Doctor Who

Season 4 Episode 1

Partners in Crime

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 05, 2008 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
529 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Location: London
Date: 2009
Enemies: Adipose, Miss Foster

A woman named Donna Noble searches for an old friend - the Doctor. Can Donna and the Doctor halt the mysterious Ms. Foster and her mysterious plan?

In Memory of Howard Attfield, 1947-2007

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  • Partners in Crime

    Partners in Crime was a perfect episode of Doctor Who and I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome, the characters were amazing and the aliens were interesting. I liked the plot lines and the idea behind spawning a generation of alien children, and it was cool how The Doctor made it clear he knew it was a violation of The Shadow Proclamation. I liked how the story played out and it was superb to see The Doctor and Donna together. I liked the ending and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • The Donna Noble character just doesn't work for me

    Sorry, but the Donna Noble character just doesn't work for me. She comes across as a constant irritant, as a nag, and a shrill one at that.

    She is hardly the sort of a person anyone, man or woman, embarked on a great adventure would ever want to have along for the ride.

    Why would anyone out to accomplish great things, struggling valiantly to save the world, put up with all that yammering in one's ear?moreless
  • If you would have told me I would like Donna Noble a year ago I would have laughed my heart out!

    Cathrine Tate returns as Donna Noble The Doctors newest companion, well technically not new but you get the idea.

    I'm sure many of you rember Donna's debut in "Runaway Bride", she was the bride that complained about everything and was yapping (much like the doctor). The episode itself is a chrismas special and is comic relif for doctor who fans after the season 2 finale in which Rose and the Doctor were seperated.That mad me sad but this made up for it as one of the funniest Doc who episodes ever!(I'm speacking about Runaway bride)

    Back to this episode, after a year since Donna last meet the Doctor and turned him down on the offer to travel with him, Donna now regrets it and is searching for the Doctor hopeing for a second invintation. The best way to find to Doctor is to find wired trouble, after many try's she finally finds a big one that leads her to the doctor.A crazy alien woman named Miss. Foster uses slim pills for a weired baby alien project. As she is bousting her evil plan to a captive reporter the Doctor and Donna meet face to face agin throw windows of the room Miss Foster is in (the Doctor on the outside and Donna on the inside). The two have a funny conversation as they read eachothers lips throw the windows, and then they are discovered. Long story short the two save the day and Miss Foster gets killed of her own undoing and Donna joins the Doctor on his travels.

    I got to say the 'Doctor who' show really makes you start likeing character you normally wouldn't.

    Great episode and great way to start a season, it will be interesting to see how things will develop as this is the first time the Doctor has had an partner who talks back to him and enjoys slapping him!moreless
  • Cartoonish

    It is good to see the Doctor team up with another mate, but the whole thing seemed a little bit mild and soft. First of all, there was never a real sense of danger. It was hinted that a million people might die, but it did not feel possible. And of course, who could ever believe that those adorable little Adipose creature were really harmful? They were probably the cutest villains in Doctor Who.

    Another episode, which made this episode feel out of place, was the nanny defying the laws of gravity. It can only be seen in cartoons and they should never do it again.

    However, it is good to see that Donna is not as irritating as in 'The Runaway Bride' and that she can also deliver a few hilarious lines. Also, seeing Rose at the end of the episode was ominous and I will certainly be more interested to find out what has happened to her.moreless
  • Another weak Russell T Davies Script

    Davies has consistently showed himself to be one of the weakest writers for the new show, his scripts alternating between plain slapstick and mawkish sentimentality.

    This one is no exception. Once again we are treated to an entirely unconvincing CGI alien, except rather than comedy he seems to have gone for the cute factor here. One of the things that he needs to realise is that he is nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is. Calling the fat aliens adipose (for those of you who are unaware, adipose tissue is where the fat cells are stored in the body) probably seemed very clever at the time, but it's not. It's trite and makes about as much sense as Star Trek having 2 races called Romulons and Remans.

    I know this makes me sound pedantic, but the best humour from Dr Who should come from character interaction, not goofiness or word play. Davies should watch City of Death if he wants to see how real Dr Who comedy works.

