Doctor Who S03 E01 (S29) *SPOILERS*

I decided to add a new feature to the ramblings — a review of the lovely new Doctor Who series airing in Great Britain. Be warned, there will be SPOILERS!

Smith and Jones

A young woman makes her way to the Royal Hope Hospital while taking several phone calls from her family members. She encounters the Doctor, who makes a point of taking off his tie and talking to her. As she goes to enter the hospital, she’s run into by a person wearing black leather and a black motorcycle helmet. At her locker, she takes a nasty static discharge from the metal.

This woman, Martha Jones, is training to be a doctor and is making rounds with her other classmates with Dr. Stoker. One of the patients is an older woman who has a salt deficiency. Another patient they visit is the Doctor, who Martha mentions having seen though he denies it. She listens to the Doctor’s heart and discovers the two hearts. When Dr. Stroker asks her about him, she plays off what she’s heard, leading to a little ridicule on his part. When Dr. Stroker takes the Doctor’s chart, he’s hit with a static electric charge. The Doctor ends up telling the tale of Benjamin Franklin and how he was there when Mr. Franklin discovered electricity. Dr. Stroker orders psychiatric care for the Doctor, known in the hospital as John Smith.

During a break, Martha is again on the phone talking with her sister, who’s outside a mile or so outside the hospital, notices a storm building up right over the hospital. Its starts raining, but the weird thing is that that the rain is not falling but rising. After what appears to be a violent earthquake, people look outside and find themselves on the surface of the moon with Earth on the horizon. This leads to mass panic within the hospital while on Earth, there’s naught but a crater where the hospital was.

Martha is taking this sudden trip to the moon better than most and goes to open a window to look out better. One of her fellow students protests this, but Martha notes that the windows aren’t air tight and they haven’t suffocated yet. Therefore, there has to be air. The Doctor arrives and remarks on how brilliant Martha’s reasoning is. He asks if there is a balcony they can go out to and Martha takes him to it. There is air there and the Doctor discovers that the hospital is encased in a force field. Despite everything, Martha marvels that they are on the moon, and finds it amazing and beautiful.

When Martha asks what the Doctor thinks happen, he turns the question around on her. She states aliens must have done it based on recent events such as the space ship crashing into Big Ben, the Christmas deal, and the Cybermen, where her cousin Adeola disappeared. The Doctor introduces himself properly and they are interrupted when three cylinder spacecraft land on the moon. A large number of troops emerge from the ships, which the Doctor identifies as Judoon, a mercenary police force.

In the hospital, Dr. Stoker encounters the older lady patient (Finnegan), who turns out to be an alien in need of his blood. She produces a straw and with her two henchmen (the black leather-clad people) known as Slabs, she proceeds to consume this doctor. The Judoon (looking like rhino’s), begin scanning all the people, marking those confirmed as human with an X. They will kill anyone who tries to get in their way and when one person attacks them, they kill him.

Meanwhile, the Doctor discovers that the Judoon have wiped the hospital’s computer records, so the Doctor can’t easily determine who they are looking for. Martha goes to find Dr. Stoker, but finds Finnegan still drinking his blood. Figuring this is the alien, she leaves the room, pursued by one of the Slabs. The Doctor leads this Slab to the x-ray room, where he modifies the x-ray machine with his sonic screwdriver to make it a weapon. When the Slab breaks through, Martha activates the x-ray machine which kills the slab and destroys his sonic screwdriver. The Doctor absorbs the excess radiation in the room and expells it into his shoe, which he throws out. Martha figures the Doctor to be mad, so the Doctor tosses his other shoe into the trash as well.

The Doctor realizes Finnegan’s plan — to assimilate the human blood to fool the Judoon scanners. Sure enough, she passes the Judoon scan and they continue the search. The Judoon soon find the Doctor and ID him as an alien, leading the Doctor and Martha to run. They return to a floor already cleared by the Judoon since they won’t come back to recheck, being logical but thick. The oxygen is running out and the Doctor comes to Dr. Stoker’s office. He is dead, drained of all his blood.

The Judoon arrive on the floor and the Doctor needs the Judoon to be delayed. As such, he gives Martha a deep kiss before taking off. He comes to the MRI room where he sees Finnegan modifying the MRI machine. The Judoon scan Martha and discover alien traces with her. They do a deeper scan as the Doctor plays semi-dumb and encourages Finnegan to state that she’s building a weapon that will kill everything except for for 250,000 miles. That means, the light side of Earth will be wiped out as well. As they talk, the Doctor mentions the aliens are going to a level 2 scan. This causes Finnegan to pull out the straw and start drinking the Doctor’s blood because she feels this will keep her safe from the Judoon scans.

The Judoon enter the room and find the Doctor dead, so they consider the case closed. Martha tries to convince them to scan Finnegan, but they aren’t interested. So Martha does it for them, seeing that the Doctor gave his life to unmask Finnegan. They see that Finnegan is an alien and the one they were looking for. Finnegan confesses to this, seeing she’s been revealed, but activates her MRI weapon. The Judoon kill Finnegan and evacuate once they realize they are in danger. Martha performs CPR on the Doctor and manages to bring him round just as the last of the air is running out. The Doctor is without his sonic screwdriver, which causes him to say, “Oh, the sonic…” (which sounded an awful lot like “Ah! Smeg!”) The Doctor is still able to disable the MRI weapon, and carrying the unconsious Martha, he comes to the window to observe the Judoon leaving. However, it begins to rain and the Judoon return the hospital to its proper place on Earth.

In the aftermath, the Doctor leaves and disappears in the TARDIS. That evening, Martha’s family gets together with Martha’s dad bringing his white girlfriend. This causes a verbal fight with the family going their separate ways. Martha spots the Doctor, and going to where he disappeared behind a building, she sees him waiting in front of the police box. They talk and while she’s ready to believe him an alien, she’s not sold that he’s a Time Lord and can travel in time. So he takes off in the TARDIS to prove it, returning with tie in hand. She remembers her initial encounter with him and is surprised. She is more surprised when she learns the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than out. He offers her a ride as thanks, but one trip only. She initially teases him because he’d kissed her, but then tells him she’s only into humans. With that, the two take off for the next adventure.

Thoughts: Martha as a companion is a plus. I like her a lot. I liked how the writers explained the actress’s appearance as a new character. Freema Agyeman was on Doctor Who last year in the episode “Army of Ghosts” as Adeola, who was taken over by the Cybermen. So making the characters cousins was a nice touch. The writers also took the Doctor’s do-everything tool, the sonic screwdriver, away which was a bit of a surprise. Of course, he produced a new one, but to be honest, that makes sense. I know some fans have complained about the sonic screwdriver, but I like it. There were a lot of fans who thought there was the apparent nod to Red Dwarf with the Doctor actually saying “smeg.” Unfortunately, while it did sound like “Ah! Smeg,” on closer inspection the Doctor actually said, “Oh, the sonic…” That was a bummer because I would have enjoyed having the Doctor use the term “smeg.”

As to the story, it was enjoyable enough. It wasn’t anything great or special, but we did get a hint that the Doctor may have had a brother based on a remark the Doctor made. I hope this gets explored. At the end, there’s a sign that says, “Vote Saxon,” which apparently will be this series “Bad Wolf.” I liked Bad Wolf in the first series, but I hope the writers do more with this Vote Saxon. Update: I just learned that Mr. Saxon was mentioned twice last year as someone in British politics. IF fan speculation about Mr. Saxon proves true, I will be VERY happy.

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