Series four of Doctor Who starts with a squish. Oh dear.

Primary Cast and Crew

David Tennant as the Doctor
Catherine Tate as Donna Noble
Billie Piper as Rose Tyler
Sarah Lancashire as Miss Foster
Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Molt
Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble
Verona Joseph as Penny Carter
Jessica Gunning as Stacey Harris
Martin Ball as Roger Davey
Rachid Sabitri as Craig Staniland
Chandra Ruegg as Clare Pope
Sue Kelvin as Suzette Chambers

Written by Russell T. Davies

Directed by James Strong

Originally aired on the 5th of April 2008 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis

Since her encounter with the Doctor, Donna Noble has been at a loose end and eventually resolved to seek out trouble in the hope of meeting the Doctor again and taking him up on his offer to travel with him. While looking into a company called Adipose Industries, her wish is granted, as the company is a front for a crazed alien nanny who wants to use the human race to incubate a whole generation of children.

High Points

  • Donna and the Doctor seeing each other across the room and their subsequent (rather one-sided) signing conversation

Low Points

Rather like the last Christmas episode, this is free of glaring low points but never rises very high either.

The Scores

Originality: This episode contains no real surprises. Oh look there’s something strange going on. The fat just walks away. Oh, well obviously it’s coming alive. Subsequent events failed to throw any curve balls into the conclusions of the first ten minutes. Two out of six.

Effects: The effects were quite weak. Doctor Who obviously doesn’t have the kind of funding available to Battlestar Galactica or The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and it shows, from the poor lighting integration on the Adipose to the shot of the TARDIS which is very obviously a cuboid with a video texture on the side. Three out of six.

Story: There’s only one part of this story which really wows, and that’s related to an unexpected name you might find in the cast list. This is a big shame, because most of the episode plods along in a fairly mediocre fashion with few surprises. Except that one at the end. Three out of six.

Acting: David Tennant is doing what he did last series, and I have no complaints about that. Catherine Tate still acts rather like she does on her sketch shows, and I’ve never rated those particularly highly. It certainly doesn’t work in this environment. Sarah Lancashire, on the other hand, while clearly enjoying herself tremendously did a nice line in sinister calm. Four out of six, but only because Tennant and Lancashire saved the day.

Emotional response: I laughed a couple of times. And the Adipose were sort of cute. Otherwise I didn’t really care. Two out of six.

Production: Offices and Cardiff pretending to be London again. Three out of six.

Overall: I’d be disappointed, but I wasn’t expecting brilliance as I remembered the last appearance of Catherine Tate. This is nothing to get worked up about. Two out of six.

Partners in Crime receives a dismal nineteen out of forty-two, and ‘must do better’ written at the end in red pen.