    Otherwise, Donna was not quite as horrible as I feared she would be. Hopefully she will be a bit more subdued in future episodes, and less like her character in The Bride. One caveat though, I think we've seen enough drama with the families of the Doctor's companions. When this was first introduced with Billy Piper, I welcomed it as a new direction. However, basically the same drama was played out with Martha and we see the beginnings of it here with Donna as well.

    The rest of the episode was pretty uninteresting. There was no sense that the Doctor or Donna were ever in danger. The slapstick scenes of the Doctor and Donna missing each other over and over have been played a million times in a million different comedies.

    Overall, pretty porr writing and a poor start to the season, but that's nothing new. Hopefully this season will see more of Steven Moffat less of Russel T Davies.moreless
Sarah Lancashire

Sarah Lancashire

Miss Foster

Guest Star

Verona Joseph

Verona Joseph

Penny Carter

Guest Star

Martin Ball

Martin Ball

Roger Davey

Guest Star

Jacqueline King

Jacqueline King

Sylvia Noble

Recurring Role

Bernard Cribbins

Bernard Cribbins

Wilfred Mott

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • In the past, Donna displayed utter obliviousness to signs of alien life, missing the previous Christmas events and a number of other things she might have encountered. Donna mentions that The Doctor opened her eyes, and, while looking for him, she kept seeing possible signs of alien life, reeling off a host of arbitrary events like the disappearance of bees. Then she mentions the last big, public display of alien life, the Starliner Titanic nearly crashing into Buckingham Palace (referring to events in Voyage Of The Damned). This she chalks up as an obvious hoax.

    • When the taxi turns up to pick up Stacy Campbell, you can see a sticker in the front window featuring the ATMOS logo. ATMOS is the name of the emissions control system used by the Sontarans in the upcoming episodes The Sontaran Stratagem and The Poison Sky.

    • Miss Foster mentions the 'Shadow Proclamation'. This has been previously referred to in Rose (when the Doctor asks to speak to the Nestene Consciousness), The Christmas Invasion (when Rose tries to get rid of the Sycorax) and in Fear Her (the Doctor invokes it whilst speaking to the Isolus).

    • Donna mentions 'that replica of the Titanic flying over Buckingham Palace on Christmas Day'. This refers to events in Voyage Of The Damned.

    • The scenes outside De Rossi's Restaurant were filmed on Charles Street in Cardiff, with Bar Icon doubling as the restaurant exterior.

    • The scenes on the sales-floor of Adipose Industries were filmed at the offices of consolidated loan company Picture Finance in Newport.

    • A stronger form of deadlock seal is introduced in this episode: Triple Deadlock

    • Helmont House- the British Gas offices in Cardiff- were used for the exterior shots of Adipose Industries. They were also recently used in the Torchwood episode Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

    • Donna's Grandfather makes his second appearance, the first being a newspaper stand salesman in Voyage of the Dammed, although now his character is identified.

    • When The Doctor and Donna are in the window cleaning crane, Miss Foster comes along and snaps the cable on her left, when the camera cuts back to the cart, it is the cable on the right that appears to have been cut.

    • In the series one episode Parting of the Ways, when Rose gets sent back home by the Doctor, Mickey comes running saying that he heard the engines of the TARDIS from his house. However, in this episode Donna fails to hear the TARDIS engine when she is around 20 meters away.

      However, as Donna spent most of her time with the Doctor inside the ship (and it was only the one day) and Mickey saw/heard it coming and going at least a few times (plus, he'd be expecting it) he's more likely to recognise the sound of the TARDIS.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • Penny Carter: (still tied to a chair, to The Doctor and Donna) Oi! You two, you're just mad! Do you hear me? Mad! And I'm going to report you, for... madness!! (storms off, still tied to the chair)
      Donna: Some people just can't take it... and some people can!

    • Doctor: Now, wait, wait, wait, let me ask. Do you know what happens when you put two sonic devices up against each other?
      Miss Foster: No.
      Doctor: Nor me! Let's find out!

    • The Doctor: I saw the message! The Adiposians know that breeding on Earth is illegal! Which means they have to get rid of their accomplices!
      Miss Foster: I'm much more than that, Doctor - I'm their nanny!
      The Doctor: Exactly! Mum and Dad have got the kids, they don't need the nanny anymore!
      (Miss Foster stares just before her tractor beam shuts off and she falls to the ground)

    • The Doctor: Here we are, the TARDIS. It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside...
      Donna: Oh, I know all that bit. Although, frankly, you could turn the heating up.

