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10 January 2010 @ 09:08 pm
Doctor Who Series 3 - A Retrospective  
The Doctor Who massive re-watch continues! Series Three brings us a new companion, new monsters, a new suit and the return of an old nemesis. Enjoy!

The Runaway Bride - The Christmas special picks up exactly where Doomsday left off. There's a BRIDE in the TARDIS! WTF? The Doctor is just as confused as we are. But sn't just any bride it's the soon to be fan favorite Donna Noble.  I'm not gonna lie; I love Donna. I'm a lot like her, actually. Loud, opinionated and brash, that's our Donna. Despite the awesomeness of Donna, this isn't my favorite special. For me the best part is the Doctor flying the TARDIS down the road. For a spaceship, the TARDIS doesn't do a whole lot of actual flying. The Doctor's in a very bad place having just said a tearful and incomplete to his beloved Rose. The repeated reminders of her brings down what would otherwise be a fun adventure. This is highlighted by the final confrontation with the Racnoss. It's here we get the first glimpse of what Ten could be like without a companion. It's not a pretty sight. Fortunately Donna is there to stop him from going too far. Unfortunately, she decides not to stay when the Doctor offers. And he is alone. Again.

Smith and Jones - I love this one! Might be my favorite series premiere. We meet the Doctor's new companion, medical student Martha Jones. And she's awesome. You know the great thing about Martha? She doesn't need the Doctor to show her she's awesome. She's a medcal student, who has busted her ass to get there, so she already knows she's awesome. This episode also is the debut of the blue suit. Full disclosure: I adore the blue suit. I like it even more than the brown suit. Sue me. There's also another snog, this time initiated by the Doctor. A genetic transfer to distract the Judoon, but I can see where Martha would get the wrong idea. That kiss lasted an awfully long time. That's some genetic transfer there, Doctor! Oh and did I mention they're on the moon? And the Doctor goes barefoot for a while? Honestly, what's not to love?

The Shakespeare Code - The Doctor, Shakespeare and Harry Potter. Three of my favorite things combined to make my favorite series 3 episode. The Doctor takes Martha to 1599 London to see the Bard in action. It's glorious. I love when the Doctor meets his heroes. First Dickens and now the Bard. Awesomeness. Dear Will flirts outrageously with Martha (and the Doctor!). The Master of the Revels magically drowns; turns out it's a good thing they stayed. Three witches are using Shakespeare to open a portal to bring their brethren to this world. Very bad news. The Doctor and Shakespeare close the portal with a little help from Martha and J.K Rowling! Expelliarmus! The episode ends with the Doctor and Martha getting chased back to the TARDIS on the orders of a very irate Queen Elizabeth. What on earth did he do to her? It would be nearly 2 series and a couple of specials before we find out! :)

Gridlock - I didn't really care for this one at first. I kinda felt like Martha, underwhelmed because the Doctor had been to New Earth with Rose already. Can you say rebound? Sheesh. But once you see the end of series 3 and Torchwood: Children of Earth it gets better.*sniff* RIP, Face of Boe.  Anyway, Martha gets kidnapped by a couple looking to get in the fast lane on the motorway. The Doctor, of course, has to chase after her. Most of the rest of the episode deals with that. The Doctor's fellow motorists are an interesting bunch. My favorite is Bradigan. Maybe I have a weakness for cat people? Who knows. The other interesting thing about this one is all the talk of Gallifrey. I love when the Doctor talks about his home. David is so great in those scenes, expressing the loss, heartbreak and wonder that Gallifrey still inspires. Poor Doctor. :(

Daleks in Manhattan - The first two parter of series 3. And it's the Daleks again. At least they're not in the finale this time. Not much to say about this one. The Doctor and Martha travel to 1930 New York. The real one this time. They visit Hooverville and run into a lot of bad American accents. Don't they have any ex-patriate American actors living in Britain? Seriously? Those accents are distracting. Once again it's time to focus on the pretty.

