Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S04E01 – Partners in Crime

In the first episode of the fourth series of Doctor Who, the Doctor investigates some strange events concerning Adipose Industries and discovers that his old companion, Donna Noble, has been doing a little snooping of her own. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

Best episode ever or BEST FUCKING EPISODE EVER? Russell T Davies, this is EASILY the best opener for any new series yet and this might be your finest work. It’s hilarious, it’s surreal, it’s ambiguous, and OH MY GOD CATHERINE TATE IS BACK!!!1!!!1!!1

Not to suggest that there was anything necessarily wrong with the past few episodes/special, but “Partners in Crime” gave the show a much-needed dose of healthy humor and set the tone for how Catherine Tate and David Tennant would interact with each other. Most of what made “The Runaway Bride” such a fun episode was the antagonistic and hilarious chemistry between the Doctor and Donna. In short, Donna straight up does not take any shit from the Doctor. I now can’t find the comment since I need it and this is how these things works, but someone mentioned in a recent review that the Doctor has no one to reign him in, that Donna mentioned in the end of “The Runaway Bride” that he actually needed someone to stop him. Little did we know that tiny bit of foreshadowing would lead to where we are now, with Donna accepting the position as the Doctor’s companion, but in terms where she doesn’t worship or romanticize him.

There’s so much about this episode that involves complicated maneuvers of writing and plotting and the way it’s pulled off is a huge pay off. We first learn that the man in the newspaper stand is actually DONNA’S FUCKING GRANDFATHER OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK. Donna, in the year since she last saw the Doctor, seems to have slipped into a rut that leaves her feeling incomplete and wanting so much more from life. I like that this isn’t framed as some sort of dependent relationship either, that Donna doesn’t need the Doctor as much as she wants the freedom that his adventure with her sparked in her mind. We’ve seen it before with other companions in the past, especially Rose, and I can’t imagine I’d act any differently. How do you go about your normal life after you’ve seen what the Doctor has seen?

This is the set-up for the episode, and what follows is the frustrating parallel actions by the Doctor and Donna. (I mean that entirely as a compliment.) The two come within feet of each other as they begin to investigate Adipose Industries, a company marketing some sort of “revolutionary” weight loss pill that’s being spread across London. Like nearly every story like this on the show, you immediately get the feeling that there’s something sinister going on. Watching Miss Foster speak certainly didn’t help that. (Bless you, Sarah Lancashire, you were perfect in this role.)

And because we’re so used to this trope being used on Doctor Who, that makes the “reveal” about what the pill does all the more horrifying AND confusing. The company’s slogan is, “The fat just walks away.” We discover that this is COMPLETELY FUCKING LITERAL. We watch in horror and disbelief as a small white alien DETACHES ITSELF FROM THE BODY OF A WOMAN THAT DONNA IS MEETING WITH. Even worse? The creature is about as threatening as giving hugs to puppy dogs and then cuddling with a unicorn. I kept expecting the Adipose to eat someone. Or shoot lasers out of their eyes. Or tap into the riff in Cardiff or something and open the space-time continuum. Instead, the Adipose giggled and waved. Giggled and waved.

The most ambiguous and confusing villains OF ALL FUCKING TIME.

The real terror, though, comes from the idea that, in an emergency, the Adipose can spawn so quickly that they can actually use up an entire host’s body. But that only happens once. Hell, by the episode’s end, all I could think was…WELL, THAT WASN’T TOO BAD, WAS IT? Some people lost some weight, these cute, pudgy aliens will get to go home to their families, and only two people died. All in all, a pretty decent turn out, especially for Doctor Who.

It might be the events of the previous year or even Donna’s presence throughout this, but the Doctor has finally started to change. The Doctor and Donna both meet up finally and…wait, ok, first we need a moment to celebrate the monumental mime scene between the two of them when they spot each other in Adipose Industries. What I love so much about Donna is that her joy is so genuine and real and it was impossible for me not to giggle uncontrollably as she dragged the miming out way past the point it should have stopped at. Her face lit up at the sight of the Doctor and that was SO SATISFYING TO WATCH.

Anyway, it’s important to note a couple huge changes we see here: Firstly, the Doctor doesn’t kill the aliens in “Partners in Crime,” the polar opposite of what he did with the Racnoss the last time he and Donna were together. I don’t know if it was that specific memory that made him decide to allow the Adipose to leave, but we finally see the Doctor issuing some restraint. Despite that he also doesn’t say it to the person who needs to hear it, he also acknowledges that what he did to Martha Jones was pretty awful. The Doctor’s invitation to Donna might be the most complicated and emotional, but he knows that he has to be clear from now on: his relationship with his companion is just that. It’s a companionship. It’s someone to travel with, not someone to fall in love with.

I could not be more excited that Catherine Tate is going to be in a full season run. OH GOD.

THOUGHTS

  • When was the last time we heard about the “Shadow Proclamation”?
  • I don’t care how cheesy it is, but having Donna’s grandfather see the Doctor and Donna together was pretty awesome.
  • “You’re not matin’ with me Sunshine!”
  • Is it bad that I want an Adipose of my own to hang out with? THEY ARE SO CUTE!
  • Oh, poor Penny Carter. Continually ignored!
  • It would take a LOT for Donna’s mom and grandfather to take the title over, but man, they are SO GOOD IN JUST ONE EPISODE. Jackie still wins as best companion mom, though.
  • I actually kind of feel bad that Miss Foster died? She wasn’t that evil to me at all. I mean, she certainly wasn’t in the right but being dropped to her death like that? That made me sad. :(
  • Ok, I know you’ve been waiting for it. I have to. So:

HOW THE FUCK IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE THAT ROSE TYLER WAS AT THAT CRIME SCENE

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON

I WILL NEVER RECOVER FROM THIS

A;SDFLKJA;SLDFDFKSHA;LKDSDFKLSHJ;ASDLFJASD;KLDFKSH

AFAHS;LDKFFJ

ASD;KFLHAS;DFHKLDFSAF

5HL

K;FLDGKL;ADFGH;290834U$#%#3

AFAFS

@#$


About xpanasonicyouthx

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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371 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S04E01 – Partners in Crime

  1. Openattheclose says:

    DONNA NOBLE I WILL LOVE YOU FOR ALL TIME!
    <img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/v7sdif.jpg"&gt; YES WE KNOW IT IS YOU! AND BOY AM I HAPPY TO SEE YOU!
    <img src="http://i44.tinypic.com/293gi7b.jpg"&gt;
    I have been patiently waiting for us to get here. Donna is my favorite companion EVER, and WELL I have a lot of favorite things in this series, that's all I can say now. The Doctor/Donna are wonderful together. Catherine Tate and DT have the best comedic chemistry.
    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/f1wl5u.jpg"&gt;
    I love that they kept missing each other. It reminds me of Hermione's line from OotP, "Maybe you're taking it in turns to look, and keep missing each other."
    <img src="http://i44.tinypic.com/19nriq.jpg"&gt; "I just want a mate." That's what the Doctor needs. Not someone to fawn over him. He needs someone to stop him, someone to tell him off when he needs it, and Donna is the perfect woman for the job.
    <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/104q24o.jpg"&gt; Donna Noble is the most prepared companion ever, and she packed a hat box.
    <img src="http://shop.scificollectorshop.co.uk/WebRoot/Store/Shops/es105345_shop/48EF/5856/08BA/9E6B/3D15/50ED/8971/D012/doctor-who-plush-adipose.jpg"&gt;
    Also, the Adipose babies are the cutest aliens ever and I want one.
    Oh, and there's something familiar about that woman at the end. I'm not quite sure. but I think we've seen her before :) I TOTALLY KNEW YOU WOULD KEYSMASH FOR THIS!
    <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/1fxwd1.jpg"&gt;
    Bye Gramps! Oh, he looks familiar too.

  2. Anon says:

    I was convinced Catherine Tate would make a terrible companion, i'd only seen her comedy show and wasn't convinced she was much of an actor. Never been so glad i was wrong she is fantastic, definitely my favorite companion. Also, here's a funny video of DT annoying her: There are no spoilers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDuNNiGRktM

    • Gimlimonkey says:

      Your youtube video reminded me of another video, so I created an account here just to share it! I re-watched it to make sure that there were no spoilers, but in case I missed something someone should watch it and see to make sure I didn't miss anything in my sick-induced haze.

      Enjoy
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxB1gB6K-2A

      • Anon says:

        Yeah, I love that video, i've seen it so many times and it still makes me laugh.

      • kitish says:

        This is one of my favorite videos ever! I love Catherine Tate!

      • T.J. says:

        This is actually the first thing I ever saw David Tennant in (other than Barty Crouch Jr.) and I LOVED it so much. After this I pretty much looked up everything he was in and all the videos of him on youtube (didn't start watching Dr. Who until recently though) and became a fangirl.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      The interesting thing about comedic actors in general is they often don't get recognised; people tend to think they're not as good as 'serious' actors. But having done a lot of acting myself, I can tell you comedy is probably the hardest. Tragedy is easy. Comedy isn't. I think that's part of why Catherine Tate was so fantastic.

      • Anon says:

        I absolutely agree comedy is so difficult to get right. I was just worried because i'd never seen her outside of the Catherine Tate Show, and the first time i watched the Runaway Bride i just found her to shouty. There's also a couple of episodes in particular this season where Catherine Tate acting skills really shine. Also, i believe David Tennant honed his skills playing the comedic roles with The Royal Shakespeare Company before he moved on to the more dramatic stuff.

        • trash_addict says:

          Agree 100%. I wasn't totally enamoured of her in The Runaway Bride so I was super-reluctant coming into this season.

          I had nothing to worry about, silly me!

        • electric ashera says:

          Yep: Donna DROVE ME UP THE WALL in The Runaway Bride and when I heard she was the companion for s4 I about died in horror. THEN SHE WAS TOTALLY AWESOME. So much <3 <4 <5 for Donna.

          • flootzavut says:

            This was me TO A TEE. I was dreading it and just bemoaning it to everyone how bad it was going to be and how annoying Donna was. I am SO HAPPY THAT I WAS SO WRONG. DoctorDonna FOREVAH!

    • Narcissaa says:

      You totally reminded me that Mark needs to watch the Who special of Never Mind The Buzzcocks after this series! HILARITY IN SO MANY FORMS.

      • flootzavut says:

        YES! If they brought out a show which was Catherine Tate, David Tennant and Bernard Cribbins just sitting chatting, taking the piss out of each other, and generally being hysterical, I might actually bother to get a TV license back just so I could watch it. FABULOUS. I LOVE that ep of Buzzcocks. Hysterical.

    • sabra_n says:

      The funny thing is that she went to the Central School of Speech and Drama, which also produced Super Serious Actors like Christopher Eccleston, Laurence Olivier, Rupert Everett, Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave, Judi Dench….you get the idea. Not that drama school credentials automatically mean you're a good actor or anything, but it was pretty weird to see her being dismissed as "merely" a sketch comedian when she was cast.

