Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series (2008)

Actors: David Tennant, Catherine Tate
AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of discs:
BBC Warner
DVD Release Date:
November 18, 2008
Run Time:
655 minutes



If you were worried about the presence of British comedienne Catherine Tate as the time-traveling Doctor's "companion" for the fourth season of this highly successful BBC show, then relax.

Tate isn't anywhere as abrasive a presence as she was in the ill-fated 2006 Doctor Who Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. Acting-wise histrionics are however amped up a notch or two as both she and actor David Tennant opt for more hyper-energetic performances with loads of facial mugging. However it's all part of the fun as there is never a dull moment, especially the kitchen sink-and-all climactic two-parter storyline that closes the season. The Doctor also seems be even more of a bleeding-heart liberal than before, opting for pacifism and tolerance as opposed to the more American heroes who prefer to solve issues using their fists and not their brains.

Long-time Who fans will be delighted to see the return of both the Sontarans, a brute warrior clone race and of course the Daleks. It just wouldn't be Doctor Who without those giant pepper pots and their grating voice box chants of "Exterminate", now would it?

The current Doctor Who revival has managed to maintain the essence of the original long-running series whilst sneaking in a more adult tone (there was never anything ?improper? about the good Doctor and his numerous female companions throughout the long years). It boasts some great writing and fantastic special effects and sets with the sort of budget that classic Who show producers could only dream of.

Series 4 has maintained the high standards set by previous seasons. Who is surely the second-best sci-fi show on the telly right, trailing slightly behind Battlestar Galactica, also a successful rethink of a beloved science fiction show. However with a new actor set to take over from the hyperkinetic Tennant; plus Russell T Davies, the main creative force behind the revival, departing, it would be interesting to see if this trend continues though . . . (Incidentally unknown actor Matt Smith will be at 26 the youngest actor yet to play the Doctor.)

WORTH IT? Definitely.

RECOMMENDATION: Fans - even those skeptical of Tate - won't be disappointed, but newbies should check out earlier seasons instead as this season sees the return of several ongoing characters and storylines both from earlier episodes as well as spin-off shows such as Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures . . .



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