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Doctor Who - Silence in the Library / Doctor Who - Forest of the Dead

episode 4.8, 4.9

UK 2008
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T.Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Euros Lyn
starring David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Alex Kingston, Colin Salmon, Eve Newton, Mark Dexter, Sarah Niles, Joshual Dallas, Jessika Williams, Steve Pemberton, Talulah Riley, O.T.Fagbenle, Harry Peacock, Jason Pitt, Eloise Rakic-Platt, Madeleine Rakic-Platt, Alex Midwood, Jonathan Reuben
written by Steven Moffat, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Donna Noble

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Who (David Tennant) and Donna (Catherine Tate) visit a library planet that seems to be totally deserted - until an archeological expedition arrives, led by professor River Song (Alex Kingston), a woman who trusts the Doctor implicitely right away, even though he has never met her - and as it turns out they are lovers in his future but her past. Now that would be the basis for endless discussions, but there are more pressing matters at hand, like shadows attacking and eating up people ... ouch.

As if that wasn't bad enough, it turns out that the library planet only exists in a girl's (Eve Newton). head, and soon enough, Donna is teleported away from the library and into the girl's world, where a psychologist (Colin Salmon) cures her from her visions of the library, her past life and everything, and before you know, it, she has a husband and children and leads a happy quiet life. Until one day, a woman (Talulah Riley) killed by the shadows visits her and opens her eyes to the truth again.

In the meantime, the Doctor, under constant attack from the shadows, has figured out what is going on: The girl who thinks she has only imagined the library is actually a computer who has, when the shadows' attacks began, sucked all of the library's visitors into its system and created a virtual reality for them - a virtual reality that's presently about to collapse. And somehow, the Doctor also finds a way to save the computer system, bring all the people caught in there back to (real) life and do away witht he shadows ... thing is, the rescue mission will cost a human life ... and of course, the Doctor is more than willing to give his own, but ultimately River song tricks him to sacrifice herself, since if he dies now, he'll never be able to become her lover ...

 

In writing, the story of this double-episode might sound incredibly incomprehensible, but for the most part it works just fine on screen, its complexity working for and not against it. There are quite some flaws in the plot, admittedly (like what exaxtly happens to the shadows, and what exactly are they to begin with), but by and large, this is one of the best episodes from the show's fourth season.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD