Writer: Russell T. Davies
Director: James Strong
Producer: Phil Collinson
Series: 4, ep. 1
Companion: Donna Noble (Catherine Tate)
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.