  3. arctic_hare says:

    I could probably sum up my thoughts on this episode with one image, because this was my face pretty much throughout the entirety –

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/eq2o8w.png&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Yeah. <3 I really really love this episode. Welcome, Mark, welcome to my favorite portion of Ten's run and my favorite of his companions, so glad you've finally got here. Like you, I knew going in that Donna was going to be the series 4 companion, so I was super-excited to watch this episode. It did not disappoint. I was really giddy and happy throughout the episode, and now I'm feeling that all over again now that you've seen it too. :D

    I don't know if this is a popular opinion or not, but I love the new arrangement of the title theme (forgot to mention that in the Voyage of the Damned review). "A Noble Girl About Town" is a great song too IMO, it just puts a smile on my face. Much like Donna herself, and this whole episode. :D :D :D I love how she and the Doctor repeatedly almost see each other, but just miss one another. I find that that hilarious. And since I saw this after watching Pushing Daisies, hearing them introduce themselves as being from Health and Safety makes me smile and remember Ned saying that he, Emerson, and Chuck were from the "government safety place". Hee.

    Um, you know what? I'll stick to dropping pounds the old-fashioned way, thankyouverymuch. The baby Adipose are cute and all, don't get me wrong, but the image of Stacy exploding into a load of them is rather horrifying. D: D: D: CANNOT UNSEE. DO NOT WANT.

    UGH SYLVIA. I'm sorry, but I hate her, she is made of suck and fail. When you talked in your Runaway Bride review about how heartless and crass Donna's family came off as, I had to bite my tongue so as not to blurt out that you were REALLY REALLY RIGHT about at least one of them. Sylvia is horrible, I feel awful for Donna being saddled with a mother like her.

    On the bright side, though, she has WILF as a granddad! :D :D :D I LOVE YOU WILF, YOU ARE WIN FOR EVER AND ALWAYS, NEVER CHANGE, KEEP BEING AMAZING. <3 <3 <3 I am really proud of all of us for not giving away the game during VotD! I really wanted that to be a surprise for you and I got my wish, yay. Wilf is so wonderful, I can't stop smiling when he's onscreen. He's my favorite "relative of a companion". Sorry, Jackie, it's just – I have a major soft spot for sweet, awesome grandfatherly characters in everything ever. I had an awesome grandpa myself, who died when I was in high school, so I don't doubt that some of it came from that. Wilf, you can come and be my honorary British grandpa any time, okay?

    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/byk4n.gif"/&gt;

    BEST SCENE IN THE EPISODE, Y/Y? Their mimed conversation is so hilarious, and I love when they finally realize that Miss Foster has noticed, and she says "Are we interrupting you?" I was positively shrieking with laughter the first time I watched it, and it never fails to get the same kind of laughs every time I rewatch.

    I've said before that I don't normally like Ten, but I do when he's with Donna. I think she brings out the best in him and I love their dynamic together. The scene at the end with her misunderstanding his desire to have "a mate" is several different kinds of amusing, with the topper – for me – being Catherine Tate's delivery of "You're not mating with me, sunshine!" Also, Donna packs a hatbox, that is just win.

    Lastly: MWAHAHAHAHAHA! YOU WERE NEVER PREPARED! BRAVO TO EVERY ONE OF US FOR KEEPING YOU UNSPOILED ON ROSE'S RETURN! WE ROCK. \o/ Your keysmashing is, just as I predicted it would be, a THING OF BEAUTY. :D

    • Openattheclose says:

      I LOVE THIS COMMENT AND I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING! Except I think I love Jackie and Wilf equally. How did someone like Wilf produce a Sylvia? Poor Wilf.
      <img src=http://i39.tinypic.com/qq8jso.jpg>

    • Starsea28 says:

      RTD's mother figures just get worse, sadly. Jackie has her irritating moments but is genuinely loveable. Francine is less likeable but still has Martha's best interests at heart. Sylvia… well, what can you say about her that's nice?

      • Cleo says:

        Her dad is Wilf?

        • Starsea28 says:

          Nothing to do with her personality, then. *sigh*

          • Cleo says:

            Thing is, she's not actually a proper cow or anything, she just thinks Donna should be doing more with her life but can't lift her eyes from what she thinks is good enough. I see loads of parents like that (I'm a teacher) and most of the kids turn out fine. She's a nag, a nosy nag… welcome to middle class Britain.

            • Starsea28 says:

              I grew up in middle class Britain, so I have known many mums like that, but I have never known one quite so negative as Sylvia.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        Well to play Devil's Advocate- I was watching the Confidential for this eppy, and the actress said that her insight into the character was that she genuinely cared for her daughter, and was afraid she'd been seriously hurt over the Lance thing, and was just trying to encourage her. Unfortunately, she sorta took the wrong way of going about it.

        • Starsea28 says:

          the actress said that her insight into the character was that she genuinely cared for her daughter, and was afraid she'd been seriously hurt over the Lance thing, and was just trying to encourage her

          Encourage her?! I'd hate to see what she thinks is DIScouraging!

    • nanceoir says:

      Can we share Wilf as honorary British grandpa? He's just so… precious, I love him.

      (I also may have gotten weirdly… not obsessed, exactly, but intense about him. I've made his hat a couple of times, I've used his last name as mine elsewhere, as something of an homage, and I even bought a best of Bernard Cribbins CD, which is rather fun, actually. Other people can obsess over the youngins, I'll focus on the grampa guy. :D)

    • psycicflower says:

      This to all of your comment. I have so much love for that scene.
      <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/34q0309.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • echinodermata says:

      "And since I saw this after watching Pushing Daisies, hearing them introduce themselves as being from Health and Safety makes me smile and remember Ned saying that he, Emerson, and Chuck were from the "government safety place". Hee. "

      Another reason to watch The Middleman! Fake introductions!

    • sabra_n says:

      I've said before that I don't normally like Ten, but I do when he's with Donna

      This. I was so, so happy to finally be able to relax and enjoy the protagonist of the show for the first time in years, and to get in on the Ten love that so many others were feeling. Being angry at a show is exhausting. Squeeing and having fun is infinitely nicer. :)

    • NeonProdigy says:

      THIS COMMENT PERFECTLY DESCRIBES MY OWN FEELING OF THE EPISODE SO… I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO PUT.

      Honestly Mark, if you've loved Doctor Who so far… here comes even more to love~

      *grabs a bucket of popcorn, ready to watch Mark's mind explode from what I believe to be the best season of Tennant's run on DW. Also Donna <3 *</i>

    • hassibah says:

      Hells yes the s4 theme is awesome! My favourite by far.

      Donna's mum, yes she is horrible but I get a kick out of watching her because she is so true to life. It's one of those things I just find painfully funny o watch, kind of like the odd state of flux that Donna was in at the beginning of this episode-been there, done that. For the same reason I was really, really into Gilmore Girls for a while.

  4. Stephen_M says:

    Great season opener, glad to have Donna back (and, thankfully, toned down a tad from the worst excesses of her Xmas debut), delighted to have Bernard 'Coolest Grandpa Ever' Cribbins back, cautiously optimistic about having a happy Doctor again. The threat was an inventive one (although how did the BBC fail to get plush Adipose on the market in time for this series?) and Miss Foster was a WONDERFUL villain even if she did grasp the idiot ball very tightly in her last thirty seconds of screen time. But then we get to the ending…

    Allow me to transcribe my thought process when watching the last few minutes of this for the first time: That was fun! Looks like we've moved on from mopey emo Doctor at last and the mis-step with Last of the Time Lords is behind us as well. Heh, luggage in the car, cute. Why's the camera loitering on that blonde?

    NoooooOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo!

    Only the TARDIS hovering over Bernard's telescope and his sheer joy at the sight convinced me to stop banging my head against the wall.

    • RocketDarkness says:

      Yep. Bringing Rose back would retroactively ruin the emotional impact of Doomsday, which is no good.

      • Tauriel says:

        Amen to that… "She's gone, she's lost in the parallel universe, she can't ever come back, not ever… …. oh wait, she can." *rolls eyes*

        • Lucy says:

          I agree too – I'd thought it was really brave to give her character that finality, so it was a bit of a let-down on that front. At least they kept it a surprise, though – my slight disappointment was mixed with intrigue.

      • electric ashera says:

        Mmm, dunno. I can't say much 'cause spoilers, but we know already that Rose is a damned determined creature, and we know she has the resources of alt!Torchwood at her disposal. That she would try to find the Doctor again makes perfect sense to me.

    • notemily says:

      The problem with Rose coming back at the end, for me, is that I feel like the Doctor has JUST moved on and started to enjoy being The Doctor again and isn't just in a ragey grief tantrum anymore. And now she might come back and RUIN ALL OF THAT? :(

  5. Jenny_M says:

    DONNA! That's…that's all I can say about this episode. I mean, I am just SO HAPPY to be rewatching series 4.

    Oh wait, no, I have one more thing:

    ROOOOOOOSE!

    (The first time I watched this, I had no idea Billie Piper was going to be standing there, and I CRIED LIKE A BABY.)

    Um, anyway, Mark I AM SO EXCITE for you to watch this series and for me to rewatch it.

  6. lezah says:

    YOU JUST WANT TO MATE?!

  7. redheadedgirl says:

    I've been anxiously awaiting that Epic Keyboard Smash for WEEKS AND WEEKS.

    I adore Donna. Adore. Smart, sassy, redhead- how is she not wonderful? I love her speech about trying to change her life and how hard it is. Sing it sister. SING. IT.

  8. kytten says:

    YESSSSSS DONNA FUCKING NOBLE YOU AR AWESOME.

    I love this episode. It's just so fun, and mad, and DrWhoesque. Which is a weird thing to say, but yeah. It works.

  9. Karen says:

    How do I love this episode? Let me count the ways. My favorite of the series openers, for sure. I mean I enjoy “New Earth” a TON (speaking of which, cute call back! The Doctor says, “I’ve met cat people, you’re nothing like them”.), but this episode just oozes awesome. The Doctor and Donna are reunited! And the adipose are just TOO cute! What’s not to love about this episode? Let's all take a minute to appreciate how cute these aliens are.

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/2qnw6qb.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/eg35vp.jpg"&gt;
    Like on the surface this isn’t that bad of a plan. I mean it works! It’s win-win. The adipose get to breed and people who want to lose weight can do so easily! No one needed to die. The Nanny only triggered the complete parthenogenesis because she panicked. But alas, things went awry, people died, and the Doctor had to save the day.

    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/2ir3kzs.jpg"&gt;
    That scene where the Doctor is talking to himself in the Tardis is so sad. It’s not good for you to be alone like that, Doctor! Speaking of which, I love this callback to The Runway Bride.

    The Doctor: They're just children; they can't help where they came from.
    Donna Noble: Oh, well that makes a change from last time. That Martha must've done you good.
    The Doctor: She did, yeah. She did…
    [sniffs]
    The Doctor: She fancied me.
    Donna Noble: Mad Martha, that one. Blind Martha. Charity Martha.

