Skip to main content

TV on DVD: "Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series"

I'll admit it. Initially, I was a little concerned with the idea of comedian Catherine Tate's Donna Noble joining the Doctor for the entirety of the series' fourth season... but Tate's winning performance as spunky and headstrong Donna quickly won me over and, if I'm being honest, I have to say that Donna is perhaps my favorite companion now.

While Tate's turn in Season Three's "The Runaway Bride" pegged Donna as a comedic foil for the Doctor, Season Four quickly gives her some much needed character development and transforms the uppity Cockney girl into a tragic figure of pathos. (If that's not a head-turning surprise, I don't know what is.)

If you missed Doctor Who's superlative fourth season (or want the opportunity to relive it all over again, from "Voyage of the Damned" to "Journey's End), fret not as BBC Video releases Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series on DVD today in a glorious six-disc set. (Also available today: the animated Doctor Who feature Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest.)

While each of the seasons of Doctor Who have been fantastic thrill rides, this one in particular feels even more revved up in comparison and nicely ties up four season's worth of storylines in a truly satisfying and gripping way. Perhaps it's the appearance of virtually every supporting player from over the last four seasons--including all three companions from the current series--and the casts of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as the return of not one but two ancient enemies and a climax that features self-sacrifice, genocide, and humanity's ability to persevere against all odds.

But it's the dynamic and provocative chemistry between David Tennant and Catherine Tate that really give this taut season its power and heft. Their relationship is completely unlike any between the Doctor and a companion that we've seen on this series to date.

Unlike Rose and Martha, who clearly had feelings for the Doctor, Donna and the Doctor seem more like rough and tumble equals or sparring siblings than they do would-be lovers. Given the climax's intriguing storyline that has Donna saving the life of the Doctor through heretofore unseen means, one can't help but feel that these two vastly different people are in fact birds of a feather. Which makes Donna's ultimate fate that much more heartbreaking.

Extras on the six-disc set include the Children in Need charity short "Time Crash," which features a meeting between David Tennant's Tenth Doctor and Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor, written by future head writer Steven Moffat; the full run of behind-the-scenes series Doctor Who Confidential, David Tennant's video diaries, featurette "The Journey (So Far)," BBC trailers, deleted scenes, and more.

Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series has a suggested retail price of $99.98 but you can pick up a copy for $64.99 right now in the Televisionary Shop.


Anonymous said…
Like you, I was very concerned about Catherine Tate being the Doctor's companion for an entire season but, as Donna Noble, Tate completely blew me away. Her performance was an absolute joy to watch and she definitely brought something new and exciting to the world of Doctor Who.
Anonymous said…
Not to take away from DVD sales since there's a lot of extras, but I'm pretty sure this season is currently being aired on BBC America, as well.

I have to admit, I, too, ended up liking Donna a lot more than I expected to. The character really matured from the first time we saw her in Runaway Bride and wasn't as shrill and squawky. I had some trouble with the constant telegraphing of "there's more to you than meets the eye" and it seemed rushed at the end, but overall, I did enjoy that season a lot more than I thought I would.

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it

BuzzFeed: "The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now"

The CBS legal drama, now in its sixth season, continually shakes up its narrative foundations and proves itself fearless in the process. Spoilers ahead, if you’re not up to date on the show. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now," in which I praise CBS' The Good Wife and, well, hail it as the best show currently on television. (Yes, you read that right.) There is no need to be delicate here: If you’re not watching The Good Wife, you are missing out on the best show on television. I won’t qualify that statement in the least — I’m not talking about the best show currently airing on broadcast television or outside of cable or on premium or however you want to sandbox this remarkable show. No, the legal drama is the best thing currently airing on any channel on television. That The Good Wife is this perfect in its sixth season is reason to truly celebrate. Few shows embrace complexity and risk-taking in t