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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
Doctor Who series 4 volume 2 contains four episodes. I know alot of people have given Catherine Tate (very unfair) stick, I think she is great as Donna Noble in Doctor Who and has an excellent on screen chemistry with David Tennant.

The first story is the two parter The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky which sees the return of the Sontarans (who appeared in...
Published on 23 Jun. 2008 by David

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a 3 story disc.
I think they've made a mistake here, tacking on the wonderful Agatha Christie related story, almost as an afterthought on the end of the three Martha episodes.
The Unicorn and the Wasp is far superior (in my view) to the preceding stories, and would have fitted in much better with the two stories following it, about the library.
The actress playing Agatha...
Published on 8 July 2008 by Music Lover.


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 23 Jun. 2008
By 
David (SPECTRE Island) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Doctor Who series 4 volume 2 contains four episodes. I know alot of people have given Catherine Tate (very unfair) stick, I think she is great as Donna Noble in Doctor Who and has an excellent on screen chemistry with David Tennant.

The first story is the two parter The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky which sees the return of the Sontarans (who appeared in the classic stories The Time Warrior, The Sontaran Experiment, The Invasion Of Time and The Two Doctors). Also making a very welcome return is Martha Jones superbly played by Freema Agyeman. This story moves at a cracking pace with UNIT playing a major part. It's just like the good old days in the Jon Pertwee era.

Next up is the much hyped Doctor's Daughter. I have to say that I didn't enjoy this story very much. The plot was rather predictable with an obvious ending. I have a nasty feeling we havn't seen the last of the "Doctor's Daughter".

Things were back on track with The Unicorn And The Wasp in which the Doctor meets Agatha Christie. Now I am a great Christie fan and it was nice to count all the book titles included in the script. I even own a copy of the book Death In The Clouds with the giant wasp on the cover (painted by popular cover artist Tom Adams).

This is the vanilla edition with no extras but it does not spoil your enjoyment - great stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sontarans, The Doctor's Daughter and Agatha Christie!, 27 July 2008
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
This is the second instalment of the fourth season of Doctor Who, featuring 4 episodes starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Catherine Tate as his companion Donna Noble.

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky is an excellent, action-packed 2-parter, which sees the return of the Sontarans to the show after a 20 year absence, as they were last seen in `The Two Doctors' in 1985. It also sees the return of Martha Jones, who has now joined UNIT. There is plenty to enjoy here - loads of good set-pieces, some lovely moments featuring Grandad Wilf, played by Berbard Cribbins, and I really like the new re-design of the Sontarans. Admittedly, they're not the most menacing aliens to date, but they're funny and obsessed with war. Christopher Ryan is awesome as General Staal. 9/10

The Doctor's Daughter comes next, and well, I'll be honest, this episode really wasn't my cup of tea, despite some really good performances from David and Catherine. But, sadly, the story feels underdeveloped and rushed and feels some downright awful/cheesey moments. Georgia Moffet, real-life daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison is decent as Jenny, but ultimately the character and premise do not manage to live up to the premise, because with a better script the idea could have worked brilliantly. Ah well, at least we get some lovely descriptions of Time Lords and Gallifrey. 5/10

The Unicorn and the Wasp is also concluded, and is probably a bit of a love/hate episode. Personally, I absolutely loved it. It has a wonderful ensemble cast who all play to their roles brilliantly, and a brilliant, witty script from Gareth Roberts that delivers probably some of the funniest scenes in Doctor Who's 45-year history. Fenella Woolgar is the perfect Agatha Christie, and the whole 1920's murder-mystery setting is a real treat and suits the feel of Doctor Who superbly. One of my very favourites. 10/10.

So an enjoyable romp of a two-parter, a bit of a clunker and a bonafide classic. A worthwhile purchase, especially if you're not holding out for the boxset in November.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Sontar-Ha!' - The Sontarans return to attack the Earth, the Doctor's daughter and a murder mystery with Agatha Christie, 5 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
As you probably gathered on the front cover, this DVD contains episodes featuring the return of the Sontarans to the new series of `Doctor Who'. But more on that later as this DVD contains four very enjoyable episodes - including a two-parter and two oners. The second volume of the fourth series of `Doctor Who' is a true delightful treasure.

