This review features 12 Doctor Who clips.
Now With 78% Less Dalek is a major selling point for Doctor Who The Complete Fourth Series DVD set, Dalek cover notwithstanding. Yes, the race of metallic wooden characters that make Steven Seagal look like Laurence Olivier is back, but only at the very end so fans of this BBC science fiction classic can really enjoy Doctor Who and his much more varied foes.
The best way to kick off Doctor Who Season 4 is to go to the special features on DVD 1 and select Children in Need – Time Crash, the preview for the first episode of the fourth series: Voyage of the Damned. Long time fans of the Doctor are in for a treat. The show itself aired as the Christmas 2007 special and really kicks 70s disaster movie ass.
The Doctor has a new companion; Donna Noble (Catherine Tate, the Runaway Bride from the previous year’s Christmas episode). Donna is more interesting than she was in The Runaway Bride. Unlike Rose or Martha Jones, she is not in awe of the Doctor and this changes the dynamics of the relationship for the better
There is also a new, at times whimsical tone to the latest series. For example, the first episode very much plays like a crime caper set in the diet industry (the cubicle popping heads bit is funny) and another is an excellent Whodunit :-p with Agatha Christie.
Episode 2 (DVD 1) is set in Pompeii and though a bit much on the mystical mumbo-jumbo, quite fun, especially the “I am Spartacus!” bit. The Ood, the guys who carry their own light bulb, are happy to serve as nemesis in episode 3 (DVD 1). This is an excellent episode that shows budget isn’t everything, even in 4127 AD.
Less … stellar are The Sontaran Stratagem and The Poison Sky on DVD 2 of Doctor Who the Complete Fourth Series. This is another aliens taking over the world episode. The actor playing the boy genius is not even as talented an actor as the Dalek and the baddies are bland. Beware of your GPS though.
The Doctor’s Daughter is a battle between the Hath and the Hath not ;-) Donna’s take on Doctor Who is priceless: “He saves planets, rescues civilizations, defeats terrible creatures, and runs a lot. Seriously, there’s an outrageous amount of running involved.”
The two part Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead (DVD 4 of Doctor Who the Complete Fourth Series) is not the best. Midnight is a wash.
DVD 5 includes the last three episodes of Series Four. Turn Left is one of those alternate universe science fiction shows. I am not a big fan of those but this is a good one.
The last two episodes of this Doctor Who DVD set, The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End feature the Daleks. They are also old home week for the doctor. The special effects in these season 4 enders are great aside from the bit with the phone box and the waves.
DVD 6 of this box set features a behind the scenes featurette for each season 4 episode.