|30th season since 1963|
|21 story comprising 18 stories|
|starting with Time Crash|
|Secondary Doctor:||Eleventh Doctor|
|Companion(s):||Donna, Martha, Rose, Jack, Sarah|
|Executive producer(s):||Russell T Davies|
|Start date:||16 November 2007|
|End date:||1 January 2010|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Typical episode length:||45'|
|Main DWM coverage in issues:||387, 388, 389, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400|
|DWMSE:||20, 24, 25|
|Confidential:||Series 4 (CON)|
|Action figures for this series|
|Another memorable moment|
|Behind the scenes video|
- You may be looking for season 4 of the original series.
The term "Doctor Who series 4" was one that had several different meanings, making a precise and universally-agreed definition difficult. It was nevertheless generally considered the "2008 series".
From a production standpoint, the series began with Voyage of the Damned, continued to Time Crash, and concluded with The End of Time. This view was amply supported by Russell T Davies in his memoir, The Writer's Tale, and by production code and production block numbering, and is how this wiki presents the series and information relating to it.
Subsequent home video releases suggested — by their very contents — that series could be considered as having begun with Time Crash and having ended with Journey's End. Additionally, the BBC's official Doctor Who website blurred the marketing message by treating Christmas specials as independent of any series. Whatever one's perspective, though, there was universal agreement that the regular, weekly portion of series 4 began on 5 April 2008 with the broadcast of Partners in Crime and continued through to the 5 July 2008 broadcast of Journey's End. It was the second series of BBC Wales to have received a BAFTA nomination in the "Best Drama Series" category, although it did not win, as series 1 had done. The four principal producers — Phil Collinson, Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Susie Liggat — were all named nominees.
This series starred David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Catherine Tate as his companion, Donna Noble. The final two (or three in the case of Billie Piper) episodes saw the return of Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), John Barrowman (Jack Harkness), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) to the main cast, accompanied by Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Penelope Wilton (Harriet Jones), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), and Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones). Kylie Minogue starred as Astrid Peth in the Christmas special Voyage of the Damned. Peter Davison returned to the role of the Fifth Doctor for the Children in Need special Time Crash. It also featured the return of Davros, the creator of the Daleks, not seen on television since 1988's Remembrance of the Daleks. Davros was recast and was played by Julian Bleach.
Although the majority of the series was broadcast in 2008, all stories from Partners in Crime through to The End of Time were actually set in the following year, meaning there was almost a year's gap between Voyage of the Damned and its successor.
Broadcast milestones Edit
Series 4 featured several milestones. It is the 30th broadcast season of Doctor Who, and features the 750th broadcast episode; The Stolen Earth, and the 50th new series episode; Silence in the Library. The finale episodes The Stolen Earth and Journey's End also took the revived series to new heights of popularity, scoring the highest viewership ratings since the Tom Baker era and according to the media both episodes scored Appreciation Index ratings unprecedented for an ongoing scripted drama series.
In terms of production, the season marked the first production of a "Companion-lite" episode, Midnight (as opposed to the usual "Doctor-lite" episodes, ie. Love and Monsters and Blink), although a Doctor-lite episode, Turn Left was also produced. This was necessitated by the need to film several episodes at the same time, including an unprecedented 15th episode, The Next Doctor, which would air as the 2008 Christmas special.
Series 4 marked the last full season to be produced by Russell T Davies, Phil Collinson and Julie Gardner. Collinson left following Journey's End, and Davies and Gardner announced they would depart following production of a series of specials planned for 2009 in lieu of a regular season. When the show resumed weekly broadcast in 2010, Steven Moffat became the head writer and show-runner. It also marked the last full season featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor as, in October 2008, he announced his intention to leave the role following the production of the 2009 specials; in January 2009 Matt Smith was announced as his successor, with Karen Gillan appearing as his companion Amy Pond.
