Silence in the Library
‘Hey, who turned out the lights?’
Broadcast 31st May 2008
Reviewed by DJ Forrest
Written by Steven Moffat
Silence in the Library was the episode where we were first introduced to Professor River Song – the Forest of the Dead, part two of this story, was to be the last time we’d ever see her. However, as time lines go, and Doctor Who is very good with the wibbly wobbly timey-wimey stuff, River Song was to appear in a good many more stories before she would be ‘saved’ by the Doctor.
Remember the diary? And the Sonic screwdriver? And the mention of the Doctor, but so much younger than he was in Silence in the Library, it should come as no surprise to learn that this story was written by Steven Moffat, and where should River Song appear next but during the Eleventh’s era, where we learned all about her story, from Melody to River. So much so, that there are many more stories of her escapades and captures, of her journey’s across the universe, that are being played over on Big Finish these days. Oh how I love Doctor Who!
It's the 51st century, the time of Captain Jack Harkness, the SS Madame de Pompadour, and of course the Vashta Nerada.
One of the great things about Steven Moffat’s stories are that he hits the scare factor out of the ball park. Over the years we’ve been scared by the Weeping Angels, and little kids with gas masks, but the Vashta Nerada are so small, you can’t even see them. Only what they leave behind.
‘Hey who turned out the lights?’
Silence in the Library was a story within a story. On the outside we had the library with the Doctor and Donna, on the inside we had a little girl, her Dad and a strange character full of mystery, known as Dr. Moon. There seemed a slight sinister edge about this particular doctor and it wasn’t until much later that his character was properly revealed. The little girl however played a huge part in the two-part story.
There are many scary monsters in a Steven Moffat story, and this has no exception. What can you do with a creature you cannot see, and only notice when you have more than one shadow following you.
‘Count the Shadows.’
Forest of the Dead reveals so much more about many of the characters in the first part of the story. The young dippy space suited archaeologist who caused more trouble by touching things, spent much of part two talking with Donna behind a black veil. Certainly gave the Woman in Black a whole new scare factor for me, that’s for sure.
The 10th has always been my favourite Doctor and watching these episodes again reminds me why I like him so much. Facial expressions alone, he can be upbeat and dandy one minute, miserable the next, as if he just lost the biggest bet in the library. But whatever you think of the 10th, you can’t argue the fact that in every episode, he’s nearly always RUNNING.