood – the creature he despised so much).

I just love the ending of ‘Planet of the Ood’ for the simple reason the Ood got what they wanted – peace. They finally got the gift of being able to sing to each other and join hands in harmony, something deprived from them for many long years. The story foreshadowed the events of ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ concerning the strange connection between the Tenth Doctor and Donna. Also, it even went as far as foreshadowing the Tenth Doctor’s approaching end (something that wasn’t as clear upon first viewing as David Tennant hadn’t announced he was leaving at that point).

‘The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky’

sontaran-head-strategemMartha Jones (Freema Agyeman) made a triumphant return in ‘The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky’ which had her now a fully qualified doctor working for U.N.I.T. (Unified Intelligence Taskforce). The story also brought about the return of the Sontarans, an enemy who hadn’t been seen since 1985’s ‘The Two Doctors’. General Staal (Christopher Ryan) of the Tenth Sontaran Battle-Fleet led a massive stratagem to turn Earth into a new breeding ground for the mass clone empire in order to aid their never-ending war with the Rutans. It was an interesting idea to place the Sontarans within due to their brute and warlike nature. The idea of them being sly and stealthy even had the Tenth Doctor question their actions.

Donna demonstrated the fundamental nature of Russell T Davies’ companions in which they needed to go home and see their families. This idea was nice and all but didn’t really do much after seeing the companion do this time after time after time. It got boring and made the show too much like a soap opera and didn’t really give it much depth beyond your usual 21st century rubbish television. I myself preferred it when companions within the Classic era didn’t have family backgrounds and merely joined and left the TARDIS as they pleased, making for more interesting stories than having one’s family join in on the curiosity and danger. I’m just glad that Steven Moffat went against this approach for the majority of his reign (so far).

The inclusion of U.N.I.T. I have a few problems with as I felt they were given too much stick by the Tenth Doctor in this story. He became a bit of a hypocrite due to the fact that he hasn’t fully changed and his dark nature still remains to bring justice upon those select few who had gone too far, or simply pushed the Time Lord to the point of him acting accordingly. His reaction to Colonel Mace (Rupert Holliday-Evans) was just rude and didn’t seem like the Doctor’s typical association with the organisation. Yes, within his third incarnation he would often express his hatred of the military mind but never too much with their methods of using weaponry as he often would aid them in this respect. What I’m saying is it didn’t quite gel for me.

Overall, ‘The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky’ proved to be a great comeback for the Sontarans, but the chemistry between the Tenth Doctor and U.N.I.T. was just downright bad and spoilt it for me (a person who is truly fond of U.N.I.T. having being a fan of the Third Doctor’s era). At least the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) got a mention. Shame he was destined to spend the rest of his days trapped in Peru (apart from his final appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures story ‘Enemy of the Bane’).

My Verdict so far:

  • ‘Time Crash’ – 10/10
  • ‘Voyage of the Damned’ – 10/10
  • ‘Partners in Crime’ – 4/10
  • ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ – 10/10
  • Planet of the Ood’ – 10/10
  • ‘The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky’ – 8/10

 Join us for part 2 tomorrow.

Step back in time...


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The 11th Doctor
The 11th Doctor

My Verdict on Series 4, Xmas-Episode 5:

Voyage of the Damned: 2/10 (20%)

Partners in Crime: 10/10 (100%)

The Fires of Pompeii: 10/10 (100%)

Planet of the Ood: 9/10 (90%)

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky: 6/10 (60%)

Average Rating: 7.4/10 (74%)

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

Although 'Partners in Crime' hasn't got a great storyline, I think the humour makes up for that.

It's a series introductory episode, it doesn't have to be overly serious. 


I think the rating of 'Partners in Crime' is a bit harsh!

My ratings: 

Time Crash 10/10

Voyage of the Damned 8.5/10

Partners in Crime 8/10

The Fires of Pompeii 9.5/10

Planet of the Ood 9/10

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky 7.5/10


The thing about Donna - she had qualities I both liked and disliked.... and that made her incredibly human, relatable and ultimately, very likeable. She was certainly rough around the edges, but she was also the kindest and most compassionate of all the companions. I don't find companions who desire to visit their families boring at all. It just goes to show that family is at the heart of the Universe, and having a family worth fighting for (Martha), having a family worth missing and visiting (Donna), makes us better people. This is unlike Rose who would dump her family and Mickey - both who love her so unconditionally - for the Doctor. There is a difference between "we all have to leave home one day" - Martha and Donna did - and what Rose did. There is no cost to Rose in choosing to be with the Doctor, but Martha and Donna both older and wiser, recognised that the choices we make always affect the ones who love us.

