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Series 4

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Tardis-Console
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« on: January 10, 2011, 04:22:45 pm »

Ok, so admittedly I fell a little behind with catching up on series four so over the last few days I have watched the lot.

WOW

You lot weren't kidding when you said there would be a big change in Donna from TRB. As soon as she came on screen in the first episode I was slightly dreading it, but by the end of the episode she had totally won me over and I loved her. Her no nonsense attitude works brilliantly with the Doctor and it was great to see a different dynamic after all the love stories. When she was crying in the TARDIS in the Pompeii episode, begging the Doctor to go back and save someone I was in floods of tears with her.

Planet of the Ood was a good story but probably my least favourite of series 4 overall. Some of the episodes have quickly become favourites. Midnight was so claustrophobic and so wonderfully acted. The woman who played Skye is a real talent! Turn Left is probably one of, if not the best episode of Doctor Who I have seen. I thought it was completely wonderful. Catherine Tate has this way in every episode of bringing out brand new sides to her character which is brilliant, and I think I was in tears at the end of nearly every story. Special mention should go to The Unicorn and the Wasp for just being so funny and sending itself up so well. The woman who played Agatha was brilliant too. And then there is the finale. The Doctor Donna. Brilliant! Not what I expected and a little bit off the wall, but it was still amazing. When Donna was in the TARDIS at the end and she knew what was coming I think my heart broke a little. There was snot and everything! I can't remember a tv show ever making me cry like that episode did. It was just so tragic. And Tens speech at the end just sent me over the edge.

I just want you to know, that there are worlds out there, safe in the sky because of her. That there are people living in the light, and singing songs of Donna Noble, a thousand, million light years away. They will never forget her, while she can never remember. And for one moment... one shining moment... she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe.

I didnt think series 5 could be toppled, but series 4 completely blew me away! I can't wait to watch it again but it's the Specials next.

So they are my thoughts, what are yours?
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2011, 05:02:44 pm »

Agreed, she won me over as well. I am a newer Who fan and I am watching back to back so the stories are fresh in my mind. Also, it gets me through from anxious waiting.
Starting out I was worried that she would be my least favorite companion  but through each episode it ramps up with the awesome level. I love the spin with the Doctor Donna part. I think it was one my most giddy points of watching. That and being able to close the bridge with Rose being happy at the end.
It got me good how they ended her character but they did a great job with her all and all.
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2011, 05:07:33 pm »

Agreed, she won me over as well. I am a newer Who fan and I am watching back to back so the stories are fresh in my mind. Also, it gets me through from anxious waiting.
Starting out I was worried that she would be my least favorite companion  but through each episode it ramps up with the awesome level. I love the spin with the Doctor Donna part. I think it was one my most giddy points of watching. That and being able to close the bridge with Rose being happy at the end.
It got me good how they ended her character but they did a great job with her all and all.

Hello, and welcome Smiley

I am pretty new to it all too. I started watching when series 5 aired in 2010 and so am working my way through everything that came before it. How much have you seen so far?

I know exactly what you mean about Donna too. As I am watching I usually fill people in on here with my progress and I was saying in one of the other threads how I didnt understand the fuss about Donna based on The Runaway Bride but everyone told me I would get to love her and they were right Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 05:19:04 pm »

I am the biggest advocate for Donna Noble and series 4 and I am glad you enjoyed it so much. It really is one of the best partnerships on the show and series 4 produced some of the best stories since the show returned, showing that RTD still had what it took to tell a great tale.

The Specials, which you are watching next, are hit and miss for a lot of people but I enjoyed them.
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2011, 06:27:07 pm »

I did enjoy the vast majority of Series IV, and I can't deny my love for Donna - easily the best companion of the RTD era, no contest. We should all be supremely glad that Davies' initial plans for the S4 companion didn't pan out, if you ask me. The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky was a gripping story and the perfect way to bring back one of the best of the classic villains, The Unicorn and the Wasp was one of the most enjoyable stories of the revived series, and Midnight is quite honestly some of Russel T Davies' best work ever, period.

But for me, the series finale ended up going from a powerful start to a HUGE let-down as far as story was concerned. Sure, it was great seeing everyone again and bringing Davros back was incredible to see, even if how it was done was a tad iffy. But in my opinion, there was too much going on at once, and the entire story just felt rushed and loosely held together. Donna's departure was far less than the character - and the actress - deserved; the second human-form Doctor was contrived and more than a bit silly; and the bit with Rose was little more than pandering to the mass of fans obsessed with the idea of Rose and the Doctor shacking up. In my opinion, the finale needed to be either three episodes long, or they needed to cut out one or more of the returning characters (the SJA cast would've got my vote for the boot, especially Luke).
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 02:15:14 pm »

We should all be supremely glad that Davies' initial plans for the S4 companion didn't pan out, if you ask me. 

That one must have missed me - who did he want?

I agree the series was great - The Doctor's Daughter is one that hasn't been mentioned which I love.  I generally enjoyed the finale, but I thought they tried to tie up too much at the end - I'd have rather they'd concentrated on what happened to Donna, rather than letting it drag on for as long as it did.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 03:16:48 pm »

Series 4 is easily my favourite Cheesy And Donna is just brilliant!

I love Rose, but of all of the NewWho companions (as that's all I've seen), Donna has the biggest emotional journey and is just brilliant. I was so impressed with Tate, for I too was dreading her return.

