Shhhhh! [Doctor Who – Silence in the Library]

Steven Moffat had a lot riding on ‘Silence in the Library’ – he had to prove that he’s up to the task of taking over Doctor Who in 2010; a dud episode and diehards would crucify him. But judging by the standard he set this week, I don’t think the show has anything to worry about.

Seriously: what an ace instalment. Not only did it have a satisfyingly silly plot about shadow-dwelling, microscopic carnivores chewing away at the residents of a planet-spanning library, it was wonderfully atmospheric. The enormous, deserted library looked fantastic in every sense of the word, and the back half of the episode was delightfully chilling.

The episode also introduced sonic screwdriver-toting archeologist River Song, the Doctor’s great love – only he doesn’t know it yet (it’s his sonic screwdriver she’s toting). I liked her, which is saying something, because I’m usually turned off by characters we’re instantly supposed to fall for; she’s sensible, strong and gutsy (that she’s aptly played by Alex Kingston also helps), though part two has some work to do convincing me she’s a good match with the Doctor.

(I predict she’ll die at the end of next week’s ep, thereby casting a tragic light over her relationship with the Doctor – who’ll later embark on a love affair with her that he’ll know must end with her grisly death.)

Unfortunately it seemed like River sucked up the episode’s “intelligent woman” quotient:  a paint-by-numbers idoitte was first to fall victim to the spooky Vashta Nerada, while Donna became painfully useless and dumb once the action picked up. Fingers crossed she’ll regain her spark when she’s inevitably rescued from peril in next week instalment.

… which I can’t wait for, yaaaaay! What the heck is up with that adorable little girl? Is she an actual girl with weird psychic powers, or isome sort of super-advanced artificial intelligence that moonlights as some sort of security system? Full points to Moffat for his cliffhanger, because it’s a cracker.

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3 Responses to “Shhhhh! [Doctor Who – Silence in the Library]”

  1. Very, very weird ep. But good DW often starts off oddly like that.

    I’m looking forward to Moffat down-camping Davies’, let’s face it, occasionally overbearing light entertainment sensibilities. I’d even go so far as to say I’m looking forward to a straight man being in charge!

  2. Heh, me too. Fluffy Doctor Who is all very well and good, but not all the time. (Not that I mean to imply that all Davies’ episodes are fluffy, I’m just saying.)

  3. […] Last week I wasn’t sure whether the Doctor and Professor River Song made a convincing match; now I am. I believed she’s someone he’ll eventually trust enough to reveal his true name to… though I’m pretty sure they’re lovers, not father and daughter – but with David Tennant you can never tell, I guess. Anyway, I’m genuinely looking forward to Alex Kingston’s inevitable return, most likely in the 2009 specials. […]

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