    I love that bit of dialogue because a) spider babies!, b) I like that the Doctor acknowledges that Martha was good for him and c) it firmly establishes that Donna is not into the Doctor which cuts off any possible awkwardness.

    I love Donna as a companion. Catherine Tate just brings so much fun to the show. Of course she can do the serious scenes too, but unlike with Rose or Martha (even though I love them too!), Donna just makes everything more fun. Catherine Tate, as a comedienne, allows for the writers to really write some great comedic scenes. All of the scenes of the Doctor and the Donna having near misses are brilliant. It’s just a really fun type of visual comedy. But really the best example of this is the icons “conversation through windows” scene.

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/211jtyc.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/2zyxtmt.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/2s6oqw9.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/mn0npw.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/2j67aps.jpg"&gt;

    Another reason that I love Donna is that she just GETS the Doctor. They just click and understand each other. And he trusts her. He opens up to her so quickly, even in The Runaway Bride fresh off of the pain of losing Rose, he opens up to her a bit on the rooftop and then again in front of her parent’s house. They really do have a great relationship.

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/2md5g9f.jpg"&gt;
    The Doctor: The last time, with Martha, it got complicated. And that was all my fault. I just want a mate.
    Donna Noble: You just want to mate?
    The Doctor: I just want *a* mate!
    Donna Noble: You're not matin' with me Sunshine!
    The Doctor: A mate! I want *a* mate!
    Donna Noble: Well, just as well, because I'm not having any of that nonsense! I mean, you're just a long streak of nothing, y'know, alien nothing!

    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/152yuzo.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/244pahh.jpg"&gt;
    I LOVE Donna’s relationship with Wilf. That moment near the end of the episode where she and the Doctor stop by to wave from the Tardis is the most precious thing ever. LOVE IT.

    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/2isdwgp.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/2ues60m.jpg"&gt;
    And finally, the grand finale…. ROSE. I love that they were able to keep the appearance of Rose at the end such a big secret! Even the press didn’t see that scene when it was screened for them. :D I flailed SO HARD when I first saw it because omgwtfbbq ROSE!!!!! And of course fandom exploded and RTD sat back and cackled in glee.

    • turtle_turtle says:

      Karen, your reviews are always the very best and my favorite to read!

      ….. ROSE!

      IT'S ROSE!!! And the Doomsday music and I flailed so freaking much!

      BEST. REVEAL. EVER.

      Haters may kindly step to the left.

      • flamingpie says:

        <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/12549ww.gif"&gt;

        totally overused but DO I LOOK LIKE I CARE? XD

        • turtle_turtle says:

          LOL I LOVE THAT GIF

        • Karen says:

          lol. I love that gif because it's totally RTD's attitude. I mean he was a huge Doctor Who fan from way back when, and he knows that the Doctor Who fandom is um… passionate, let's say. But he just does not give a fuck if he pisses them off. And he probably does it on purpose sometimes for his own amusement (like the line in Doomsday where Rose fakes the Doctor out about her being pregnant).

          He's going to tell the story he wants to tell and screw the haters.

          I love him for it.

          • flamingpie says:

            He's going to tell the story he wants to tell and screw the haters.

            Exactly why I adore the hell out of that man. He may make decisions that piss me off sometimes but whatever! he's devoted to HIS story and he's going to stick with it. I find that all kinds of awesome.

            • nyssaoftraken74 says:

              Can't thumb this up enough. RTD will tell HIS story and he will tell it HIS WAY and if you don't like it, TOUGH! Besides – there are millions of others who will LOVE it!

            • sabra_n says:

              Oh, I love that aspect of his personality, too. (I also crack up every time Dan Harmon of Community thumbs his nose at a hater in an episode.) But there's "ignoring the haters", and then there's "ignoring people's valid concerns about patterns of sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry in your writing in order to follow those patterns again and again". *sigh* I guess I'm saying I can like his decisiveness without liking all of his decisions.

        • flootzavut says:

          Never seen that before, producedmad cackling laughter, love it :D

    • flamingpie says:

      Roooose!

      I'm not sure why, because I've seen this episode bunches, but her appearance NEVER ceases to surprise me. Maybe because I'm so excited about Donna that I just forget, I dunno. But every single time I get to the end and I'm just like HOLY FUCK IT'S ROSE all over again.

    • Minish says:

      Rose's re-appearance was spoiled for me, unfortunately.

      That's why I'm now hiding desperately from Doctor Who spoilers and fansites.

  10. Stephen_M says:

    Couple of trivia bits:

    1) Bernard Cribbins was a last minute addition after the actor playing Donna's father sadly couldn't continue with the series for health reasons and died shortly after dropping out. Bernard's character in Voyage of the Damned wasn't supposed to be any relation (and isn't called Wilf in the credits for that episode) but as he's never referred to by name a quiet retcon took care of that. They had actually filmed the hillside scene with her father and were wondering whether they could carry on when the actor's wife called up with the news he's broken his leg and that they'd better stop. Ironically this let them re-shoot the scene with insurance money they couldn't claim for his ongoing illness as they'd known about it when they employed (and insured) him but the broken leg was covered.

    2) Penny Carter was originally going to be the companion, to the point that they were considering potential actresses for the role before Tate said she was interested in doing a full season.

    • NB2000 says:

      Actually Bernard Cribbins is credited as Wilfred Mott in VotD. I may have checked the other day so I'd know if it was okay to mention the character's name (which I didn't end up doing in my comment).

    • arctic_hare says:

      Actually, the credits DO list him as Wilfred Mott in VotD.

    • Stephen_M says:

      Hmm, hang on a sec… *rechecks the Writers Tale*… ah, right, sorry my bad. They changed the credits of VotD before transmission but in the SCRIPT he's not Wilf but Stan. Bit busy right now, if I get a sec I'll pop in the relevant paragraph.

    • Radagast says:

      He had a different name in the SCRIPT, but by the time the credits were made for VOTD they knew he'd be back for S4 and put the revised character name in.

  11. kaybee42 says:

    I’ve been waiting for this for so long, Mark. I know people have their Doctors, and I guess David *is* my Doctor. But series 4 is MY series. It was my first real introduction to DW (I know, late to the party, right?) and it was amazing. SO silly and ridiculous and utterly heart-warming. So series 4 is… there isn’t a word I can find that can describe it accurately. I hope you love it, Mark, I really do. Cause I *adore* this episode and I *adore* this series.

    Ten is *so much* better now. Martha really did do him some good re. the fat babies versus the baby spider things. Good on ya, Martha Jones. She was great, wasn’t she? I liked seeing Ten admit it. But now it’s Donna’s turn and oh she is FANTASTIC. Her and Wilf are so lovable as sweet. Bernard Cribbins! It was tough not mentioning Wilf in VotD 2 days ago! And Catherine Tate…Oh Catherine Tate you are amazing. I literally cry with joy every time Wilf sees Donna fly away in the little blue box with the Doctor. It just makes me so very happy.

    Rose. Rose! FUCKING HELL THAT WAS ROSE! Whut?!

    Okay people, I am expecting maximum gif-age today! I would contribute if I knew how to save and post them. Tens head popping up over the board? The wordless conversation? Fat babies? I want to see ‘em all!
    Sorry for the love fest but really, I can’t help it. I adore this ridiculous, hilarious, stupidly silly episode far too much. On wards and upwards! Or should I say Allons-y!

    Edit: I should also add that I sat maniacally giggling with joy throughout this review. There were literal tears of joy as I remembered watching this episode. It was the first time I specifically sat down (a friend made me on the day it aired) to watch it.I fell in love INSTANTLY. Oh the Doctor. Oh Donna. I love you. I love this episode. I love that Mark loves this episode. MY HEART IS OVERFLOWING WITH LOVE.

  12. monkeybutter says:

    HELL YEAH, DONNA'S BACK!! I love her. I love this episode. I want Adipose chew toy for my dog. The pantomime scene was the best scene EVER. This episode was so much fun!

    And then Rose appears at the end. Whaaaaaaaaaat. Keyboard smashing is the only acceptable response!

  13. ather says:

    DONNA NOBLE. FAVORITE COMPANION.

    Also, I totes want an adipose, too. Apparently they are unavailable, though. SUPER BUMMED.

  14. Nomie says:

    WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILF! I love Donna but I possibly love Wilf EVEN MORE.

    As seen above, there are Adipose plush. There are also Adipose knitting and crochet patterns, and I believe ThinkGeek even has a squishy stress Adipose.

  15. nanceoir says:

    This episode fills me with glee. GLEE, I say!

    I love Donna, I love the Doctor and Donna (and Tennant and Tate) together, I love Donna's granddad (his name is mentioned in the credits, but not in the episode yet), I love Donna's granddad's hat, I just… love it all.

    I'm so glad you mentioned Penny, Mark. In A Writer's Tale, RTD is working on Series 4, and while they were trying to sort out whether or not they'd get Catherine Tate back, he had to start developing a new companion, and it was going to be Penny. She didn't make it as companion, obviously, but he wrote about her in a very charming way.

    I will say that, while I totally adore "Gramps," he wasn't supposed to be there. It was originally Donna's dad, who was seen in The Runaway Bride. The actor, Howard Attfield, was ill (and passed away), so instead of recasting the role, they brought back Bernard Cribbins. This episode was dedicated to Howard Attfield, too.

    But, yeah. Yay, Donna!!

    And this episode has been gifed a lot, but I'm happy to grab something if anyone needs or wants it.

  16. RocketDarkness says:

    Donna's my favorite of 10's companions by far. A much-needed change of pace from the fawning the previous two companions brought. And having Wilf, one of the best characters ever, as your grandfather, helps too. I don't think it's possible to dislike him.

    For some reason, there exists an Adipose stress toy. It's on backorder, but will eventually return: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/collectibles/e5

    D'aww.

    Seeing Rose is a troubling sign, both in-universe and out. She had a fairly graceful, well-executed exit from the show, and now they want to mess with that? I do not approve.

  17. Karen says:

    ALSO, Forbidden Planet sells an adipose stress toy for like £10 and I'm soooo tempted to buy it, but I own enough Doctor Who memorabilia already. Although is it really possible to own enough Doctor Who memorabilia? I'm not sure. I LOVE THE ADIPOSE.

  18. who_cares86 says:

    Random notes:

    The random newspaper guy turning out to be Donna's grandfather was a total accident. Howard Atfield who played Donna's dad in Runaway bride was very ill by the time they shot this and died shortly afterwards so they redid those scenes with Bernard Cribbens as her grandfather.

    Penny Carter was originally the name of the next companion after Martha. Only when they asked whether Catherine Tate would like to return for one or two episodes, they realised how much she loved doing Runaway bride and that they could have her as a fulltime companion.

    It's kind of funny how two of the most important and successful casting decisions were by pure chance.