This is what I posted over on STV when I did my rewatch:

Season 4... ahh, bliss. Possibly my favourite season. Possibly my favourite assistant. Everything, from start to finish, was brilliant.

I love Partners In Crime and it's quite possibly my favourite season opener. I remember sitting watching it for the first time, thinking "Omg they must meet!" and then, jump to the hilarious window chat, with Mrs Foster's "Are we interrupting you?"  Too funny! Jump straight into Fires of Pompeii episode and Planet of the Ood, very emotional and absolutely loved them too.

The next three episodes were the only three I found to be rather lacking; The Sontaran Strategem, The Poison Sky and The Doctor's Daughter, the latter of the three being an annoyance at the time seeing the trailer for it and thinking; how stupid! The Unicorn and the Wasp was good fun, but not stand out.

Next up we have Moffat's, as per usual, FANTASTIC two-parter 'Silence in the Library' and 'Forest of the Dead' which make me more confident than ever with Moffat taking over the reigns for the next series.

Midnight is one of those episodes that originally you think is less than good, but my god is it psychologically chilling. I love it more and more every time I watch, even if the lack of Donna is disappointing. Yes the people on board were slightly unbelievable, but wasn't it an intense watch?

Finally, the 3-part finale (at least in my head I see it as 3-parts). Turn Left. Oh my god. Wow. I loved seeing all of the events unfold without the Doctor alive. And come on, Tate was phenomenal in this episode especially. I absolutely love Donna. The Stolen Earth and Journey's End - both fantastic, so nice to see all of the old companions back, especially Rose and Jackie. Such a sad end for Donna though. I think that was worse than death, having her forget like that and her farewell to the Doctor "Yeah, see ya!". Too sad   

A note on Donna - she gets a lot of hate, and in my opinion it's quite undeserved. People can't see past Catherine Tate to really see Donna. Yes, a lot of her lines are very Tate-esque (aka annoying) but if you look beyond that, you see the character who, surprisingly, has been on the most emotional journey of any companion, from begging the people in Pompeii to run for the hills, to hearing the slavery song of the Ood, to losing her children and husband in Forest of the Dead, to having to make the hardest decision in Turn Left in order to save everyone. I hope that upon rewatch (and perhaps consideration of my ranting), people will take a softer approach to Donna in future.

Season Four Ratings

Voyage of the Damned - 6/10
Partners in Crime - 8/10
The Fires of Pompeii - 8/10
Planet of the Ood - 8/10
The Sontaran Strategem - 6/10
The Poison Sky - 6/10
The Doctor's Daughter - 6/10
The Unicorn and the Wasp - 7/10
Silence in the Library - 10/10
Forest of the Dead - 9/10
Midnight - 8/10
Turn Left - 10/10
The Stolen Earth - 9/10
Journey's End - 9/10

Season Four Mean: 7.9/10
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2011, 04:54:26 pm »

That one must have missed me - who did he want?

I don't recall if he had an actress lined up, but he did have the character created before Catherine Tate was invited to return as Donna. Her name was to be Penny, a middle aged blonde woman who meets the Doctor just after being jilted by her cheating boyfriend. He planned right from the start to have both her and the Doctor be romantically interested in the other, an idea that was thankfully scrapped when they brought Donna back instead.

My source for this information is The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter, by Russel T Davies and Benjamin Cook.
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2011, 07:50:09 pm »

Great post Joshua, mostly agree, although I would rate the Sontaran eps & The Doctors' Daughter way lower.
Apart from the "Are you my mummy" gag, I don't rate Helen Raynor's writing at all.

Turn Left is a masterpiece, but as I posted in the contest page, at the moment I've just watched it a bit too much!!

Catherine Tate was wonderful in series 4, blew me away bigtime.

Oh, I'd also add that I agree with Hyac RE the Rose/Doctor Clone shacking up. It was lamer than lame & blatantly for the "shippers" out there. That & the SJA involvement lessened it a bit for me, though you could also argue that Gwen was in it just to make an Unquiet Dead gag?
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2011, 01:36:09 pm »

It's cool that so many people liked it. I've read a lot of people saying RTD was out of steam by the time S4 came around but I thought it was the best by far of his reign (still havent seen the specials though) and I would say even better than series 5, but only a smidge and I still prefer Eleven
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 03:48:18 pm »

It's cool that so many people liked it. I've read a lot of people saying RTD was out of steam by the time S4 came around but I thought it was the best by far of his reign (still havent seen the specials though) and I would say even better than series 5, but only a smidge and I still prefer Eleven

I agree, I much prefer S4 to any other! Definitely not out of steam Smiley Although I disagree in that I think S4 was far more than a smidge better than S5, but I'm not a huge fan of S5.
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 10:04:44 pm »

I would also add myself to that list of thinking Series 4 is the best yet. I loved Series 5 too, but series four was much more even and the stories were of a higher quality I thought
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 05:36:39 pm »

I personally thought that series 4 was one of the best and most consistant series since the show returned. Its was great story after great story, with one of the best Doctor/Companion pairings that the show has ever had. Every series has duff episodes, but this series, imo, had the least of the lot
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2011, 05:45:33 pm »

I personally thought that series 4 was one of the best and most consistant series since the show returned. Its was great story after great story, with one of the best Doctor/Companion pairings that the show has ever had. Every series has duff episodes, but this series, imo, had the least of the lot

I'd have to agree with this to be honest. Of the first four series, series 4 was for me the only one which was really consistent. It was also the only one where I started to really like Ten as the Doctor
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