What stands out the most in the fourth season is that the new companion doesn’t fall head over heels for the Doctor. Unlike Rose or Martha Jones, she likes traveling the universe even more than she likes the Doctor, which in my mind made her probably the best companion of the modern incarnation of Doctor Who. Which made how she left the show even more tragic. After all, Rose got her Doctor and Martha at least the memory of her travels.
Like the other three seasons of the latest Doctor Who series, season 4 follows the same formula. Some episodes in the past, some in the future, some dealing with threats in the present time. There are hints seeded for future seasons as well as the big finish at the end (after the Master from last season’s finish they went back to the same old well from season one and two). My favorite episodes where the two-parter in the library planet, which is just too lovely a concept not to like (and the enemies there were pretty cool, if a bit too far-fetched for good science fiction). Not that being far fetched is all that unusual for the series.
Most of the time Doctor Who is completely over the top, campy, loud, ridiculous, even childish. This is a science fiction series whose science works like magic, whose technobabble is bullshit to even the most dense of its viewers. The historical episodes are pain-inducing to everyone who takes his history seriously, the future episodes are a thinly veiled present-day reality stuffed full with SF-gadgets that can hardly conceal that most visited futures don’t make a lick of sense.
Despite all this, each and every season so far has successfully sucked me in and each time when the finale came around I sat there, watching like an awestruck kid. It’s pompous, full of comic book science, but man can it be fun.