THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE BBC BROADCAST OF DOCTOR WHO. IF YOU'RE WATCHING IN THE U.S. ON SCI-FI, THIS EPISODE HAS NOT YET AIRED, SO READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WISH TO BE SPOILED!
Having been on tenterhooks for a whole week we finally get some answers as to what The Library is in “Forest of the Dead”.
Donna finds herself in a dream-like parallel world where she quickly finds love with her perfect man and has two young children. Despite mind tricks from the mysterious Doctor Moon, she senses that all is not right. This is quickly confirmed by a meeting with Miss Evangelista, who Donna last saw as a skeleton picked clean of its flesh.
Back at The Library, having momentarily escaped the Vashta Nerada, Professor Song (Alex Kingston) convinces The Doctor to trust her by whispering something in his ear. Having previously been suspicious of her for owning a sonic screwdriver – his sonic screwdriver from the future – he believes her claim that he gave it to her, although he cannot for the life of him fathom out why.
Again having to run from their pursuing enemy, The Doctor learns the origins of the Vashta Nerada, and the significance of the little girl, who is also being watched over by Doctor Moon.
Without wanting to give too much away, it ends comparatively happily for a change. Donna is the only one to be “really, really not alright”, having been unable to find her dreamy husband in reality. The fact that her perfect man was gorgeous, adored her and “hardly ever spoke a word” did not help, and when she asked The Doctor what it said about her he mixed up his reply of “everything” and “nothing”, making her feel especially lousy.
This is evidently not the last we have seen of Professor River Song, and I look forward to The Doctor meeting her in the future. Kingston plays her as a likeable, intelligent, eloquent, headstrong, tenacious woman with a dry sense of humour and an intense love-hate relationship with The Doctor. As to the exact nature of this relationship, there are plenty of hints scattered throughout this episode to keep the online theorists happy for another 900 years.
With regards to the episode preceding “Forest of the Dead” and those which will follow, not since the evolution of the Daleks have I been so impatient to see what happens next.