Doctor Who Series 3
SPOILERS TOTAL. You've been warned.
(First watched 2007-07-06) Wow, this episode never let up. Feeling like 2 episodes in the space of 1.5, and existing as a mostly standalone episode between companions, this felt very movie-like. Mysterious transportations, TARDIS flying down the street, draining the Thames! It kinda bugged me that a few series back the Doctor was agonizing over the decision of committing Dalek genocide, but he didn't seem very concerned about exterminating the Racnoss tonight. Of course, he did... change... between then and now.
(First watched 2007-07-06) Not a bad introduction for Martha Jones. Good thing she's made out to be a bit less clueless about things; Rose was used as a reintroduction to the series, but it's not needed again just two years later. Those Judoon rhinos looked pretty nice; my expectations were pretty low after the goofy-looking Slitheen. Great use of a bit of audience-unexpected time travel trickery at the beginning/end.
(First watched 2007-07-20 and -25) I found this episode... unbelievable. In an allegorical sense I can appreciate that the people of the undercity were wasting their life away trying to get from one place to another, but... to have the entire upper city die off and noone notices? That they very quickly get used to taking decades to go from one place to another, when noone is actually reaching above after all? That nobody could figure out a way to open the ceiling? That there were giant devolved crab people living down there, somehow eating enough people to sustain a population even before there was the permanent traffic jam? That people already had the easy technology to create essentially free food and energy, but wanted to take a years-long trip to get a job? That even if the believed rules of traffic worked properly, it would actually be that hard to get a group of three or greater when EVERYONE wanted to get in the fast lane?
The old couple dying in the intro reminded me of the folks in the American Gothic painting. I wonder if that was intentional. If so I don't see that it was supposed to mean anything...
On a plus, the Doctor's trip down the levels dropping down and going through various odd peoples' vehicles was quite cool.
(First watched 2007-07-27) I'm getting tired of the Daleks, frankly. They're a cool enemy, but in that they were supposed to be wiped from time and yet this is the... fourth random run-in the Doctor has had with them in less than three years, it seems a bit much.
Perhaps I missed something, but after the "One trip to the past, one trip to the future" thing, there wasn't an excuse given for this third trip with Martha, or admission that it's going to be a more lasting thing.
(First watched 2007-08-03) Interesting how the combination of one evil Dalek and one nasty lackey human ended up making for such a progressive human Dalek, though of course I knew things wouldn't work out.
For a guy who just a couple years ago was telling Rose it was OK to allow disembodied spirits to control corpses in 19th century England, the Doctor sure seemed sure tonight that there was no way for a group of human Daleks to live on the planet.
I like Martha, but less so when this whole Doctor/Rose/Martha thing comes up. She seems so worried about whether the Doctor considers her a substitute that it diminishes her sense of self-worth and makes her seem weaker.
(First watched 2007-08-10) OK, so finally Martha Jones is permanent. Well, as permanent as companions get.
The CG Lazarus monster was interesting... it was easily discernable as CG, but as far as completely inhuman CG monsters go, it's about as good as I've seen for a television show.
Interesting that the Doctor gives speeches about how long life isn't always great, and the natural lifespan is worth respecting... when clearly as a Time Lord he's into cheating death. And inevitably if the show is around (in some form or another) a decade or two from now, they're going to start to hit the limit of even how many regenerations he should be getting and write in some workaround.
Spinal Tap reference hurf burf.
(First watched 2007-08-18) Beyond the near-real-time gimmick, this episode didn't do much for me.
(First watched 2007-08-25) Combined for the next episode.
(First watched 2007-09-07) Nice episodes. I'm glad the conclusion had time to boil with a second episode; I was afraid things were going to get quickly resolved in the last five minutes of the first.
I'm reminded somewhat of Enterprise episode Similitude, in that for some reason there's a temporary alternate version of a character created to aid the original, making for identity problems and ethical questions. In this case, John Smith has to try to deal with the fact that what he perceives as his entire life is just a fiction, what he thought were dreams were the reality, and that he essentially has to die to allow the Doctor to live.
The notebook and sketches John Smith kept of his dreams of past adventures and selves was too cool.
Baines--I quite enjoyed the crazy face his actor used for the alien-possessed version. What a sniff.
Complaints... doesn't a device that completely rewrites genetics seem... too convenient to have just been sitting around? Considering he's been faced with various people trying to prolong their lives through gruesome means, people with strange physical disorders, that he himself should be running out of regenerations soon, that he's supposedly the last Time Lord, and that he worries about his companions growing old and dying while he doesn't... doesn't it seem that this device would be able to take care of such problems?
Damn, the Doctor seems to go for cruel and unusual punishment! Spiting the people who wanted eternal life, he puts them in eternal imprisonment? And not just any old eternal imprisonment, fancy shit like sticking people in mirrors.
