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Home > Series 4 Reviews > Partners in Crime

Guest Reviews
of Partners in Crime

The Doctor is on his own. He decides to investigate the mysterious 'Adipose
Industries', the company behind a new revolutionary weight loss pill. Meanwhile his old friend Donna has decided to investigate 'Adipose Industries', the company behind a new revolutionary weight loss pill...

Generally I've always disliked the first episode of any new series, with the exception of 'Rose'. They have a job to do of course. Something pacey and fun, something to lead you into a new series. 'Human Nature' would never work as a season opener for example.


On watching 'Partners In Crime' for the first time I was left disappointed. After a slow and boring first half it became a kids adventure story, something that would fit 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' perfectly. OK 'Smith & Jones' and 'New Earth' were light and frothy, but this plumbed new depths.

Of course even with the worst Who stories there is usually something to find in there that's worthwhile watching. The Doctor and Donna meeting each other again was very funny. David Tennant was his usual exceptional self, and Catherine Tate looks like she will be a fantastic companion. Bernard Cribbins was great and I hope we see lots more of him. And there was the surprise at the end!

But I couldn't rid myself of the feeling that something wasn't right...

On second viewing I think my initial expectations had been distorted, and with the right frame of mind I found myself enjoying it that much more. Many of the jokes that on first viewing I thought had been tired and old, seemed that much funnier. The Adipose seemed to make more sense. In fact the whole story seemed to more of a point to it.

I wouldn't list the story as one of my favourites but with the right frame of mind, the story can be enjoyed for what it is.

Review by Jay from Bristol

Hitting Your Targets

Whatever people want to say about Russel T Davies, you can't deny that what he sets out to achieve, he achieves. His skill is in perfectly crafting a story which hits a target he sets himself. Regardless of whether people think he's right or wrong to lead the series or certain stories in the direction he does, no-one can say for one second that he's a bad writer.

In Partners in Crime, his objective was to centre the story around the reunion of Donna and the Doctor, and allow us to warm to that relationship and to her as a companion. In this respect the episode is a total success, due in no small part to phenomenal performance of Catherine Tate. Donna is instantly one of the most likeable companions in Doctor Who's history and the nay-sayers deserve to be as ashamed of themselves as they were when the pre-judged Billie Piper. Catherine Tate's delivered a stunning performance and is so accomplished as to completely overshadow the already distant memory of Martha.

The rest of the plot is secondary, as with previous season-openers. It is pretty thin really, and would have not seemed amiss if it had been one of the Sarah Jane Adventures. After the first twenty minutes I was becoming extremely bored and the office espionage was eroding my patience. However, one the inspired scene of Donna miming through the glass to the Doctor had arrived, the whole episode came to life. Great set-pieces, amusing dialogue, and one hell of a fantastic spaceship sequence to cap it all off.

I had seen the Adipose creatures in advance and my heart sank. However once shown in context they were fine. In fact more than fine, I really liked them! Innocently horrific and totally bewildering. A fascinating take on the usual alien story. No-one can accuse RTD of being unoriginal either.

For anyone who bemoans the particular style of the season opener you have to ask yourself - What would you expect? A story which is so layered in plot that the Doctor and companion vanish in the background? An emotionally harrowing tear-jerker? An all-out end-of-the-world spectacular? You can't play all your cards at the start of the season, or you have nothing to hold back for the finale.

I think that with the possible exception of using a two-parter to kick off, Russell T Davies plays is exactly right, with a character-heavy, fun story which can be nicely enjoyed by the whole demographic and leave everyone anticipating the real ride to come...

Review by Murphy from Staines

Next episode - The Fires of Pompeii

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