    • Donna: (to a blonde woman) Listen, there's a woman going to come along. Tall blonde woman called Sylvia. Tell her, that bin there. It'll all make sense. That bin there.
      (Donna bounds off. The blonde woman turns round; it's Rose Tyler. She looks around and walks away, fading as she does so)

    • Donna: You look older.
      The Doctor: Thanks.
      Donna: Still on your own?
      The Doctor: Yep. Well, no. I had this friend. Martha, she was called. Martha Jones. She was brilliant. And I destroyed half her life. But she's fine. She's good. She's gone.
      Donna: What about Rose?
      The Doctor: Still lost. I thought you were going to travel the world?
      Donna: Easier said than done. It's like, I had that one day with you and I was gonna change. I was gonna do so much. Then I woke up the next morning. Same old life. It's like you were never there. And I tried. I did try. I went to Egypt; I was going to go barefoot and everything. But then it's all bus trips and guidebooks and 'don't drink the water' and two weeks later, you're back home. It's nothing like being with you. I must have been mad turning down that offer.
      The Doctor: What offer?
      Donna: To come with you.
      The Doctor: Come with me?
      Donna: Oh, yes, please!

    • Miss Foster: I've been employed by the Adiposian First Family to foster a new generation since their breeding planet was lost.
      The Doctor: What do you mean, lost? How do you lose a planet?
      Miss Foster: Oh, the politics are none of my concern. I'm just here to take care of the children on behalf of their parents.
      Donna: What, like an outer space Supernanny?
      Miss Foster: Yes, if you like.
      Donna: So, so those little things… they're… they're made out of fat, yeah? But that woman - Stacey Campbell - there was nothing left of her.
      Miss Foster: Oh, in a crisis, the Adipose can convert bone and hair and internal organs. Makes them a little bit sick, poor things.
      Donna: What about poor Stacey!?!
      The Doctor: Seeding a Level Five planet is against galactic law.
      Miss Foster: Are you threatening me?
      The Doctor: I'm trying to help you, Matron. This is your one chance. Because, if you don't call this off, then I'll have to stop you.
      Miss Foster: I hardly think you can stop bullets.

    • (Miss Foster and her guards confront the Doctor and Donna)
      Miss Foster: Well, then. At last.
      Donna: Hello.
      The Doctor: Nice to meet you. I'm the Doctor.
      Donna: And I'm Donna.
      Miss Foster: Partners in crime. And evidently off-worlders, judging by your sonic technology.
      The Doctor: (patting his pockets, then pulling out the sonic pen) Oh, yes. I've still got your… sonic pen. Nice. I like it. Sleek. It's kind of… sleek.
      Donna: Oh, it's definitely sleek.

    • Donna: The thing is, Doctor… I believe it all now. You opened my eyes. All those amazing things out there. I believe them all. Well, apart from that replica of the Titanic flying over Buckingham Palace on Christmas Day. I mean, that's gotta be a hoax.

    • Donna: (when she meets the Doctor again) Oh, my God! I don't believe it! You've even got the same suit. Don't you ever change?

    • (Miss Foster has caught Penny Carter sneaking around the offices and has tied her to a chair)
      Penny: You can't tie me up! What sort of a country do you think this is?
      Miss Foster: Oh, it's a beautifully fat country and, believe me, I've travelled a long way to find obesity on this scale.
      Penny: So, come on then, Miss Foster. Those pills. What are they?
      Miss Foster: Well, you might as well have a scoop since you'll never see it printed. (She holds up a capsule) This is the spark of life.
      Penny: And what's that supposed to mean?
      Miss Foster: Officially, the capsule attracts all the fat cells and flushes them away. Well, it certainly attracts them, that part's true, but it binds the fat together and galvanises it to form a body.
      Penny: What do you mean, a body?
      Miss Foster: I am surprised you never asked about my name. I chose it well. Foster, as in foster mother. And these (reaches into a drawer and pulls out an Adipose creature) are my children.

    • Donna: (to Wilfred, about the Doctor) He's still out there somewhere. And I'll find him, Gramps, even if I have to wait a hundred years. I'll find him.

