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Doctor Who Season 3
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212 of 229 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 18, 2007
The strength of DOCTOR WHO, the new series and the original, has always been change, and change it has. Over forty-years ago the show began with one actor and now we have 10 actors who have portrayed the 900+ Timelord. The first season of the new series ended by changing leads through regeneration, as the 2nd season ended with the "lost" of not only the companion / love interest, but the whole "point-of-view" for the new series: Rose Tyler. Since the PILOT or "ROSE" episode the series has been through her eyes. The viewers could relate to the Human perspective more readily than the sometimes alien POV of the title character. In fact, the series gave up not only Rose, but her family, Mickey Smith, Jackie Tyler; Mum, Pete Tyler ( deceased, sort of) ,all of the anchor characters that added so much emotion to the new series.

Can the series, even one a clever and cool as Dr. Who, survive such change.
The answer is yes, definitely, yes. Although, there is a loss, infact the sense of loss that the viewer feels, is surely an undercurrent of the entire season, starting with the Christmas special or THE RUNAWAY BRIDE, the precursor to the true first episode of the season. Opening right after series two leaves off, the Bride a.k.a Donna Noble played by U.K. comedian Catherine Tate appears in the TARDIS, the Doctor has little time to contemplate his loss before he is literally running for his life again. Like the Christmas Invasion, the special is light-hearted, and introduces a "one-shot" temporary companion (although Donna will be a major-part of season 4). One highlight of the "BRIDE" would be the glorious soundtrack provided by composer Murray Gold, a truly cinematic fully orchestral backdrop that sells some fanboy innovative moments like a CAR CHASE WITH THE TARDIS ( I kid u not, the iconic Call-box is zipping though traffic like something from a 70's cop-show) . Donna sums up the subtle theme as she declines the role of companion, stating that the Doctor needs someone to "stop him from going to far" as he coldly sticks to his assertion of the previous Christmas: "No second chances" while dispatching the Empress and her brood.

In the second story in this set, but the actual season opener, new regular companion MARTHA JONES is introduced in a satisfying start to 2007 in "SMITH and JONES" ( a goof reference to the Doctor's sometimes alias of Dr. John Smith which shows up again in the season, too). An all too different character than Rose, Martha is Medical Student, so she doesn't need the Doctor to rescue her from her life as slacker Rose did, she's smart in a less pop culture way than Rose, more analytical like the Doctor. Like Rose, we meet her family in the episodes opening over several rapid-fire conversations via cellphone. Strange things are afoot at her hospital which eventually ends up on the Moon. More as window dressing, the Jadoon Stormtroopers, beautifully realized alien police are searching for an vampiric alien among the human patients and doctors. Martha and the Doctor immediately develop an enjoyable on screen chemistry, while storytellers cut to the chase and give us two instances of Doctor/Companion kisses, the throwaway nature establishes the preoccupied (with love-lost) tone that the Doctor will regard Martha (unfortunately more like a traditional Dr. Who relationship). The Doctor spells this out saying, "this doesn't mean anything," sadly for Martha, this feeling isn't mutual and leads to choices made by the end of the season. So the Doctor sacrifices himself to flush out the fugitive, while Martha literally breaths her final breath in an attempt to save the Doctor's life, earning herself a non-committal invite to the TARDIS.

The major part of the first half of the 13 show season, 14 with the "Bride" Special (#0) is weak. Smith & Jones (#1) is strong, the Shakespeare Code (#2) is frankly BRILLIANT!

GRIDLOCK (#3) is very good, but the Dalek 2 parter: "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks (#4-5)", NOT SO BRILLIANT, nor is "Lazarius Experiment (#6)" or "42 (#7)" But the final HALF of the season (#8-13) is GOLDEN, leading up to a 3 part finale re-introducing a classic character that will blow you away!!! Away !!!