`THE SONTARAN STRATEGEM' (Part 1)

This two-part story has many returns coming back into `Doctor Who'.

Firstly there's the return of former companion Martha Jones (played by Freema Agyeman). She's now a qualified doctor and is working for U.N.I.T. since she finished travelling with the Doctor. I remember being thrilled with delight when Martha Jones was coming back to `Doctor Who' since it seemed such a shame she left so abruptly at the end of Series Three, and it's nice to have a final pay-off for the Doctor with a former companion and friend. Martha meets Donna Noble for the first time, and the two of them get on like a house on fire which I was very pleased about since Donna doesn't have any romantic interest in the Doctor whatsoever and there doesn't have to be a cat-fight between her and Martha (unlike the one between Rose and Sarah Jane in `School Reunion').

Secondly there's the return of U.N.I.T. (the Unified Intelligence Taskforce) that the Doctor worked so long ago back in the 70s - or was it the 80s (reference to the U.N.I.T. Dating Controversy for Doctor Who fans). The Doctor is rather uncomfortable joining up with U.N.I.T. again since he doesn't like people with guns. This branch of U.N.I.T. is led by Colonel Mace (played by Rupert Holliday-Evans) along with his second in command Captain Marian Price (played by Bridget Hodson). The Doctor initially doesn't take a liking to them even though they admire him for what he did back in the old days. Also the Doctor doesn't like them saluting him whenever he's around. Like the Doctor, I wished the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) had returned to `Doctor Who'. I'm glad a reference is made to him, though he was stranded in Peru which was annoying. The Doctor gets on well with Private Ross Jenkins (played by Christian Cooke), which I was glad about since there's at least someone in U.N.I.T. he takes a liking to. Even when Luke Rattigan calls Ross a U.N.I.T. `grunt', the Doctor readily comes to Ross' deference saying `he's nice'.

Most importantly however, is that this story features the return of the Doctor's oldest foes - the potato-headed Sontarans. As I getting to know about `Doctor Who', I first came across the Sontarans in the Colin Baker story 'The Two Doctors' and eventually later on in 'The Time Warrior' with Jon Pertwee, Here, the Sontarans are played by Christopher Ryan and Dan Starkey. Christopher Ryan plays General Stall of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet. Chris Ryan is superb as the Sontaran general as he manages to get the militaristic and bombastic nature of the Sontarans across with their love of war and their code of conduct in battle. The same is said for Dan Starkey who obviously enjoys playing a Sontaran in this - Commander Skorr. I've had the DVD cover signed for this recently by Dan Starkey, and he seems such a nice chap. He's had the opportunity to play more Sontarans recently with Matt Smith as Strax, and in Big Finish playing Sontarans in stories such as `The Five Companions', 'The First Sontarans' and 'Starlight Robbery'.

This story also features Bernard Cribbins returning as Wilfred Mott, Donna's granddad; and Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble. I love it when Wilfred's reunited with Donna and she tells him about the wonderful adventures she's had, both keeping it a secret from Donna's mum. I was absolutely over the moon when Wilfred meets the Doctor for the first time and recognizes him from 'Voyage of the Damned'. I also found it very when Sylvia recognises the Doctor for ill reasons during 'The Runaway Bride' and gets apprehensive when the Doctor inteferes with the ATMOS system on the car and blows it up when gas comes out. I thought it extremely funny when it's Sylvia who saves Donna's granddad at the beginning of the second episode of this story `The Poison Sky' when she uses an axe to smash the car window when he was trapped inside. Brilliant stuff.

