Partners In Crime
First broadcast 5/4/2008 starring David Tennant
I’ll come to the story in a minute but there are three scenes in this episode that are truly up there with my all time favourite moments in Whostory. Let’s talk about the return of Rose first.
What a move on behalf of Russell T Davies. What an audacious and floor-bangingly amazing move. I say “floor-banging” ‘cos that’s exactly what I did when ‘ole Bills suddenly appeared. I. Just. Could. Not. Believe. It. Aside from the shock of seeing her back, and chatting with Cathy T there was the element of, “How the eff did they keep that quiet????”
Surprises in Doctor Who are always fun (well, nearly always) and this was a doozy. I say “fun”, however, her appearance was eerie and slightly scary – what was she doing there? It didn’t feel rejoiceful, more mournful, if anything. Anyway, a great Who moment; a Whoment.
Elsewhere, the seconds where The Doctor and Donna are reunited is sublime. Apart from my unbridled joy at seeing them together (I really didn’t want her to go at the end of The Runaway Bride so her return was a dream come true), Tennant and Tate revealed an hilarious chemistry as they mimed at each other through the windows. Exquisitely played, written and shot.
And what about Bernard Cribbins? How lovely to have him back, and tragic given the circumstances. The Cribbotron seems to embody Doctor Who beautifully, wonderfully old and impeccable youthful. His exuberance at seeing his granddaughter in the TARDIS is a real tear~maker. As his emotional chat with Donna, the elder statesman of television still knows his acting skills and how to deploy them.
With the triumvirate of Davey T, Cathy T and Berny C, Doctor Who was utterly spoiled for quality (not to mention Rusty D) but Partners In Crime had more to back it up. Jacqueline King made for a formidable mother (Sylvia Noble) just as Sarah Lancashire made for an even more formidable care giver – an intergalactic bad Mary Poppins.
And just how cute were the Adipose!?
One of the features of the episode I thoroughly appreciate is the fact that its not a simple Earth invasion story – it’s not an invasion at all. It’s a “use the the fatties and leave” kinda story, not your archetypal alien tale.
As an opener, Partners In Crime is a belter and is such solid fun throughout with those scenes I mentioned really consolidating this story as an absolute gem for me. It rewards on a number of different levels (though I’m sure my downstairs neighbour doesn’t appreciate it like I do).