"SHAKESPEARE CODE", Martha's first trip back in time, they meet the Bard himself and learn the secret of Shakespeare's famous lost play. This was film partly in the real rebuild Globe Theater, so it looks great. As is Dean Kelly's rock-n-roll performance as the renown playwright. This contains some of the best dialogue the series has EVER had, so much so that you much watch it repeatedly to truly appreciate this one ( I played this one to high-schoolers as a follow-up to Hamlet).

"GRIDLOCK," is a great sci-fi story, in which people are living their lives stuck decades and decades on a skyway traffic jam. The is the 3rd story in the new series history to go to the far-future "New Earth" and the Doctor meets the Face of Boe for the prophesied 3rd and final time. A super concept with great effects and some genuinely moving moments, like the music montage of the stranded freeway drivers connected by faith and song. The Face reveals a secret to the Doctor which tips us off to the season finale.

The DALEKS in MANHATTAN" and "EVOLUTION of the DALEKS" is the Doctor's apology to Martha for showing off taking her to New Earth on the rebound as it were, but overall this 2 part doesn't work. There is some great integration of footage actually shot in modern NYC, reworked to look like the 1920's, but the premise that the sole surviving Daleks (the Cult of Skaro, seen escaping last season's finale) are making not only PIG-Slaves, but the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING itself as part of a plan to recreate their race using humans for materials. There are some good performances all around, but the "Evolution" of the Human-Dalek (both costume and concept), is disappointing and distracting. But, the Art Deco 1930s style Empire State Build does lend itself to that of the Daleks.

Episodes 6 and 7, "The LAZARIUS EXPERIMENT" and "42" are both so derivative of Popular sci-fi that they are unsatisfying when compared to some of the really great shows of the season. LAZARIUS is very much a variation on "the FLY" while "42" with its real time concept ("24" reversed) and spacecraft claustrophobia is like both Impossible Planet of last season and other movies of the genre. But, Dr. Lazarius himself is afforded an excellent performance by Dr. Who writer Mark Gatiss ( of "League of Gentlemen" and "Jekyll").

Again proving that the producers are true fans themselves, episodes 8 and 9, Human Nature and The Family of Blood, are based on a fan favorite Dr. Who Novel (with the 7th Doctor), translating seamlessly to TV. It is a classic story idea, the Doctor becomes Human!! In order to escape a family of aliens ( a concept already borrowed from the novel for season one's Slitheens, an alien surname) the Doctor puts his Timelord identity into a watch, only Martha knows who he is and is put in charge of this secret as he really becomes John Smith, History teacher (of course) of a boys school just before WWI. I can't say enough about the heart-wrenching excellence of this 2 parter. The Doctor falls in love and must make some hard choices. This also sets up things to come in the finale.

Episode 10, "BLINK," happens to be filler, like last seasons "Love and Monsters" in which the regular cast is all but absent in order to shoot another episode simultaneously. Like "Love and Monsters" this episode is a creative triumph, also base on a previously published story. "BLINK" also happens to be the scariest show of the new series history!
In a nutshell, the Doctor is sending messages from the past to "the present" through DVD extras or easter eggs, warning about weeping angel statues that move at you when no one is looking, so don't even blink! Although, no one is killed on screen, not in any conventional sense, this one is still keeping my kids up at night (especially in a city famous for its cemeteries) ! BLINK was written by Steven Moffat, two-time consequtive HUGO winner (both for DR.WHO, series 2 the "GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE" and series one's "EMPTY CHILD." Moffat has next year's Hugo in the bag with BLINK, if his writing in JEKYLL doesn't split the vote (see my review for more on JEKYLL).