This story of course is about U.N.I.T. investigating mysterious deaths connected to the Atmospheric Omission Systems (ATMOS) in people's cars, and Martha enlisting the Doctor and Donna's help to find out what's going on. They eventually come across Luke Rattigan, inventor of ATMOS who's working with the Sontarans. Pretty soon, the ATMOs systems in the cars get activated and poisonous gases exhumed choking the Earth by polluting its atmosphere. It all goes crazy and deadly serious as the world is poisoned by the end of the first episode.

'THE POISON SKY' (Part 2)

By the second episode, the Doctor has to find a way to stop the Earth being choked to death and understand why the Sontarans are using this sort of method to change the Earth's atmosphere. It soon becomes clear to the Doctor that the Sontarans intend to use the Earth as their new ground for cloning troops in the war against their enemies the Rutans and they have to change the atmosphere to do it. The Doctor has to enlist Donna's help in order to stop them as well as save Martha after she's been cloned to serve the Sontaran cause.

This episode also features young actor Ryan Sampson playing Luke Rattigan, in charge of ATMOs and working with the Sontarans. Luke is an opposite to the Doctor in that he's a genius and seems frustrated with the whole world not being clever as he is. When he works with the Sontarans, he's hoping to take his academy of youths to a new planet to start afresh when the whole world has been choked to death. Eventually however Luke discovers he's been backstabbed by the Sontarans and is agonisingly upset and betrayed. Luke soom redeems himself when he takes the Doctor's place in order to stop the Sontarans.

Ryan Sampson plays the part of Luke remarkably well and he certainly seems to enjoy playing egotistical youths with mad obsessions for a glorious future. Recently Ryan's playing alongside Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton in Big Finish audios playing the same sort of characters including '1963: Fanfare for the Common Men' and 'The Elite'. One wonders if he's ever played some nice characters aside from the bad ones.

Donna's very good in this story, as she gets to work on her own without the Doctor when she's visiting her family or when she gets teleported by mistake in the TARDIS to the Sontaran ship. She uses Martha's mobile to keep in touch with her family as well as the Doctor who gives her instructions to help him to stop the Sontarans. She even gets to use a mallet to know a Sontaran on the back of the neck with the probic vent. Donna truly shows her mettle in this story in being a companion, particularly when she discovers that people working in the ATMOS factory don't take any sick days which raises some clues to solving the mystery. This story allows Donna to put her temping skills to good use. Even when she's doubting herself and the Doctor reassures her, she still manages to do the things she wouldn't ordinary do in a dangerous situation.

`The Sontaran Strategem'/'The Poison Sky' is a very good comeback for the Sontarans and a lovely return for Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones. Written superbly by Helen Raynor (who was Doctor Who's script editor for the new series), this two-parter is definitely an action-packed and fun-filled adventure worth to enjoy. And I find it difficult to get the Sontarans' war-chant/catchphrase out of my head when they go `Sontar-Ha! Sonta-Ha!"

At the end of `The Poison Sky', the Doctor and Donna are ready to set off for new adventures and Martha ready to settle back down to Earth with her new fiancée, before the TARDIS shut on them. The TARDIS goes out of control and takes off. The Doctor, Donna and Martha have no idea where they're going, only that the TARDIS is taking them on a new adventure.

`THE DOCTOR'S DAUGHTER'

Following on from `The Poison Sky', the Doctor, Donna and Martha find themselves on the planet Messaline in the far future where war rages between the human race and a fish-like species called the Hath. The Doctor gets a tissue-sample taken from him when he's forced to put his hand through a progenation machine and it processes him. The process genetically creates the birth of a new female soldier - the Doctor's daughter Jenny (played by none other than the daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison - Georgia Moffett).

I must admit I rather disappointed with the outcome of the story's title. I thought we were going to get to meet the Doctor's actual daughter who luckily managed to escape the Time War. Possibly this would be the mother of the Doctor's granddaughter Susan. Instead we get a genetically modified being made in a mission created from the tissue sample of the Doctor's, which technically makes her the Doctor's daughter. I couldn't help but feel rather cheated with this, as I'm sure many of the fans were at the time.

