After being thoroughly disappointed by the third season of Doctor Who, I wasn’t super excited to watch the fourth. But as the missus didn’t dislike it nearly as much as I did, we continued on, though not quite as quickly as we did through the other seasons. But, damn, I’m glad we did, because the fourth season of Doctor Who is up there with the first as a favorite in my book. From bringing Donna back into the fold to aliens made of human fat and killer cars to one of the greatest team-up finales of all time, I had a fantastic time this season. I think I liked it so much because the writers seemed to be exploring new territory or at least not as old and tired territory as the previous season, and, considering you’ve got another encounter with a famous author, that’s saying something.
I wasn’t super jazzed about checking out the Roman empire in “The Fires Of Pompeii,” but even that was a pretty entertaining episode. After that, though, things really kicked up a few notches. Throughout the previous season, I spent a good deal of time reading comics and trades while the shows were playing, but season four’s episodes kept me mostly glued to the screen. I will say that Donna living two fake lives so close together in the episodes “Forest Of The Dead” and “Turn Left” was a little boring because, as any longtime fan of sci-fi knows, these episodes don’t really have much lasting effect. I get the idea that the character is supposed to remember that extra life for the rest of theirs, but it’s a little strange seeing two of them two episodes apart. I did like seeing how things would have changed if Donna didn’t show up. It was very “It’s A Wonderful Life” but I didn’t even notice until writing about it the next day.
“The Doctor’s Daughter,” “Silence In The Library,” “Forest Of The Dead,” “Midnight,” “Turn Left,” “The Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End” were all stellar episodes, especially those last two. I kind of figured that Rose would be involved after popping up in strange ways throughout the season, but by also including Martha, Captain Jack and the Torchwood crew, Sarah Jane and her son, the former prime minister, those Rhino guys, the Shadow Proclamation, Micky, Rose’s mom, a Doctor clone, Daleks, Davors and K9 was RAD. I’d say this is up there with one of my favorite season finales of all time. Loved it and it also made me want to check out Torchwood and maybe Sarah Jane Adventures.
Also, real quick, I didn’t think I would like Donna as The Doctor’s companion, but she grew on me very quickly. In fact, her goodness made me realize how kind of boring Martha was. She was cool popping up here and there this season as this badass, but she was rarely like that last season.
So, the Christmas special is up at the top of our Netflix queue and the next special is on Instant. The final two will be released on the 2nd. I’m not sure if they’ll be disc-only or on instant. Does anyone know why some Doctor Who stuff is on instant and some isn’t? I want to check out some of the old stuff, but the very first batch is on disc only and there’s a lot of other newer DVDs I want to check out. Also, if you’re curious to see what’s available on Netflix, check out this handy dandy blogpost over on Netflix that lists every Doctor Who episode and series in order and offers up links for whatever’s available on DVD or instant.
So, when does season five start airing over here?