The final 3 parter, "UTOPIA", "The SOUND of DRUMS" and "LAST of the TIMELORDS" are perfection. Really. I can say more without revealing too much (although the U.K. press already did that long before the shows aired), but the season is full of clues leading up to this (even in TORCHWOODS final episodes there are clues). Capt. Jack returns for all three of these and there are notable guest appearances such as SIR DEREK JACOBI ( famous for I, Claudius), how great is that!! Also, John Sims (from Life on Mars). The first of these 3 parts, UTOPIA, comes across as a Mad Max deal, don't give up on it, that is just subterfuge! Make plans to watch the three of these back-to-back-to-back, you're not gonna' want to stop.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2007
Third time's a charm--that's the inevitable cliche that pops to mind. If the first series (season) of Doctor Who was good with some hiccups and the second quite fine overall, the show's creators seem to have really hit their stride with the third series here and brought forth an excellent range of science fiction adventures at once interesting, inventive, and exciting--innovative and unusual but very true to the show's spirit over the decades. Oh, and loads of fun, of course.

By now David Tennant has a totally surefire grasp of the Doctor's character and has contributed much to its portrayal--and convincingly developed it in the bargain, especially in light of the events of series two. Eccentric as always, frenetic and off the wall but silently nursing a deep melancholy, open and friendly and yet with a certain emotional distance and brusqueness. The Doctor we all know and love, but a little more complex. You will never get me to say that he's better than Tom Baker as some have, but my sense is that Tennant may very well end up putting as definitive a stamp on the renegade Time Lord for this generation as Baker did for us old-timers. As for the Doctor's companion, it's clear that the writers were wisely avoiding a repeat of Rose (whom we all miss, yes) and going instead for a somewhat more mature and intelligent foil in up-and-coming med student Martha (as played by Freema Agyeman)--a doctor in training, as it were, a bit of cleverness that the writers thankfully capitalize on in her first episode. The chemistry strains a bit to spark at first and the one-sided romance angle is brought in a bit too abruptly perhaps, but still The Doctor and Martha make a nice, believable team overall.

The storytelling for this series is excellence itself. Not perfection, mind you, which is humanly impossible anyway, but even the lesser episodes are better than most of what you'll find on TV nowadays--especially when it comes to sci-fi. "The Runaway Bride" is good if slightly twisted holiday fun in the way a Christmas special should be, "Smith and Jones" has a hint of Douglas Adams influence in its satirically-edged motifs of galactic bureaucracies and absurd situations, "The Shakespeare Code" is a highly memorable pseudo-historical starring the Bard himself in a manner totally cohesive with the plot, and "Gridlock" is a claustrophobic return to New New York with an edgier angle. The "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" two-parter is kind of like comfort food for older Doctor Who fans--a very typical Dalek tale of invasion and mutation, but with a few fresh ingredients like the human/dalek hybrid and the 1930's New York setting. "The Lazarus Experiment" and "42" likewise conform to tried-and-true Doctor Who formulas but successfully so, "42" being something of an cocktail mix of "Ark in Space" and "Inferno" complete with a not overplayed ecological theme.

On the other hand, "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood" and "Blink" are unlike anything ever before seen really in Doctor Who and really showcase the creativity and never-ending potential of the show. And then finally the three-part epic series conclusion, "Utopia"/"The Sound of Drums"/"The Last of the Time Lords" first takes the Doctor to the Big Crunch and then builds on countless clues scattered throughout all the season's prior episodes to expertly spring quite a surprise on the unsuspecting viewer, the return of...well, if you don't know I won't give it away, but I haven't seen this particular character so masterfully portrayed since the original in the early 1970's. It must be admitted that the climax in part three is just a tad fanciful and will induce a sense of deja vu in anyone who in their childhood attested their belief in magic and clapped their hands accordingly so as to revive Tinkerbell, but this didn't really bother me consciously till well afterwards, meaning that the writers succeeded in getting me to suspend my disbelief long enough for them to get away with their forgivable little cheat.

