Silence In The Library


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Silence In The Library

Series 4

Episode 8

First Transmitted

31 May 2008

Final Ratings



Series 4 set


Series 4 Volume 3


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Regular Cast

David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna)

Guest Cast
Alex Kingston (Professor River Song), Colin Salmon (Dr Moon), Eve Newton (The Girl), Mark Dexter (Dad), Sarah Niles (Node 1) [1], Joshua Dallas (Node 2) [1], Steve Pemberton (Strackman Lux), Talulah Riley (Miss Evangelista), Jessika Williams (Anita), O-T Fagbenle (Other Dave), Harry Peacock (Proper Dave), Jason Pitt (Lee) [2], Eloise Rakic-Platt (Ella) [2], Alex Midwood (Josuah) [2], Jonathan Reuben (Man) [2].


Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Euros Lyn
Produced by Julie Garner and Phil Colinson


The Tenth Doctor takes Donna Noble to a planet-sized library in the 51st century. They find it empty of human life, with countless other living beings. An information kiosk warns them to “count the shadows”. An archaeological expedition arrives, lead by the mysterious Professor River Song, who brings the cryptic last message sent from the library:”4022 saved, No survivors”.


  • Transmission of this episode was delayed by one week due to the Eurovision Song Contest, as was the case with the Series 3 gap between The Lazarus Experiment and 42.
  • Russell T Davies feels this episode is more frightening than Steven Moffat’s series 3 episode Blink, which rated a 5.5 out of 5 on the official Doctor Who website ‘Fear Factor’ feature.
  • while The Doctor is hacking into the girl’s, she is watching the CBBC show Pedro and Frankesheep. Previous real-life kids shows whose clips have been shown on Doctor Who include the Tenth Doctor watching Tommy Zoom in The Poison Sky, The Masterwatching The Teletubbies in The Sound of Drums, and the Master (again) watching The Clangers in The Sea Devils.
  • Excluding the Children in Need specials, this is the 50th episode of Doctor Who since the series returned in 2005.
  • Steve Pemberton is the second of the League of Gentlemen to appear in Doctor Who, the other being Mark Gatiss who appeared in The Lazarus Experiment as Richard Lazarus.
  • When the girl collapses due to The Doctor’s tampering with the security camera, the pattern of the rug she collapses on is the same as the red pattern on the computer screens reading”Access Denied”. It also can be briefly seen on the lens cap of the security camera, and repeated in the metalwork in the background of the circular room much of the library scenes take place in.
  • Additionally, when Doctor Moon and her father rush to her side when she collapses, a plastic tag reading”CAL” can be briefly seen on Doctor Moon’s briefcase.
  • The security camera appears to have angel wings carved on its sides.
  • Steven Moffat continues his theme of highlighting childhood fears: in Blink, it was statues coming to life, in The Girl in the Fireplace, it was monsters under the bed, and in The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, it was the fear of war and bombardment.
  • Talulah Riley is the second major cast member of the 2005 film Pride & Prejudice to be featured in a Steven Moffat story, the first being Carey Mulligan in Blink.
  • The spoilers theme may be an in-joke about DW spoilers (especially online). Additionally, the word “spoilers” is said twice in rapid succession in the trailer for the next episode, which may be a comment on the nature of the trailers themselves.
  • There is, perhaps, unintentional irony to The Doctor’s line, “No, I never land on Sundays. Sundays are boring.” Given that Saturdays are “good”, according to The Stolen Earth, it could also be a reference to the fact that the day after a new episode of Doctor Who is broadcast is comparatively boring. Former companion Ace also once mentioned that she found Sundays boring in Survival. In Wetworld, the planet that he and Martha visited was called Sunday.
  • The Library’s front desk looks like a redecorated version of a control console from The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky or the teleport control unit from Voyage of the Damned.
  • In the associated Doctor Who Confidential episode, Steven Moffat says that he imagined River found the gun (as left behind by Jack) in the TARDIS during her future travels.
  • Steven Moffat stated that British newspaper The Sun got a hold of the script for the episode and threatened to publish it. Moffat jokingly told them to do it, he later remarked, “I’d like to see The Sun publish that many words in a day.”
  • As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a “NEXT TIME” trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.

  • trailer

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