Doctor Who (2005– )
14 user 7 critic

Forest of the Dead 

With the library darkening, the Doctor takes on the Vashta Nerada while figuring out what links River Song to his future. Meanwhile, Donna finds out the mystery of Dr. Moon and the Girl.


Euros Lyn


Steven Moffat




Episode complete credited cast:
David Tennant ... The Doctor
Catherine Tate ... Donna Noble
Alex Kingston ... River Song
Colin Salmon ... Dr Moon
Harry Peacock ... Proper Dave
Steve Pemberton ... Strackman Lux
Jessika Williams Jessika Williams ... Anita
O-T Fagbenle ... Other Dave
Eve Newton Eve Newton ... The Girl
Mark Dexter ... Dad
Jason Pitt Jason Pitt ... Lee
Eloise Rakic-Platt Eloise Rakic-Platt ... Ella
Alex Midwood Alex Midwood ... Joshua
Talulah Riley ... Miss Evangelista
Jonathan Reuben Jonathan Reuben ... Man


Donna finds herself in a world where she is happily married and has two children. She has virtually no memory of what may have happened to her in the Library or anything prior to that in the real world. When she does get a glimpse in her mind of her past life, it is quickly shut down. In the Library itself, the Doctor and Professor River Song try to find out what happened not only to Donna but to the over 4000 people the computer says were saved when the library was shut down 100 years ago. The solution to it all lies in understanding what the computer has been telling them all along. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Release Date:

27 June 2008 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Wales See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The characters Joshua and Ella are respectively named after Steven Moffat's son and his son's friend. See more »


The later episode,"The Husbands of River Song" depicts the Doctor's date with River and from her point of view, it takes place prior to this adventure. However, in the former episode, River is aware that she will likely die soon, but here, she does not realize it until just before it happens. See more »


Professor River Song: It'll kill you stone dead!
The Doctor: Yeah, it's easy to criticize.
Professor River Song: You'll burn up both your hearts, and don't think you'll regenerate!
The Doctor: I'll try my hardest not to die. Honestly, it's the main thing.
Professor River Song: Doctor!
The Doctor: I'm right! This'll work! Shut up! Now listen, you and Lux, work back up to the main library, prime any data cells you can find for maximum download. And before you say anything else Professor, can I just mention in passing as you're here - shut up!
Professor River Song: [furious] I hate you sometimes!
The Doctor: Oh, I know!
Professor River Song: Mr. Lux, ...
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Eyes Wide Open (2010) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
See more »

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User Reviews

A legendary episode that sets the ground work for many future stories
26 August 2015 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

The Silence in the Library was an utter joy to watch, the conclusion picks up the action immediately.

With the Vashda Nerada in pursuit River Song manufactures an escape. The little girl continues to view the action from her sitting room, Donna is transported somewhere rather random, having a pretty wonderful life, where time passes in an instant. More shadows appear, more victims. Donna receives a note from Miss Evangelista, who convinces her the world she's in isn't real. We learn who Cal is, what her purpose is.......

A very poignant moment where River tells the Doctor something, it convinces him that he can trust her. The look on his face tells a story. Tennant is particularly good in this 2 parter.

Tate once again deserves major plaudits for her acting, the scenes with the kids are acted with pure devastation, she's amazing. Donna's character had developed throughout the series more so then any other companion's I can think of.

Wonderfully scary moments, particularly Donna's meeting with Miss Evangelista, and the subsequent disappearance of the children, the music helps as well.

Donna gets a little bit ousted for the Doctor to start and build his relationship with River Song, but I can't complain, Alex Kingston has been a joy.

It is simply wonderful, a second part equally as brilliant as the first, I can't describe just how good it is.

Did they have to do that to poor Donna at the end with the gorgeous Lee? that was mean.

Scary, adventurous, intelligent, deeply moving, it's perfect. I truly love Series 4, and this is at the heart of its purple patch, more brilliance was to come. 10/10

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