  19. Jenny_M says:

    Randomly, I wonder what mummy and daddy Adipose look like? Are they still just squishy blobs, or do they become more terrifying – ala Poppler babies versus Poppler parents on Futurama.

  20. Tauriel says:

    DONNA FUCKING NOBLE!!! My favourite NuWho companion! I love her so much. And I really like this episode. Actually, the Adipose babies aren’t villains at all – it’s not their fault that Miss Foster and (I presume) the Adipose adults chose Earth to grow them! And Bernard Cribbins! <3 Much love there, Wilfred Mott is a great character. But seeing Rose at the end was a major annoyed WTF? moment…

  21. Angela says:

    Is it bad I actually shed a tear or two when Rose appeared?

  22. __Jen__ says:

    This episode is simply made of fun and win!

    All the misdirection:
    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/jgrte8.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Best mimed conversation ever:
    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/2j3nxqv.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/2q88wsi.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/maawll.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/k3ndwk.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Best Doctor/companion relationship ever y/y?
    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2qjljmf.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Grandpa Wilf! :D
    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/dgjl2a.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  23. buyn says:

    Don't worry, everyone wants an Adipose.
    And your other question?
    FINGERS ON LIPS.
    BUMBUMBUM.

  24. leighzzz31 says:

    I love everything this episode chooses to be. The premise is completely ridiculous if you think about it too much but all the more awesome for it. First of all, CATHERINE TATE! I had no idea she was coming back as the companion first time I saw it, so, naturally, a great amount of squealing ensued. XD. I loved the idea that she was seeking out weird cases all on her own. The fact that she and the Doctor kept missing each other was so annoying but in a good way somehow. Then, Bernard Cribbins! Her grandfather! And everything makes sense!
    Then, the Adipose. I think my face probably went completely blank when I saw them first time. They made no sense at all to me. But they were quite adorable despite the fact that they’re mainly consistent of fat. (A huge EWW! moment when I realized that!)
    Then the whole miming scene. I just about died of laughter. Catherine Tate’s face is amazing at expressing everything she’s trying to say. The fact that Ms Foster seemed to be waiting for them to finish was also hilarious.
    The main premise of the ep is completely bonkers so the story itself didn’t have much of an impact for me. I think I enjoyed it so much because I love the interaction between David Tennant and Catherine Tate. I mean “I just want a mate.” “You just want to MATE?” How can you not love this? The way he tries to be all SERIOUS-FACE-NOW and then grins and wants Donna to come along. That whole conversation is gold.
    By the end, I thought I couldn’t love this episode more for its insanity. And then, what do you know? HOLY MOTHER OF-WHAT IN THE-? HOW?WHAT?HOW?
    ROOOOOOSEEEEEE! *dead*

  25. who_cares86 says:

    Rose appearing at the end was a complete surprise to everyone. That bit was cut from the press screening and remains one of the few times they've managed to keep something secret. (although we had been promised Rose's return at some point in series 4)

  26. exbestfriend says:

    There is nothing better in the world than the miming scene.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lgnfbq9IeN1qa42pc.gif"&gt;
    IN.THE. WORLD.

  27. NB2000 says:

    "Is it bad that I want an Adipose of my own to hang out with? THEY ARE SO CUTE!"

    Absolutely not. In fact, I have one!
    <img src="http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq100/nebula908/StressAdipose.jpg"&gt;

    Although, this is one of the few times I've taken it out of its box because it absolutely STINKS. I'm not sure what they've put inside it to make it squishy, and it's soooo squishy and so much fun, but it's really pungent.

    • NB2000 says:

      Okay somehow that ended up being a seperate comment instead of a reply to myself to I'll move my comment over here:

      There's really not an awful lot I can say about this episode that isn't ALL CAPS ABOUT HOW AMAZING EVERYTHING IS!

      DONNA IS BACK AND SHE'S AWESOME! YAY!

      I can't being to tell you how glad I was nobody spoiled Bernard Cribbins' identity back in the Voyage of the Damned post. Wilfred Mott is the best fictional grandpa ever. Love him.

  28. LadyLately says:

    DONNA YOU ARE MY FAVORITE FOREVER PLZ BE MY BEST FRIEND OMFG

    Also, can I just say I really, really much prefer this episode's portrayal of fat people to any we've seen so far (except mebbe 'Voyage of the Damned')? I mean, yeah, they're trying to lose weight, which sucks from an FA viewpoint, but! They're not shown to be compulsive eaters or lazy bums! In fact, they're people! and Stacy was pretty fabulous and confident, even before her 'goal weight'! And the physical representation of fat was COMPLETELY FUCKING ADORABLE instead of creepy and gross!

    Also, I'm reasonably certain the Doctor let the fat babies live because A) THEY WERE JUST BORN. So they could not have been AT ALL aware of what was happening and B) THEY WERE BABIES. Also, Mrs. Foster was the real villain of the episode anyways.

  29. _thirty2flavors says:

    Wow SO MANY COMMENTS ALREADY.

    I'm just going to leave a brief stan-y comment. DONNA NOBLE IS THE BOMB. Admittedly I first saw this episode before I saw Runaway Bride and spent the whole time being CONFUSED BEYOND ALL REASON, but Donna is probably my favourite companion (…by a hair, though) and series 4 is definitely my favourite season and Ten and Donna have the greatest interaction and ROSE MOTHERFUCKING TYLER BEING ALL MYSTERIOUS AT THE END THERE omg I love s4.

    • turtle_turtle says:

      YOUR ENTIRE COMMENT WINS THE INTERNETS.

      • _thirty2flavors says:

        TY TY. I thought about writing more srs thoughts but a) the first episode of a season is a bad place for me to do that because I'm always tempted to accidentally write spoilers and also b) this is actually probably one of my least favourite episodes in s4. I JUST GET REALLY IMPATIENT WANTING THEM TO FIND EACH OTHER OKAY :( lol.

        But! Donna! Adipose babies! Rose! yayyyy!

        • Karen says:

          HDU. HOW CAN THIS BE ONE OF YOUR LEAST FAVORITE EPISODES OF S4?

          THERE ARE ADIPOSE.

          ADIPOSE!!!

          • _thirty2flavors says:

            It's not my very least favourite and I don't hate it or anything but I love almost every other episode a lot more.

            ALSO, MY WHAT A FANCY BLUE MOD BAR YOU HAVE.

            • Karen says:

              Ty ty. I think the blue brings out the color of my eyes. hahaha

              Series 4 is actually really hard for me to rank. I love so many of the episodes. There is one that is my FAVORITE, but then there are like 5 or 6 that I really really really really love. A few more that I like. And then a couple that I loathe beyond all reasoning.

              • _thirty2flavors says:

                S4 is a pretty solid level of enjoyment for me basically the whole way through but there are a few I like less than others and PIC is one of them, though it's probably my favourite of the… less… liked ones.

    • flamingpie says:

      DONNA NOBLE IS THE BOMB. Admittedly I first saw this episode before I saw Runaway Bride and spent the whole time being CONFUSED BEYOND ALL REASON, but Donna is probably my favourite companion (…by a hair, though) and series 4 is definitely my favourite season and Ten and Donna have the greatest interaction and ROSE MOTHERFUCKING TYLER BEING ALL MYSTERIOUS AT THE END THERE omg I love s4.

      THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY MY FEELINGS IF YOU EXCLUDE THE BIT ABOUT MISSING RUNAWAY BRIDE. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW CONFUSED YOU MUST HAVE BEEN HERE.

  30. Aimee says:

    I don't have a gif of the miming scene but I wish I did. FUNNEST EPISODE EVER. And the Adipose babies are so cute.

    <img src="http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac156/cetati/GIF/Donnayayy.gif"&gt;

  31. Guest says:

    Stephen was faster, but I did check if someone else had written this before I started. :|

  32. ravendaine says:

    I love Donna til the end of time. And not just because she's a ginger. (:

  33. flamingpie says:

    Let me just get this out of my system:

    DONNA! DONNADONNADONNADONNADONNADONNADONNADONNADONNADONNA!

    DONNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    <img src="http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a149/Dark_Horse64/doctor%20who/10thDr-banner_s4-charades.jpg"&gt;

    God I love this woman something awful. I fell instantly in love in the Runaway Bride and it took about half of Partners in Crime to cement her as FAVORITE COMPANION EVER IN THE HISTORY OF TIME AND SPACE OMG. My reasons for loving her are pretty much exactly the same as yours, Mark. Much as I also love Martha, after a season of her putting up with Ten's shit, we needed a sassy piece of condensed awesome like Donna. She helps put his ego in check, and she gives him what he REALLY needs. A friend. (DOCTOR/DONNAPLATONICFRIENDSHIPOTP)

    I promise future comments will be a bit more substantial and a bit less SQUEE but…

    DONNAAAAAAAA!!!!

    <img src="http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a149/Dark_Horse64/doctor%20who/GIFS/ImageandvideohostingbyTinyPic-2-1.gif"&gt;

    • Openattheclose says:

      (DOCTOR/DONNAPLATONICFRIENDSHIPOTP)
      YES! Everyone can have their ships and their foeyay and their Jack with everybody, and that's great! But I will take my DOCTOR/DONNA as the most awesome pair of mates ever please and thank you!

    • Selthia says:

      That gif perfectly sums up their relationship.

  34. psycicflower says:

    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/b3twfl.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    I will admit that originally when we first heard about it, I had been a bit sceptical about Donna’s return. I wasn’t sure how she’d work as a full time companion and I had really loved her for the fact that she’d walked away from the Doctor. Even before the end of this episode I was so glad she came back. She’s a brilliant companion.

    Every time the Adipose appeared on screen I was just distracted by how cute they are. I don't classify them as bad guys
    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/2wly1j6.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    I love the whole cat and mouse with Donna and the Doctor constantly just missing each other. I also love the differences in how they get into Adipose Industries, the Doctor's all sneaky while Donna just walks straight through the front door. The moment when they finally come face to face through a door and window is just priceless. While I love how clearly you can follow their conversation, I especially love the moment that you realise Miss Foster has been watching the conversation the whole time.
    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/34t7bcm.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Wilf! I have such a huge love for Wilf and his relationship with Donna. They clearly care for each other a lot. I love that Wilf has such faith that some day we'll reach the stars and meet aliens. I love that he is clueless to the giant spaceship because he’s facing the wrong way listening to music. I really love that Donna gave him his moment, letting him know that he was right. And what does Wilf do with this revelation, he is happy and excited for Donna. I love him.
    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/abktxi.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Donna’s got a new theme for series 4 ‘A Noble Girl About Town’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgynFcCN8ow It's a variation on the old one but still has the same bouncy fun that perfectly fits Donna.

    YOU ARE NOT PREPARED

  35. Starsea28 says:

    When was the last time we heard about the “Shadow Proclamation”?

    Way back in "Rose" when Nine said he was speaking to the Nestene Consciousness under their rules.