- Winner, "Favourite Foreign Drama of the Year", 2009 Seoul International Drama Awards (shared with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)
- The Tenth Doctor - David Tennant
- Donna Noble - Catherine Tate
- Rose Tyler - Billie Piper
- Martha Jones - Freema Agyeman
- Wilfred Mott - Bernard Cribbins
- Sylvia Noble - Jacqueline King
- The Fifth Doctor - Peter Davison
- River Song - Alex Kingston
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Luke Smith - Tommy Knight
- Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Ianto Jones - Gareth David-Lloyd
- Harriet Jones - Penelope Wilton
- Francine Jones - Adjoa Andoh
- Mickey Smith - Noel Clarke
- Jackie Tyler - Camille Coduri
- Queen Elizabeth I - Angela Pleasence
- K9 - John Leeson (voice)
- Captain Erisa Magambo - Noma Dumezweni
- The Master - John Simm
- Rassilon - Timothy Dalton
- Shadow Architect - Kelly Hunter
- The Eleventh Doctor - Matt Smith
- Mr Smith - Alexander Armstrong (voice)
- Davros - Julian Bleach
- Astrid Peth - Kylie Minogue
- Miss Foster - Sarah Lancashire
- Caecilius - Peter Capaldi
- Metella - Tracey Childs
- Mr Halpen - Tim McInnerny
- Solana Mercurio - Ayesha Dharker
- General Staal - Christopher Ryan
- Colonel Mace - Rupert Holliday Evans
- Jenny - Georgia Moffett
- Agatha Christie - Fenella Woolgar
- Clemency Eddison - Felicity Kendal
- Arnold Golightly - Tom Goodman-Hill
- Doctor Moon - Colin Salmon
- Strackman Lux - Steve Pemberton
- Sky Silvestry - Lesley Sharp
- Sanchez - Michael Brandon
- Jackson Lake - David Morrissey
- Rosita - Velile Tshabalala
- Lady Christina de Souza - Michelle Ryan
- Carmen - Ellen Thomas
- Barclay - Daniel Kaluuya
- Nathan - David Ames
- Professor Malcolm Taylor - Lee Evans
- Adelaide Brooke - Lindsay Duncan
- Andy Stone - Alan Ruscoe
- Ed Gold - Peter O'Brien
- Mia Bennett - Gemma Chan
- Yuri Kerenski - Aleksander Mikic
- Tarak Ital - Chook Sibtain
- The Woman - Claire Bloom
- Joshua Naismith - David Harewood
Television stories Edit
Story arcs Edit
As with the preceding three seasons, Series 4 incorporated several ongoing story arcs which were resolved in the finale episodes. In Series 4 these threads included: Donna Noble's evolution, Rose Tyler's attempts to return to her original world and the Doctor, the disappearance of bees from planet Earth, recurring references to planets and moons disappearing, and the coming of "the Darkness", mainly represented by the attempts of the Daleks and Davros to wipe out all reality. Additionally, most episodes include a running gag: namely, that people keep mistaking the Doctor and Donna for a couple.
|N/A||Time Crash||Steven Moffat||Graeme Harper||Return of the Fifth Doctor|
Christmas special Edit
|N/A||Voyage of the Damned||Russell T Davies||James Strong||First appearance of Wilfred Mott. Dedicated to Verity Lambert.|
Regular series Edit
|1||Partners in Crime||Russell T Davies||James Strong||Return of Donna Noble, Sylvia Noble and Wilfred Mott. First appearance of Rose Tyler since Doomsday. The character Geoff Noble is implied to have died, due to the sudden passing of Howard Attfield mid-production. All scenes with Attfield were re-shot to feature Bernard Cribbins as Donna's grandfather in place of her father.|
|2||The Fires of Pompeii||James Moran||Colin Teague||Foretelling of the events in the final three episodes of Series 4; Peter Capaldi and Karen Gillan's first character roles on the series.|
|3||Planet of the Ood||Keith Temple||Graeme Harper||Reappearance of the Ood. First appearance of Ood Sigma. Fortelling of the Tenth Doctor's ultimate fate.|
|4 & 5||The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky||Helen Raynor||Douglas Mackinnon||Reintroduction of the Sontarans, return of Martha Jones. Second brief cameo of Rose Tyler.|
|6||The Doctor's Daughter||Stephen Greenhorn||Alice Troughton||First and only appearance of Jenny. Martha Jones leaves the TARDIS once again.|
|7||The Unicorn and the Wasp||Gareth Roberts||Graeme Harper||Doctor Who's take on Agatha Christie's disappearance.|
|8 & 9||Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead||Steven Moffat||Euros Lyn||Introduction of River Song. Subsequent death of River Song, though her soul is digitally preserved in the the Library. Debut of a future sonic screwdriver model with a red setting.|