All in all then, the show's creators have struck a fine balance throughout between the futuristic and the pseudo-historical, the cozily familiar and the out-on-a-limb unusual, the thoughtfully speculative and the chills & thrills adventurous. Of course tastes will differ, but my impression anyway is that "Doctor Who" has now really come into its own again as a wonderfully excellent science fiction TV program with this compelling variety of storylines in series three, all of which can be watched and enjoyed again and again (along with all the usual extras and behind-the-scenes programs) on this attractively packaged DVD set--a bit sturdier in design than the last two, thankfully. Only beware, once you start watching you won't even want to blink!
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 9, 2007
I have been a fan of Doctor Who since Jon Pertwee put on his first velvet jacket and the 3rd season since the BBC revived its series about "the Doctor," a time travelling alien with a fondness for earth, is quite possibly the strongest season for that show since the 4th actor to play the role hung up his trade mark 18 foot scarf, more than a quarter century ago.

Going back and forth between sci fi and historical adventures the season manages to flit easily from Elizabethan England to a medical lab of a mad scientist in modern London, to a boys school in Edwardian England to a crippled space ship to depression era New York to a lost colony in the far future and on, it goes without a misstep.

There are more 2 part adventures than the revived series has had in the past but this allows for the more convoluted plots and this is a good thing, harking back to the plot with in a plot adventures of the mid 70's. And an appearance by Sir Dereck Jacobi in one episode as the leader of a band of lost humans, is so masterfully handled that you know why he is considered a national treasure to the British stage.

There is no doubt that Tennant is a Doctor to hold his own with any of the original actors and his delivery of most lines such as "I will give you one piece of advice though, 'RUN!'" or scenes such as wandering in the sewers of a major metropolitan city followed by bemused companions are the sort which long time Whovians can envisage being said or done by any Doctor, a testament to the actor, the writer and the directors. Eccleston may have regnerated the doctor back to life, but it is with Tennant that the show really hit its pace and this is the Doctor at his finest.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Fans of the original 1963-1989 series of Doctor Who generally fall into two camps: those who dislike the updated sensibilities of the 2005-present revival of the show, and those who are not thrown by the changes. The Doctor kissing someone will always be controversial, even for plot purposes ("That was a genetic transfer") rather than romantic ones. And if a certain classic villain doesn't have a beard any more - sacrilege!

But if your vision of Doctor Who encompasses such deviations from tradition, there's a lot to love here. Series Three is the second one starring David Tennant, for my money the best actor in the history of Doctor Who. He does frenetic, silly, deadpan, depressed, enthusiastic, weary, sincere, angry, loving, joyful, and emotionally disengaged with equal skill, making the viewer believe from moment to moment in the emotional life of this "ancient and forever" alien hero and trickster. For Series Three he's joined by Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones, a medical student whose emotional journey takes her from intellectual curiosity through unrequited love to true heroism, as she saves the world more or less single-handed. Filling the void left by the departure of Billie Piper as Rose Tyler must have been a huge challenge for Freema and the writers, but they managed it magnificently, not by repeating past success but by doing something new and brilliant. As David Tennant says of Martha climbing aboard the TARDIS when Rose is gone, "The hole she fills in the Doctor's life is a different shaped hole." Or something like that.

One of the reasons these two perform so brilliantly is that they have amazing scripts to work with this season:

* "The Runaway Bride" gives us Donna Noble, a ditsy, sharp-tongued bride who unexpectedly appears in the TARDIS when she's meant to be walking down the aisle. Originally meant to be a one-off character, she returns to Doctor Who in Series Four.
* In "Smith and Jones," fearless, quick-witted Martha earns her way onto the TARDIS, standing up to the Judoon and saving the Doctor's life.
* In "the Shakespeare Code," we really believe that Will would be taken with both the Doctor and his Dark Lady, Martha.
* "Gridlock," about the ultimate futuristic traffic jam, shows us Martha's strength and the Doctor's frailties, and sets up two major revelations for later.
* "Daleks in Manhattan" / "Evolution of the Daleks" shows us a world-weary, near-suicidal Doctor, who nevertheless finds compassion for his oldest, most implacable enemies.
* "The Lazarus Experiment" allows us to revisit Martha's family, and offsets the Doctor's loneliness with her loyalty and optimism. It takes both of them to defeat the monster du jour.
* "42" briefly gives us a Doctor who is actually afraid, something that would normally never happen but works here. Once again, Martha is the key to the story in this race against time on a sabotaged spaceship.
* "Human Nature" / "The Family of Blood" is flat-out amazing, as Martha looks after the fully human, amnesiac history teacher, Mr. John Smith, at a boys' school in 1912. When the crisis comes, she needs the Doctor back; but Smith, who has fallen in love with Joan, does not want to admit that the Doctor is more than "just stories," much less give way to his other self.
* "Blink," the annual "Doctor-lite" episode, is brilliant and scary, as Sally Sparrow works out the clues the Doctor sends her from 38 years in the past. Don't blink, because the angels have the blue box....
* "Utopia" has perhaps the most astonishing opening in the history of the series, explains at last why the Doctor abandoned Captain Jack, gives us Derek Jacobi in an amazing dual role, and ends with the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.
* "The Sound of Drums" / "Last of the Time Lords" is a frenetic, creepy, insane reimagining of one of the Doctor's greatest foes, captivatingly played by John Simm. The Doctor is powerless as we've never seen him before - except for his secret weapon, Martha, who walks alone across the ruined Earth.

Just amazing. Seriously. Even the music is astonishingly good, and I'm quite annoyed that Amazon U.S. doesn't carry the Series Three soundtrack by Murray Gold. (Update: Doctor Who Original Music from Series 3 finally became available here in mid-January.) I have minor quibbles about a few of the episodes, but none worth mentioning. And don't think you've seen it all, even if you watched every episode on Sci-Fi. These are the uncut versions, with commentaries, supplemented by Doctor Who Confidential Cut Downs, deleted scenes (albeit not the one I was looking for), and David Tennant's Video Diaries. If you like the new Doctor Who even a little, you'll want to own this.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2007
I don't have the DVDs (hope they're under the Christmas Tree) but watching the series over the waning summer months was one of the most pleasurable TV-watching experiences I have ever had. My children and I thrilled to some amazing episodes, and even the weaker episodes are better than most television being broadcast today. In fact, the only disappointment is that the season had to end, and that it will be so long until season 4 starts up again.

Martha Jones was a wonderful companion; just the antidote needed after Rose departed in last season's tearful finale. She's smart and funny, a doctor (in a nice bit of symmetry) and in love with the Doctor. Unrequited though it may be, through her eyes we see him as a man worth spending time with, for all he ignores her crush. It also give us a chance to say goodbye to Rose as the Doctor comes to grip with his loss.

The superlative episodes mentioned by so many (Blink, Human Nature, The Sound of Drums) are not to be missed. In the two week period I saw Human Nature and Blink, I believe I witnessed two of television's finest hours. The three-part season finale was exceptional, though the third episode was weaker than the second, which was in turn weaker than the second, for all that I love the sublime John Simm. However, the season as a whole was wonderful. Can't wait for more from the creative and inventive cast and crew.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
After the crazy, wonderful, "Fan-TASTIC!" roller coaster ride of Seasons 1 & 2, with their "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways" and "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday" finale's, it was almost inevitable that Season 3 would not be able to maintain the sheer excellence of what had gone before. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Season 3 is bad, not by a very long shot! You'll have noticed, I hope, the 5 Star rating, but to my mind at least, Season 3 didn't quite reach the same dizzying heights of 1 & 2, and the reason why is, I think, obvious... Rose Tyler.

Her development, from London shop-girl, to time traveler, explorer of the universe, and killer of Daleks, helped drive the stories in a new more mature, more emotionally fulfilling direction, and let's not forget the heartbreaking finale on the beach in Norway! No, Seasons 1 & 2 became the story of Rose - and Mickey, and Pete, and Jackie! - much as Babylon 5, when looked at from the perspective of the entire 5 year series, was the interconnected story of Londo and G'Kar.