Evolution of the Daleks - This one has some good points, bad American accents aside. The confrontation in the theater between the Doctor and the Daleks is good. The Doctor gets reckless with his life again. This is what the third time this series? Fourth? It's almost like he's suicidal. The Racnoss in Runaway Bride, the plasmavore in Smith and Jones, the Carrior Knight in The Shakespeare Code, and now the gamma strike in this one. Doctor, please for the sake of my sanity, stop this. I know you miss Rose. I know Martha's feelings for you are hard to deal with, but please no more near dying. Please. Love, Me.

The Lazarus Experiment - This one is another favorite of mine. The tux is back! The tux makes up for a multitude of sins, including some questionable CGI. Tux AND brainy specs? *faints* The Doctor also gets to meet Martha's family for the first time. I don't like them, especially Francine. Why are the companions' families so irritating? Ugh. Anyway, the Doctor and Martha take on Richard Lazarus, a man who has created a machine to make himself immortal. He goes from being 76 to looking about 36. But the mutation is unstable and Lazarus starts feeding on people! The Doctor gets to play a pipe organ! At the end, Martha demands to be treated like an honest to god companion and not just some random passenger. The Doctor agrees and off they go!

42 - Another stellar episode. The TARDIS locks onto a distress call and they land on a ship that is hurtling into a sun. And they only have 42 minutes to stop it! It's a very intense episode. At one point, Martha and a member of the crew get jettisoned in an escape pod. The Doctor has to done another spacesuit in order to save her. Damn spacesuits. But it does lead to one of the more drool worthy Who moments. When the Doctor flips the lever to bring Martha back, he makes the mistake of looking into the sun. He finds out that it is ALIVE. And PISSED. The Doctor gets possessed by the sun and it begins to take over his body. Martha puts him into the stasis chamber to freeze it out of him, but it doesn't work. Where does the drool come in? In David's video diary for this episode, David shows us the pre and post makeup for this scene, i.e. all the fake ice crystals all over his face, hair and suit. For the aftermath bit, David is sans shirt and talking about taking a shower. Clearly the man it trying to kill us all.

The Infinite Quest - Not strictly speaking a series 3 episode, but since Martha's the companion in this animated adventure, I like to watch it during series 3. It's a nice fun little thing. The villain is voiced the awesome Tony Head, who we last saw in School Reunion as Mr. Finch. The animation is decent. The actor interviews are worth a look too. David's adorableness knows no bounds, really. :-)

Human Nature - The second two parter. This is widely considered to be among the best Who has ever done. And I agree mostly. This two parter is carried beautifully by David Tennant. His ability to make John Smith a real, live person distinct from the Doctor and yet a part of the Doctor at the same time is nothing short of astonishing. It's performances like this that remind me why I adore this man so much.

Family of Blood - And now to the bits that annoy me about this otherwise stellar story. Joan. Try as I might, I don't really like Joan. I'm not even sure why. *shrugs* The Family of Blood was a tad shoddy too. The acting just wasn't up to par. It doesn't help that I keep seeing Harry Lloyd as Will Scarlett from Robin Hood. Oh well. But Martha. I love Martha. This story couldn't have been done with either Rose or Donna, if you ask me. Rose would have been insanely jealous and given them away. Donna, bless her, would have been too outspoken to take on Martha's servant role. Martha, secure in her own awesomeness, could do what needed to be done and save both herself and the Doctor. You go, Martha Jones!

Blink - Ah, the Doctor lite episode. Unlike last series, I actually like this one. Sally Sparrow is an awesome character. The Weeping Angels are really, really creepy. I can't look at stone statues the same way anymore, thanks Stephen Moffat! It's timey-wimey goodness!

