Ready for another episode filled with existential horrors? Prepare yourself for this one. It is sad but fun and quite a ride. We talk about spoilers, existential horrors, and River Song.

Welcome to Episode 47 covering Season 4 episodes 8 & 9: Silence in the Library & Forest of the Dead.


This is the one where the Doctor and Donna meet RIVER SONG YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

The Doctor gets a message on his psychic paper to come to The Library and help. So he does, but something strange is happening. It’s a library that’s an entire planet, and there’s silence in the library. There’s also the creepiest little girl since Chloe Webber, but she’s not really THERE there.

Some other people show up. A group of explorers including the owner of the company that runs The Library, and one Professor River Song. She’s interesting, seems to know the Doctor but he’s never met her before. Meanwhile, the shadows are pretty freaky in this place. They don’t like to stay in one place, and occasionally attach themselves to people. That’s because they’re not shadows, but piranhas of the air called the Vashta Nerada.

While trying unsuccessfully to keep everyone there from being eaten alive, the Doctor is also trying to figure out what happened to the 4,022 people that disappeared 100 years ago. Pretty much everyone in a space suit eventually succumbs to the Vashta Nerada in one of the most terrifying ways possible, more on that later.

Eventually, the Doctor makes his way to the data core of the planet/Library and realizes that everyone was “saved” onto the hard drive. He makes a deal with the Vashta Nerada to let them all go if he can beam them back. In exchange, he won’t destroy them, I guess?

However, it will take a human relay for the computer to be able to beam everyone back and the Doctor is set to get all self-sacrificial until River knocks him out and wires herself up in his place. She gives her life so that everyone else can live. The Doctor says a bittersweet goodbye to this amazing woman he just met. Then suddenly realizes that he can upload HER into the Library where she and all her friends can live forever.

The Doctor is ok, Donna is ok, and I am totally NOT ok. The end.

Production notes

  • Story # 195
  • Originally aired May 31 and June 7, 2008, to 6.27 and 7.84 million viewers
  • Written by: Steven Moffat
  • Directed by: Euros Lyn


  • Mr. Lux – lux means “light”
  • Professor River Song – Alex Kingston
    • She’s done ER, CSI, NCIS, Law & Order: SVU, Macbeth, and a bunch of other stuff.
    • But mostly, SHE’S RIVER FREAKIN SONG

Misc Trivia

  • This is the 50th episode of New Who!
  • Russell T Davies said this episode is more frightening than Blink, which rated a 5.5 out of 5 on the official Doctor Who website ‘Fear Factor’ feature.
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  • Baddie of the week
    • Vashta Nerada – it’s what’s in the dark. It’s what’s always in the dark
      • They’re on almost every planet, where there’s meat there’s Vashta Nerada
      • They’re the dust in sunbeams
  • I’m sorry
    • Episode count: 1
      • You’ve got two shadows
    • Running count 8+2
  • Jiggery Pokery
    • Psychic paper –
      • Can get messages sent to it
    • Sonic –
      • It can’t do wood!
      • One day it will have red settings and dampers
      • It’s too powerful to be interfered with, except by some hairdryers
    • TARDIS –
      • Can open by snap
    • Random
      • Squareness gun
        • Amazing continuity. This episode takes place in the 51st century. In the Empty Child, Jack’s squareness gun was said to have been made in the 51st century on Villengard
        • Doctor Who Confidential for the second part mentions that Steven Moffat envisioned that she found Jack’s left behind in the TARDIS.
  • Existential horror
    • CHECK!

Who’s Who?

  • Who is Donna?
    • She knows how to kick in a door because sometimes you need the element of surprise with a boyfriend.
    • Her perfect man is gorgeous, adores her, and can’t hardly say a word.
  • Who is The Doctor?
  • He’s old and thick, head’s too full of stuff, I need a bigger head!
  • If you understand me look very very scared.
  • You’re taking orders from him? Spooky, isn’t it.
  • He’s pretty.
  • That’s why I like a little shop
  • The only story you’ll ever tell if survive him
  • The Doctor in the TARDIS. Next stop: everywhere!
  • He’s always alright.
  • Who is River Song?
    • Archaeologist – The Doctor laughs at archaeologists
    • They go way back
    • She’s got a sonic!
    • She trusts him to the end of the universe. In fact, they’ve been
    • She knows his name
    • Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today.
      • Today, everybody lives!
      • This is a Steven Moffatt thing apparently. He wrote The Doctor Dances and apparently the only deaths that occur in all four of his episodes up to this point were from old age or illness: Billy Shipton and Kathy Nightingale, Madame de Pompadour

Other stuff we noticed

  • Spoilers! He tells Donna she can’t read any of the books because they’re from her future
  • If I scan for humanoid, ya know, basic book readers, few limbs and a face…
  • Little shop

Let’s talk about spoilers

  • Austin is going to try very hard to not spoil things with River Song.
  • However, there will be some aspects that we’ll discuss in advance.

Classic Who Connection

  • Jared talks about a lot of little connections spread throughout this episode.

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10 –
    • Austin – 10 – chicken leg bones
    • Corbin – 9.6 shadows
    • Tripp – 10 ice creams
    • Jared – 10 proper Daves
    • Christina Kepfer- 9.5 Donna’s being saved
  • Creep Level – out of 500
    • Austin – 450
    • Corbin –  200 for the existential horror, 50 for the walking skeletons, 10 because I’m never stepping into a shadow again, and a bonus 5 for Evangelista’s face – 265
    • Tripp – 378
    • Jared – 500

Listener Input

The Game Plan

  • Our next Timey Wimey episode is in a few weeks and will cover Harry Potter: The Prisoner Azkaban.
  • We’ll be covering the movie, not the book.
  • You can get your copy at Amazon. If you use these links, your experience won’t change at all but you’ll be helping to support Noobs and the Whovian.

Next Time…

Join us next time for a Timey Wimey special covering Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.


Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Tripp Reason. Corbin Reason is our Production Editor. Special thanks to for the trivia and Jared for the Classic Who Connection.

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