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The definitive episode guide

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coverage of series 4, 2008

  1. The stars are coming out | Be my guest | The definitive episode guide | A Noble calling | Little monsters? | The Godmother (5 April)
  2. Roman Holiday (12 April)
  3. Ood, glorious Ood! (19 April)
  4. The Sontarans are coming! (26 April)
  5. Friend or foe? (3 May)
  6. Child of time (10 May)
  7. Who-dunnit? (17 May)
  8. Spine-chiller (31 May)
  9. Dark man (7 June)
  10. Stay sharp! (14 June)
  11. The Doctor's women (21 June)
  12. Red Alert (28 June)
  13. Never Mind the Daleks Here's Davros! (5 July)
  14. Doctor Doctor (20 December)

coverage of other series
S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | Specials | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S9 | S10



Executive producer and chief writer Russell T Davies gives us the lowdown on the new series in our exclusive story overview. Accept no imitations!


WRITER: Russell T Davies GUEST STAR: Sarah Lancashire

Modern-day London, and a brand-new diet pill is being tested by the mysterious Adipose Industries. Slogan: the fat just walks away! But soon, there are unexplained deaths, strange creatures in the shadows, and the Doctor starts investigating, little knowing that an old friend of his is also on the trail ...

We last saw Donna Noble in the Christmas 2006 special (The Runaway Bride), when her wedding day was ruined by Robot Santas, a Giant Spider, and a villainous groom. But at the end of that story, when the Doctor offered her a place on board the Tardis, she said no. I've always imagined Donna's reaction, when she woke up on Boxing Day. "I said what??!" She's realised that life as a temp in Chiswick doesn't quite compare to adventures in time and space. Now she's determined to put that right — and once Donna decides to do something, not even the sinister Miss Foster and her macabre alien horde can stop her!

I had loved Donna so much, and wanted to write more for her, but I never dreamt for a second that Catherine Tate would be able to commit to an entire series of 13 episodes. Surely she's the busiest woman in TV, not to mention cinema?

But thank God, we decided to risk it, and actually asked. And Catherine said yes! Immediately! And her performance is just dazzling. After Rose plucked our heartstrings, and Martha's love went unrequited, it's wonderful to have a companion who isn't interested in the Doctor in that way — she's a friend, an equal and a conscience, and I swear she will break your heart.


WRITER: James Moran

GUEST STARS: Phil Davis, Peter Capaldi, Sasha Behar

Pompeii, AD 79. And it's volcano day! But there's far more than Vesuvius to worry about: psychic powers are running rampant; a secretive Sisterhood conceals a horrifying High Priestess; and beneath the ground, vast creatures are stirring. This is where Donna truly comes into her own, challenging the Time Lord like no-one's ever done before, with one vital question: if he knows everyone is going to die, why can't he save them? For once, there's no easy answer for the Doctor, as the Cult of Vulcan prepares to forge a new empire on Earth ...

After last year's visit to meet Shakespeare — our most ambitious production to date — we were determined to go one better. This production team meets every challenge thrown at it, every time. In this case, it meant taking the Tardis from Cardiff to the Cinecittá studios in Rome to shoot the exterior scenes. The result is spectacular, explosive and tragic.


WRITER: Keith Temple GUEST STAR: Tim McInnerny

Donna's first visit to an alien world. And it's freezing! But on the icescapes of a distant planet, the greatest danger might be from the human race itself. When the Doctor meets the Ood again — last seen in 2006's The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit — he's determined to find out the truth behind their servility. But when an Ood's eyes turn red, you know you're in trouble, and the red-eye is spreading ...

Trips to alien worlds allow all our design departments to shine — from the prosthetic Ood, to incredible CG vistas, right down to the tiny details of the wardrobe department's futuristic collars and ties. But it's a savage world out there in space with soldiers and riots and betrayals — and for the Doctor, a terrifying encounter with a very big claw!



WRITER: Helen Raynor

GUEST STAR: Christopher Ryan

The return of Martha Jones! We've seen Freema Agyeman take Martha from Doctor Who to Torchwood, and now back home again in her new job as medical officer for UNIT, a worldwide army dedicated to fighting alien menaces. But the menace is bigger

than ever, as the threat of ATMOS spreads across the planet. Sounds like she needs her old friend, the Doctor! But he's about to meet an old enemy, as the Sontarans lie in wait — the warlike, potato-faced monsters not seen on screen since 1985. They're back, they're brutal and they're out for revenge ...

This story also gives us a chance to catch up with the family Donna left behind — her no-nonsense mum (Jacqueline King) and Grandad, played by none other than Bernard Cribbins. Bernard appeared in the Christmas 2007 special, alongside Kylie Minogue, and we loved him so much, we asked him back!


Warrior race the Sontarans, last seen in 1985 story The Two Doctors, are led this time by General Staal (Christopher Ryan)


What exactly is the connection of Mr Halpern (Tim McInnerny) to the subservient Ood


Who is mysterious businesswoman Miss Foster (Sarah Lancashire)?