Utopia - The first part in what is really a three part story. And guess who's back? That's right, ladies, gentlemen and aliens! Captain Jack Harkness! I do love me some Captain Jack. The Doctor and Martha land in Cardiff to refuel and the Doctor sees Jack running toward. And of course he takes off. So Jack does something only Jack could: he clings to the side of the TARDIS for dear life. When they land at the end of the universe we have inevitable confrontation about why the Doctor abandoned Jack in Parting of the Ways. I don't really blame the Doctor. He was kinda busy regenerating at the time. And Jack can definitely fend for himself. But then they get chased by the Future Kind and hole up with a bunch of refugees looking for Utopia. They meet Professor Yana, played the awesome Derek Jacobi. The Doctor, Martha and Jack help the good Professor fix the rocket until something inevitably goes wrong. A room that no one can enter without dying. Hmmm, I wonder what's going to happen? Jack to the rescue! See because Jack CAN'T DIE. And the Doctor knew! The conversation between the Doctor and Jack between the door might be my favorite of series three. David and John are awesome together. It makes me sad that Jack and Ten didn't have more adventures together. :( While that's going on, Martha keeps talking about the TARDIS and Time Lords and such, much to the agitation of Professor Yana. Uh oh. Then Martha sees the fob watch. The same watch the Doctor used to change in Human Nature. Double uh oh. As Martha races to tell the Doctor, Yana opens the watch and the Master's consciousness is released. The Master gets shot by Chan Thou and regenerates into John Simm. The episode ends with the Master fleeing with the TARDIS, leaving the Doctor, Martha and Jack to fend for themselves! Holy Crap!

The Sound of Drums - The Doctor mends Jack's vortex manipulator and manages to zap our trio back to 21st century London. And they find out that the Master is PRIME MINISTER! Can this get any weirder? Oh, wait, the Master has a WIFE! The Master gases the Cabinet and announces to the world that he's made contact with aliens! And he tries to blow up the Doctor, Martha and Jack. The gang is on the run. I love the scene with the Doctor and the Master talking on the phone. It's tied with the Doctor/Jack scene. The Doctor, Martha and Jack wind up hiding in some warehouse where the Doctor tells them exactly who the Master is. We get more talk of Gallifrey, which I love. And tinkering from the Doctor, making those perception filters out of TARDIS keys. Our fearsome trio teleports to the Valiant where they find the TARDIS has been cannibalized. Blasphemy! NO ONE messes with the TARDIS! Things go downhill from there. The Doctor's plan to get to the Master is kinda lame. Did he really think it was going to work? Well, it doesn't. The Doctor gets zapped with the Master's laser screwdriver and looks 100 years older. Jack gets killed. Again. Martha takes Jack's teleport and gets out with a few whispered words from the Doctor. And things look worse than ever.

The Last of the Time Lords - The series three finale. Lost of hate for this one and I'm not sure why. I love it. It's one year later and Martha Jones has returned to Britain. The rumor is that she is the only one who can kill the Master. She can't of course, but that's not the point. She's traveled the world giving the people of Earth something to believe in. And that's the most important thing she could have done. She's told them of the Doctor and how he's been quietly watching over us lame, fragile humans all his life. No thanks, no reward, no nothing. He does it because it's RIGHT. And the Doctor loves us for some reason. ;-) The Master captures Martha and thinks he's won. He'll start his war and rule all of creation and no one can stop him. Sorry, Master. Not in this universe! The people of earth come together and bring the Doctor back. I think this bit is where some of the hate comes from. It's called the "Tinkerbell Jesus" scene. You know what, people? GET OVER IT. I like it.The Master gets shot by his lovely, slightly unstable wife. He dies in the Doctor's arms. Cue hysterics. I hate seeing the Doctor cry. He's all alone again, just when he thought he'd found another Time Lord. Doesn't matter that the Master is batshit crazy. Ten is sad, therefore so am I. *sniff*