(First watched 2007-09-14) God, what a great episode. The nonlinear story elements were fantastic, and the concept of statues that can only move when not being looked at is a genuinely creepy one.
If there's one curiosity I'm left with, it's that Sally got the TARDIS key hanging from a statue's hand. Later on it's revealed the statue's want inside the TARDIS, and they try attacking her as she's trying to use the key to get in. So why didn't they just use the key? Did they not understand its importance until hearing the Doctor talk about it on the DVD?
(First watched 2007-09-21) That was pretty exceptional... Not just for the events of the episode itself, but for how they play into the larger tapestry.
Jack Harkness: In Britain, by this point they'd have had the entire first series of Torchwood finished, but we've only had two episodes here. So some of what is here presented as new material may have been old hat; I don't know. But his age... wow. I assumed he hadn't been back in the "present" long, but come to find he's lived on Earth for nearly 140 years? That's pretty crazy, but does give more of an explanation as to why he seems to fit in so well in modern Cardiff. It also makes him seem really Doctor-obsessed to have been waiting to meet him again for so long. They only knew each other for what, 3 stories? I guess he wasn't planning on accidentally ending up in the 19th century, though, so it's not like he planned the waiting 140 years bit. Eternal youth is an interesting trait for a character to have, but of course it presents a problem as a TV character; the actor does age.
The Master: I know this is an old character returned, but I'm not very familiar with him. I believe he was in the 1996 movie, but I recall jack-all about that. I thought part of that plot had to do with him running out of regenerations, though? Anyway, seeing his whimsy after regeneration makes for an interesting comparison to The Doctor, though. When I first saw that he had the watch, I thought maybe it was The Doctor of the future, having become human again for whatever reason. It seems kind of goofy to go on about how it was THE SAME watch, when it turns out that all Time Lord-to-human converters use identical watches for storing identity?
That crazy severed hand: I must've missed something, how did it end up there in the future? It didn't seem Jack was carrying something that bulky, and anyway I think it was around before they recovered the TARDIS. It seemed as though through amazing coincidence it had survived 100 trillion years and ended up in the same place? That would be far-fetched even for this program, though, so I must've missed something.
100 trillion years: Isn't that... quite a bit? I'm not Mr. Cosmology, but considering the sort of end-of-the-universe theories I've read of, I'd think there should not only not be stars around, but matter as we know it. Apart from that, 100 trillion years and humans still look just as they do now?
(First watched 2007-09-28) Wow, a great mid part. Having now seen the Master more... I like him. He's got a sense of fun like the Doctor, but without the scruples; the kind of hammy villain that's just fun to watch.
We thought Cybermen vs Daleks throughout the world was big, but... a worldwide invasion by those ball things, one for each human? Yikes. Will they really kill off 10% of the population? It surely seems possible.
I wonder how things go next episode. It seems there'd be enough content to have it all happen in the present day, but that leaves a lot dangling about 100 trillion years in the future; what about Utopia, what about the Futurekind? Certainly the cannibalized TARDIS and its currently being locked between only those two time destinations implies they will be going back before status quo is resumed.
So the Master turned the Doctor old by using the reverse of Lazarus's youthing technology... but that shit turned Lazarus irreversably into a monster. So it doesn't seem there'd be an easy cure for the Doctor, though I imagine they'll explain it away either by "Oh, the Master's work isn't nearly as sloppy as a human's would be." or "Oh, the Doctor's physiology isn't nearly as corruptible as a human's would be."
(First watched 2007-10-05) Iiiiiii was not expecting to see "One Year Later" on screen. However, I was then immediately prepared for the eventuality of the reset button, though at least the characters that matter most to us retain their experiences.
Doctor artificially aged in CG... so weird. Who knew that Time Lords grew up to be house elves?
So The Master didn't regenerate... or at least so The Doctor is lead to believe. Someone certainly was digging through his pyre, which I'm sure is their out for when he eventually returns. Too bad it can't (probably) be the same actor, though; as I said for the previous two episodes I enjoyed his performance.
So those ball things... were the humans from the end of the universe? So so wrong, Master. But now that things were set back, and they were never released from a rip thingy, is the end of humanity really just to remain in a mechanical limbo state, never to be released?
So Jack Harkness is also maybe... the Face of Boe? Get out of town. Certainly they didn't make it 100% certain, and considering he's not just a throwaway character they can certainly write him a different fate if they wish, but that's a pretty awesome maybe, and makes some sense with what little we know about the Face.
So Martha Jones is out... at least for now. I wasn't expecting that, but considering I'd run across information about her being around for a few episodes of Torchwood Series 2, that makes enough sense.
So... the Titanic, eh? I'm really enjoying this new thing of ending the series on a "What? What? WHAT!?" note.