|10||Midnight||Russell T Davies||Alice Troughton||Companion-lite episode; Catherine Tate's role as Donna Noble is minimal. Third brief cameo of Rose Tyler.|
|11||Turn Left||Russell T Davies||Graeme Harper||Return of the Bad Wolf meme and Rose Tyler. Doctor-lite episode.|
|12 & 13||The Stolen Earth / Journey's End||Russell T Davies||Graeme Harper||Reintroduction of Davros. Return of Martha Jones, Jack Harkness, Sarah Jane Smith, Mickey Smith, and Jackie Tyler. First direct crossover with Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Last regular appearances of Donna Noble, Sylvia Noble and Wilfred Mott. Final appearance & death of Harriet Jones. Creation of Meta-Crisis Doctor. The Doctor pairs Rose with his meta-crisis duplicate and leaves them to enjoy life in Pete's World.|
|NA||Music of the Spheres||Russell T Davies||Euros Lyn||Shown during the BBC Proms season|
Sometimes referred to "Series 4b," the "David Tennant Specials" and the "2009 Specials," five special episodes following the regular season were broadcast at Christmas 2008, Easter 2009, November 2009, Christmas 2009 and New Year's Day 2010. These four shows (the last two broadcasts were a single two-part story) were overseen by Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, but long-term line producer Phil Collinson did not return for them. All starred David Tennant. For these, the Doctor was travelling alone, with each story featuring a one-off companion.
There had been conflicting reports given as to why a year was taken off. Initial media reports suggested this was to allow David Tennant to perform a season of Shakespeare during the time a regular season would have normally entered production. However, these reports were directly contradicted in Russell T Davies' book Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, which has correspondence from the spring of 2007, months before the gap year plan was announced. Davies indicated the intent was to take the series off for a year, except for a few specials, to let the new production team make its transition. Davies had already informed the BBC that he would not executive-produce a fifth season.
Exactly how to refer to these specials is a matter of some debate. Aside from informal terms such as "2009 Special" or "Gap Year", it is known that Planet of the Dead was considered Episode 15 of Series 4 by the production team, as revealed by David Tennant in his video diary of the episode's read through, and The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter shows the specials were all numbered 4.X. On the DVD/Blu-ray release of the four specials plus The Next Doctor (in a box set titled The Complete Specials), a bonus feature of deleted scenes was entitled Series 4 Specials Deleted Scenes.
2008-10 Specials Edit
|Title||Writer||Director||Number of episodes||Notes|
|1||The Next Doctor||Russell T Davies||Andy Goddard||1||Return of the Cybermen.|
|2||Planet of the Dead||Russell T Davies & Gareth Roberts||James Strong||1||Reappearance of U.N.I.T.. Revealing of the "he will knock four times" prophecy.|
|3||The Waters of Mars||Russell T Davies & Phil Ford||Graeme Harper||1||Dedicated to Barry Letts. Reappearance of Ood Sigma, seen in a vision.|
|4||The End of Time||Russell T Davies||Euros Lyn||2||Last regular appearance of the Tenth Doctor and first appearance of the Eleventh. Reappearance of the Master, Rassilon, the High Council of Time Lords, Ood Sigma and many of the Tenth Doctor's companions. Final appearance of Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who proper, continuing to appear in her spin-off until passing away in 2011.|
Animated special Edit
|NA||Dreamland||Phil Ford||Gary Russell||First Doctor Who story produced entirely in 3-D computer animation.|
Dreamland was a serialised animated story initially made available on the BBC's Red Button service before being televised in December 2009. Its writer has stated it takes place after the events of The Waters of Mars but it is not officially considered one of the Specials.
Other productions Edit
- David Tennant appeared as the Doctor in a two-part episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures entitled The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith. This is not considered one of the 2009 Specials.
- A 3-minute Doctor Who skit featuring John Barrowman with a cameo by David Tennant out of character aired as part of the Tonight's the Night talent series.
