Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dr Who S3 Premiere: Smith & Jones SPOILERS

Mixed bag. I liked the Judoon, and though I agree with the criticism that the science fiction element doesn't stand up to scrutiny (whenever *does* it, on this show?), I thought the investigation was handled pretty well. I'd like to see more of the space rhinos.

I also like Martha. I like that she's not an idiot about the alien stuff that's been going on. (I especially liked that the Canary Wharf reference spoke primarily to establishing that facet of Martha's character -- and only in a secondary way did it address the meta-fact that the actor played another character on the show.)

She seems to be a natural detective--a "curiosity killed the cat" type, and that's a good quality for a companion to have. Should get them into -- and out of -- all sorts of scrapes.

The actress is a huge improvement over Billie Piper.

Not sure about the family yet. Their inclusion was perfunctory--like a lot of this episode, frankly. It seemed more concerned with setting up the new status-quo than in telling a good story that just happens to set up the new status-quo.

For example, why did The Doctor have to go undercover as a patient--for all of 15 seconds--knowing that the first person to check his pulse would discover he's not human? (There are easier ways to gain entry to a hospital, as the heavy's henchmen--who just walked through the door--proved.) Answer: because the writer planned for the first person to check his pulse to be his new companion. Wink--nod. Blech. Too cute by half, Russ.

Ditto the "cheap trick" -- Davies' words -- at the end.

I assume Martha's family will be fleshed out in subsequent episodes, and I expect that they'll become a major draw for me, as Rose's counterparts were. That *is* what Davies is good at, after all--realistic family/friend dynamics. (Which is what made him sort of a weird choice, IMO, to resurrect Who in the first place--but that's another post.)

I'm not sure they're gonna be able to come up with a satisfactory answer to the question, "what about Martha's career?"

Rose worked in a shop--and the shop blew up. Heading off with The Doctor at that point didn't impact her professional life, because she didn't have one.

Martha, on the other hand, is in a high-profile internship at one of the most prestigious hospitals in London. When "one trip" turns into two, into ten, etc, that's a question they'll have to answer: what about her career? What about the internship? What about the impending exams she spoke of? The residency that comes after them?

She can't just walk away from that and not expect negative consequences. Resuming that life will be very difficult after 1 year or 2 or more with The Doctor. And if she was already thinking about chucking her career, there's no hint of it in the ep. Quite the opposite, in fact. (She *does* seem to have had it "up to here" with her sitcom caricature of a family, though.)

So, again, mixed-bag for me. Liked the character, even liked the aliens, but thought the intro was pertty awkward.

Next week: Shakespeare.


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