Review: Doctor Who 3×01 – Smith and Jones

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Chris asks.
Doctor Who
I do.

Slowly.

We’re now 4 episodes in to this brand new season of Doctor Who, and I’m pleased as punch to report that so far, it’s been pretty much what I hoped for.

Pure fun.

Smith and Jones ““ a solid episode. There was nothing particularly outstanding about it. It was just a good episode, complete in as much as it needed to be, introducing us to Martha Jones, and the new, so-called, “˜Darker Doctor’.

Martha is good, light-hearted fun. She doesn’t have the same issues that Rose had; lack of a father figure for one. She’s a girl who could have gone on living her life and been quite happy with it, I do believe, whereas with Rose you get the feeling she always wanted something more.

Martha is more grown up than Rose was. More mature. She’s determined to be a match for the Doctor in as much as she can be. She’s a got a great sense of humour, and she’s prepared to tease the Doctor. She’s awed by what she sees in this first episode, but she’s not overwhelmed. She is in essence, someone who can hold her own against the overwhelming weight of the Doctors’ persona.

The Doctor himself. You don’t really see much of the Darker Doctor until the later episodes, in this one the wounds from losing Rose are still present, but he’s learnt to put most of it to rest. And he still has wonderful sense of humour this “˜Perfect Ten’ incarnation tends to hold ““

“Look down there! You’ve got a little shop! I love a little shop!”

What I find most interesting about this episode though, forget the Judoon (although they were wonderfully realised), forget the Plasmavore (a fair villain, if not a particularly memorable one given the lack of a dastardly evil plot, if you ignore the kill half the population of the Earth thing as a by-product of her escape plan”¦), forget even the hospital being transported to the Moon meaning the use of some fantastic special effects”¦ The one thing about this episode that’s going to stand out for me more than the last 10 minutes, is how the Doctor goes into battle with the Plasmavore. She calls him on his jokes and seeming ignorance as he pretends to be a normal human being ““

“Oh you’re quite the funny man aren’t you? But”¦ laughing at the darkness, I think”¦”

And then, for all intents and purposes, she goes to kill him. And I think pretty much does if it hadn’t been for Martha’s attempts to resuscitate him. So here’s my question, here’s my pivotal thought; how did he know, that events would conspire in such a way to ensure his survival? Or is it perhaps, he went into that room, expecting death, only so that he would regenerate at the last possible second to save the Earth?

Did he go into that room knowing he might not come out as “˜Perfect Ten’?

I very much like to ponder on that thought.

Other highlights, well, there’s that fantastic image of the Doctor holding Martha in his arms, watching over the Moon landscape, as the Judoon reverse the H20 Scoop used to get them to the Moon. As everything flashes into white, it’s just a good, solid, heroic image that I loved.

And again, just those last 10 minutes as the Doctor tempts Martha with the offer of a lifetime, and he knows, he knows he’s already got her hook, line and sinker, you know he wants her to come along, but still he acts so nonchalant. It’s heart-breaking to watch him so guarded now since the loss of Rose and the rejection by Donna, but he’s still reaching out”¦

There’s something instantly likeable about this new pairing. The angst and love between Rose and the Doctor is gone, almost, and although we know Martha has a thing for the Doctor, she has the maturity, provided the writing allows it to come naturally, to develop past it.

And can I just say, I love her nickname for the Doctor ““ “˜Mr. Smith.’

Please continue it.

Good things are coming.

Good things, indeed.

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