    • Wilfred: (about Venus) That's the only planet in the solar system named after a woman.
      Donna: Good for her. How far away is that?
      Wilfred: Oh, its about twenty-six million miles. But we'll get there one day. Hundred years time, we'll be striding out amongst the stars, jiggling about with all those aliens, just you wait.
      Donna: You really believe in all that stuff, don't you?
      Wilfred: They're all over the place these days.

    • Sylvia: It's not like the 1980s. No-one's unemployed these days, except you. How long did that job with Health and Safety last? Two days? And then you walk out. 'I have other plans'. Well, I've not seen them. It's no good just sitting there dreaming. No-one's gonna come along with a magic wand and make your life all better.

    • The Doctor: The thing about cat flaps is, they don't just let things in, they let things out as well.
      Roger Davey: Like what?
      The Doctor: (more to himself than Davey)The fat just walks away.

    • Miss Foster: (striding onto the Adipose sales floor) Excuse me everyone, if I could have your attention? On average, you're all selling forty Adipose packs a day. It's not enough. I want one hundred sales per person per day and, if not, you'll be replaced. Because, if anyone's good at trimming the fat, it's me. Now, back to it.

    • Miss Foster: (about the Adipose capsule) One hundred percent legal, one hundred percent effective.
      Penny Carter: But can I just ask, how many people have taken the pills to date?
      Miss Foster: We've already got one million customers within the Greater London area alone, but from next week we start rolling out nationwide. The future starts here, and Britain will be thin.

    • Miss Foster: Adipose Industries. The twenty-first century way to lose weight. No exercise, no diet, no pain. Just life-long freedom from fat. The Holy Grail of the modern age. And here it is. (She holds up a small red and white capsule) You just take one capsule, one capsule once a day for three weeks and the fat, as they say…
      Adipose Advert: The fat just walks away.
      Penny Carter: Excuse me, Miss Foster? If I could? I'm Penny Carter, science correspondent for the Observer. There are a thousand diet pills on the market, a thousand conmen stealing people's money. How do we know the fat isn't going straight into your bank account?
      Miss Foster: Oh, Penny, if cynicism burnt off calories, we'd all be as thin as rakes.

    • Donna: I don't suppose you've seen a little blue box?
      Wilfred: Is that slang for something?
      Donna: No, I mean it. If you ever see a little blue box flying up there in the sky, you shout for me Gramps. Oh, you just shout.
      Wilfred: Do y'know I don't understand half the things you say these days?
      Donna: Nor me.
      Wilfred: Ah, fair dos. You've had a funny old time of it lately. Poor old, what's his name? Lance, bless him. And that barmy old Christmas. I wish you'd tell us what really happened.
      Donna: I know. It's just, the things I've seen. Sometimes, I think I'm going mad! I mean, even tonight, I was in a...doesn't matter. I dunno.
      Wilfred: Well, you're not yourself, I'll give you that. You just, you seem to be drifting, sweetheart.
      Donna: I'm not drifting. I'm waiting.
      Wilfred: What for?
      Donna: The right man.
      Wilfred: Oh! Oh! Same old story; a man!
      Donna: No! I don't mean like that! He's real, I've seen him, I've met him, just once, and then, oh, I let him fly away.

    • The Doctor: (mouthing from behind soundproof glass) Donna???
      Donna: (also mouthing) Doctor!!!!
      The Doctor: But...what? Wha... WHAT??!?
      Donna: Oh! My! God!
      The Doctor: But... how?
      Donna: (pointing to herself) It's me!
      The Doctor: Well, I can see that.
      Donna: Oh this is brilliant!
      The Doctor: But, what the hell are you doing there?
      (Donna is just so thrilled, she waves and smiles)
      The Doctor: But, but but, why, what, where, when?
      Donna: You! I was looking for you!
      The Doctor: What for?
      Donna: (miming while the Doctor looks more and more confused) I, came here, trouble, read about it, internet, I thought, trouble equals you! And this place is weird! Pills! So I hid. Back there. Crept along. Heard this lot. Looked. You! Cos they..(On 'they', she looks towards Miss Foster, who is staring at her. As are the guards, and Penny)
      Donna: Oops.
      Miss Foster: (out loud) Are we interrupting you?
      The Doctor: (mouthing) Run!