So, after all this bleating and whining about Rose, is Season 3 worth getting? If you've enjoyed the first two, the answer to that question is a definite and unequivocal "YES!!!" The new season gets off to a rollicking start with the now customary "Christmas Special" called, "The Runaway Bride." For me "Donna," the titular Bride, played by Catherine Tate, is the reason this episode works so well. Walking up the Isle on her Wedding Day, she's inexplicably transported to the Console Room of the TARDIS whilst it's in flight; alternately yelling accusations and questions at the Doctor while barely stopping to hear answers she can't possibly comprehend, she's loud, brash, and obnoxious. Basically, she's the "Anti-Rose!" Her withering retort to the Doctor of, "You're just making it up, that's not even a real word!" when told that "this" is the "TARDIS" is typical of her approach, as is her repeated reference to him as "Martian Boy!" The episode also features the return of the robotic Santa's from "The Christmas Invasion," this time in the service of a far more dangerous and malignant master, or should that be "Mistress?!"

The season proper gets off to a good start with the first official episode, "Smith and Jones," which introduces us to the Doctor's new Companion, "Martha Jones," a medical student who gets caught up in the hunt for a vampire-style alien that's taken refuge in the hospital where she works. Played by relative newcomer Freema Agyeman, Martha is Book-Smart AND Street-Smart; so, once again we have a companion who's almost the exact opposite of Rose, but without all the yelling and verbal abuse dished out by Donna! With the entire hospital somehow transported to the Moon and taken over by the Judoon, a kind of intergalactic police force - "Judoon on the Moon" the Doctor quips as their ships land in the distance - Martha more-or-less accepts the situation and works with the Doctor to find the "alien" before the Judoon find HIM. They may be cops and technologically advanced, but they're not very bright; they're looking for an alien and if they find the Doctor first, he'll be clapped in irons and hauled off to a cozy cell on one of those Judoon ships for transport to who-knows-where!

Needless to say after being returned to Earth after many a close call, Martha can't wait for another adventure, so the Doctor whisks her off to meet "The Bard" himself in "The Shakespeare Code," where there's the question of those pesky Witches to be dealt with! Again, another fun episode with a very contemporary "Man Of Letters" played by Dean Lennox Kelly, who greatly admires Martha's "fitted" attire; but oh dear, what did/will the Doctor do to upset Her Majesty?!?!?! LOL!

So, Season 3 gets off to a very strong start, but as a whole, this is probably the most uneven season so far. All the stories and concepts are wonderful as always, even if a few of them feel somewhat derivative, which is not a problem in and of itself, just look at Season 2's "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit" two-parter which gave us some great Alien-esque thrills!

For me, the most disappointing story of Season 3 was one I couldn't wait to see, "Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks." The story concept is great, possibly one of the most ambitious to date, unfortunately the execution fell very short indeed. To save themselves we saw the "Cult of Skaro" perform an Emergency Temporal Shift when the Doctor opened the doorway between Earth and Parallel Earth at the end of Doomsday, for one last time. We then jump to 1930's New York and the construction of the Empire State Building, and who should be behind the project but everyone's favorite homicidal pepper-pots. There're some truly wonderful visuals in this story; there's something about the 30's Art Deco look and the new blinged-out Daleks that's just perfect, and the production team did a great job of invoking the look, feel, and sound, of Depression Era New York.

From an army of untold millions the Dalek race had been reduced to just four. Teetering on the brink of extinction they came up with a radical, some would say "sacrilegious," plan to not only save themselves, but to breed a new Dalek army. Working in secret they kidnapped the destitute, down-and-outs, the homeless, the unwanted, and fused human DNA with their own. These Dalek/Human hybrids are empty shells, waiting for the spark of life to be introduced, and it's here that the Empire State Building comes into play. The building is going to be the conductor for a massive blast of Gamma radiation emanating from the Sun as part of an enormous Solar Flare, waking the new Dalek army. But Dalek Sec, the leader of the Cult of Skaro, has an even more extreme plan in mind; "The Children of Skaro" he says, "must once more walk outside the Shell!" He plans to physically join with a Human host, thus creating a true Dalek/Human hybrid, and a creature that the others will surely view as an abomination!

