Partners in Crime
5 July 2014 at 16:26 #28739Craig @craigEmperor
Yay! Donna! During a very weird alien invasion in London, Donna searches for an old friend. But can the Doctor halt the plans of the mysterious Miss Foster?
For me it’s an episode of two halves. I like the comedy goofing and the return of Donna, it’s like a classic screwball comedy from the 30s and 40s and I love those. ‘His Girl Friday’ and ‘It Happened One Night’ immediately spring to mind. If you haven’t seen them, go watch right away. Imagine, Cary Grant as the Doctor. Not so keen on the Adipose story though. It’s just a bit meh! Don’t think people said meh in the 30s and 40s.5 July 2014 at 18:34 #28760The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman
@craig I agree that the bits with The Doctor and Donna are funny and very Girl Friday-ish. I also agree that the Adipose story is naff, weren’t they the aliens that RTD2 said would be bigger than the Daleks?5 July 2014 at 21:52 #28764PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
I think @craig s use of “screwball” comedy is a good one. It definitely has that flavour, and carries it off remarkably well. It really does help that Tennant and Tate are gifted comic players.
So – after the trials and tribulations of her aborted wedding (fiancée dead, having tricked her with the intention of feeding her to ravenous spiders fromthedawnatime) Donnas had a change of heart about travelling with the Doctor, and is looking for him.
Cue hilarity as they investigate the same problem while just about missing each other. It’s pretty funny, and gives us to perspectives on the problem. Actually, looking back on it, there may be more than a bit of forshadowing in this story for the end. Donna shows a similar flow of thought to the Doctor (even to them both using the dreaded ‘elf and Safety as a catch all excuse to be nosey).
I’m not a massive fan of the plot either. Society’s obsession with weight control is an interesting target to focus on, but I don’t think this hits (or even defines) it targets that well. The idea of a pill that would have that effect – Gordon Bennett, the Government would make it mandatory.
Sarah Lancashire as Ms Foster. Actually, I can take or leave Sarah Lancashire. I think her turn here is good enough, but it’s not one of the more memorable guest turns.
The most welcome guest star turns out to be Bernard Cribbins! Yay – he obviously had a good time in that little newsstand in Voyage of the Damned and is retconned as Donna’s Grandad. Seeking refuge with him on the hill with his telescope as they both dream of stars. It’s a lovely scene.
A nice little moment when Tennant starts excitedly explaining something to an audience that isn’t there, and looks a bit crestfallen. What’s the point of being the smartest man in the room, if you can’t demonstrate it to others? 😀
It comes alive with the final meeting between Donna and the Doctor as they mouth a conversation at each other. It genuinely raised another laugh tonight, as it always does – especially when they realise they aren’t alone. Thereafter, theres an awful lot of running and dangling from things. Very endearing.
The activation of the Adipose is quite entertaining. Look – the adipose themselves are pretty cute. I like the attention to detail on the CGI work with the various expressions and things. It’s amazingly how cheerful and animated computer generated blobs of fat can be.
So Ms Foster is the midwife for children who can’t be born on another world because it’s gone missing. How inconvenient. A bit naughty of her and, as the Doctor predicts, her employers aren’t above dispensing with an inconvenience. That’s a very cartoon moment when she suddenly finds herself floating in the air. I kept expecting a “WhaWhaWhaWhAAAAAAAAAA” note to creep into the soundtrack.
Yay – and Donna still wants to travel. The line about wanting a mate/wanting to mate was just what I wanted to hear. A season without mooning about between Doctor and Companion. That would be a relief.
So Donna runs to dump her keys and explain to any old bystander to inform the old bag known of mum where they are. Annnnnd….
Oh God, it’s Rose.
Still – the knowledge that there will be mooning at some point in this series is made up for by the last scene as Donna waves goodbye to Granddad. Again, a lovely scene for Mr Cribbins.
Gosh – we leap forward to the last four episodes of season 4 next, don’t we?
After watching all the first episodes of the RTD series, I think my favourite of them was probably Smith and Jones just before this. Despite a lot of charm in Partners in Crime, the central plot and design elements of Smith and Jones were stronger, I think.5 July 2014 at 21:58 #28765PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
weren’t they the aliens that RTD2 said would be bigger than the Daleks?
I remember it well, it was on the sofa of BBC Breakfast, and said with the booming laugh and “nod and a wink” attitude of a man versed in irony who was excavating his cheek with his tongue.
It may have been reported in print in a different way, but anyone who saw him deliver that line would have realised he was most definitely taking the piss.6 July 2014 at 19:15 #28780ScaryB @scaryb
I think this starts well, riffing on the screwball comedies, as others have pointed out, including the shiny glass office-block setting. I like the setting-up of the Adipose plot (the diet industry must be one of the most sinister concepts of the last 20 years).
