Summary: The Doctor and his companions, Jason (a nobleman from the French Revolution) and Crystal (a nightclub singer) battle the Cybermen, Daleks, and a mercenary named Delilah. Did I mention this is a musical?
Summary: The Doctor takes Donna on her first trip in the TARDIS, landing in Pompeii on the day Vesuvius is about to erupt (déjà vu, Doctor?). The TARDIS is stolen by a family because the father, Caecilius, thinks it’s a piece of modern art. A group of Sybilline Oracles believe the TARDIS is part of a prophecy. Donna is upset because the Doctor tells her that Pompeii is a fixed point in history, so it cannot be changed.
Review: This was a great episode. Donna plays a great moral compass here, as her actions cause the Doctor to contemplate breaking the rules, if not bending them. The chemistry is great between the two of them, especially when he fights the monster with a water pistol. (I still love that joke). I like that this episode even has implications with Capaldi’s Doctor.
Overall Review: 10/10
Continuity: As confirmed in “The Girl Who Lived”, Caecilius was the inspiration for the Tenth Doctor’s face. The Seventh Doctor visited Pompeii with Mel in “The Fires Of Vulcan”(which I have reviewed on this site.). Dextrus tells Donna she has something on her back (“Turn Left”) and foretells of Rose’s return. The destruction of Pompeii is what leads to the Doctor attempting to change history in “The Waters Of Mars”. This isn’t the first time the TARDIS was mistaken for art, that also happens in “City of Death”.
Trivia: Karen Gillan portrayed one of the Oracles. This story was inspired by the Big Finish Audio Drama, “The Fires of Vulcan”.
Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), River Song (Alex Kingston)
Summary: River Song contacts the Doctor and Amy. They travel to Roman-occupied Britain in 102, where they discover the Pandorica under Stonehenge. The Pandorica is a giant prison designed to contain the most destructive force in the universe. All of the Doctor’s enemies have converged on the site–Cybermen, Daleks, Autons, and Sontaran’s. Oh, and Rory’s back…as an Auton.
Review: This was the story that made me a Matt Smith fan. You see, I like the Sylvester McCoy Doctor a lot. I consider him underrated, and the thing I like best about him is how every episode was like a game of speed chess. He had an entire plan mapped out, and could even change on the fly if he needed to. I always wanted to see someone else do the same thing, and it happens here. There’s lots of great action here. I love River’s scene with the Dalek. “I’m River Song, check your records again.” (Yeah, did none of you remember what Ace did to you Daleks?) And of course there’s the awesome speech the Doctor gives at the end of part 1. What a great way to end the first series of Matt Smith’s era!
Overall Review: 10/10
Continuity: Liz 10 from “The Beast Below” receives a message at the start, as does Winston Churchill. The Fourth Doctor visited Stonehenge in “The Stones of Blood”. The Seventh Doctor actually had both a fez and a mop in one episode. When we see the message “Hello Sweetie”, we also see two Greek letters, Theta and Sigma. Theta Sigma was the Doctor’s nickname at the Academy, as we learned in “The Armageddon Factor”. In “The Forest of the Dead”, River said that her Doctor was able to turn away whole armies, which the Doctor does in this episode.
Summary: Donna Noble is investigating Adipose Industries, a company that makes diet pills. So is the Doctor, but neither of them realize they are working together at first. They eventually bump into each other, and soon the Doctor has officially gained a new companion. The pills turn into Adipose, aliens who have lost their homeworld.
Review: As someone who enjoyed “The Christmas Invasion”, I was happy to hear that Catherine Tate was coming back. This episode was a great reintroduction to her character, as she was more eager to join the Doctor in his adventures. I liked how she seemed so wistful about being with him, especially when we see her with Wilfred Mott. In fact, I’d say this was better than “The Christmas Invasion”. The Doctor and Donna have great chemistry together. The main villain is a bit on the hammy side, but that’s standard for Doctor Who. It’s a great start to series 4, which is probably the best series in Tennant’s era.
Continuity: This begins the “Medusa Cascade” arc, as I call it, as the Adipose’s planet is one of the planets that is stolen in “The Stolen Earth”. Donna Noble’s official final adventure is “Journey’s End”, but she makes cameos in “The End of Time”. Donna sees Rose Tyler, but she vanishes before the Doctor can see her. Throughout series 4, Rose Tyler will make cameos until her return in “Turn Left”. One of the taxis has an ATMOS sticker on it, foreshadowing “The Sontaran Strategem”. The Eighth Doctor and the Fourth Doctor combined sonic devices to enter the Master’s pocket dimension in the 50th anniversary audio story “The Light at the End”. Combining sonic devices was also a plot point in the Torchwood episode “Fragments”. The Shadow Proclamation is mentioned once more, as it was first mentioned in “Rose”. We also learn of the disappearing bees, which is also a plot point for this series. Donna believes the crash of the spaceship that resembled the Titanic in “Voyage of the Damned” was a hoax.
Summary: Davros is now 30 years old and has joined the Kaled military, against his mother’s wishes. He has become a tech operator, and his hatred of the Thals is increasing. Yet within the ranks are people who do not wish to go to war. And another of Davros’s family has been claimed by death once more.
Summary: Davros is being placed on trial by the Daleks. While the trial proceeds, Davros recounts his past. In part one, the war between the Kaleds and the Thals has begun, and Davros is raised by elitist parents, both of whom have different goals for him. Calcula wishes for her son to become a scientist, while his father Colonel Nasguard wants him to carry on the military tradition. They pass on their hatred and ambitions to their children, including his sister Yarvell. As the war escalates, Nasguard is killed in battle, and Calcula enlists Davros in the study of genetics.
Note: This is one of Big Finish’s “Side Steps” stories. Although Bernice Summerfield is featured, it is separate from their established stories for her, and more in keeping with what was in Virgin Books’ version of the character.
Summary: The Doctor, Ace, and archaeologist Bernice Summerfield travel to the Pinehill Crest Hotel, where they find a dead body that has been resurrected as a vessel for an alien race called the Scourge. The Scourge feed on despair and seek to create it, using the hotel as a starting point for an invasion.
Narrator: Jenna Coleman (note: Clara Oswald is not in this story)
Companion: Alice Watson (narrator, Jenna Oswald)
Running Time: 1 hr., 9 minutes
Summary: Professor Chivers and his assistant Alice Watson have constructed a time machine on Nov 23, 2013. The Doctor has discovered that an alien race called the Creevix have intervened, giving the professor access to technology much farther advanced then his own. Can the Doctor prevent the damage this might do?