Doctor Who (series 4)
|Doctor Who series 4|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||14 (+2)|
|Original channel||BBC One|
|Original run||5 April 2008– 5 July 2008|
|Home video release|
|Region 1||18 November 2008|
|Region 2||17 November 2008|
|Region 4||4 December 2008|
|Blu-ray Disc release|
|Region A||5 November 2013|
|Region B||4 November 2013
4 December 2013 (Region 4)
|List of Doctor Who serials|
The fourth series of British science fiction television programme Doctor Who began on 25 December 2007 with the Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned". Following the special, a regular series of thirteen episodes aired, starting with "Partners in Crime" on 5 April 2008 and ending with "Journey's End". "Partners in Crime" marked the debut of Donna Noble, as played by Catherine Tate, as a full-time companion to the Tenth Doctor. A short Children in Need special was also produced. The series started production on 8 August 2007 and concluded on 29 March 2008.
List of episodes
The concept of the "Doctor-Lite" episodes (which included "Love & Monsters" from Series 2 and "Blink" in Series 3), in which the Doctor plays a minimal part in the action of the story, was taken further in this series with the addition of a "Companion-Lite" episode; "Midnight" is a story primarily featuring the Doctor, with Donna only in scenes at the beginning and end of the episode, while "Turn Left" equally has the Doctor playing a minimal role, instead focusing on Donna.
|Story No.||Episode||Title||Directed by||Written by||UK viewers
|AI||Original air date||Production
|188||—||"Voyage of the Damned"||James Strong||Russell T Davies||13.31||86||25 December 2007||4X|
|The Doctor finds his TARDIS colliding with an interstellar replica of the famous ocean liner Titanic orbiting present-day Earth, during a Christmas party. With the help of a waitress named Astrid (Kylie Minogue) and several passengers, the Doctor must take on the race called the Heavenly Host as the lives of the Titanic crew and those on Earth are in danger. The angels have been tasked with killing everyone aboard and crashing the space liner into the Earth. The reason why is not obvious though the ship's owner, Max Capricorn, has his reasons. Can the Doctor stop the Christmas inferno?|
|189||1||"Partners in Crime"||James Strong||Russell T Davies||9.14||88||5 April 2008||4.1|
|With a new weight-loss pill tested in London by Adipose Industries, the Doctor goes to investigate the sinister truth behind the product, only to find out that his former companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) is investigating as well. Together, they attempt to stop businesswoman Miss Foster (Sarah Lancashire) from killing thousands of people in London during the birth of the Adipose, short white aliens made from body fat.|
|190||2||"The Fires of Pompeii"||Colin Teague||James Moran||9.04||87||12 April 2008||4.3|
|The Doctor and Donna land in Pompeii during the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The Doctor's activities in Pompeii are impeded by the rock-like Pyrovile and their allies, the Sybilline Sisterhood, who are using the volcano to convert the humans to Pyroviles. The Doctor is faced with a moral dilemma: whether to rescue himself and all of Pompeii from the situation and leave the Pyroviles to have their way, or to make Vesuvius erupt, killing the Pyroviles and the population of Pompeii- himself and Donna included.|
|191||3||"Planet of the Ood"||Graeme Harper||Keith Temple||7.50||87||19 April 2008||4.2|
|The Doctor and Donna arrive on the Ood-Sphere in the year 4126. They arrive at a factory where the Ood are prepared for sale to anyone willing to pay the price. When they find a group of unprocessed Ood, they become horrified at the alterations performed and resolve to free the Ood.|
|192a||4||"The Sontaran Stratagem"||Douglas Mackinnon||Helen Raynor||7.06||87||26 April 2008||4.4|
|The Doctor gets a call from previous travelling companion, now medical officer at UNIT, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) with a request that he return to Earth immediately. She requests the Doctor's help in investigating ATMOS (Atmospheric Omission System) and why 52 people around the world all died simultaneously. The Doctor learns that the Sontarans are planning to take over the Earth. They take Martha prisoner and she is cloned. Donna meanwhile misses her family and decides to pay them a visit.|
|192b||5||"The Poison Sky"||Douglas Mackinnon||Helen Raynor||6.53||88||3 May 2008||4.5|
|Continuing from the end of "The Sontaran Stratagem", the Sontarans launch the attack with their poison gas slowly encircling the Earth. The Doctor—impeded by a Sontaran-controlled clone of Martha—aids UNIT in repelling the Sontarans in the ATMOS factory while Donna infiltrates the Sontarans' warship. He decides to try and burn the poison gas that now encircles the Earth and with the help of the Sontarans teleportation system, send them a little surprise as well. At the end of it all, both Martha and Donna have to decide if they want to stay with the Doctor.|
|193||6||"The Doctor's Daughter"||Alice Troughton||Stephen Greenhorn||7.33||88||10 May 2008||4.6|