In saying that however, Georgia Moffett's brilliant in this and seems so lovely to watch. I was very pleased with the casting choice they made to actually cast a family member of one of the previous Doctors - Peter Davison (who previously appeared in the wonderful Children-In-Need special 'Time-Crash'). David Tennant began dating Georgia which had led recently to them being married - something I'm still getting my head round.

The story between the Doctor and his new daughter is really touching and moving. Even though the Doctor's resistant to the idea of Jenny being her daughter, he gradually grows to accept her despite her flaws in terms of being a soldier. Donna is especially good in persuading the Doctor to accept her daughter as she gets to learn more about him being a father before and is reluctant to start a family again.

The end of this story was heartbreaking when Jenny gets shot by General Cobb as she stands in front of the Doctor's defence. It's very moving when the Doctor has his final moments with her before she died. Eventually the Doctor leaves Jenny for a burial by the human on Messaline and takes Martha back home before he can continue having adventures with Donna.

However, Jenny manages to survive after the terraforming process of Messaline affects her and is brought back to life with regenerative energy. She soon gets away in a rocket/space ship and has adventures on her own, `saving planets; fighting monsters and doing an awful lot of running'. It begs to wonder what's happened to Jenny now. I hope we do get to see Jenny again since it's a mystery that's lingered on to this day.

`THE UNICORN AND THE WASP'

If I was to title one of the daftest episodes in `Doctor Who' ever, then it's got to be this one. A story set in the 1920s where the Doctor and Donna meet Agatha Christie at a country house and they fight a giant wasp. Come on! Get real!

Before watching this, I'd seen my favourite Doctor Who story 'Black Orchid' with Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse. It was around the same time that I watched `Black Orchid' that this story `The Unicorn and the Wasp' was shown on TV. Obviously the production term thought why not make another Doctor Who like `Black Orchid' set in the 1920s English countryside at a country house, only they made it rather bad.

Now don't get me wrong, there are things about this episode I love. I love Fennella Woolgar's casting as Agatha Christie (brilliant casting suggestion by David Tennant apparently who's friends with Fennella). I think Fennella as Agatha Christie is the saving grace of this episode particularly. I also love the rest of the cast including the absolutely lovely Felicity Kendal (who I know as Barbara Good in `The Good Life') as Lady Clemency Edison . There's also Felicity Jones (who I know from the recent production of `Northanger Abbey') as Robina Redmond. Christopher Benjamin, who to Doctor Who fans is known as Henry Gordon Jago in `The Talons of Weng-Chiang', is playing Colonel Hugh Curbishly in this story. And there's also Tom Goodman-Hill playing the vicar Reverend Golightly. A top notch cast in a daft story as this.

To be fair though, Gareth Roberts has come up with a plot that does make sense. Like with 'The Shakespeare Code' before this, Gareth Roberts focuses the story on a certain event during Agatha Christie's life - the day she disappeared. I had seen a film recently about Agatha Christie disappearing on that same day after she discovered her husband was having an affair, and it didn't feature a giant wasp. I think the story would have worked better if they had a proper murder mystery without adding a `wasp' into the mix. I mean the ideas are sound, and it does make a reference to a book with a wasp on the cover called `Death in the Clouds'. There's lots of references to Agatha Christie's works as well inclding titles of books and various phrases used by Hercule Poriot. But on the surface, it does seem rather daft to have a `giant wasp' as the main villain. Also the story seems comedic in certain parts - perhaps too comedic for my liking.

Graeme Harper however manages to direct a piece that is lush, beautiful and as sunny as the 1920s itself. I love the country house settings, the vintage cars and the greens used in the story. It does make you feel wanting to take a sip of champagne or lemonade during a hot day.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate certainly seem to enjoy doing this story, as I'm sure it was refreshing doing a story that was set in the 1920s with Agatha Christie, an historical and also had a bit more humour than certain other stories in the series. Catherine certainly relishes playing Donna in this story, particularly when she goes `Top-ho' or tells the butler to `buttle off'. The Doctor even remarks on the wasp having `buzzed off' after attacking Donna which made me roll my eyes. And I though the scene was very funny when the Doctor's being poisoned and is trying to tell Donna through a mouthful of nuts and ginger beer what he wants. The Doctor asking for something `salty' and Donna gives him `salt' and he says it's too `salty' was very laugh-out-loud and ridiculous indeed.