But it falls apart when it starts to go into details – 1 mysterious black van to go round and collect all the little babies born per night? Puh-lease! And how to get 10,000 little Adipose babies safely to the mama-ship – they might be cute (lovely vfx work), but they’re very squashable. Several of them are done for by the arrival of the taxi.
I did like the toilet scene, where we’ve been led to believe that it’s Donna who’s been spotted, when in fact it’s the journalist. But… but.. you mean both Donna and the journalist have been hiding in the loos for 9 hours?!! (9am – 6pm, according to the clock)
Tennant and Tate work really well together, including his admission that he screwed up Martha’s life (which ties in well, I thought, with his silence in Martha’s farewell scene). I really like Tennant’s “shading” in his playing of the Dr, his quiet moments are really powerful, often poignant.
And Bernard Cribbins – what’s not to like there?6 July 2014 at 22:06 #28783Anonymous @
As season openers go, this is probably my favourite. Donna’s back (and there’s something on it 😮 ).
I’ll admit it, I wasn’t overly thrilled when it was announced that Catherine Tate was to be the companion in ‘The Runaway Bride’ but she won me over in the first 5 mins. It’s a shame that Martha went but the return of Donna was a joyous moment.
The Adipose were a bit silly (but oh so adorable) but who cares? Donna’s back.
I like Sarah Lancashire but Miss Foster seemed a bit none-dimensional. But that’s ok cos Donna’s back.
And so is Bernard Cribbins! Yay! The scene ‘up the hill’ with Donna is superbly acted by both BC & CT and it’s always nice to see the softer side of Donna.
The Doctor and Donna are such a great pairing. DT and CT aren’t acting, they’re just letting their real-life friendship shone through. I can’t remember if it’s been posted before but here’s a link to part one of Catherine interviewing David.
The ‘miming’ scene still makes me chuckle. I can’t lip read yet I knew exactly what they were saying.
As I wasn’t on the internet at the time I had no idea that Billie Piper was returning for a few episodes so I sat there open mouthed when ‘random blonde spectator’ turned around to face Donna.
All in all, not a bad episode at all. Oh, and Donna’s back 😀7 July 2014 at 00:08 #28789Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
The Adipose make me giggle. Every time. Whether it’s the CGI expressions, the little waves, or the various tones of the baby coos, I just start giggling.
The rest of the episode is also pretty funny – as quite a few people have said, screwball comedy. You can see that Tate and Tennant have non-romantic chemistry in buckets; they just work so well as a double act. I think this was my favourite pairing of the Tennant era.
I believe they got the fx on the cheap, as the people who’d done the huge scale armies for LOTR wanted to show that it was useable for TV work. But, yeah, the one black van does look a bit like ‘spent all the budget on the fx’.7 July 2014 at 07:12 #28794janetteB @janetteb
We rescued the hard drive from the old machine just in time to catch up the Fourth series for as @craig says “Yay Donna” and Yay to Wilf too. This series is by far and away my favourite of the Tennant years. As with so many RTD stories the joy is in the details. The humour of the opening sequences is underpinned by the pathos of Donna’s desperate search for something meaningful in her life, so perfectly captured in that first precious scene on the hill with Wilf. Right from the start Donna is a heartwinner. (I was perhaps fortunate not to have been exposed to the Catherine Tate show so did not have the prejudice of many U.K viewers against the actor.)
The story itself is simplistic and so similiar to the first Sarah Jane Adventures story that I often confuse the two. I do enjoy RTD’s use of modern paranoias to drive his plots though the adipose, I suspect, are designed purely for the merchandisers. The concept only just holds up but it hardly matters. This story is really about Donna and the Doctor. I loved the scene in the beginning when he is in the Tardis, talking about what he is doing then looks up and realises there is no audience. The Doctor needs an audience and he is about to find just what he needs. Donna is his perfect foil. She prunes his ego, reminds him of his “humanity”, and is jolly good company.
Janette15 July 2014 at 19:08 #29031Arbutus @arbutus
As I have said before, Donna is definitely my favourite AG companion. I really enjoyed this episode for its light touch and slightly poignant moments for both Donna and the Doctor. (Others have mentioned the brief scene in the TARDIS where the Doctor goes into full explanatory mode, only to remember that there is no one to explain things to. The TARDIS looked so big and empty at that moment.)
Agreed that, for the most part, the threat never felt very scary, but I never felt that was the point of the episode anyway. This was about seeing how Donna has evolved into someone who is really ready to take on the universe at the Doctor’s side. And I know it’s been said to death, but as a proper companion in the old-school Who fashion, who depends on the Doctor and who helps him, who has lots to learn but also lots to teach him. I know that not all the AG companions were like this, but the best ones were.
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