Series Three – David Tennant

The Runaway Bride

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Smith and Jones

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The Shakespeare Code

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Gridlock

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Daleks in Manhattan

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Evolution of the Daleks

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The Lazarus Experiment

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42

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Human Nature

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The Family of Blood

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Utopia

This is really the first part of a three-part story arc, which will happen again. It ends with a “To Be Continued”, so it is pretty clear. And it marks the return of Captain Jack Harkness. Derek Jacobi is the biggest guest star around here for a while, and the plot twist at the end is fantastic. Jacobi alone is worth the trip because he is so good. The setting is the very far future when a remnant of humanity is trying to survive while the universe is dying. And Torchwood does get tied into this in a few ways as well. Among the tie-ins is that Captain Jack cannot die, a result of what Rose did as the Bad Wolf in The Parting of Ways, and confirmed at the beginning of the Torchwood series. This is a lot of fun.

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The Sound of Drums

What is better than a sonic screwdriver? A laser screwdriver, of course. And The Master has one. John Simm in his portrayal of The Master is hitting the note of extreme madness, which is a twist on the character. The Master was originally portrayed by Roger Delgado opposite Jon Pertwee in the third series of Doctor Who, but when he died in 1973 the role was passed on to others. Obviously, since The Master is another Time Lord he can regenerate as easily as The Doctor can. Delgado’s Master was an evil version of Pertwee’s Doctor, and the malevolence and lust for power were there from the beginning. But the heavy display of madness by Simm is a new thing. Still, the swashbuckling energy he shows is a counterpart to the same thing by Tennant. One thing you will note is that this has been building throughout the Russell T. Davies years, since we have seen Saxon posters in previous episodes of Doctor Who and of Torchwood, and this season there has been an ongoing thread, such as in Lazarus, where Saxon is explicitly a character, and in 42, where the phone lines are monitored with the consent of Martha’s mother. Saxon has been working on her to make her believe that The Doctor is a dangerous character and that her daughter may be in great trouble

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Last of the Time Lords

The ending here is a bit of religious metaphor. Martha is in the role of John the Baptist. People have heard of her, but she tells them there is another, greater person called The Doctor who has saved them all many times even if they don’t know it. The Doctor has in the meantime been humiliated and turned into a CGI-generated muppet. The Master seems invincible but just as he is ready to launch the multitude of missiles to start a universal war, the counter-stroke comes in form of, essentially, prayer. And The Master even calls it prayer, so I am not seeing anything that isn’t in plain sight. Throughout these last two episodes, as The doctor is being humiliated, The Master keeps asking him “What do you have to say?”, and The Doctor keeps replying “You know what I have to say.” In the end, the “prayers” of the multitude bring about the “Resurrection” of The Doctor, and we finally find out what The Doctor had to say to The Master: “I forgive you.”

Martha’s family do well here, and her Mom in particular does some fine acting. But Martha herself completes an arc not quite like any other companion. She grows immensely in the course of the season, and when she decides in the end not to continue with The Doctor, it is a sign of her growth and maturity.

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Review of Martha Jones

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