So all in all, `The Unicorn and the Wasp' isn't as great as `Black Orchid' and it certainly is the daftest episode of `Doctor Who' I've ever seen. But some of its not all that bad. Certainly I've made far more criticisms of this episode compared to how Peter Davision makes criticisms of `Black Orchid', but this story really isn't that bad. If you're in the mood for some comedy drama like Fawlty Towers and Douglas Adams, and certainly if you want an Agatha Christie murder mystery to unravel, you can't go wrong with this one.

This is a good collection of Doctor Who from its fourth series. Brilliant performances from David Tennant and Catherine Tate who seem to be hitting it off well as the new Doctor-companion set up and a fantastic return for Freema Agyeman as Martha as well as the Sontarans. As the Doctor and Donna say...'Onwards!'

The next story is 'Pest Control'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three words: EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT!, 17 Aug. 2008
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Series 4 of the new Doctor Who has been in my opinion, one of the finest series ever. David Tennant remains as brilliant as ever, and if anything changes, it's that he can only get better as time goes on. Catherine Tate, has surprised and amazed me, with her portrayal of Donna Noble in this series, making the character such a credible, efficient and lovable assistant to the Doctor.

All this excellence continues in this fine volume of the fourth series, as Russell T Davies revives another old villainous race from the Doctor's past, introduces more allies and facts from the Time Lord's past (the older series to be exact) and includes some more good old interaction with one of history's greatest figures.

To start of, we have (essentially) a three-part mini-arc that features the welcome (first) return of Martha Jones (the excellent Freema Agyeman) to the series. The two-part episode "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky" shows Martha as now being a fully-qualified doctor and member of modern-day U.N.I.T. (old allies of the Doctor). This features the return of the dreaded Sontarans after a twenty-year absence from our screens, who've arrived with an insidious scheme to dominate the Earth and empower their own empire.

Having never heard of the Sontarans before, I found them to be unique and interesting villains. As with Daleks and Cybermen, Davies works his reinvention magic again, portraying the Sontarans as a notorious threat and enjoyable adversaries. Their leader General Staal is fantastically acted by Christopher Ryan (Mike of Young Ones fame) and the Sontarans' background and purpose are greatly intriguing, thus making for another high-quality episode.

But there are many other things that make this two-parter so outstanding. Such as the somewhat reluctant alliance between the Doctor and U.N.I.T. over ideals and methods, and the superb interaction between Martha and Donna. Those expecting a childish-fight between the two assistants need not worry. I was pleasantly surprised to see Donna and Martha form a fast-friendship and good-heartedly gang up on the Doctor at one point, it makes for fun viewing. Catherine and Freema have such good chemistry with one another, and both their characters develop excellently as a result. Each are given a fair share of the spotlight, with Martha having made quite the life for herself and being subjected to the Sontarans' manipulation, and Donna's torment over whether to tell her family what's she doing, and her courage and companion's role being truly tested for the first time.

After all that, we have what is personally one of my all time favourite episodes, "The Doctor's Daughter", which closes this mini-arc featuring Martha. I really can't understand why there were people who didn't like this episode, as it puts the Doctor in a situation I've never seen him in before and is thus brilliantly presented. Those who've watched the older series will already know that fatherhood is nothing new to the Time Lord, but that doesn't alter anything here, in terms of excellence, character-depth and development.

