Doctor Who Review: Partners in Crime

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.

12 replies on “Doctor Who Review: Partners in Crime”

  1. Chillum says:

    Oh dear

    Written by Russell T. Davies

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

    Coincidence? I think not..

    Very disappointing start to the new series but then I was pretty much expecting it to be, knowing that RTD always likes to write this sort of episode himself. Oh well, surely it can only get better!

  2. J_W_W says:

    Good for a "new companion" episode
    I thought this was a good episode, especially considering the new companion legwork that had to get done.

    I was worried when watching that the moment the Doctor and Donna meet up would be anti-climactic, but the way they did that was "Brilliant" and very funny.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Good for a "new companion" episode

      I thought this was a good episode

      I have to agree, I rather liked it — it did what Doctor Who is best at: good "don’t take yourself seriously" fun. My high points would be the "signing" and "are we interrupting?" ;-), the nagging kitchen scene and grandpa getting to see granddaughter make good. And of course the big "where are we going with *this*?!?" at the end…

      Can’t say as I’d object to giving "birth" to a few dozen of the little tykes myself either ;-) (as long as they didn’t get *too* greedy!)

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Good for a "new companion" episode

        I thought this was a good episode

        I have to agree, I rather liked it — it did what Doctor Who is best at: good "don’t take yourself seriously" fun. My high points would be the "signing" and "are we interrupting?" ;-), the nagging kitchen scene and grandpa getting to see granddaughter make good. And of course the big "where are we going with *this*?!?" at the end…

        Can’t say as I’d object to giving "birth" to a few dozen of the little tykes myself either ;-) (as long as they didn’t get *too* greedy!)

        You know, I was thinking while whatching this that if they would have been up front with people and offered them the chance to spawn 10-20 of the little fat beings, there are people who might just have gone for it. Total destruction, not so good, but a few.

        Lots of people REALLY want to lose weight, plus, the fat beings were darn cute….

      • y42 says:

        Re: Good for a "new companion" episode

        Can’t say as I’d object to giving "birth" to a few dozen of the little tykes myself either ;-) (as long as they didn’t get *too* greedy!)

        As diet plan, it sort of works! :D

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Good for a "new companion" episode

      I thought this was a good episode, especially considering the new companion legwork that had to get done.

      I was worried when watching that the moment the Doctor and Donna meet up would be anti-climactic, but the way they did that was "Brilliant" and very funny.

      It was good, and surprise at the end was awesome. :)

      -Joe

  3. jesusX says:

    I must respectfully disagree.
    I just finished watching it, and I have to say I found it quite enjoyable. There’s nothing wrong with a silly romp now and again. As for the last scene, the ONLY think I saw wrong with that was yeah, you could see they just superimposed the video on the front of the TARDIS, but really it wasn’t bad at all. I think that was a bit nitpicky.

    • obiwan says:

      Re: I must respectfully disagree.

      I just finished watching it, and I have to say I found it quite enjoyable. There’s nothing wrong with a silly romp now and again. As for the last scene, the ONLY think I saw wrong with that was yeah, you could see they just superimposed the video on the front of the TARDIS, but really it wasn’t bad at all. I think that was a bit nitpicky.

      On the other hand, if it ever comes down to an attack of the giant cats versus daleks, you know the Doctor has jumped the shark.

  4. darue says:

    the effects were fine, and the camera work on the side of the building especially
    this was the first time EVER we’ve seen into the TARDIS from outside I believe. Oh and is anyone going to mention the Piper sighting? Perhaps she’s got some vortex energy left in her after all?

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: the effects were fine, and the camera work on the side of the building especially

      this was the first time EVER we’ve seen into the TARDIS from outside I believe. Oh and is anyone going to mention the Piper sighting? Perhaps she’s got some vortex energy left in her after all?

      No, it’s not the first time – the revival series has done it on several occasions. It was never done before that, but before that it was presumably an incredibly expensive and difficult proposition.

  5. zonk3r says:

    anyone know how long tate is on?
    Anyone know how long she’ll be the companion? All season or just a few eps?

    BTW, anyone catch the April Fools short episode of the same name? It’s on the torrent sites if you didn’t. Pretty funny I thought. I won’t spoil it for you… :)

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