Now I haven't said a lot about the relationship between the Doctor and Martha. It's pretty clear pretty early that Martha is head over heels for the Doctor. And who could blame her? He's smart, funny, adventurous and HOT. It's not her fault that she's the rebound companion. The Doctor is still very much in love with Rose. Martha wants something that the Doctor can't give her. It's no one's fault, it's just something that is. The Doctor cares a lot about Martha, just not the same way he cares about Rose. Again with the no one's fault thing. So at the end Martha did something awesome. She got out. She put herself first and got out. Good for her. Despite the fact that it leaves the Doctor alone again. But Martha also leaves her phone with the Doctor, so she can call him back when she needs him. Have I mentioned I love Martha? :-)

The Doctor sets the controls and heads into the Vortex...where he promptly runs into the freaking Titanic! Such is the life of a Time Lord. "WHAT?!"
Current Location: Casa Bartowski
Current Mood: dorkydorky
Current Music: Chuck
johnsheppardluv: dt the thinky specsjohnsheppardluv on January 11th, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
Great S3 recap, mate! :D I thought your comment about the infamously shirtess, shower-bound 42!David was especially accurate. Ergo - he IS trying to kill us. ;) But, oh, what a way to go, THAT would be. :D

I too wasn't too keen on Joan though. She was far too milquetoast for my tastes. DT and FA pwned ALL though, so I let Joan off the hook. Mostly. ;)

I found it highly interesting though that the UNrequited love interest (ie Martha) was the only one "smart" enough to get out while she was still all in one piece, whereas both his 'friend' (Donna) and his 'lover' (Rose) met unfortunate ends. Usually, it's the unrequited person that is seen moping about constantly and/or staying well past her sell-by date, NOT the other way around.

(The usual way of things: the one true love would get out if the love went cold; the friend would likewise leave if the friendship frayed or soured; but, the unrequited lover would stick around like a bad penny and constantly keep pining away.)

So, way to go, Rusty, for twisting that around in order to better service Martha. I approve! :D

Awesome thoughts, do you have, at any rate, m'dear Michelle! :)

michellemtsu: David Tennant - Hamlet Guhmichellemtsu on January 11th, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
That David, killing fangirls one at a time! :D

So true about the companions and the Doctor! It's one of the things that Rusty doesn't get enough credit for, I think. People keep focusing on the tragic ends of Rose and Donna; it overshadows the awesomeness of Martha. It makes me sad. :(
johnsheppardluv: ten is forever MY Doctorjohnsheppardluv on January 11th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
YES, Indeed. AND he ENJOYS it too! ;) Very covertly coy, that guy. ;)

I KNOW! :D Rusty needs to get more love than he does. A lot of people don't like him for the breakdown of Ten/Rose, or the memory wipe of Donna, or even what happened on CoE. But, I think character growth is important. And, without death or character dynamics changing or other more temporal rift type problems arising, there can be very little natural growth or progression....

Well, that is, unless you're awesome like Martha is. ;)

Anyhoo, I got a question for you...You mention this for your Infinite Quest entry, "The actor interviews are worth a look too. David's adorableness knows no bounds, really." But, where are they or at least where did YOU find them? I don't think I've seen such things. And I really thought I'd seen all the adorable!David things out there...

michellemtsu: David Tennant - Absolute Radiomichellemtsu on January 11th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
The actor interviews are a special feature on the DVD. That's where I saw it. I haven't the faintest how to rip it off and upload it though. But I'm sure SOMEONE has it.