    THE MIME SCENE. I WILL LOVE IT FOREVER. Also the "mate" exchange!

    "I just want a mate."
    "You want to mate?!" (I swear, for one moment, I thought she was going to say "How very dare you!")
    "No, I said I wanted A mate!"
    "You're not mating with me, sunshine!"
    "A mate, I want A mate!"
    "Well, just as well then!"

    Donna, you're awesome but then it runs in the family.

    I should say that I had no doubts about Catherine coming back because I went to this radio programme where she interviewed David and they were HILARIOUS together.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBXB49zublM – part one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojFjEEgxUvg – part two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uhVUITRFLE – part three

  36. nextboy1 says:

    Series 4! Great episode this. Even though it was spoilt for me that Rose would reappear before I got here, I had no idea when and it was still an amazing moment. The Tate/Tennant combo is amazing all through this series, and it made me like Catherine Tate a whole lot more, I hated her show so this series won me over. and there's Wilf! And THAT mime!

    Let's hope everyone can keep any potential arc/mystery/future hints/tips/verbal diarrhea under control for this season, cos those who haven't seen it are in for a great ride!

    • trash_addict says:

      Hehe the innocence of anyone who hasn't seen this season before is precious to me (there I go, stealing Cleolinda's words again). Fingers on lips…well, that's not right…umm….fingers on typing fingers everyone!

  37. turtle_turtle says:

    LOL WIN

  38. Hypatia_ says:

    IT'S DONNA FUCKING NOBLE HELL YES!

    Donna is the perfect companion for this point in the Doctor's life. He's had two companions who idolized him, now he gets someone who loves and respects him but sees him for exactly who he is, flaws and all. Donna takes no shit and does not hesitate to call him the hell out when she sees fit. Plus, she is hilarious and awesome and I CANNOT EXPRESS MY LOVE FOR HER ENOUGH. Also, I want Wilf to be my grandpa. I may love him more than Jackie. Only a bit more, but there it is.

    The Adipose are hilarious and weird. Cute little walking blobs of human fat with cute little fangs. Only Doctor Who could even begin to make that work.

    And because this makes me laugh:
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kwclr0wWg01qazht6.jpg"&gt;

    And the moment when Rose turns around. I've been waiting for the epic keysmash that would ensue when Mark saw that one. It still somehow manages to surprise me, even though I know it's coming.

  39. Anon says:

    You know Donna's awesome when she spends ages looking for the Doctor, and when she finds him has a go at him for never changing his clothes!

  40. Liz says:

    ROSE ROSE ROSE ROSE ROSE ROSE

  41. vermillioncity says:

    I'd totally forgotten about Unexpected!Rose at the end of this! The awesome thing about this was that NO ONE WAS SPOILED. There'd been rumours about Rose, but there were always rumours about Rose, and we thought that if that EVER came about it would be the series finale BUT NO, FUCK THAT said Russell T Davies LET'S HIT THEM WITH THE REAL SHIT FROM THE GET-GO.

    <img src="http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b8/amarvi/NOBODYEXPECTSTHESPANISHINQUISITION.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  42. Hypatia_ says:

    "…initially planned to introduce a new companion called Penny who would fall in love with the doctor at first sight."

    Seriously, ANOTHER one? Thank God they went with Donna, we needed a change of pace.

  43. kaleidoscoptics says:

    FUCK YEAH DONNA NOBLE

    I HAVE NO NON-SPOILERY DONNA GIFS SO HAVE DANCING BERNARD CRIBBINS.

    <img src=http://i55.tinypic.com/33uq1s4.gif>

    I love this episode to pieces. The 'enemy' isn't evil, it's just a bunch of babies and a nanny who's trying to do her job. Donna's family is so real and identifiable. The episode itself is just so much fun. It's fast-moving and filled with action and comedy.

    And all throughout it you've got Donna, wonderful loud Donna. After meeting the Doctor she can't just ignore the world anymore. She's gone X Files, basically: she knows the truth is out there now and she has to find out more about it. But it hasn't made her any less brash or opinionated.

  44. sarasingsout says:

    DONNA!!!!
    Rose will always be my OTP with 9 and 10, but Donna is definitely my favorite companion. She and the Doctor just make such a great team.

  45. who_cares86 says:

    Was trying to find the deleted scenes with Donna's dad but since I couldn't find that and just because she still ain't bovvered and this never gets old.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxB1gB6K-2A

  46. Inseriousity. says:

    "Don't you ever change?"

    Aww never change Donna :D

  47. THE Nessa says:

    Rose was there because SHE LOVES DRUGS, MARK. ROSE LOVES DRUGS.

  48. Albion19 says:

    Wiiiiiiilf!!! <3

    The baby adipose are so cute. I love the one that skips lol

    After the initial OMGWTFROSE!?!?!?! freak out I was disappointed tbh. After what I had witnessed in s3, Martha made to feel inferior about a woman she had never met, when more then a few of the audience had moved on and wanted something new, they decide to bring her back? I know lots of people love her but I felt then that she'd over stayed her welcome.

    Either way it was a surprise I'm glad I wasn't spoiled for.

  49. jennywildcat says:

    OMG – IT'S "PARTNERS IN CRIME!!" IT'S SERIES 4!! IT'S DONNA NOBLE!! HECK YES!!!

    This has GOT to be the best season opener! (and it's my favorite season as well!) I could watch this episode over and over again. I love Donna so much and I love the character development she's given here. She is so different from what we've seen so far in a companion and you can tell that her presence gives the Doctor new life and new energy. My favorite scene (apart from the miming back and forth, which is pure brilliance!) is the part where she and Wilf are sitting up on the hill looking at the stars. And then – AND THEN – she has the Doctor fly the TARDIS over where Wilf can see them and his reaction to that is so beautiful – one of my favorite things ever!

    "Instead, the Adipose giggled and waved. Giggled and waved."

    <img src="http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y194/Jenny_Wildcat/Gifs/CHD-A150w-DW-S04E01-0003sarah_jones.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Yes they do, Mark. Yes they do.

    Oh, and before I forget – a bit of trivia: The First Doctor had a companion named Barbara Wright – one of the very first companions in Doctor Who. RTD said that if Barbara's character were written today, he thought she would be a lot like Donna.

  50. Fusionman29 says:

    Here I go again.

    A. The Shadow Proclamation was last mentioned in Fear Her.

    B. Donna says that the Starship Titanic is a hoax. Only Donna.

    C. This episode is dedicated to Howard Attfield, who passed away shortly after filming scenes for this episode reprising the role of Donna’s father, Geoff Noble. As Geoff was to have been a recurring character in the season, the producers chose to remove Attfield’s scenes and bring back Bernard Cribbins to play Wilfred Mott, the character he played in Voyage of the Damned; the character was retconned to become Donna’s grandfather. Attfield’s scenes were preserved and included on the subsequent Series 4 DVD release.

    D. Some people say this was going to be called Partners in TIME.

    E. According to his memoir The Writer’s Tale, Russell T Davies originally planned to introduce a new companion named Penny Carter in this episode, who he describes as 30-something, recently jilted by a boyfriend, and strong-willed in the vein of Donna Noble. When it was decided to bring Donna back, this idea was dropped, although a minor character in the episode (the journalist) was given the name Penny Carter.

    F. This episode was aired earlier and was 50 minutes with commercials instead of 45.

    G. A certain shot shows an army of Adipose in the streets of London, this was extremely complex and took the CGI team (The Mill) more time than most shots used for the series to complete. They used the software called Massive, which was created and used by Weta Digital, who created all CGI for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

    Also nice catch of Rose at the crime scene. The Whovians had the same reaction as you when this aired.

    So guys what did I miss?

    • Openattheclose says:

      B. Donna says that the Starship Titanic is a hoax. Only Donna.

      I love that she never believes in any of the alien invasions except the one she was in.

  51. Nikki says:

    I have mixed feelings about Donna being a companion. I mean, I love Donna. I love that she doesn't take crap from the Doctor and I think they work very well together. However, one of the things I loved about her most was her refusal to go with the Doctor and that that refusal was based on serious moral differences. She wouldn't go with someone who would stand there and murder someone, even if they were evil. I really admired her for that. It took me back to when Nine flat out murdered Cassandra for revenge and Rose just looked right past it.

    I wanted to believe that we could finally see a character who wouldn't be chasing after the Doctor in any sense. That she could fully experience what being with the Doctor was like and say "No thanks" and walk away and still find joy and contentment in their own normal life on Earth. But, no. Donna ended up chasing after the Doctor as well, desperate to find him and go with him. *sigh* I'm very disappointed in that respect.

    The episode itself was very good! I really enjoyed it! My favorite part was when Donna realized she had been spotted miming! XD

    • Stephanie says:

      But I think that the difference is that she wasn't chasing after The Doctor, she was chasing after the life he could give her. I think that Rose and Martha would easily be willing to settle down with the Doctor, but I think that Donna would have no problem walking away from him if he didn't have the TARDIS.

  52. kaybee42 says:

    I love that most comments just have tonnes of thumbs up simply for expressing DONNA LOVE! I love Donna and I love that people LOVE DONNA! Don't mind me,I'm just filled with glee so I'mma go on a thumbing up spree :D

  53. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    >Oh, poor Penny Carter. Continually ignored!

    Penny Carter: The companion who never was. When Russell was first planning this series, he was thinking about the new companion and came up with Penny Carter – an investigative journalist. ("Well, it worked for Sarah Jane!") And the other writers were told to write her. Then against all expectations Catherine Tate was up for doing an entire season and so Penny Carter was relegated to minor character status. Even after Catherine was signed up, in an attempt to keep her casting a secret, the name Penny was used as a placeholder name for a while.

    Speaking of secrets, the shock return of Rose Tyler was kept absolutely tip top secret until the day of transmission. The version shown at the press screening did not include her, which is why there's 2 lots of overlapping music at that moment. As you can imagine, the press were furious. But tough!

    All in all, this is an amazingly complex episode. Possibly the most complex episode ever/so far. There's so much going on and I have a fist sized list in my head of the things I can't talk about. So I'll stop now.

    As ever, you are Professor YANP.

  54. Hotaru-hime says:

    PURE FUCKING AWESOMENESS.
    I totally loved Donna the second she appeared in The Runaway Bride, and this only intensified my love. I was sick to death of Rose and Martha being in love with the Doctor and Donna came and was all "BITCH PLEASE. I'm here for his sweet ride." SO FUCKING AWESOME, BEST COMPANION EVER AFTER IAN CHESTERTON.
    Yeah, Rose being there at the end just made me go "Guuurrrrrrlllllll, that hairstyle. What. No. Honey, no."

    • NB2000 says:

      I've only seen the one serial with him so far (the very first one, I'm working my way through Classic Who very slowly) but ITA, IAN CHESTERTON IS AWESOME! Yeah that's all I have to say.