Didn't I say this story was ambitious?!?!?! When Sec let the others know what he intended to do I almost had to change my underwear, I was THAT excited! LOL! But oh, the horror... when the hybrid - which I immediately dubbed "Hat-Sec!" - was revealed, I was suddenly transported back to the bad old days of rubber monsters, cardboard sets, and cheesy FX! And even though the rest of the story, and it's final resolution, was excitingly, even thrillingly told, poor old Hat-Sec sucked the life out of it for me!

But hey, it's not all-bad, remember that 5 Star rating! From here on in the stories really start to excel, "The Lazarus Experiment" is Who's take on The Fly, and also served to introduce us to Martha's less than perfect family. "42" is an excitingly told "countdown to disaster" type tale, with more Alien-type thrills, a touch of Danny Boyles Sunshine, and even a smidgen of Event Horizon thrown in for good measure!

The last 6 episodes of the series are simply stunning, and are, quite frankly, worth the price of admission all by themselves! "Human Nature/Family Of Blood" has the Doctor on the run from a group of aliens who want to harness his ability to regenerate. Hiding out in pre-WWI England the Doctor "becomes" Human by downloading his Time Lord consciousness into a fob watch, and Martha is tasked with protecting him at all costs. The final lines of the episode, "They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old/Age shall not wither them nor the years condemn/At the going down of the sun and in the morning/We shall remember them," (from "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon, a commemorative poem written for those who lost their lives in WWI) is especially moving when seen in the context of the story.

The next story "Blink" barely has the Doctor or Martha in it at all, and yet is, without a doubt, one of the most imaginative, inventive, and scary episodes of all the new seasons to date... "Beware the Weeping Angels!!!"

This then leads us into the three-episode finale, "Utopia/The Sound Of Drums/Last Of The Time Lords," which is quite simply magnificent! A new/old favorite returns and travels with the Doctor and Martha to the End Of Time itself, where an even older nemesis is reborn! And even if the ending itself is somewhat weak, even contrived (as is Martha's almost immediate attraction to the Doctor), as many have said, this is still a worthy and emotional conclusion to the season!!! HIGHLY recommended... even with "Hat-Sec!" LOL!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2007
Thank God David Tennant is in for one more season and a few specials! After that, who knows? The third series just wrapped here in the U.S. and Mr. Tennant is the best Doctor of all time.

Did I just say that???

I never thought I would place someone before Tom Baker, but David Tennant has claimed the role and made it his own. And how!!!

I can't see anyone else playing the Doctor, but I've thought that on countless occasions in my years of watching him (25+).

It took me a while to warm up to Martha - Rose was a tough act to follow for both the Doctor and the fans - but by the end, I really loved her and her strength. I thought it took guts for her to ditch the Doctor at the end of "The Last of the Time Lords."

"This is me, getting out."

Her exit was brilliant and something that so many (women) could relate to. The way Russell T. Davies brought back the Master...fabulous...I know a lot of people didn't like the Doctor's final scenes with the Master, but if you have even a shred of feeling/empathy in you at all, you'll get it.

And I know there's been some criticism about the final three episodes in general, but I thought they were perfect...the only thing I didn't quite get was the Master's little wifey, but I have my own sneaking suspicion about her and I'm going to wait and see if I'm right before making a final judgment. And the revelation about Jack? Completely out of the blue, but it made perfect sense in a weird sorta way...

Just what I need...a head full o' big face...

So now I'm left pining by my mailbox, waiting for my copy of Series Three...

Sheesh! Is it really Series Three??? Seems like just yesterday when the Doctor first returned in the TARDIS...but time is not a straight line...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2009
Series three maintains mostly strong writing, great acting, and the usual social commentary while just avoiding earning the sanctimonious and preachy mantle. It showcases the new companion, Martha Jones. Davies and Co. took the Rose / Doctor story as far as it could go without savaging Doctor Who tradition with a mismatched romance.

