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Feigning normality since 1973

Doctor Who Series 3 (episodes 1 - 5)

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Thar be spoilers in this post, no doubt, so proceed with caution (if at all). Also, no cartoons like Zeus Blog because I'm not as good an artist as Peter.

Smith and Jones: Med Student Martha Jones is suprised by her hospital suddenly being relocated to the moon and aliens with marker pens.

The Judoon, the aliens in this story, sound like muppets and are in personality a lot like the Vogons from the Hitchhiker's Guide movie (including flying around in tall spaceships and marching about a lot. The Doctor is reasonably good. There were many, many occasions in Series 2 when his manic-ness annoyed me, but so far in Series 3 the only time this has occurred is the incident with the radiation in this episode. Quite where the Doctor picked up the ability to absorb all the radiation in a room and then shake it into his footware is a mystery. And it's frankly a little silly in more than one way.
Shake a leg

Martha absolutely rocks. She manages to remain reasonably calm and rational even after finding that the building she's in has suddenly been transported to the moon and is helpful and resourceful throughout.

The main threat is an alien disguised as a woman who attempts to nuke Earth. This concept is absolutely new and novel and didn't happen at all in the Series 1 story "Boomtown!".

The Shakespeare Code: The Doctor takes Martha back to meet William Shakespeare but accidentally takes her to the historically inaccurate version of London. AKA You got your Harry Potter in my Doctor Who.

Evidently the Doctor hasn't heard that the last thing you should do while lying in bed with someone who's quite clearly interested is to mention the ex. Asexual, or just incredibly dense? You decide! Frankly, considering he was giving her "come hither" looks all through the previous story, I'm going with the latter.

The best part of this story is the impressive recreation of fifteenth century London.

The second best part is Lilith, who's quite hot for a witch.

The less said about the use of Harry Potter, the better (I'm reliably informed that that word was used against David Tennant's character in one of the books/movies. I've only seen the first three.)

Gridlock: New Earth has (slightly) worse traffic congestion than Auckland.

IMHO the best script Russell T Davies has written so far. For once, everything seems to come together perfectly, and the inclusion of the Macra as an incidental monster (but aren't they somewhat large than their previous appearance) was no-doubt lost on the casual viewer, but I suspect half the fan population orgasmed when the Doctor named them.

Also this is the best episode so far this season. And contains the scene which has now surpassed the bit in The Christmas Invasion where the Doctor puts his specs on for the first time in number of LiveJournal icons spawned. I speak of the bit where the Doctor picks up a kitten.
Doctor + Kitten

The Daleks Take Manhattan*: The Doctor co-incidentally visits 1930s New York at the exact same time that the Cult of Skaro's evil plan is nearing completion.

So at the end of Doomsday, the four Daleks comprising the Cult of Skaro time-jumped back to the 1930s. Explain in less than 100 words how four Daleks built an entire genetics laboratory using 1930s technology and when none of them have hands.

So, the Doctor and Martha, running around New York (which consists of Central Park, some sewers, the Empire State Building, and the interior of a music hall - what I wouldn't give for a shot of the pair walking down an actual street) find there are pig men stealing the homeless and turning them into more pig people, which leads them to the Daleks. Thanks to the Radio Times, the cliffhanger to this story was less of a surprise than the Face of Boe's message in Gridlock, and I can reveal that the result of the Dalek's grand experiment is, in fact, a man in a Dalek hat.
A man in a Dalek hat

The Evolution of the Daleks: Man-in-a-Dalek-hat reveals that they aim to create a race of human/Dalek hybrids.

I keep trying to remember what happened in this story, but all I can remember is the Daleks with man-in-a-Dalek-hat scurrying along ahead on them on a leash like a dog. Who told him to crawl like that? I can't really see a Dalek commanding him to crawl. Man-in-a-Dalek-hat turned out to be a bit of a wet cracker, after all that build up. It was very silly, much like the rest of this episode which has some of the dumbest science ever (Jamas has already written about this).

I waited in vain for the art deco Daleks I was promised. Shame.

Thus far, the Cyberman story has been the best of the early-series two-parters, I think.

Y'know what I've liked the most about this season so far? There hasn't been a plot-arc namechecked mindlessly every episode! That was one of my major irks about the first two series, and I'm glad they've finally dropped it. Otherwise, on average, I think it's doing slighter better than Series 1 and 2 (the special effects are certainly improving in leaps and bounds).

* What do you mean "That's not the title"?

On to: Episodes 6 - 9

Posted May 2, 2007 8:10 PM

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