Review of "Silence in the Library"
Written by Steven Moffat, Directed by Euros Lyn                                                                                                      31 May 2008

Professor River Song (Alex Kingston) and her archaeology team take charge of the library site.

By Monika Lewis

"Silence in the Library" is an engaging episode from the first shot of the space library with the girl's voiceover taking the viewer through the apparently empty planet, set up as if it is an illusion.  Next the Doctor and Donna appear in the library, and nothing is certain, even the shadows.  It is appropriate that this episode is the first to air since the BBC's announcement that Steven Moffat will be taking over from Russell T. Davies as executive producer in the 2010 series, as viewers can see in what directions Mr. Moffat will take the program.  In one episode, he delivers humor, poignant moments, and scares as the shadows take characters that viewers can identify with even after a few scenes. 

The encounter with the archaeologists and River Song in particular show something new for the Doctor, in finding a future companion who will be important to him, but that he doesn't know yet (although he has gotten ahead of himself in Blink in meeting Sally Sparrow for the first time at the end of her adventure, and The Shakespeare Code where he has apparently encountered Queen Elizabeth I).  Professor Song is similar to another archaeologist the Seventh Doctor traveled with in the New Adventures novel series of the 1990s, Professor Bernice Summerfield.  Her adventures were so popular with fans of the series that she continued in her own spin-off without the Doctor.  In the original novel version of "Human Nature" by Paul Cornell, Benny took the lead as Martha does in the televised in taking care of the Doctor after he makes himself human and becomes a mild-mannered schoolteacher.  River Song also seems like a strong character who is an equal to the Doctor, and the revelation that they traveled together many years in the future would seem to be an indication that David Tennant will also continue as the Tenth Doctor, and maybe River Song will be his companion like Benny was.  This would seem to be a pivotal episode that sets up the Doctor's future in the fourth series and next year. 

 

10/10