Saturday, 31 May 2008
Episode 8 - Silence In The Library
The Doctor and Donna arrive in the 51st century at a planet-sized book repository simply called "The Library", summoned by an anonymous request for help on the Doctor's psychic paper. However, they find it completely empty, though the Library's computers claim over "a million million lifeforms" exist. A Node, an information drone with a donated human face attached for communication, warns them to count the shadows. As they try to search for answers, they meet a team of explorers, led by archeologist Professor River Song, who have come to investigate the meaning of the Library's final communication, which states that 4,022 people were saved yet none survived. River Song seems to know the Doctor, has a diary with a cover matching the TARDIS, and even possesses a sonic screwdriver. She will only admit that she will know him in his relative future, refusing to admit more for fear of "spoilers."
The Doctor organizes the team to make sure the area is well lit as he explains that the shadows are occupied by the Vashta Nerada, microscopic carnivorous creatures that use shadows to hunt and latch onto their prey. Before he can fully explain, however, one of the explorers wanders off and is stripped to the bone in moments. The Doctor and Donna learn that the exploration team wears communication devices which link to their nervous systems for thought-based communication. As a side-effect, these devices tend to pick up an imprint of the user at the moment of death, creating a short-lived "Data Ghost" of that person's consciousness.
Curiously, the Library's operations seem to be tied to the imagination of a young girl in the 21st century; she sees the Doctor and Donna through the eyes of a security camera when they first break into central room, the exploration team appear on her television as the Doctor attempts to hack the Library computers, and books fly from the shelves when she fiddles with the television's remote. The girl is under the observation of Dr. Moon, a child psychologist, at the request of her dad, but Dr. Moon insists to the girl that what she imagines is the real world, not her so-called home, even revealing knowledge of the Doctor and Donna. This seems to be tied to the word "CAL", which appears on the Library screens.
The team's investigation is interrupted when a shadow of Vashta Nerada latches onto the pilot, Proper Dave. Although the Doctor attempts to save him by sealing him inside his suit, the creatures manage to get inside, eat him alive, and then animate his suit in order to chase the other explorers. The Doctor attempts to teleport Donna back to the TARDIS while he leads the rest of the team to safety, but something goes wrong in the teleport and Donna fails to materialize properly. As the team races away from the possessed suit, the Doctor is horrified to find a Node with Donna's face on it, which claims that Donna has left the Library and has been "saved". The show ends in a cliffhanger as the Doctor is forced to leave the Node behind, but is trapped by the approaching suit on one side and the Vashta Nerada shadows on the other.
Who Goes Gold
Excluding the Children in Need specials, this is the 50th episode of Doctor Who since the series returned in 2005. Hasn't time flown?
The Big Read
The current holder of the record for being the World's Largest Library is the Library of Congress in America, which holds approximately 29 million books.
Steve Pemberton becomes the second member of The League of Gentlemen to guest star in Doctor Who. Last year Mark Gatiss (who has also written for Doctor Who) guest starred in The Lazarus Experiment.
Steve previously co-starred alongside David Tennant in an episode of the revival of Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased).
The (Other) Two Doctors
Alex Kingston is perhaps best know for playing Dr. Elizabeth Corday in 158 episodes of US medical drama ER.
The Write Stuff
Writer Steven Moffat, who is to take over as Doctor Who's Show Runner and Head Writer, has won both Hugo and Bafta Awards for his previous Doctor Who scripts. Steven is the only writer other than Russell T Davies to have contributed scripts to all four series of the revived show.
The main library scenes for the episode were filmed at Swansea Library and Brangwyn Hall, Swansea.
Weapon Of Choice
The 'squareness gun' used by River Song is similar in function to the one used by Captain Jack in The Doctor Dances.
The cartoon that can be seen on the girl's TV is Pedro & Frankensheep.