The character of Jenny (wonderfully portrayed by Georgia Moffett) starts out as being a new soldier that's not likeable, with the Doctor refusing to accept her as his child, and Donna playing the part of peacemaker and helping them both. Jenny's origin is plausibly executed and ties-in nicely with the episode's plot, featuring a war between humans and a new species known as the Hath. As the Doctor tries to stop the fighting, the interaction with Jenny helps him to relate to her in a creative way. The nature of the human/Hath conflict is fascinating, Jenny's development makes her an outstanding character (which I hope we'll see again), Martha's interaction with the Hath is cracking and Donna once again proves how brilliant she is solving things that not even the Doctor can see. All of this coupled with the emotional and surprising ending, makes "The Doctor's Daughter" a true classic.

This volume's final episode on the other hand, "The Unicorn and the Wasp", is without doubt, one of the daftest episodes I've ever seen. In 1926, the Doctor and Donna meet the great Agatha Christie (portrayed by Fenella Woolgar) at a private party, before the night of Christie's real-life disappearance. The premise for this episode, is basically a murder-mystery featuring an infamous jewellery thief known only as "The Unicorn" and yes...a giant wasp.

It is truly one of the daftest episodes ever and just so silly. However, if you can accept that this episode isn't meant to be taken THAT seriously, then there is fun and humour to be found watching this. Fenella Woolgar as Agatha Christie is the highlight here. She portrays the legendary writer so credibly and tying her role here to the real-life disappearance and amnesia is clever. I enjoyed seeing Felicity Kendall appear as well, but all in all, "The Unicorn and the Wasp" is an episode that's perhaps too barmy and sci-fi for its own good.

Overall, the second volume of Doctor Who Series 4 is fantastic. David Tennant remains the man, and Catherine Tate (and the Donna Noble character itself) really starts to emerge as one of the greatest companions ever to the Doctor. There're so many great moments here, excellent guest-appearances and it's essential because of what it means. Given the VERY heavy, psychological nature of the remaining six episodes (which are all major), this volume kind of ends the Series 4 status quo, as it's all horrors, pains and nightmares from here on out.

A truly excellent DVD that reminds us of the brilliance of Russell T Davies' Doctor Who. I'd totally recommend it and have only one thing else to say.

