Doctor Who: Silence in the Library

Recap

When the Doctor and Donna visit the galaxy’s ultimate library, something seems amiss- libraries are meant to be quiet, but that doesn’t mean they’re usually empty and devoid of life. There’s something hiding in the shadows, but with an expedition led by the enigmatic Professor River Song to deal with, will the Doctor be able to figure out what’s going on before someone gets killed? And just how is the library connected to the vivid imagination of one little girl?

Alien, Planet and Tech Guide

  • Vashta Nerada: flesh-eating creatures that can exist within any shadow, they dwell within the darkness and strip their prey down to the bones within seconds. They are present on many planets (Earth included), explaining the primal fear of the dark.
  • Neural link devices: a communications device containing a neural relay, this can retain an imprint of the user even after they die. As the power reduces, the imprint loses mental cohesion, degrading into repeating a handful of words and syllables.
  • The Library: an immense library containing every work ever published circa c.50. The information is stored in the form of old-fashioned books, but the Library is also equipped with computer systems, security cameras and helper androids with flesh faces donated by various patrons. Bizarrely enough, the computer core of the Library appears to be connected to or perhaps synonymous with a little girl who lives an otherwise ordinary life.

Episode Thoughts

I must admit that overall I rather enjoyed this episode for both its creepiness and the various threads running through it; yes, the expendables were even less charming than usual and the little girl is just bizarre, but I like the setting, the shadows and the mystery behind River Song and her association with the Doctor (in her past, his future). I’ve largely enjoyed Moffat’s contributions to the series above and beyond the average Who episode, and this instalment was no exception- here’s hoping that part two isn’t a letdown.

Notes and Nitpicks (renamed to better suit its purpose)

  • It’s time to discuss Professor River Song, a possible time traveller who seems to be very close to the future Doctor- just who is she? Since she claims not to have seen the Doctor so ‘young’, we can perhaps rule out anyone the Doctor has met before, such as previous Companions, Jenny, Susan, the Master and so forth. She might be a future Doctor herself, although her personality, gaps in her knowledge, lack of TARDIS and the need to call the Doctor for help seem to refute this theory (then again, she does have a sonic screwdriver). Are they setting her up to be a future companion, love interest or family member?
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3 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Silence in the Library

  1. I enjoyed it for much the same reasons, though I must admit I was grinding my teeth in the last few minutes with all the phrase repetition.

    Note we’ve got another academic title in the series with River Song – Master, Doctor and Professor.

    I don’t think she can be a future Doctor – I doubt the Doctor would make a habit of (is even capable of?) hanging around with his past or future selves.

    My bet is a future companion or Captain Jack-eqsue person if she’s still around by the end of next episode, or some figment of the Library and all its saved people otherwise.

  2. Yes, they did overdo it a bit with the repetition- and was “ice-cream” supposed to have any significance?

    There have been one-offs in the past where various Doctors got together but it probably isn’t ‘good’ for the spacetime continuum for them to travel for any length of time. Anyway, the more I think about it, the less likely that theory sounds. Bearing in mind that Moffat will be head writer from next season onwards, he probably wrote her in as a character he wants to use in the future.

  3. Pingback: Doctor Who - S04E09 - Forest of the Dead « Forestdragon’s Weblog

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