|The TARDIS, as seen before, seems to display a mind of its own and whisks the Doctor, Donna, and the Time Lord's former companion Martha Jones to the planet Messaline, in the midst of a savage war between humans and the fish-like Hath. Martha is abducted by the Hath shortly after the time travellers arrive. Rescuing Martha becomes the Doctor and Donna's main priority, as well as attempting to put a stop to the ugly war that has consumed the planet. But that would have been complicated enough had it not been for the fact that the humans had just used the Doctor's DNA to create a warrior clone, Jenny (Georgia Moffett).|
|194||7||"The Unicorn and the Wasp"||Graeme Harper||Gareth Roberts||8.41||86||17 May 2008||4.7|
|The Doctor and Donna travel to December 1926 and meet the renowned murder mystery writer Agatha Christie (Fenella Woolgar), who is attending a party at Lady Eddison's (Felicity Kendal) country manor. They investigate a jewel robbery perpetrated by the "Unicorn" (Robina Redmond, portrayed by Felicity Jones) and a spree of murders committed by an extraterrestrial wasp (Reverend Golightly, portrayed by Tom Goodman-Hill), and discover, in true Agatha Christie's fashion, that the solution to the murder and the meaning of Agatha's famous disappearance are found in a false identity and events that occurred long ago.|
|195a||8||"Silence in the Library"||Euros Lyn||Steven Moffat||6.27||89||31 May 2008||4.9|
|The Doctor and Donna land in the 51st century to visit the greatest library in the universe, encompassing an entire planet, but are baffled when they find it deserted. To the best he can determine, the library has been closed for 100 years, so the arrival of a team of archaeologists led by River Song (Alex Kingston) comes as something of a surprise. They discover the Vashta Nerada, carnivorous creatures living in the shadows, are responsible. All they have is one warning - count the shadows.|
|195b||9||"Forest of the Dead"||Euros Lyn||Steven Moffat||7.84||89||7 June 2008||4.10|
|Continuing from the end of "Silence in the Library", the Doctor and the team of archaeologists flee the Vashta Nerada, while Donna finds herself trapped in an alternate reality, in the care of Doctor Moon (Colin Salmon). As the Doctor progresses closer to the library's command centre, he discovers that the alternate reality—and the missing people—are sustained by CAL (Eve Newton). The solution to it all lies in understanding what the computer has been telling them all along.|
|196||10||"Midnight"||Alice Troughton||Russell T Davies||8.05||86||14 June 2008||4.8|
|The Doctor and Donna are taking a bit of a break from their adventures and spending a bit of time on the planet Midnight. The Doctor leaves Donna at a spa while he takes a four-hour trip to the beautiful Sapphire Waterfalls. When the vehicle stops for no apparent reason, the passengers hear a noise coming from outside the vehicle and begin to panic. When an unknown lifeform capable of stealing voices takes control of Sky Silvestry (Lesley Sharp), the passengers' paranoia and fear know no bounds, and the focus of their solution is to eliminate the Doctor.|
|197||11||"Turn Left"||Graeme Harper||Russell T Davies||8.09||88||21 June 2008||4.11|
|On a visit to the Chino-planet Shan-Shen, Donna agrees to have her fortune read by a fortune teller (Chipo Chung). She inexplicably finds herself in an alternate time line, one where she's never met the Doctor or joined him on their many adventures, which results in disastrous consequences. The Doctor's previous companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), who has managed to travel from her parallel universe, works with Donna to restore the status quo and warn the Doctor of impending doom.|
|198a||12||"The Stolen Earth"||Graeme Harper||Russell T Davies||8.78||91||28 June 2008||4.12|
|The universe is beginning to crumble and the Earth is stolen, along with twenty-six other planets, by Davros (Julian Bleach), creator and commander of the Daleks. As the Doctor and Donna try to find Earth, the Doctor's previous companions and what comes to be called the Doctor's private army--Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), and Rose Tyler--convene together to contact the Doctor and mount a defence against the Daleks. However, the wounded Doctor may be forced to regenerate.|
|198b||13||"Journey's End"||Graeme Harper||Russell T Davies||10.57||91||5 July 2008||4.13|
|At the beginning of the episode the Doctor forces a partial regeneration to heal himself from a Dalek attack. The Doctor and his companions prepare to do battle with Davros and the Daleks, who are out to destroy everything and everyone in the universe other than themselves. All seems lost when the Daleks apparently destroy the TARDIS, but it's not that simple, as an empowered Donna and a half-human Doctor who formed from the Doctor's regeneration take control and face the Dalek menace head on. The two Doctors, Donna, Jack, Rose, Martha, and Sarah Jane, along with Rose's ex-boyfriend Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) and mother Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri), attempt to foil Davros' plans to destroy reality itself. However, Donna has her mind wiped of all her adventures with the Doctor because otherwise the Time Lord knowledge will overwhelm and kill her.|
"Time Crash" was filmed for the 2007 Children in Need appeal.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||UK viewers
|Original air date||Production