Keep `em comin'!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Hello Dad!", 2 Jun. 2008
By 
TK-1308 - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Doctor Who's fourth season continues with a definite upturn in both quality and direction with the next batch of episodes.
The two part `The Sontaran Stratagem' and `The Poison Sky' sees the return of those classic Who villains to plague our Timelord once again. Martha calls The Doctor back to Earth when a UNIT operation to infiltrate and shut down ATMOS satellite navigation systems goes ahead. The simultaneous crashing of cars around the world, all using ATMOS, and a series of unexplained events lead UNIT to believe that there is an extraterrestrial presence behind the system.
The story is not too bad but there are several problems with the execution. While it's nice to see the Sontarans again, they don't seem to do much, plotting and scheming in the shadows rather than just fighting it out. The battle between the Sontarans and UNIT forces was quite good but too short and it never gave you the feeling that the Sontarans were a great military power. The final sequence has been lifted right out of `Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' or for those that remember it, `The Centurions' episode `The Sky Is On Fire' and as such it feels like a cheap end to what could've been a great dramatic moment.
The writers also seem to have turned Martha from the strong character we saw develop throughout season three to a more ineffectual, two dimensional and screaming emotional sidekick which is a real shame. Great to see Bernard Cribbins back again though and his moments with both Donna and The Doctor are excellent.
`The Doctor's Daughter' is a nice and well plotted self contained episode. The TARDIS deposits The Doctor, Martha and Donna on the war torn planet of Messaline. They are captured by soldiers and a tissue sample is taken from the Doctor in order to generate a clone soldier, his `daughter'. When Martha is captured by the amphibious Hath, The Doctor tries to unravel the cause of the war, while dealing with the sudden shock of becoming a `father' again.
The story is well written and gives an insight into The Doctor who has previously only mentioned his family in passing. His reaction to Genny (played by 5th Doctor Peter Davison's daughter!) is excellent and the interplay between him, Genny and Donna is hilarious. The Hath are one of the best alien creations of the series to date and the relationship that develops between Martha and Peck is touching.
The end of the story is rather predictable but still entertaining and no doubt the ramifications of this will return at a later date.
`The Unicorn And The Wasp' is quite possibly the best episode of the current season to date. The Doctor and Donna arrive in 1920's England at a garden party where one of the guests is none other than Agatha Christie! When a murder occurs in the house, the Doctor, Donna and Agatha find themselves trying to uncover who the killer is before more people meet an untimely end.
This is classic Who stuff and has been written by someone with an obvious passion for Christie novels (see how many titles you can spot!) and a great murder mystery. The pre-titles sequence is a hilarious parody of Cluedo and the story satisfies on all levels. The CGI is up to its usual standard and used to good effect and the whole episode feels like they've finally figured out the formula this year for a damn good Who adventure. Let's have more of the same please!
This season has started to settle down after the tenuous beginning but the writer's still need to tone down the `angry Donna' bit and to stop making jokes about them being taken for a couple, it's beginning to wear thin now as they do it nearly every show.
This collection of episodes stands head and shoulders above the first disc and lets hope that this trend continues to the huge end of season finale that we all know is just on the horizon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Butler Didn't Do It!, 13 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Series Four's first two-hander resurrects those potato-headed martial clones, The Sontarans, for `The Sontaran Stratagem' and `The Poison Sky'. The Sontaran Statagem also features the return of erstwhile companion Martha Jones and The Doctor's old muckers UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce - now Unified Intelligence Taskforce). The plot concerns a plan by the alien invaders to convert the Earth's atmosphere to make it suitable as a breeding-ground for future Sontaran soldiers; the Sontarans are eternally locked in war against their mortal enemies The Rutan (seen in classic Fourth Doctor story `The Horror of Fang Rock' from 1977). The first episode is slow to start but serves as an introduction proper to Donna's family and to establish Martha's change since she left The Doctor - she is now a qualified doctor and is working for UNIT. The second part ups the ante, with pitched battles between Sontaran warriors and UNIT soldiers; as well as the sudden siege of Earth as the Sontaran gas starts to cloak the planet. Christopher Ryan returns as Sontaran commander, General Staal whilst Rupert Halliday-Evans plays Colonel Mace, deputising for Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart who is, according to Mace, `stranded in Peru'. This is the first time The Brigadier has been explicitly referred to in the new series; he has apparently been knighted since the he was last seen in 1989's Battlefield serial. Freema Agyeman takes centre stage here as Martha is cloned and Agyeman gets her teeth into being villainous for a change. The themes of pollution and ecological disaster befalling the Earth are topical and surprisingly underused in contemporary TV drama, and writer Helen Raynor has produced a lively and entertaining story. The SFX and make-up are also particularly impressive; The Sontaran ship in orbit around Earth is superbly realised, whilst the costumes, and the design of the titular monsters, are both recognisable and effectively updated.

The Doctor's Daughter had the fanboys up in arms before it was even broadcast; the provocative title resulting in a frenzy of internet speculations. Suffice to say, things aren't as they first appear; The episode is an action-packed nod to sci-fi classics of the past as the TARDIS crew (now three, as Martha was inadvertently pulled along for the ride) is dragged to the planet Messaline, where the fish-headed Hath and the human colonists are engaged in a seemingly endless war. Peter Davison's real-life daughter Georgina Moffett takes the titular role, whilst grizzled veteran Nigel Terry plays the overtly martial Cobb. For once The Doctor finds things out of his control, and this story is really about his companions, and how despite their best efforts, they are helpless to change events that are already predestined. The episode is glossy, fun and energetic; Moffett's character must surely return, and the story's ending leaves this possibility tantalisingly open.