    • (Penny's tied to a chair while The Doctor runs in and up to the window to rescue Donna)
      Penny: Is anyone going to tell me what is going on?
      The Doctor: What are you, a journalist?
      Penny: Yes.
      The Doctor: Make it up.
      (pulls a struggling Donna in from outside, where she was hanging, and sets her down on the floor)
      Donna: I was right. It's always like this wi' you, isn't it?
      The Doctor: (grinning gleefully) Oh, Yes! (Donna has a similar grin) And off we go! (they run out of the room)
      Penny: (shouting after them) Oi!!! (The Doctor sticks his head back in, reaches around the door jamb with the Sonic Screwdriver, and frees her)
      The Doctor: Sorry! Now Do yourself a favor. Get out!

    • (The Doctor is handed a note by the woman he's getting the client list from)
      The Doctor: (baffled by the note): What's that?
      Claire: (flirting with him): My telephone number.
      The Doctor: What for?
      Claire: Health and safety. You be health, I'll be safety...

    • The Doctor: I just want a mate.
      Donna: You just want to mate?!?
      The Doctor: A mate! I want A mate!
      Donna: You ain't mating with me, sunshine!

    • Donna: (about the Adipose children) What are you going to do then? Blow them up?
      The Doctor: They're just children, they can't help where they came from.
      Donna: Oh, well that makes a change from last time. That Martha must have done you good.
      The Doctor: Yeah, she did, yeah.. yeah, she did. She fancied me.
      Donna: Mad Martha that one. Blind Martha. Charity Martha!

    • Sylvia Noble: It's my turn to use the car! What do you need it for?
      Donna: A quick getaway.

    • Sylvia Noble: And what time's this?
      Donna: How old am I?
      Sylvia Noble: (scowling) Not old enough to use a phone.

  • NOTES (8)

    • In The Mighty 200 poll conducted by Doctor Who Magazine, this is the readers 98th favourite story.

    • Overnight UK viewing figures for this episode were 8.4 million, with the final viewing figure at 9.14 million.

    • International Airdates:
      United States: 25 April 2008
      Australia: 6 July 2008
      Canada: 19 September 2008
      Turkey: 9 February 2011

    • Bernard Cribbins has appeared in Doctor Who before. He was in the 1960's Doctor Who movie Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.. He also appeared in Voyage of the Damned as the newspaper stall owner. According to Russell T. Davies, he is playing the same character, Wilfred Mott, who happens to be Donna's grandfather.

    • The end credits incorrectly list the character of Stacey Campbell, as named by Donna within the episode, as Stacey Harris.

    • The episode is dedicated in memory of Howard Attfield. Howard played the role of Donna's Dad in The Runaway Bride and was scheduled to reprise the role in this series. However he was very ill, so the production team adjusted the schedule such that it would be possible to film all of his sequences together. Sadly, he passed away before this was possible to complete, so rather than recast the role, the character of Donna's Grandfather, Wilfred was created.

    • Two versions of the episode were struck, one without the scene with Billie Piper in, which was used for all the press screenings, the other with her in, which was only used for transmission. The idea being that they wanted the appearence of Rose so early in the season to be a complete surprise, with nobody but the production crew knowing until the night of transmission.

    • Although she appears in the episode and is credited, Billie Piper has no dialogue in her scene with Catherine Tate.


    • The Doctor: Seeding a Level Five planet is against galactic law.

      The designation of Earth as level five was first made by Romana, although she called it a Level Five Civilization, in the Fourth Doctor (17th series) episode 'City of Death'. The term was subsequently used in The Sarah Jane Adventures episode 'Revenge of the Slitheen' and then again by Captain Hardaker in the 2007 Christmas Special, 'Voyage of the Damned'.

    • Roger Davey: (about the burglar alarm) I've had experts in, I've had it replaced, I've even phoned Watchdog.

      Watchdog is a consumer rights show broadcast on the BBC which investigates viewers' reports of problematic experiences with traders, retailers, and other companies around the UK. It has previously been hosted by Nick Ross, Anne Robinson and Nicky Campbell.

    • The Doctor: No, I've met cat people; you're nothing like them.

      The Doctor is referring to his interactions with both the Sisters of Plenitude and Thomas Kincade Brannigan on New Earth, and possibly the Cheetah People from the Seventh Doctor story (26th series) 'Survival'.