|"Time Crash"||Graeme Harper||Steven Moffat||11.0||16 November 2007||CIN2|
|The episode, set during the last scene of the previous episode "Last of the Time Lords", depicts a humorous encounter between the Doctor's fifth and tenth incarnations, played by Peter Davison and David Tennant respectively.|
The fourth series marked David Tennant's third and final full series as the Doctor (although he continued in the role for the 2009/10 Specials) and also featured a total of seven companions. In the Christmas special, Australian actress and singer Kylie Minogue starred as one-time companion Astrid Peth, who perished before the end of the episode. The companions in the regular series had all been in the lead companion role previously: the primary role of Donna Noble, who was introduced in "The Runaway Bride", was played by Catherine Tate for all thirteen episodes. Freema Agyeman, who portrayed the Doctor's companion Martha Jones in series three, returned for "The Sontaran Stratagem", "The Poison Sky", "The Doctor's Daughter", "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End". Billie Piper, who played Rose Tyler from the first episode of the new series to the finale of the second series appeared in the three final episodes of the series. She made brief appearances in the episodes "Partners in Crime", "The Poison Sky" and "Midnight". John Barrowman, Elisabeth Sladen, Noel Clarke and Camille Coduri, who portrayed previous companions Jack Harkness, Sarah Jane Smith, Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler respectively, also reappeared in the finale.
Recurring guest stars for the series included Bernard Cribbins and Jacqueline King as Donna's grandfather Wilfred Mott and mother Sylvia Noble. Penelope Wilton returned as Harriet Jones in "The Stolen Earth", her first appearance since "The Christmas Invasion". Noel Clarke and Camille Coduri reprised their roles as Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler in "Journey's End". Adjoa Andoh returned as Martha Jones' mother Francine in the finale. Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd and Tommy Knight also starred in the finale in their respective roles of Gwen Cooper, Ianto Jones and Luke Smith from spin-off series Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. This marked their first appearances in Doctor Who itself, although Eve Myles had previously featured in "The Unquiet Dead" in a different role.
The fourth series featured a large number of high-profile stars such as Kylie Minogue (Astrid Peth in "Voyage of the Damned"), Alex Kingston (River Song in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead"), Sarah Lancashire (Miss Foster in "Partners in Crime"), and Phil Davis and Peter Capaldi (Lucius and Caecillus respectively in "The Fires of Pompeii"). Other guest stars included Sasha Behar, Tim McInnerny, Colin Morgan, Christopher Ryan, Georgia Moffett (daughter of Fifth Doctor actor Peter Davison and current wife of David Tennant), Nigel Terry, Felicity Kendal, Fenella Woolgar, Colin Salmon, Lesley Sharp, Lindsey Coulson, David Troughton (son of Second Doctor actor Patrick Troughton), and Chipo Chung (who had previously portrayed Chantho in "Utopia"). Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and Paul O'Grady made cameo appearances as themselves in "The Stolen Earth".
Doctor Who had been recommissioned for a fourth series in March 2007, shortly before the broadcast of the third series. The production schedule called for 15 full episodes to be produced, rather than the usual 14, due to the announcement that the next full series of Doctor Who would not air until 2010. This schedule meant that the programme would be unable to enter production during the second half of 2008. The 15 episodes consisted of 13 regular episodes and two Christmas specials. Recording for the 2007 Christmas special began on 9 July 2007, with production on the series itself beginning on 8 August 2007 and concluding on 29 March 2008. The tenth production block — consisting of 2008 Christmas special "The Next Doctor" and the BBC Proms "cutaway" scene "Music of the Spheres" — completed recording on 3 May.
Doctor Who Magazine gradually revealed writers for the series alongside episode announcements. First-time writers for the show included James Moran, co-writer of the 2006 horror film Severance, and Keith Temple, who had written episodes of Byker Grove and Casualty. Previous writers Gareth Roberts, Stephen Greenhorn, Helen Raynor, Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies all contributed to the series, with Davies continuing to act as head writer and executive producer. Tom MacRae had written an episode for this series, entitled "Century House", but this was replaced after Russell T Davies decided that it was too close in tone to Gareth Roberts' "The Unicorn and the Wasp". This was Phil Collinson's last series as producer, as well as Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner's last full series as executive producers, all having worked on the programme since its return. Davies and Gardner continued their roles for the 2009/10 Specials. Susie Liggat produced five episodes (blocks 2, 5 and 7), as she did in series 3 with "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood". Collinson received an executive producer credit for these episodes.