      • swimmingtrunks says:

        I have a doodle somewhere of him saying "NO, I AM THE WHITE MALE EVERYMAN, I'LL DO IT, DAMNIT!!" I drew after watching the first few serials, but I think that aspect of his character was probably a product of the times. Ian and Barbara rock.

        • Hotaru-hime says:

          I remember reading somewhere that since the Doctor was an old man, Ian had to be the strong, young one to get them out of scrapes. It's really fascinating to watch the first few serials and realize that Ian and Barbara do a lot while Susan screams off in a corner and the Doctor just goes, "Well, you shouldn't have gotten into the TARDIS."

    • trash_addict says:

      'Yeah, Rose being there at the end just made me go "Guuurrrrrrlllllll, that hairstyle. What. No. Honey, no."'

      I like that she doesn't have the horrible roots ;)

      • electric ashera says:

        Hmmmm, for me the horrible roots and the overdone eyeliner were part of Rose's special brand of deluded teenage charm….

    • notemily says:

      I was stunned by Rose's appearance at the end. She looked so much older and sadder and I was like WHAT HAVE YOU GONE THROUGH ROSE. It's like season one Buffy compared to season seven Buffy.

  55. Mary Sue says:

    I have a recreation of that red wooly bobbly hat that Wilf wears. Another fan made it for a fandom auction.

    It is the nerdiest thing I own, and I wear it every day (it's COLD!)

    I also have the wee Adipose figurines that came with one of the Doctor action figures. They live in my bathroom medicine cabinet, because 1) I love seeing them in the morning because they are SO CUTE, and b) normal, non-Who watching people who snoop in my medicine cabinet are wierded out by them like woah. Seriously, they made one Snoopie McSnooperson scream.

    • nanceoir says:

      *waves hi* It's me, the hat-maker! I'm glad to hear you're getting use out of the hat. And daily use at that!

      It's probably the nerdiest thing I've made. Well, that and a knitted Golden Snitch.

  56. Angie says:

    OH I LOVE THIS EPISODE! It has that infectious, madcap glee that makes Doctor Who so much fun to watch. And honestly, such a relief from the High Drama of the season finale. (Not knocking High Drama and Intense Tears of Doctorly Anguish or anything.)

    Adipose are pretty much the most adorable aliens ever. And I love Wilf so, so much. Jackie got on my nerves, and I never liked Martha's mom, and Donna's mom is irritating too. But Wilf, he's such a sweet, clever, supportive, funny man. And I'm so glad Donna has him in her life.

  57. nanceoir says:

    Oh! I forgot about this. Confidential had a lot of stuff about the table read, which was fun. Everyone was saying that it was great to have Catherine back and that it just felt right and stuff.

    Anyway, with the fabulous meeting scene, the "dialog" was written out in the script, but Catherine had the longest part, and she was told to just see what she can come up with. She did a brilliant job.

    This is what the script has her saying: "I, came here, trouble, read about it, internet, I thought trouble = you! And this place is weird! Pills! So I hid. Back there. Crept along. Heard this lot. Looked. You! Cos they…"

  58. Hotaru-hime says:

    Mutual?! Thank God Catherine Tate agreed to a full season.

    • Openattheclose says:

      Yes, I already loved Donna, but after reading this I LOVE HER MORE, which I didn't think was even possible.

    • electric ashera says:

      Mutual? Ack. Sorry, no, Ten/Rose forever.

      devoted shipper.

      • flamingpie says:

        yeah, if Rusty had gone that route I would have disowned him forever.

        And this is coming from one of his utter fangirls.

  59. jackiep says:

    Apparently, the character brief of Penny Carter was given to the authors writing in this series for the early drafts, to keep Donna's return quiet for as long as possible.

    I love the fact that Donna had realised that she shouldn't have turned down the chance to travel and had actively been seeking out strange stuff in order to track him down. Having her luggage ready in the car boot was just awesome.

    The Doctor's confusion when the woman in the cubicle flirted with him "You be health, I'll be safety" and the fact that he had to go back to her to try again – comedy gold. As was the stunned looks on his face while Donna was miming her attempts to find him.

    There wasn't any need for secrecy on the fat though was there? If I was offered the chance ot taking a pill and having a cute little thingy wandering away with a kilo of my fat overnight, heck I'd be willing to pay for a taxi to send it safely off to Nanny! Loved the little off-centre fang though. Seriously, as long as they held off the total destruction thingy, I'm sure I could donate a few kilos to the adipose breeding scheme!

    • nanceoir says:

      Yeah, the Adipose breeding thing, if done with full disclosure, could totally be a win-win thing. Kind of like surrogacy, really. It's the secrecy and the whole, "let's call the whole thing off by killing the surrogates" thing that makes it a bad deal.

    • darth_eowyn says:

      "If I was offered the chance ot taking a pill and having a cute little thingy wandering away with a kilo of my fat overnight, heck I'd be willing to pay for a taxi to send it safely off to Nanny!"

      I know, right? I think the Doctor says something about it not being a bad idea as a weight loss plan. Which made me feel a lot better about this being my initial reaction. The Doctor agrees, so it must be okay!

  60. lastyearswishes says:

    omg Wilf (her granddad) is the greatest, I love him so hard. It's hard to choose a ~favorite~ really but after rewatching this series as many times as I have, I have to admit that Donna probably is as close to a favorite as you can get. :')

    ;ASDK;LSDKF ROSE. As always, YOU ARE NOT PREPARED, MARK.

    EDIT: Also, you are not alone in thinking the Adipose are the cutest villains EVER. Only Doctor Who could make one love fat lol. :'D

  61. feminerdist says:

    BEST EPISODE EVER, YES! Also, the mime scene may be the single best scene in this history of Doctor Who. Those two are so effing good with physical comedy. And I totally want a squishy Adipose.

    I love this episode so much. AND DONNA IS BACK! Donna is my favorite companion. This could also be that this is the first season I watched in order, since I started watching religiously with my husband at about episode three. The rest I watched as reruns or as part of a SyFy or BBC America marathon.

    But yes, I can't say anything else, just endless love for this episode.

  62. NB2000 says:

    I didn't get to buy the calender for this year (my mother bought me a Merlin one as a Christmas present instead, this isn't a bad thing considering how pretty the cast are). I do however have a toy TARDIS rather prominently placed on my desk, yay for sharing the Nerdiness!

    I've also got the Journal of Impossible Things that came with a copy of The Master's ring and…okay I can't actually list all my action figures because some of them are still spoilers. I can say that I have the box set of figures every Doctor so far (another Christmas present).

  63. Penquin47 says:

    I loved the Adipose. So adorable and the way I understood it harmless, as long as they didn't hit the emergency panic button. Mommy and Daddy may be evil villains, and Nanny is complicit in the crimes, but the kids are just so adorably AWESOME that I can't help but squee when I see them.

    I HATED Donna in Runaway Bride. I didn't like her much better in this episode… right up until the mime scene. Catherine Tate, you are brilliant and I will be sorry to see you go when your contract is up.

    The "mate" confusion… in Britain, does that really happen? I can see it in America, because we don't (often) use "mate" to mean "pal", but it kinda weirded me out to see a British author write that scene.

    My dream TARDIS Group is the Doctor, Rose, Donna, Jackie, and Wilf. Maybe Jack too since the TARDIS is supposed to have a crew of 6. I would LOVE to see the Jackie/Donna showdowns.

    • virtual_monster says:

      The 'mate' confusion is possible in Britain but impropable, at least here in south-east London.

      If it had involved two people from a more mundane television genre – let's say a couple of Easternders – then the 'mate' misunderstanding would be extremely contrived.

      But Donna, talking to a madcap alien with a time-travelling police box, whom she knows has had a thing for earth girls before? I think her confusion is entirely reasonable – after all, most people tend to interpret what we see and hear in light of what we're expecting, it's part of human nature. (But not Human Nature, Argh, now I'm imagining Catherine Tate playing 'Mate of Mine'… 'Oi, Space Boy! You're not having super, super fun with me.')

  64. Helena says:

    OMG ADIPOSE.
    Aside from some posters (and obviously a ton of DVDs), the only Doctor Who things I have are four Adipose figurines and one Doctor. For some reason, he came with no sonic screwdriver and there's a gap in his hand where it should be; I like to put stuff in there. Sometimes I put in a toothpick for him to use as a spear and go Adipose-hunting, but at the moment it's a pink cocktail umbrella. What can I say? I've been a fan of camp!Ten ever since New Earth.

    ALSO ROSE ROSE I SWEAR I FELL OFF MY SOFA WHEN I SAW HER YANP!!!!!!!

  65. flamingpie says:

    Don't worry, I display my nerdiness while out and about by pretending to open doors with my sonic.

    well. to be more specific, my friend will hit the automatic opening button for disabled people and I will sonic the lock and we will giggle madly.

  66. klmnumbers says:

    Donna Noble is my favorite companion. I am so excited that you're in her run now. I LOOK EVEN MORE FORWARD TO READING THESE.

  67. echinodermata says:

    DONNA NOBLE IN THE HOUSE, YA'LL.

    I study biology, so I took it for granted the first time that of course, adipose means fat. But then I found out that wasn't necessarily as common knowledge as I thought, so props to the writers, I guess. Anyway, the Adipose are some of the most adorable "villains" ever.
    And you can buy an Adipose stress toy!

    Is it weird that I find it weird the Doctor's trying to solve mysteries without a companion in the beginning?

    And I don't get why twisting the necklace thing starts "parthenogenesis" (which is not a very good sciencey term for this), but it's an enjoyable enough episode that I don't really care if it doesn't make sense to me.

    The Doctor/Donna meetup!
    <img src=http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/7553/tumblrleqe7hejx31qetwwk.jpg">
    <img src="http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/2461/dwdonnathisisbrilliant.gif"&gt;
    <img src="http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/9800/dwdonnaweirdgesture.gif"&gt;

    One of THE best scenes ever. Seriously, this scene by itself is enough to make me fall in love with Catherine Tate, and it reaffirms for me that this show is amazing.

    Also, the scene where Donna has an extra necklace/capsule thing, and they just grin at each other like it's the best thing ever.

    And I don't even care about the Looney Tunes-like pause in midair with Foster since it wonderfully coincinced with well-matched sound and music, and then the Adipose looking sadly out the window with the cute little noises they make.

    And the "mate" scene! OMG this is why Donna is such a favorite to everyone. She's brash and isn't taking the Doctor's nonsense and isn't going to fall in love with him, no sir.

    And then at the end, and it's Rose? HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT OMG! Also, she has an awesome jacket.

    And you guys, Wilf is Donna's grandfather! Lovely. Although I wish Donna had invited him along or something. That's one thing I never got about how new Who, at least, is presented (can't speak for the classic stuff): why does no one want to take a loved one with them in their space adventures? Cause I'd definitely want to share that with say a friend if I got the chance.

