When I saw Christopher Eccleston regenerate into David Tennant, my first thought was “If they can’t keep a Doctor for more than one season, I don’t have much faith in this revival.” It didn’t take long for Tennant to change my mind, in fact he’s my #2 favorite Doctor!
About David Tennant
David Tennant is the third Doctor to use a stage name (his real name is David John McDonald), naming himself after Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys. He joined the 7:84 Theatre Company upon graduating from drama school. His first major TV role was in the Scottish TV series Takin Over the Asylum. He was part of a Shakespeare troupe and is the first Doctor to play on Big Finish as someone besides the Doctor, playing a villain in their UNIT stories. Upon getting the role of the Tenth Doctor, he was very enthusiastic, as he was a huge Doctor Who fan.
“You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That’s the curse of the Time Lords.”–“School Reunion”
Companions: Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), River Song (Alex Kingston)
Series: 4, episodes 8 and 9
Summary: The Doctor takes Donna to the largest library in the universe, which resides in a girl’s head. Despite the size of the library, they appear to be the only inhabitants. Suddenly, a group of archaeologists arrive, led by Professor River Song. The library is not empty, for the Vashta Nerada lurk within. This is the first time the Doctor has met River Song from his perspective, but she knows him. As for the girl whose head the library is in, she is seeing a psychiatrist named Dr. Moon, who tells her things are not what they seem and that she must save everyone within the library.
Summary: The Doctor and Donna travel to 1920’s England, where they meet the legendary mystery novelist herself, Agatha Christie, at a party. The Doctor realizes this is the exact day when Christie supposedly disappeared and returned ten days later, with no memory of what had happened. What’s more, an actual murder has occurred!
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”.
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.
Companions: Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)
Summary: Harold Saxon has been elected Prime Minister of Britain. However, what no one realizes is that Saxon is actually the Master. He has also brought beings called the Toclafane, who were originally only fairy tales on Gallifrey. The Master zaps the Doctor with a device that rapidly ages him. The TARDIS is transformed into a “paradox generator”.
One year later, Martha joins a resistance group against Saxon, where she meets Tom Milligan, the leader. The Master has created the Archangel Network as a means of watching over everyone, Big Brother style. Martha has discovered a flaw in it and uses it against the Master in the hopes of reversing the aging process.
Companions: Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)
Review: The Doctor and Martha make a pit stop in Cardiff to refuel using the wormhole and the TARDIS is spotted by Captain Jack. He’d been following them (this is left over from a Torchwood episode), He hitches a ride on the TARDIS as it disappears and the three of them arrive on a world at the edge of civilization. He reveals that he’s been tracking them using a vortex manipulator. The civilization houses a facility being maintained by a man named Professor Yana and his alien assistant Chantho. The facility is ravaged by rabid beings called the Futurekind. Yana has been trying to get off the planet with everyone for years, but doesn’t know how to repair the rocket inside the facility. The Doctor repairs it and everyone begins boarding. Yana and Martha talk and he reveals that he’s been hearing drumming in head incessantly for years. He gives her a pocketwatch similar to the one the Doctor had in “Human Nature”. Martha notices it and opens it, unknowingly awakening Yana’s true self–The Master. The Master then sabotages the facility, killing many of the humans in the facility before entering the TARDIS and regenerating. This leads into Series 3’s 2-part finale.
Summary: The Doctor receives several messages and lands on a planet called Death’s Deal, only to discover that whoever sent those messages must’ve died. The planet was so named because it is the deadliest planet in the galaxy. The Doctor and Donna are now stranded among tourists and must help everyone escape.
Summary: The Doctor and Rose return to modern-day London and discover an infestation of ghosts that is being investigated by Torchwood. They came through a dimensional portal. But the ghosts in reality are Cybermen, and Daleks are on the other side of the portal as well.