The fourth and final story on this disc is period drama `The Unicorn and the Wasp'. The Doctor meets one of the few historical figures he has yet to encounter, and Agatha Christie doesn't disappoint. Played with controlled relish by Fenella Woolgar the author of enduring classics such as `Murder on the Orient Express' finds herself at the heart of a murder mystery with seemingly her biggest fan on hand to help her solve it. Reminiscent of that other Edwardian Doctor Who-dunnit - Black Orchid - this episode is chock-full of period mannerisms and whimsical charm which makes it a real visual treat. Featuring David Tennant's Dad in a cameo, the story incorporates an alien aspect that was missing from Black Orchid and is also pleasingly irreverent towards its depiction of society in the 1920s and 30s. One of the best things about this story is The Doctor's increasing rapport with Donna as they begin to forge a real bond. I also liked the way The Doctor keeps dropping the names of Christie's novels into the conversation; a trait of the Tenth Doctor that proves to be both witty and sufficiently subtle to avoid grating.
Personally I would have liked to see this story developed in terms of characterisation and plot, and it is one of those modern Doctor Who stories that seems to have been compressed to fit the new format. This minor quibble aside, the story sees Series 4 hit its stride, as well as showing a production team at the very top of its game.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Daring Doctor Wins Again, 27 Mar. 2009
By 
Charlotte (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
This D.V.D contains four different episoids:

The Sontaran Stratagen,
Matha Jones summons the doctor back to modern-day earth, but an old enemy lies in wait...

The Poison Sky,
As the Sontarans choke the Earth, the Doctor battles to keep both Martha and Donna alive...

The Doctor's Daughter,
On the planet Messaline, in the middle of an endless war, the Doctor meets the most important woman of his life...

The Unicorn And The Wasp
In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 10 days. Was it amnesia? A nervous breakdown? Or a giant Alien wasp?...

This D.V.D is a must buy, watch it to find out if the doctor conquer all the monsters and aliens that come in his way or will he finally be defeated?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who Series 4 Vol. 2, 5 May 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Adventures in time and space with the Tenth Doctor and his companion Donna Noble.

The Sontaran Stratagem: Martha Jones summons the Doctor back to modern-day Earth, but an old enemy lies in wait.

The Poison Sky: As Sontarans choke the Earth, the Doctor and UNIT battle to keep Martha and Donna alive.

The Doctor's Daughter: On the planet Messaline, the Doctor meets the most important woman of his life.

The Unicorn and the Wasp: In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for ten days. Was a giant alien wasp to blame?

26 Apr - 17 May 2008
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sontar-HA, 15 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great DVD to buy with 4 outstanding Doctor Who episodes. These are: (Two parter) The Sontaran Stratagem, Poison Sky, The Doctor's Daughter and The Unicorn and the Wasp. My favourite being the two parter with the Sontarans.
The Sontaran Stratagem: Yay the Sontarans are back! The Doctor is called by Martha Jones asking him to come back. Martha is working in a situation that the doctor has never seen her work before. Martha gets cloned into a bad version of herself! It has great scenes and spookty scenes with of course lots of humour. Ending with a great cliff-hanger with CO2 gases shooting from cars and Donna's grandad Wilf trapped in a poisonous car! I give this 10/10
Poison Sky: Continuing from The Sontaran Stratagem with gases in the sky chaos is fleeing the city/world. This is a very good episodes which is very gripping all the way through. I would give this a very respectful 10/10!
The Doctor's Daughter/The Unicorn and the Wasp: Doctor's Daughter maybe not as good so I give it 7/10 but the Unicorn and the Wasp I give 9/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon UK-The best place to buy dvds., 11 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] (DVD)
I recently discovered Dr Who on BBCAmerica and its great to be able to purchase them from Amazon UK which has the best prices and even the used DVDs are like new. I am so satisfied with Amazon UK and the Marketplace. Your prices are so much better then in the US even with shipping charges. I have purchased all the Dr Who DVDs from series 1 through 4 from Amazon UK. My favorites are Series 1 and 2. my favorite doctor is David Tennant and companion Rose.
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Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD]
Doctor Who - Series 4 Volume 2 [DVD] by Graeme Harper (DVD - 2008)
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