I think character growth is important too. Rusty brought that in spades. The Doctor is a person, granted an alien person, but a person nonetheless, who has feelings just like everyone else. He's not a monk or a robot. I would find it painfully boring of that were the case, pretty David or not. So RTD haters to the left! :D
johnsheppardluv: dt the geek powerjohnsheppardluv on January 12th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
Oh. All right. Thanks for the tidbit. :) Who knew they'd ACTUALLY put them on the dvd tho, as often-times it's the best 'extra bits' or 'extras' that never get seen. :(

These thoughts of yours are precisely my thoughts-on-character too, m'dear! Rusty haters to the left, indeed. :D
toontooshtoontoosh on January 11th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
it was lovely!
Ihad fun reading!
and about the infinate quest I was suprised you haven't reminded the cute Ten-talk-like-a-pirate that makes everyone squee :)
michellemtsu: David Tennant - Grinmichellemtsu on January 11th, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, the talk like a pirate! I can't believe I forgot that! I might have edit that in! :)
~ CinJudes ~: dr who - 10/martha - 3.09 - tardis field_cinjudes_ on January 11th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
I love S3 & your summary was amazing. I am almost glad I'm not 'in' this fandom because having to endure Martha Jones hate, well it would bring out my bad side, and you have SEEN my bad side. LOL (which is secretly why I think you DO want me in the fandom hard, to kick some asses maybe? Hmmm...) Martha is awesome. She's dedicated, opinionated, independent, very smart & I love her wardrobe! I love Donna mostly because of Catherine Tate and because Donna is Ten's true best friend. I tolerate Rose mostly because of how The Doctor acted around her. But in an all around way, Martha is my favorite companion. Could Rose or Donna walked the earth for a year ALONE and saved the world? I think not.

The thing I like least about S3 is how The Doctor is so lovelorn for so long over Rose and how much he drags Martha along almost unwillingly for entirely too long. The fact he doesn't realize her awesomeness as invaluable sooner gets under my skin.

Also, for the record, the last half of S3 - from "Human Nature" all the way through "The Last of the Time Lords" is my favorite run of episodes in the entire show. I have to struggle to find too much fault in the entire lot. I agree with your summary pretty extensively, except I would like to add my gush about how marvelous John Simms is as The Master - he takes evil deliciousness to a whole new level and I admire that. Also, the commentary for LotTL with Freema, Barrowman & Tennant is CLASSIC.

I'm excited to see your write up for S4, which I also love very, very much.
michellemtsu: David Tennant - 1993michellemtsu on January 11th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
I'm saving my gush for John Simm for the finale. I'll have a long winded gush then, I promise. But you're absolutely right, he was awesome as the Master. He and David played off each other really well.

I totally agree that the Doctor didn't treat Martha very well, especially at first. And it IS annoying. He just wasn't in a very healthy emotional state, having lost Rose like he did. Love her, hate her or tolerate her, the Doctor loved her and she was cruelly torn from him. It's bound to throw anyone for a loop. It's one of the things that makes Ten so very human, despite his alien-ness. In the end though, he did appreciate Martha's awesomeness and that's what counts, I suppose.

Avoid this fandom at all costs. Seriously. They make SPN fans look sane. I'm out as soon as I finish this re-watch. Well, other than my fanfiction reading. :D
~ CinJudes ~: dr who - master - 3.12 - thumbs way up_cinjudes_ on January 11th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
I do understand he was heartbroken, but hey - she didn't die. There is some comfort in that right? I guess it's my somewhat mixed feelings on Rose that always left that feeling a bit cold for me, but I do see your point.

No worries, I plan on avoiding it. I learned LONG ago to enter no fandom but to watch from the fringes. There is crazy everywhere and my temperment & blood pressure can't handle dealing with it. Plus I tend to REALLY show my ass... Surprising, I know. ;-)
denshi_no_ultra: doctor whodenshi_no_ultra on January 11th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
Great season summary, it made me remember all my favourite moments and episodes :) I agree that Martha is absolutely awesome! Thanks for writing, it was really an interesting read.
michellemtsu: David Tennant - Umbrellamichellemtsu on January 11th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
Welcome! I'll be doing S4 soon, I hope. Glad you enjoyed my rambling!
denshi_no_ultra: doctor whodenshi_no_ultra on January 11th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Great, I'll keep my eyes on the Doctor Who newsletter not to miss it!