Baker Street is excited for Series 8!
Baker Street is excited for Series 8!

Time Crash - 10/10 - come on, what's not to love? Short, sweet, clever and nostalgic.

Voyage of the Damned - 10/10 - one of the most action-packed and creative Christmas specials ever. Not only was it brimming with amazing ideas (the Titanic, Earthonomics, Bannakaffalatta and his cyborg identity, the Doctor's gang, the retirement plan etc.), it is one of the darkest, most well-executed and gripping stories ever produced. Kylie Minogue gave a great performance, and you really felt for every member of the Doctor's gang (apart from Slade) which made their deaths all the more shocking. The ending with a "falling" Astrid and Mr Copper is beautiful, but the highlight for me is the Doctor's little speech: "I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I'm 903 years old and I'm the man who's going to save your lives and all six billion people on the planet below."

Partners in Crime - 7/10 - a decent episode, with the highlights being the Doctor and Donna's meeting and any scene involving Wilf. I also have to say I enjoyed the almost meetings! However I just find it slightly boring, and I feel that the plot could have been developed more had the episode not spent so much time re-introducing Donna. But still, a good episode.

The Fires of Pompeii - 9/10 - James Moran needs to come back. Because this was amazing. The setting of Pompeii added a sense of doom and mystery to the episode from the off, and the prophets are oddly unnerving. I also love the dilemma too, which is possibly one of the greatest ideas in Who history. And Caecilius' family is great - all are very well-portrayed, all are loveable, and the scene with them in their burning house is quite hard to watch. My only problems with this episodes are the fact that Donna and the Doctor escape Vesuvius in a titchy escape pod and manage to outrun a pyroclastic flow, and the fully-grown Pyroviles don't look all that great. But they're only little niggles.

Planet of the Ood - 9/10 - a very good episode, and one of the best featuring the Doctor and Donna's friendship. The Ood-Sphere looked stunning, and I was very glad to see the Ood step into the limelight. Mr Halpen was a downright chilling villain who I absolutely despised (I was cheering when he became an Ood), and the episode's messages about slavery are very, very poignant. The concept of slavery and basically rioting, mixed with corruption and conspiracy make for a gripping episode.

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poision Sky - 8/10 - this is a great episode. There no doubt about that in my mind. ATMOS is a fine idea, and I adored the re-introduction of UNIT (even if, as you say, the Doctor was a little harsh towards them). Luke Rattigan is an interesting villain. You despise him for different reasons to normal - he brags about his intelligence but is too ignorant to see that he is inferior to the Sontarans. It was nice to see Martha back (although I wasn't totally sold on the clone idea), and Donna got a great part to play. The Sontarans were also good - their appearance was one of the episode highlight's for me, but I was a tad disappointed at their lack of engagement (apart from the scenes in the latter episode). Overall, a great episode with a few annoying bits.


Time Crash - 10/10

A great little treat for the fans and seeing just how happy David is to be acting alongside his favourite Doctor is a joy to watch.

Voyage of the Dammed - 6/10

A decent attempt on a Doctor Who disaster movie, It looks fantastic and the characters are all really well realised even if the villain is a bit lame. It’s also very cheesy at times even for a Christmas special.

Partners in Crime - 7/10

Not the best series opener but certainly not the worst. Without doubt my favourite part is the ending when Wilf sees the Doctor and Donna flying off in the TARDIS, it's such a great moment and always makes me smile.

The Fires of Pompeii - 10/10

I love this Episode, the story’s moral dilemma is very well presented and the acting from everyone is excellent. It’s also the story that cemented Donna Noble as my favourite New Who companion and still is to this day.

Planet of the Ood - 9/10

The story’s central theme of slavery is beautifully done and Donna’s reaction to the natural born Ood was very moving.

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky - 9/10

I really like this story it's 100 times better then Helen Raynor's abomination from Series 3 it's just so entertaining. I also think this is one of David Tennant's best performances as the Doctor everything he does is just so Doctory, I think my favourite moment is when he knocks out Staal with the tennis ball; he's clearly at the top of his game in Series 4.


I hate to say it, but your evaluations are rubbish. You should stop at the end of the RTD era.


New who, classic who! Surely by now people are a fan of the whole show. Its the same show. All of it. Almost 51 years. The whole lot.


What is it with people posting scored lists on this site? And does anyone have any actual weighted evaluation criteria that they base their final scores on?


Personally, I'd say:

Time Crash - 8/10

Lovely sentiment and a marvelous reflection on the past. It doesn't quite all fit together when you reflect on it for too long, but it's still a wonderful little minisode.