    As much as I love this episode, though, and as much as I love Donna, I do wish the show hadn't basically erased her decision to reject the Doctor in Runaway Bride in favor of her spending all that time afterward searching for him and wanting to go with him. I can't think of a good reason for how she could still end up as a companion without the show having gone that route, though, so that complaint sits on the back-burner for me since it gave us more Donna. MOAR DONNA IS ENTIRELY ACCEPTABLE, regardless of how it's done.

  68. flootzavut says:

    I LOVE THIS EP I LOVE THIS SERIES DONNA NOBLE WINS ALL THE CONTESTS.

    THIS IS A GOOD REVIEW AND YOU SHOULD BE PROUD.

    I am seriously thrilled that you loved this ep. I found Donna a bit shrill the first time I watched Runaway Bride (I've enjoyed it more on repeat viewings) and was dreading her reign as the Doctor's sidekick. Needless to say she won me over in this ep, if I hadn't already been enjoying it (which I was!) then the whole mime thing would have sealed it. Donna Noble RULES and no matter how much I liked some of Martha and Rose's stuff, and Nine, Ten and Donna is my absolutely best combination in the Tardis ever, no contest.

    I AM SO PSYCHED YOU'RE FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D I AM EXCITE!

  69. Tauriel says:

    I don't believe this video has been posted yet, but it's THE BEST THING EVER:

    The Doctor is a Pervert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDgqVBv6XRA :D :D :D

  70. Kaci says:

    I can now finally say this without being faux-cryptic for fear of spoiling you: DONNA NOBLE IS MY #1 FAVORITE COMPANION EVER, OH MY GOD.

    And let me tell you, I HATED her in her Christmas special. When we found out she was going to be a full-time companion, I ranted and yelled and generally just swore to keep my head down and ignore her until she was gone. AND THEN SHE WALTZES IN, BEING ALL AMAZING, AND I HAVEN'T LOOKED BACK SINCE.

    Another thing I wanted to say ages ago and couldn't for spoilers: Even aside from the fact that I never liked Rose to begin with, it's hard for me on a re-watch to connect to her final episode emotionally because I know now that it's not the last time we'll see her.

    Also: CAN I JUST SAY, PLATONIC DOCTOR/COMPANIONSHIP RELATIONSHIP FOR THE MOTHERFUCKING WIN. I DON'T CARE IF I HAD TO WAIT THROUGH THREE OTHER SEASONS TO GET IT. WORTH IT BECAUSE SHE AIN'T MATING WITH YOU, SUNSHINE! /

  71. FlameRaven says:

    Ahahahahah! I just rewatched this episode after the S3 finale and was so waiting for this review. :D It's one of my favorites and one of the episodes I rewatch the most, because it's hilarious and fun and just amazing. The adipose are so cute! I still maintain the plan would have worked if they'd just gotten the governments in on it and agreed not to dissolve anyone.

    I also knew you would freak out about Rose appearing again. I can't say I was happy to see her again, but it certainly does provide interest! I will say that this season throws a LOT of things at you that you don't expect. This was the first season I actually followed fandom discussions for, and the crazy speculation on everything was rampant.

    Just wait. You are not prepared. :D

    • feminerdist says:

      You know, that's a good point. If they were just upfront with the people… I mean, I'd give away some of my fat ass to create a cute little alien. Just stop after people reach an ideal weight. That could have totally worked.

      • kytten says:

        Hell, it could be in line with their breeding cycle. Warn the public before hand, so we can start taking the pills and we could create adorable little adipose babies and I could get back in that skirt I last wore two years ago.

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          This gets my vote. I'm definitely up for bringing a few Adipose babies into the universe! Maybe I could adopt one, too!

          • kytten says:

            you'd probably get semi-professional adipose breeders, who put on as much weight as possible in the interim.

  72. StarGirlAlice says:

    Bernard Cribbins is a BAMF. Donna Noble is my favourite companion. Ever. And that says a lot because I freaking ADORE Rose.
    This episode is up there with my faves (Family of Blood and The Shakespeare Code) just because it's so fun and I WANT AN ADIPOSE SO FUCKING BAD. THEY ARE TOO FREAKING CUTE.

    Best scene, bar Donna and The Doctor miming to one another, was Donna's mum and her friends in the pub. Odd for a favourite scene, yes. But Take That is on in the background. And not just any Take That song. Could It Be Magic. Classic.

    Excite for the rest of the series.

  73. Anseflans says:

    Can I just say that Wilfred is the best thing ever since Jackie?
    There, I said it. I think I might even like Wilf more than Jackie. He's just so adorable.

  74. Donna Donna Donna Donna Donna Donna Donna.

    You have so much wonderful Donnaness to look forward to, you have no idea. I was really not a fan of her shrieking every five minutes in "The Runaway Bride," but the Donna of "Partners in Crime" was much more palatable, and I grew to love her like I love all the Companions.

    And, ha, I forgot about the Rose sighting at the end! I think there was a whole big thing where the BBC screeners left off the last few minutes to keep that a secret.

  75. ldwy says:

    Oh man, I loved this episode. So much. I knew Catherine Tate came back but I didn't know when. I didn't really like her in the Christmas special (there were definitely parts I liked: her taking-no-shit attitude was overblown, but good, and her quick understanding of the Doctor was spot on), so I was a little apprehensive when she came back in this episode! I don't know if they toned her character down just a little bit, or if this plot was just really really better (it was so good, and fun!), but either way, I'm not so nervous anymore.

    I love that Donna just wants to go out and travel time and space, so she hunts down the Doctor and re-invites herself. And when he bumbles over trying to lay down some groundrules, she just says "I'm not matin' with you, Sunshine," calls him scrawny, and gets on with it. She's hilarious, and is choosing to go after what she wants and Catherine Tate is HILARIOUS and I am pretty pumped.

    Also, I agree–WTF ROSE TYLER OMG HOORAY WAIT WAIT WAIT HOW DID YOU POSSIBLY GET HERE WHAT IS GOING ON???!!!???

  76. doesntsparkle says:

    DONNA Squee!!! I don't really have a Doctor like some do, but Donna is my companion.

    I sacrificed much needed sleep to re watch this last night, clearly I make awesome life decisions.
    When I was reading the review, I kept waiting for Mark's head assplosin about Rose, when I got to the thoughts section, I was thinking how could he have missed that? Well played, sir, well played.

  77. sabra_n says:

    First and foremost: DONNA NOBLE!!!1!

    I feel free to say now that she's my favorite New Who companion, and it's for exactly the reason you touched upon in your review, Mark – her utter lack of reverence for the Doctor. Removed from the hierarchy of "who's the most romantically worthy of the Ten", Donna's rein as Companion instantly got off to a great start. The weight of the godawful unrequited love story from last season has been removed, and the relief of it is transformative.

    Donna is so fantastic, in fact, that she makes me like Ten better. She doesn't just stop him from committing merciless acts of slaughter – she stops him from disappearing up his own Lonely Angelcakes ass. She demands to be spoken to, not just at – and when Ten responds and engages with her as Donna and not just as "the prop human on the left", he's infinitely more likable. That's what the scene with Donna's necklace was all about, for me. (Not to mention the second slap in "The Runaway Bride".) It also helps that Tate and Tennant have sensational chemistry together. If their Benedick and Beatrice don't get filmed I will be heartbroken, seriously.

    I rank "Partners in Crime" just below "Smith & Jones" as a season opener, though – the latter was just tighter and better-plotted. I mean, did the Doctor and Donna actually accomplish anything in this episode except getting Nanny to accelerate the Adipose process in a way that put people at risk? It's funny, but if they'd never poked their noses in, perhaps the Adipose babies would have just "walked away" harmlessly while the pill-takers were asleep, and Nanny would have eventually been killed by the adult Adipose anyway once they discovered her illegal breeding methods.

    I was also left cold by RTD's continued insistence on having someone be the "unworthy" one whenever a companion is introduced – it was Mickey in "Rose", the other female doctor in "Smith & Jones", and now this journalist. I hate character-bashing unless that character is evil or something, and Penny was hardly evil. That hierarchy, that "you're good enough for the Doctor and you're not", is the attitude that poisoned S3. But at least it's more on the sidelines here.

    And the Adipose are adorable, undeniably. Did you notice the one skipping down the street? It made me squee-flail like a fool when I rewatched. They're just so cuddly and squeaky and friendly…and made of human fat, admittedly, which is kinda gross. But that one little tooth! AAAW. YES YOU ARE ADORABLE LITTLE FAT-BABIES. YES YOU ARE.

    Random trivia:

    I first saw Sarah Lancashire in a vastly different role, playing opposite Christopher Eccleston in a rom-com episode of the fantastic Clocking Off. Which was written by RTD's buddy Paul Abbott, who also wrote State of Play, which starred John Simm and featured the actress who played Jenny in "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood". WOO INCESTUOUS BRITISH TV.

    • Tauriel says:

      State of Play is AWESOME and BRILLIANT. Mark should watch it. *goes to post in the Suggestions thread*

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Agreed- it is a little strange that Penny got such antagonism in the script. I mean she also was trying to investigate any moral qualms that Adipose Industry might have. Sure, she was probably expected something like insufficent trials, not a sinister invasion of alien babies, but still.

    • echinodermata says:

      "I was also left cold by RTD's continued insistence on having someone be the "unworthy" one whenever a companion is introduced – it was Mickey in "Rose", the other female doctor in "Smith & Jones", and now this journalist. I hate character-bashing unless that character is evil or something, and Penny was hardly evil. That hierarchy, that "you're good enough for the Doctor and you're not", is the attitude that poisoned S3."

      Brava. Also, each character you've mentioned is a character of color, so it's further irritating to me than just the textual reasons you cited.

    • hassibah says:

      Penny didn't bother me as much as the other two in question. Mickey and the med student were just kind of charicatures of themselves. Penny, well, she was there first to throw us of the trail to make the audience think that they'd caught onto Donna in the ladies room when it was actually her.
      Then the there's the comic relief of getting caught twice, but it's the situation itself that's funny, she's not made to be the butt of the joke because she's portrayed as excessively whiney or dense like Mickey was, so it never really occurred to me to compare them.

      • sabra_n says:

        Penny is being pretty explicitly mocked at the end – she makes her exit still tied to a chair, threatening to report the Doctor and Donna for "madness". Donna's reaction: "See, some people just can't take it. And some people can." Donna is worthy and Penny is not.

        The thing is, I find Donna more than "worthy" on her own. There's no need for the derogatory comparison to Penny; it doesn't feel anything but mean-spirited to me.

        • hassibah says:

          Oh, crap somehow I forgot about that part! I didn't rewatch that ep cause it's honestly just not my favourite. Up till then she seemed like a pretty competent journalist-unlike the other two.
          But yeah the not worthy comment threw me off cause unlike earlier seasons it wasn't up in the air who was travelling with the doctor at the start of the ep-Donna was already seeking him out.

  78. ladylarla says:

    I love this episode, just absolutely adore it. Donna is exactly what the Doctor needs, he needs a friend or even you know a semi bossy older sister. They have the most amazing interaction, and the joy on each others faces at finding each other. My heart could burst.