Martha is smart without being overbearing and caring without being effusive. Others called her "weak", but the number of times the Doctor had to count on her to save him were too many to detail here. Her enthusiasm, intelligence and understandable obsession with unraveling and perhaps healing this Doctor's secret pain is played out in a thoroughly likable character. Freema Agyeman had the challenge of portraying the first nonwhite regular companion and replacing a very popular companion who had a very strong storyline. She has an artistic range, depth and charisma to match David Tennant and Billie Piper. I hope those who can't appreciate her obvious talent learn to broaden their viewpoint.

Uneven writing throughout the season was the trouble, but with more highs than not: Lows - Martha's unrequited feelings get real old real fast. Highs - Tennant is great as the Doctor, throwing himself into the role with joy, skill and passion.

"Gridlock," was one of my favorites episodes. The idea of living one's life in a car resonates very deeply with me (I drive for a living)! And Cats were redeemed in this return to New new new etc... York. The hymn sung at the end was quite moving.

The Daleks' return was a pointless two-parter. Nothing new offered except one plot twist that works into season 4's story arc.

"Human Nature" and "Fanily of Blood" were only okay for me, It was a bit too much of a paean to our "demi-god" Time Lord, especially at the end when he exacts vengeance on The Family. John Smith was such a product of his time, he became too dense, annoying and narrow-minded to be tolerable for long. I really couldn't wait for that fob watch to open. The performances all around were excellent, but it was too much Masterpiece Theatre and not enough Doctor.

While "Blink" was a nice break from the usual, it did get caught up in its own hipness and smartness at times.

The Highlight was the three-part season finale. For those who found it "implausible", I'd ask, how many Doctor Who stories are actually "plausible"? Doctor Who has always been long on Camp and imagination, but short on Science! A good story with actors chewing scenery (both John Simm and Derek Jacobi are outstanding), is the whole point! The tension holds up right until the end. There are some minor plot holes and strained moments, but it was totally satisfying overall. And John Barrowman's return as Captain Jack was priceless!

Also: The Doctor Who Confidential episodes (Bonus Disk) are lacking. The full versions are badly needed. Please, can someone get these on DVD in their entirety?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2011
This is the season that really sold me on the new version of the show. Seasons 1 and 2 had some decidedly winning features, but there it still felt as though the cast and crew hadn't quite figured things out. The shift in lead actors between seasons 1 and 2 couldn't have helped (despite how good both Eccleston and Tennant wound up being), as this meant writers had to recreate the Doctor's character midstream, and that a new actor (Tennant) had to feel his way through the role on short notice.

In this season, though, Tennant hits his stride. He's funny, brilliant with verbal wit and physical comedy, and conveys the Doctor's intelligence, enthusiasm, and occasional dark side quite well. Freema Agyeman, as Martha, is a solid choice as his companion, despite being a little too love-struck with the Doctor. The writing is by and large quite good, the very weak Dalek two-parter aside.

My one real caveat here is that the final episode, while good, is not quite as good I'd hoped. But that's a quibble. All around, there is a confidence and great good humor shown here by those involved that makes this season a pleasure to watch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If I were introducing Doctor Who to a friend this is the episode I would start with. It has horror, humor, sci fi and even a tiny bit of romance thrown in. All of the characters are well fleshed out and sympathetic even the Weeping Angels who are the villians of the ep. It also has the poignancy that the newer series of Doctor Who episodes has. This one is the one my seventeen year old has asked to watch repeatedly since it first aired and we copied it. I think he's seen it 10 times in the last four years. I know I have.
Part of the reason I think it makes such a wonderful introduction to the series is the collection of 'easter eggs' that explain the Doctor's view of time as not only nonlinear, but 'wibbly wobbly'.
As a long time Doctor Who fan, I've enjoyed most of the new series. David Tennant was a wonderful portrayal of an ever evolving character. You immediately like Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow. She is a wonderful fleshed out person. Which is good because this is one of the few Doctor Who episodes where he is catalyst more than main character.
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