Voyage of the Damned - 3/10

If I hear "my name is Max" one more time I will break something.

Partners in Crime - 9/10

A masterpiece in weird and camp, and a wonderful re-introduction for Donna Noble. Not much more I could ask for.

The Fires of Pompeii - 4/10

The "fixed points" concept is wonderful, but the pyrovile are seriously under-utilized, the explanation for the prophetic abilities is ludicrous, and the overall package seems very disjointed to me. The disparate elements really don't quite mesh.

Planet of the Ood - 9/10

Absolutely wonderful. Only taking a mark off for the unnecessary claw scene.

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky - 5/10

There's individual elements I love (namely the killer GPS concept and the return of Martha Jones), but the story really never escapes the permeating sense of average-ness.


I think you put your finger on the fundamental differences between the two eras of new Who, in that RTD always had familial context for his companions, and Moffat generally doesn't. I myself prefer to have a fuller sense of the companions by knowing the effect on their travels on their family. It gives me a richer, more emotional experience. Other people prefer the off into the universe, not much looking back approach. Always interesting to read these thoughtful articles, even when I disagree.


I cannot Disagree with you more on PTC, my scores are 

  • ‘Time Crash’ – 10/10
  • ‘Voyage of the Damned’ – 8/10
  • ‘Partners in Crime’ – 10/10
  • ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ – 10/10
  • Planet of the Ood’ – 10/10
  • ‘The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky’ – 9/10


  • ‘Time Crash’ – 10/10 - For a Children in Need special, it was good.
  • ‘Voyage of the Damned’ – 710 - Meh, not my favorite. It was fine.
  • ‘Partners in Crime’ – 10/10 - Brilliant episode. Definitely NOT deserving a 4.
  • ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ – 10/10 - Amazing. I agree completely.
  • Planet of the Ood’ – 10/10 - As the article says, a great story.
  • ‘The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky’ – 8/10 - Not the most exciting, but it was not bad.

A great string of episodes. Series 4 is my favorite because of the intense but amazing quality.

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

It does my heart good to see someone who appreciates Voyage of the Damned as much as I do. :)  I am sorry you didn't like Partners in Crime that much though.  It's not my favorite series opener either, but I feel it achieved its goal of reintroducing Donna quite well.  Everything else, I more or less agree with you on.  Good show.


I disagree with you on "Partners in Crime" and "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky".  I would have given them higher ratings.  I also disagree about the companions' families.  I like having their families on the show.  Their interactions with people other than the Doctor make them more interesting.  You learn more about a person that way, real or fictional.


Voyage of the Damned is one of my favourite Christmas specials, always feels the most Christmassy to me. Partners in Crime is great fun with the Adipose, Fires of Pompeii I haven't watched in quite a long time, but not always been the best episode for me, but still good. Planet of the Ood is quite a good one and The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky is not bad, but better than the Dalek two parter by Helen Raynor. Have to love Series 4 though.


Time Crash is so funny, above all knowing David and Peter's personal relationship. You know, I'm writing an article about why I want Big Finish going modern, and one of the things I says is get Classic-Modern Multi-Doctor stories using them as example.

Voyage of the Damned is my least favourite Christmas Special.

Partners in Crime is one of my favourite Tennant's, it's so funny and the Adipose babies are lovely, I want one. The scene of The Doctor and Donna talking trough the windows is hilarious, and you know, in English you can't hear them, but in Spain they dubbed them.

The Fires of Pompeii is another great episode, and I think that the fact that Capaldi is now The Doctor adds a couple of funny things to it (like the moment when Quintus says to The Doctor "Don't tell this to my father", oh Quintus, it hits my nose that your father knows perfectly where you are), the moment when he shows the TARDIS to Metella and she says "a waste of space" (I always hope him saying "no, she isn't, you should see the inside". And the moment Caecilius talks about a restaurant in Naples, now I have the vision of him and Clara having a nice lunch on them.

Planet of the Ood presents a great twist and a great theme. For once is not the good humans having to be saved from the bad Aliens, it's the good and nice Alien race who has to be saved from slavery at the hands of nasty humans. The sene when The Doctor makes Fonna hear the song of the Ood is so touching.

The Sontaran Stratagem/ The Poison Sky is quite good, but it could be better. as you say, The Doctor is quite cold with UNIT, after all for that they past in the Classic era, maybe if they would have added the Brigadier or Benton, someone from the old UNIT family, they could have make a warmer ambient on the episode.