Any monsters you can talk about? DAVID TENNANT: We've got the Pyrovillians in episode two. Which are a mixture of prosthetics by Neill Gorton and the CGI people [computer-generated imagery] at [effects house] The Mill. They are very impressive. The prosthetic one is amazing, then you see the computer-generated version. I feel like I say this every new season, but it does feel like the CGI people have again stepped it up with their incredible attention to detail. In the first episode — I don't want to give too much away — there's a sequence in a Cardiff street where you see quite a large number of creatures, which is

breathtaking [Spoiler Alert: see p24 if you want to see more!]. The guy who did The Lord of the Rings [see p251 offered his services to The Mill because he was a Doctor Who fan. We're so fortunate to have these people who not only know what they're doing but are also fans of the show, often long-term fans. So they'll throw themselves into it with enthusiasm and skill.

have to be five foot and under. But they're great when you see them all there with their chunky big muscle suits. CT% And I didn't know they were real. I tnought they were moved by own. ' , ; something. I genuinely didn't knot% there were people inside! They really tredted me out. They do scare me. Do you know what

And the Sontianans nts 7 DTs It was Quite dificutt castinq the Sontarans tic: ause we had ten full-sire suits., but the actors


WRITER: Stephen Greenhorn GUEST STARS: Georgia Moffett, Nigel Terry

Yes, that's the title. And it does exactly what it says on the tin! I'm saying no more; just watch David Tennant take the Doctor into new territory, with his most spellbinding performance yet.


Will Donna and the Doctor put the cat among the pigeons when they meet crime writer Agatha Christie? (Fenella Woolgar)


WRITER: Gareth Roberts

GUEST STARS: Felicity Kendal, Fenella Woolgar

In 1926, Agatha Christie mysteriously disappeared, only to be found, ten days later, with no memory of what happened. Was it a nervous breakdown? A cry for help? Or perhaps a giant alien wasp .. ?

It's a classic murder mystery, with a country house, vintage cars, a flapper, a vicar, a butler, a body in the library, tea on the lawn, and horrible deaths. And see if you can spot how many titles of Agatha Christie novels are hidden in the dialogue!



WRITER: Steven Moffat

GUEST STARS: Alex Kingston, Colin Salmon

Just to warn you, Steven Moffat created the "Are you my mummy?" Empty Child, Madame de Pompadour's Clockwork Droids and last year's Weeping Angels ("Don't blink!"). But I think he was just warming up, getting ready for this year's adventure. Now we've got two episodes of terror with an abandoned library, moving shadows, the gruesome Nodes, and the horrifying Data Ghost — possibly the most spine-chilling scene I've ever seen, anywhere. Don't blink indeed, don't miss a second!



FAMILY VIEWING Georgia Moffett, real-life daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, plays Jenny in The Doctor's Daughter


WRITER: Russell T Davies

GUEST STARS: Lesley Sharp, Lindsey Coulson, David Troughton

The planet Midnight: a leisure world! Golden spas, diamond landscapes, anti-gravity restaurants ... what could possibly go wrong? But for once the Doctor's left powerless and terrified as the knocking on the wall begins,..

WRITER: Russell T Davies

GUEST STARS: Too many to name!

It's the big finale! And the title of Episode 12 is being kept secret as it gives away too much. But the thre is on a truly epic scale, as an ancient enemy is resurrected and the whole universe is thrown into danger.

Who are the Children of Time? What is the secret of the Vault? And surely, this time, not everyone can get out alive .. ?


in our language, particularly — we embody the time, whereas with the one it was like being in a Miss Mar DT:It pushes the idea of pastichin the form as far as you might dare. That's always the thing with Doctor Who, that the format must remain immutable and within that you've got to find new ways of telling the story. I think it's quite a bold one — it might divide opinion

Agatha Christie (Fenella Woolgar, right) also makes an appearance... DT: It's quite unusual.

It': unlike any we've done before. CT: The tone is different. You don't, for example, watch the Pompeii episode and think that —

out as a kid, and exploiting them. So you had the child who had lost his parents in series one, the creatures under the bed (in series two) and then last year he had the [Weeping Angels] that moved when you blinked. And without giving too much away, he's found another area of childhood alarm to exploit. It's a rite of passage — it's good to be scared.

What can we expect from this year's Steven Moffat scripts? DT: It's a two-parter set in a library (see above] CT: Very frightening.

DT:Very scary, yes. What Steven's good at is finding those things that freaked you


Tennant and Tate on the Doctor/Donna dynamic


WRITER: Russell T Davies

GUEST STAR: Chipo Chung

The strands of Donna's story begin to draw towards a terrible climax as she finds her life, her family, her entire world being devastated. Only one person can help. But this time, it's not the Doctor — it's someone from a parallel universe, a woman thought to be lost for ever ...

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2008-04-05). The definitive episode guide. Radio Times p. 18.
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