- In December 2009, Tennant appeared as the Doctor in a series of brief Christmas idents produced for BBC One and BBC America.
Adaptations and merchandising Edit
Home media Edit
DVD and Bluray Edit
All episodes of Series 4 were released between 2008 and 2010. It was also included in the Doctor Who: Complete Series 1-7 Bluray boxset, released on November 5, 2013 in the US and November 4th, 2013 in the UK, split into the "Complete Fourth Series" and "The Complete Specials" sets respectively.
Of note, the inclusion of "The Next Doctor" on the Complete Specials Bluray set makes this story the first standard-definition Doctor Who story to be upscaled for high-definition.
|name|| Number and duration|
|R2 release date||R4 release date||R1 release date|
| Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned|
Voyage of the Damned
| 1 x 8 min.|
1 x 72 min.
|10 March 2008||20 June 2008|
| Doctor Who: Series 4, Volume 1|
Partners in Crime
The Fires of Pompeii
Planet of the Ood
| 2 x 50 min.|
1 × 45 min.
|2 June 2008||7 August 2008|
| Doctor Who: Series 4, Volume 2|
The Sontaran Stratagem /
The Poison Sky
The Doctor's Daughter
The Unicorn and the Wasp
|4 × 45 min.||7 July 2008||4 September 2008|
| Doctor Who: Series 4, Volume 3|
Silence in the Library /
Forest of the Dead
|3 × 45 min.||4 August 2008||2 October 2008|
| Doctor Who: Series 4, Volume 4|
The Stolen Earth /
| 1 x 50 min.|
1 × 45 min.
1 x 65 min.
|1 September 2008||6 November 2008|
|Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series|| 1 x 8 min.|
1 x 72 min.
9 x 45 min.
3 x 50 min.
1 x 65 min.
|17 November 2008||4 December 2008||18 November 2008|
| Doctor Who: The Next Doctor|
The Next Doctor
Music of the Spheres
| 1 x 60 min.|
1 x 7 min.
|19 January 2009||5 March 2009||15 September 2009|
| Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead|
Planet of the Dead
|1 x 60 min.||29 June 2009||2 July 2009||28 July 2009|
| Doctor Who: 2009 Winter Specials|
The Waters of Mars
The End of Time
| 2 x 60 min.|
1 x 75 min.
|11 January 2010|
| Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars|
The Waters of Mars
|1 x 60 min.||4 February 2010||2 February 2010|
| Doctor Who: The End of Time|
The End of Time
| 1 x 60 min.|
1 x 75 min.
|4 March 2010||2 February 2010|
|Doctor Who: The Complete Specials|| 1 x 8 min.|
4 x 60 min
1 x 75 min.
|11 January 2010||1 July 2010||2 February 2010|
- Main article: Doctor Who - Series 4 - The Specials (soundtrack)
The official soundtrack of the specials was released on 4 October, 2010.
Stories set during this season Edit
- Ghosts of India
- Shining Darkness
- The Doctor Trap
- Beautiful Chaos
- The Eyeless
- Judgement of the Judoon
- The Slitheen Excursion
- Prisoner of the Daleks
- The Taking of Chelsea 426
- The Krillitane Storm
- Code of the Krillitanes
BBC Audio audiobooks Edit
- Pest Control
- The Forever Trap
- The Nemonite Invasion
- The Rising Night
- The Day of the Troll
- The Last Voyage
- Dead Air
Big Finish full-cast audio stories Edit
Promotional trailers Edit
As with previous seasons, trailers were created to promote the season, though this year they were shown in theatres as well as on television in the UK. Of particular note is the second trailer that was released, which utilised unique, specially shot footage of Donna sitting by a camp- or bonfire talking to either an unseen individual or the audience about the Doctor "coming back to save us" and "I'll be ready" interspersed with images of Sontarans, Ood and Daleks. There is no scene like this in any of the episodes; the meaning of "he'll come back to save us" is unknown as there is no circumstance within Series 4 in which Donna would be in such a position to make such a remark.
The other major trailers included another Donna-centric trailer utilising a scene between Donna and Wilfred Mott from Partners in Crime, and a mid-season trailer focusing in part on the return of Rose Tyler in Turn Left.