Series 4 is probably my favourite series in the Tennant Era, and The Nobles are still my favourite family. Also, Voyage Of The Damned was good, but it wasn't an 10/10 for me. 


4/10 for Partners in Crime? Fair dues. But that is upsetting for fans of the episode such as myself! Good article though! But Partners in Crime gets a solid 10/10. Couldn't agree more with the other ratings.


Partners in crime wasn't that bad. it was hilarious (intentionally).

My list:

Voyage of the Damned: 7/10

Partners in Crime: 7/10

The Fires of Pompeii: 9/10

Planet of the Ood: 8/10

The Sontaran stratagem/the Poison Sky: 8/10


I find giving out 10/10s so easily really devalues them. 10/10 is absolutely perfect, no faults whatsoever.

For me there are probably only about 7 or so episodes that get a perfect 10/10, because I reserve them for the diamonds amongst the diamonds.


Time Crash - 10/10 Voyage Of The Damned - 10/10 Partners In Crime - 10/10 (will never understand the hate for that one) Fires Of Pompeii - 7/10 Planet Of The Ood - 8/10 SS/PS - 7.5/10


Poor Donna, she had to share her season with Martha, Rose, and eventually the rest of the Tenth Doctor Reunion Tour

Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd
Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd

For me 

1.Voyage of the Damned 8/10 

2.Partners in crime 8/10 

3.Returning actors of Pompeii 10/10 

4.Planet of the Ood 10/10 

5.The Sontaran stratagem 8/10 so series gets off on a good start IMO

TheCyberDoctor is Undead
TheCyberDoctor is Undead

Another great article. Loving this series of articles, a nice way of building up to series 8. Series 4 is my third favourite series of New Who (after S7 and S5). Donna was a perfect companion, evolving as a character more than anyone else, which is what made her departure even more tragic. I look forward to the next part tomorrow! ;)

Mark McCullough
Mark McCullough

Excellent article John, I look forward to reading your thoughts on the rest of the series tomorrow =). Series 4 is my favourite of the revived show (narrowly beating 1 and 5). I just love Donna and Wilf and surprisingly Sylvia. I'd probably rate everything here at 10 except for Voyage (an 8.5) and perhaps the two parter as a 9.5 XD. 


Doctor Who TV, sorry to bother you but is it possible to have the typo in the title changed? It's just it says this article goes up to Episode 6 when it only goes up to Episode 5. Thanks :)


 "Voyage of the Damned" - 3/10

Pretty darn poor to be honest. Just a lot of noise. 

"Partners in Crime" - 8/10

A lot of fun and an original concept, especially that office scene! Classic!

"The Fires of Pompeii" - 7/10

It's good, but it's not excellent. The Pyroviles are a poor enemy, I find. 

"Planet of the Ood" - 8/10

Surprisingly deep story. Very re-watchable.

"The Sontaran Stratagem" / "The Poison Sky" - 8/10

A lot of fun and fantastic concepts here. Some brilliant scenes in both parts, and a good cliffhanger. 

Series 4 got a lot better as it went on (but still started great!), and, for me at least, would become RTD's best series (with the exception of the final episode). 

Also, Donna is certainly my favourite RTD companion, she was just brilliant! :D


Voyage of the damned- 7.5/10

Although it's not exactly saying very much, this is my favorite RTD Christmas special. Had real depth to all the characters, great villains and an entertaining plot

Partners in crime- 8/10

Why do people not like this. It is my favorite series opener by a mile. Very fun and a great idea in the adipose

The fires of Pompeii- 6.5/10

Decent, but the alien story was boring as hell.

Planet of the Ood- 9.5/10

I adore it. The only reason why it's not a 10/10 is because of the "Claw scene". What the hell was that about?

The sontaran stratagem/The poison sky- 9/10

Why is there so much hate in the comments for this story? This story is absolutely brilliant, featuring possibly the best versions of the sontarans ever. Can someone explain why they don't like it (apart from UNIT being admittedly rubbish) Come on guys, this story is fantastic.

KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys
KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys

@floppy_who You have a point there. I value my scores in my head a certain way but it's most likely completely different to other methods. And there in lies another problem, there isn't just one method. So what could be 3/10 for one person is someone else's 5/10 or 1/10.


@JLS1138 Poor Martha, she had to share her season with the Tenth Doctor's post-Rose depression and endless moping.


@KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys @floppy_who Generally, I see a scoring of between 1 and 3/10 as bad; 4 or 5/10 as 'okay'; 6 or 7/10 as good; and then 8-10/10 as excellent. But like you said, everyone has a different interpretation....