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 . . .