Doctor Who: Season 4, Episode 9: Silence in the Library  » TV  »
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  • One of the more interesting aspects of this episode was the parallel plot line with a little girl who is supposedly seeing the aforementioned library in her head
  • Even Donna seems shaken by the experience
  • I think she's giving second season Dana Scully a run for her money in the sucks to be me department


    • by David Finniss

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      After a light-hearted, comedic episode, the show dives right into nightmare fuel territory with this episode. I’m surprised this doesn’t get more regard as it was fantastic. It probably ranks as one of the creepiest episodes of the series so far. Honestly, it puts “Blink” to shame, and I rather liked “Blink”.

      As the episode opens, the Doctor and Donna arrive in a planet-sized library, the largest in the universe. It seems like a dream come true for avid readers. This sentiment comes through when the Doctor delivers a speech about how awesome books are and how they will endure even when it seems like technology wants to leave them behind. Of course, whatever joy one might have by visiting such a location and admiring all the glorious bookshelves is negated when they find themselves under attack from a bizarre alien race.

      This episode is notable for introducing the recurring character of River Song. I have to admit,


      it was kind of weird seeing her interact with Ten. Every episode that I’ve seen her in had her dealing with Tennant’s successor, Matt Smith. It’s not the episode’s fault, but it did take some getting used to. There was a bit of foreshadowing regarding her relationship with the Doctor. As if that wasn’t enough, you could almost hear “I am the Doctor” playing in some of the sequences. It’s not quite the iconic tune, but there is some similarity.

      One of the more interesting aspects of this episode was the parallel plot line with a little girl who is supposedly seeing the aforementioned library in her head. It adds a surreal element that makes it that much creepier, especially in those rare instances where she and the Doctor interact. To say nothing of the wham line when the psychiatrist tells her that her world is a lie and that the library is real.


      • Honestly, I was just expecting them to explain it as some sort of powerful psychic link, but from the looks of it, it’s a bit more complex than that.

        One scene that really stood out was the initial “data-ghosting” scene after one of River’s fellow archaeologists gets killed by the menacing aliens. It’s explained through techno-babble (of course, they can’t introduce supernatural elements), but it is still extremely unnerving in any event. Even Donna seems shaken by the experience. It’s a wonder that she’s still doing this as almost every episode has her witness or do something that would seemingly break a person or turn them off of time travelling for good. I think she’s giving second season Dana Scully a run for her money in the “sucks to be me” department.

        Things go from bad to worse as the Doctor finds out at the episode’s cliffhanger ending.

        This is the show at its best. I think it

        may very well be the best episode of the season. I could even go so far as to rank it as one of my all time favorites. I was glued to the edge of my seat for almost the entire runtime. I easily call this a must watch. It’s executed perfectly and I honestly can’t find anything to nitpick about. Well, aside from my reluctance to ever go near a library again. I think we figured out why kids don’t go there anymore. It’s not video games or television (well, it sort of is television, but not in the way that most people mean it), but instead its the simple fact that they saw this episode and called it quits after that.

        I really can’t wait to dive into part 2 as I’m hyped to see how this all wraps up. It should be interesting and hopefully it’s just as creepy and unsettling as this was.




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