Movies and TV
The Escapist's Favorite Things About Doctor Who

The Escapist Staff | 20 Aug 2014 08:00
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Catherine Tate as Donna Noble
Carly Smith says: Every companion has brought out something different in the Doctor, but it's Catherine Tate's chemistry with David Tennant that brought out some of the funniest episodes of the new Doctor Who.

The title of the first episode of the fourth season tells it all: "Partners in Crime." In this episode, Donna and the Doctor reunite after her first episode from the previous season. The first conversation they have is through soundproof glass as the two can only mouth their words. Tate and Tennant completely sell it in their faces and mimes. Throughout the rest of the season, the wit between Donna and the Doctor is in sync. Instead of Doctor Who giving us the romantic relationships it's keen on in the last few seasons, we see a strong friendship.

Donna Noble was crass, lost and adrift, and demanded respect -- even from the Doctor. I can find no other character more relatable than the woman who's shouting at the world because no one is listening.

Doctor Who is beautiful when it shows ordinary people are actually extraordinary. Donna repeatedly sells herself short, but we learn that she is the most important person in the universe when she saves reality.

To the most faithful companion, I echo the Doctor's words: "Donna Noble, I am so sorry. We had the best of times." You didn't deserve to go the way you did.

Alex Kingston as River Song
Marshall Lemon says: Imagine a romantic relationship where every meeting feels like the first time, with varying combinations of excitement and uncertainty. That's pretty much The Doctor's partnership with River Song, his wife, in a nutshell. As fellow time-travelers, The Doctor and River are constantly meeting across the timestream but never in the right order, forcing the pair to use a journal to double-check where the marriage stands. The relationship hasn't always been the most stable, like when The Doctor had no idea who River was, or when River tried to kill him, but somehow the pair manages to carry on and grow together.

River's appearances are fantastic foreshadowing devices, although sometimes the marriage seems like a hard sell. After all, The Doctor has experienced strong romantic overtones with many of his companions, so what makes River different? Well, she can keep up with the Doctor at his exceedingly fast pace. She understands his unique quirks and foibles better than anyone, perhaps even himself. Most importantly, River deeply cares for the Doctor despite their vast differences (note her uncomfortable willingness to kill), and will stand with him against anything the universe has to offer.

The fact that the Doctor knows how her story ends, and can't tell her, makes that all the more tragic.

Mike Hoffman says: I miss Russell T. Davies. I miss the explorative nature of Doctor Who and the weird worlds, strange cultures, and fascinating monsters that we had in the era of Tennant and Eccleston. "Midnight" was one of my favorites of these episodes, and was more terrifying than any Weeping Angel episode (although "Blink" was cool as hell) or some guy saying, "Hey, who turned out the lights?"

The Doctor goes to a world called Midnight and takes a shuttle trip to see a waterfall of sapphires. Before long, the shuttle runs into issue and the cockpit torn away. The Doctor and the other passengers (including Merlin's Colin Morgan) sit in fear as a mysterious creature attacks the outside of the shuttle.

Soon, the episode turns into a psychological horror as the passengers begin behaving strangely. This episode was incredibly inventive, creating a terrifying monster that we never even see, something that is able to take control of people, even if we never knew how. What gets to me is that this creature (or force) existed in a desolate wasteland, seemingly devoid of life. How did it evolve to do this? What other creatures has it done this to? How intelligent is it, really? I wish Doctor Who still left me thinking about episodes for as long as "Midnight" did.

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