    Also I agree with wanting an Adipose.

  79. CJBadwolf says:

    I fell in love with Rose, thought Martha was teh awesome, and figured Blink/Human Nature was about as good as TV was ever going to get.

    Then Donna. Then this whole season….just so very good. Minority opinion I know, as good as Blink was, but this season contains my top two episodes and one fewer clunker than the season average.

  80. carma_bee says:

    Haha, even though I've been waiting for your Rose reaction, when I started reading your review, I forgot about it. I'm happy to say that the Doctor Who people managed to keep it a secret that she was in this episode. Super huge surprise to see her, I couldn't believe it. I wasn't super happy with the idea of her coming back, but I thought I'd just wait to see what was going to happen with her. I think I heard once that they only gave the Rose ending to as small a group of people as they could, to keep it a secret.

    Adipose really are the cutest things. I made one as a Christmas present for someone and it was so cute. I really need to make another one for myself. Here's a link to the pattern: http://community.livejournal.com/crafty_tardis/89… I love Wilf too, he's great.

    And I also loooove this scene:
    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/wthv9c.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    I was looking over some screencaps from this ep, and I couldn't help but think that the Doctor had a kind of Troll face lookalike going on here:
    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/s4bbza.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2gvog95.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Maybe just a little bit

    Before this episode, I wasn't really looking forward to Donna as a companion, but right form the beginning she changed my mind and I love her.

    Commentary for this episode with David and Catherine: http://www.david-tennant.com/sitebuildercontent/s

  81. NeonProdigy says:

    Whoo! That's right, we've gone through Controversial Rose and Lovesick Puppy Martha (both are BAMFs, but they've definitely got some flaws) and now we're at UTTERLY FIERCE DONNA NOBLE!

    The miming scene when the Doctor and Donna first see each other again after an entire season is one of my favorite moments in the entire show.

    Also, what I love the most about Donna, before we get into any of the other episodes with her, is that she gets a tiny hint of how awesome and strange the universe can really be, and what does she do? She goes out and finds it.

    It's my personal head-canon that if Donna had never met the Doctor again, she'd have ended up joining forces with Sarah Jane Smith, investigating aliens.

    I also like that Wilfred from Voyage of the Damned is her grandfather. He's no Jackie Tyler, but I probably adore him more than any other Companion Family Member.

    Anyway Mark, strap in and get ready; you're about to enter the awesome (and my personal favorite) Season 4!

    And before I forget: the Adipose, most adorable blobs of fat ever.

  82. fakehepburn says:

    When you watch this episode for the first time:

    When Donna shows up, you're like
    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/330fs47.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Then when she and the Doctor meet up, it's like:
    <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/b3twfl.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    When the Andipose turn out to be UNFUCKINGBELIEVEABLY ADORABLE, you're like:
    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2vai6f6.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    And then Rose shows up and you're like WHAT FUCKERY IS THIS?
    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/whfnns.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Thank you and goodnight!

  83. Vicki_Louise says:

    Here are three pictures of my cuddly Adipose, his name is Adi. He is awesome. Feel free to worship his awesomeness.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vickilouise/54542029
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vickilouise/54548112
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vickilouise/54548089

    I <3 him.

  84. agrinningfool says:

    I've been on a diet now since.. January 18th and I've lost 13 pounds. The fat just walks away. *winks*

    No I'm not taking any pills that cause alien babies to sprout from my butt every night. Boy I wish that was the case. >>

  85. whatsername says:

    SEASON FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YANP.

    The end.

  86. Beautiful Thief says:

    I adore Donna.

    I'm so glad you loved that line where she goes, "You're not mating with me, Sunshine!" because that is one of my favourite parts of this episode ever.

  87. amandajane5 says:

    See how we all didn't spoil you at all and just made references to noble companions?!?!

    Sorry, I get kind of giddy when things get un-spoilery.

    And now I will read the rest of the comments. Did I mention the giddy?

  88. Lauren says:

    I didn't particularly like this episode, because it was so silly, but good on you for liking it.
    Catherine Tate wasn't actually supposed to be the companion for this series. RTD was planning for a new companion called PENNY CARTER, but then Catherine Tate expressed interest in coming back and so Donna returned!
    Also, Bernard Cribbins wasn't supposed to be her grandfather. They had brought back Geoff Noble, Donna's dad from The Runaway Bride, but he died during the filming of the series and a replacement was sought.
    When you see what RTD does with these characters by the end of the series, you'll be even more amazed at this!

  89. PeterRabid says:

    Okay, so I’m sick and a bit late to the party, but I need to celebrate one of the funniest episodes ever.

    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/2wly1j6.gif"/&gt;

    <img src="http://i888.photobucket.com/albums/ac90/satsuyumi/Funny%20images/Honey-D-ouran-high-school-host-club.gif"/&gt;

    I seriously need a plushie Adipose!

    When it comes to the Tenth Doctor’s companions, I am firmly in Donna’s camp. She’s not afraid to stick it to the Doctor and she’s in no way interested in him romantically, which is something he really needs. Especially as this incarnation’s head has been swelling to gargantuan sizes. He really needs to be taken down a few pegs and I believe Donna, unlike Martha and Rose (as much as I like them too) is willing to do that.

  90. Selthia says:

    The mime scene was hysterical. Here's this Time Lord who's 900 years old and seen practically everything, and he just seems confounded by Donna trying to mime their reunion at him. What else? Wilf is absolutely adorable and an interesting addition to a companion's family dynamics. It's great they brought him back, rather than treat him as a one shot character in the Christmas Special.

    There aren't enough words to express how much I adore Donna. Yes, she can get loud and abrasive, but that's part of what makes her fun.

    Like you said, she doesn't worship the ground the Doctor walks on, she doesn't take his shit, and in fact, she takes the piss out of him constantly (ex: ragging on how skinny he is in The Runaway Bride after he shows her kindness to defuse the mood, joking about Rose punching him in the face, ragging on the fact that he look like he didn't change his clothes after just reuniting with him in this episode etc). Donna basically keeps his ego in check while grounding him and keeping him on his toes at the same time, which after the past seasons, is really something thing the Doctor needs most at this point. Not someone to fawn over him or fall in love with him, but a Best Bro for Life (c).

    There may be an Adipose stress ball floating around online for sale. Just throwing that out there.

  91. swimmingtrunks says:

    DONNA DONNA DONNA DONNA, and in conclusion, DONNA!!!!! <3

    Not my favorite season starter, but it is a helluva lot of fun and Donna is my favorite of Ten's companions. The whole beginning sequence of them doing the same investigation while completely missing each other was amazing.

    I did have a moment of Fridge Horror, though: The adipose's single tooth. It's cute, right? Except they all have just one little sharp tooth… kind of like the tiny tooth that forms on the beaks of baby chicks so they can break out of their egg. Except adipose don't grow in eggs, they grow inside humans??! I know they had the scene of the adipose pulling out of the woman's body, but the tooth leads me to believe that there are less family tv friendly methods of "hatching". DDD=

    Also: GUESS WHO GOT THEIR TICKETS MONDAY TO SEE TENNANT AND TATE IN MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING THIS AUGUST OHH YEAH!!!! SO EXCITE!!!!!!!1!

  92. Caroline says:

    YES!

    SERIES 4!

    DONNA!

    ROSE!

    HAPPY DANCE! :D

    (*whew* So glad we can mention Rose again now. That was hard to hold in!)

  93. Openattheclose says:

    Totally random and off topic, but I have Community on in the background, and they totally just had a Firefly reference. It was something about doing something and then blaming it on the "totally unjust cancellation of Firefly."

    • doesntsparkle says:

      If Troy or Abed die, the other will make it look like a suicide because of Firefly's cancellation. They'll bring that show back, buddy.

      I saw that the Science channel will be replaying the whole series with a scientist to explain things about the show.

      • Openattheclose says:

        Haha! Thanks. I only heard half of it. I thought they said suicide, but I wasn't sure. And now Levar Burton is on singing Reading Rainbow's theme and crying OMG.

  94. EmmylovesWho says:

    God I love David and Catherine together. Their comedic timing is excellent <3

    Also: RISOTTO! (Catherine Tate show, no spoilers) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZoJIB6xzDw&pl

    And Rose, what are you doing?

  95. Caroline says:

    I can't believe how excited I am for how prepared you are not. ^_^

  96. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    oh man THESE MUST BE THE MOST POSITIVE COMMENTS YET.

    i love you all.

  97. trash_addict says:

    You're on season 4, yay! This and season one are the only seasons I've managed to collect on DVD so far, and I just marathoned season 4 recently, so everything will be all lovely and fresh to comment along with, woo-hoo!

    Donna Noble: sorry I doubted you after The Runaway Bride. You are AWESOME.

    Suddenly, a wild Rose appears! There were rumours she'd re-appear at some point this season, so I got very antsy at the end of this episode. SERIOUSLY RTD, IS THAT IT? IN THE VERY FIRST EPISODE? SHE HAS VERY NICE HAIR AT THE MOMENT, THAT'S GREAT, BUT WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING?

    • trash_addict says:

      PS Your reward for reading through 4 pages of comments and getting to this one: you now have 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' in your head.

  98. Fuchsia says:

    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v40/kretch1967/gifs/Doctor%20Who/tumblr_lerhgsANfG1qcok8r.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    HELLO!

    Late comment is late but I just wanted to share in the Donna love. Donna is absolutely definitely one of my favourite companions ever and I love this series and can't wait to share it with you! Donna's reunion with the Doctor is seriously one of my favourite scenes of anything ever, and I still laugh wildly whenever I watch it. Never gets old!
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v40/kretch1967/gifs/Doctor%20Who/ImageandvideohostingbyTinyPic-1.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    So much love for everything in this episode, really. The Adipose are adorable! Wilf is the best and I'm so glad nobody spoiled you on him (lots of love for Bernard Cribbins and the random guy at the newspaper stand, but no hinting that he'd become a regular!). I love that Donna had everything packed in her trunk already (and a hat box!) and their conversation about a/to mate is hilarious. And ROSE!
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v40/kretch1967/gifs/tumblr_lea8u499Fj1qb7ejp.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v40/kretch1967/gifs/HIMYM/20zsnj6.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    As much as I loved how the Doctor/Rose worked together, I think I love the Doctor/Donna relationship better because they're just friends, that's what both of them just want and need. They understand each other and keep each other balanced. Donna brings more much needed comedy into the Doctor's life and the Doctor gives her the fulfillment of adventure and finally doing something important. So yes, Doctor/Donna is my BFF OTP.

    Mostly: DONNA! <3 <3 <3
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v40/kretch1967/gifs/tumblr_l3enzlyXtZ1qaxd1z.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  99. Pingback: Blog-Trend.com

  100. Rebecca says:

    Popping out of lurkdom to say:

    DONNA!!!! <3<3<3

Comments are closed.