New Who – Series 3 Catch-up

New Who continues with a double-dip in quality followed by some truly great monsters…
Doctor Who Series 3 – So far
BBC1, new Who 2007

Again, real life got in the way and I’m catching up on some overviews. This is a roundup of Doctor Who Series 3. It’s not managed the same standard as the first three episodes, but it’s a better ride than the last series, and the Rose references are starting to thin out.

Episode Four & Five: Daleks in Manhatten and Evolution of the Daleks

The Doctor and a Cthulhu-esque Dalek creation

A vaguely interesting story that’s trying very hard to set the scene. 1930s New York is in trouble when the surviving members of the Dalek race return. This time, they’re using the Empire State Building make a nasty device, and experimenting on humans to create the ultimate Dalek. Their idea is to survive, but all this episode does is prove that the Daleks are best left at the end of the series, or left out altogether, until a truly amazing reason can be made to bring them back.

Martha ends up saving the day with a spot-the-difference puzzle, and the Doctor gets electrocuted. Which doesn’t kill him, for some reason. But he rescues everyone by having really good DNA, so it’s all-okay. After getting struck by lightning, the Doctor’s DNA gets transmitted into the humans that the Daleks have messed with, leading to them questioning their purpose. Pissed-off Daleks promptly massacre their rebellious slaves, but the Doctor is able to turn someone back from a pig man into a dancer’s boyfriend again. One of those episodes that felt rather flat, I’m afraid. Even for a two-parter.

Episode Six: The Lazarus Experiment

Zzzzap! The Doc wields his Sonic Screwdriver against a beastie from Doom

A good, solid chase episode. Brilliant monster is lifted straight out of Doom. Martha’s family are partially returned and they’re not as bad as I thought they’d be. There’s a lot of The Relic in there, too, with its chase through a museum. Then they manage to finally-finally destroy it with sonic power, a bit like Spiderman’s parasite, Venom. By the time danger is averted, Martha decides to join the Doctor, and the Doctor agrees to let her travel with him all the time. Martha’s mum, meanwhile, has been told that the Doctor is extremely bad news. Before she can warn Martha, her daughter is whisked away. Oh, and this time, the only mention of Rose is ‘a companion of his that died’.

Episode Seven: 42

Hot-Doc. Everyone gets a bit sweaty aboard a doomed spaceship…his hair’s not spikey at all!

At least these days, the Doctor knows what he’s doing – even when flying by the seat of his tight trousers. In this cross between the ‘Sunprobe’ episode of Thunderbirds, and the new Sunshine Movie (did they get a receipt? Royalties?!) The Doctor and Martha arrive on board a ship that’s heading right for a sun. It isn’t near Earth, but a cargo ship that’s wandered into danger. This episode continues to try and borrow the things from the Alien Trilogy that weren’t already used in The Impossible Planet. They’re trying to survive possessed people as well as the heat. It’s Jason X with a dash of Darth Vader! While trying to survive this adventure in the depths of space, Martha has a similar revelation to Rose. She knows that if she dies out here, her family will never know what happened to her.

The Doctor had upgraded her mobile, and she gratefully uses it to ring home. As Matha talks to her Mum, her mum is not alone. A mysterious woman is in the room, listening to their call. Clearly someone knows that the Doctor is bad news and wants to track him down. Anyway, the weird parasite that’s taking over the crew enters the Doctor, and things get much worse. Then Martha figures out what’s making the nearby sun so mad – the particles in the sun, powering the ship, were offspring of the angry sun they’re heading into! Or something. As Murray Gold plays yet more remixes of the music from Pirates of the Caribbean, they release the baby sun spritey thingies (did they get a real name? I don’t think so!) The music swells and the ship moves away from the sun. Hurray!

The Doctor celebrates by giving Martha the TARDIS key. Martha rings home, and it’s election day in London. Something very strange and X-Filesy is going on – and it involves Izzy from Hollyoaks! (Look, this was when I used to watch it, okay?). They might even pull off the plot arc this year.

Next episode: Human Nature. Set in 1913…this will be reviewed as a 2-parter. Some time after June 2nd 2007


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