All of the episode titles were revealed in the 5 April 2008 issue of the Radio Times, except the title of the twelfth, which was "being kept secret as it gives away too much." The article also identified the title of episode 9 as "River's Run", as did the press release for the subsequent issue of Doctor Who Magazine, but this was changed a few days afterwards to "Forest of the Dead". The title of episode 12 was eventually revealed in a press release as "The Stolen Earth".
A Children in Need special, entitled "Time Crash", was produced alongside the series and was broadcast on 16 November 2007. In addition, a mini-episode entitled "Music of the Spheres" was shot on 3 May 2008 for series 4 and was premiered at the Doctor Who Prom on 27 July 2008, with the audio being broadcast simultaneously on BBC Radio 3. It was then broadcast on BBC One on New Year's Day 2009.
On 1 February 2008, the BBC announced that, in a partnership with Carlton Screen Advertising, a 90-second film trailer of the fourth series would be shown in cinemas across Britain "before the most anticipated new releases". The trailer was aired on British television on 22 March 2008. Three teaser trailers and one full length trailer consisting of unique footage were subsequently produced and aired on television and in cinemas promoting the fourth series.
Like the previous three series, all of the episodes are bound together in a loose story arc. In previous series, the story arcs were in the form of an arc word, such as Bad Wolf, Torchwood, or Mr Saxon, but the arc for the fourth series is cumulative: Doctor Who Magazine's preview of "Partners in Crime" described the arc as "an element from every episode–whether it's a person, a phrase, a question, a planet, or a mystery –builds up to the grand finale". Multiple mentions were made about the bees disappearing from planet Earth and stories driven by a missing or lost planet. Executive producer Russell T Davies stated in the same feature that the series' finale had been planned for three years previous to its airdate. The regular series focuses heavily on Donna: David Tennant stated that the "whole thirteen weeks is Donna's story ... why she's with the Doctor again is the subtext", and producer Phil Collinson cited Donna as a "fresh dynamic" for the fourth series.
Production blocks were arranged as follows:
|1||"Voyage of the Damned"||James Strong||Russell T Davies||Phil Collinson||4X|
|2||"The Unicorn and the Wasp"
"Planet of the Ood"
|Graeme Harper||Gareth Roberts
|3||"The Fires of Pompeii"||Colin Teague||James Moran||Phil Collinson||4.3|
|4||"Partners in Crime"
|Russell T Davies
|5||"The Sontaran Stratagem"
"The Poison Sky"
|Douglas Mackinnon||Helen Raynor||Susie Liggat||4.4
|6||"The Doctor's Daughter"
|Alice Troughton||Stephen Greenhorn
Russell T Davies
|7||"Silence in the Library"
"Forest of the Dead"
|Euros Lyn||Steven Moffat||Phil Collinson||4.9
|8||"Turn Left"||Graeme Harper||Russell T Davies||Susie Liggat||4.11|
|9||"The Stolen Earth"
|Graeme Harper||Russell T Davies||Phil Collinson||4.12
|10||"The Next Doctor"
"Music of the Spheres"
|Russell T Davies||Susie Liggat
Catrin Lewis Defis
The forty-second trailer features Donna Noble, portrayed by comedienne Catherine Tate, sitting over a camp fire, talking about "creatures of metal, fire, and blood" threatening the universe as shots of the Daleks, Sontarans, and the Ood come into view. She talks about a man called the Doctor (David Tennant), who is portrayed in fleeting glimpses until his name is mentioned, who constantly saves the universe from these threats. Donna ends her narration by saying the Doctor will be back to save them and she will be ready to join him. The trailer ends with the Doctor and Donna simultaneously saying "and just like that, we'll be gone."
Selected pieces of score from this series (from "Voyage of the Damned" to "Journey's End"), as composed by Murray Gold, were released on 17 November 2008 by Silva Screen Records
- Amazon.com: Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series: David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman: Movies & TV
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- Marcus (14 April 2008). "Fires of Pompeii - AI and Digital ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
- "Planet of the Ood - AI and Digital Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2008.
- "Sontaran Stratagem - AI and Digital Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. 28 April 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
- "The Poison Sky - AI and Digital Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
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- "The Unicorn and the Wasp - AI and Digital Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
- "Silence in the Library - AI and Digital Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. 2 June 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
- "Forest of the Dead - AI and Digital Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
- "Midnight - AI and Digital Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. 16 June 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
- "Turn Left - AI and Digital Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
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- Spilsbury, Tom (April 2008). "The Gallifrey Guardian: Introducing Donna!". Doctor Who Magazine (Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Panini Publishing Ltd) (394): 5.
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- Official website
- List of Doctor Who episodes at the Internet Movie Database
- List of Doctor Who season 4 episodes at TV.com
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