Doctor Who: Season 4, Volume 2 (DVD)

We enter the final quarter of series 4 with what possibly is one of the strongest set of episodes that Russell T Davis ever wrote for the show.

Turn Left, the first episode on the disc, is what we have come to know as a “Doctor lite” story — meaning the character takes a backseat and lets others carry the plot while staying true to the Doctor Who criteria. This entry transports Donna back in time to the a few months before she met the Doctor. She is faced with a life crisis at a T-junction; turn left to go to a new career or turn right and continue in her moribund existence. Here she is forced to turn right thus causing horrific events. The Rachnos invade and kill the Doctor, as she wouldn’t have met him thus not able to save him etc etc, until the whole world is taken over by alien baddies. It all comes good in the end, but Davis's plotting is immaculate, heartbreaking and quite shocking at times. His most mature piece of Doctor Who work.

This leads us to The Stolen Earth (which wins the most self explanatory title of the series) and Journey’s End. The Earth has been transported to another place along with other planets to be used in some sort of intergalactic doomsday weapon by Davros, creator of the Daleks. Can the Doctor and his band of time agents stop the massacre? Well of course they can and by teaming up all three shows (Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures) Davis pulls it all neatly together including the wonderful “will he/won’t he” regenerate cliffhanger that really gripped the public. The return of Davros was the worst kept secret of the whole series, but Julian Bleach is good value for money in the role. It does get a bit too saccharine towards the end, but on the whole Series 4 has been a vast improvement on Series 3.

EXTRAS None, as usual.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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