Doctor Who

Season 3 Episode 1

Smith and Jones

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Mar 31, 2007 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (48)

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out of 10
560 votes
  • Anne Freakin' Reid

    A unique plot and terrific performance from Anne Reid--the show's best villain so far--make this episode a classic.
  • Judoon Platoon Upon The Moon

    The chemistry between this pair is exceptional. I find I enjoy Martha more then Rose. This has to be my favorite episode. From the Benjamin Franklin tidbit from the Radiation scene I loved the entire episode. I also enjoyed the fact that it was in a regular old Hospital which wasn't something I have seen before. The best part I believe was the fact that Martha was studying to be a doctor and that she wanted the Doctor to earn his title. Most Companions see an alien and just jump right into the tardis. It was refreshing to have a different aspect to the companion story.
  • Smith and Jones

    Smith and Jones was a fantastic episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was out of this world and full of action, adventure, danger and suspense. The Judoon were interesting alien policing creatures. I liked the special effects and space scenes. Martha Jones is an awesome character and definitely a compatible companion for The Doctor. It was interesting to learn what the Judoon were after. I liked how every thing played out. I liked the ending and definitely look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!
  • Instead of a scary story, the third season starts with a delightfully comedic aspect to "Smith and Jones." David Tennant's brilliant performance showing the Doctor's zany side.

    Prone to imagining spooks when the lights go out, I usually have to stop myself from watching Doctor Who right before I go to bed, lest I dream of technological aliens sucking my face off or creepy little mask-faced boys looking for their mommy, so this episode was a refreshing change. The Doctor always has a few funny moments, but this episode was geared around them, and they made me laugh, something that always delights me when I watch shows.

    The Doctor's brilliant performance sealed the ten I'm giving this episode. His "cheap trick" with the tie, his radiation dance, bare feet, how he laments the loss of his screwdriver while Martha attempts to explain what Ms. Finnigan did, fooling Ms. Finnigan into thinking he's human, exclaiming over the hospital's shop, and, perhaps my favorite, the Doctor mouthing "it's bigger on the inside" while Martha says it and then sarcastically exclaiming that he'd never noticed - it's so Doctor, and he must get tired of hearing it every time someone meets the TARDIS! That's not to say it was all fun and games. A fan of Rose Tyler, I liked seeing the subtle and not-so-subtle signs that he was still grieving for her. Watching him getting to know Martha, I could imagine him comparing her to Rose, and I suspect that some of their similarities - their openness, their quick thinking and sense of adventure - were why he invited her on a trip in the TARDIS. At the same time, his assurance that it would only be one trip because he wanted to be alone shows that he is not yet ready to replace Rose.

    Being a fan of Rose, I set out to be critical of any future companions, but I'm liking what I'm seeing of Martha Jones. She impresses even the Doctor with her quick mind (rather quicker than Rose, really) and I liked her steadiness and the way that she challenged the Doctor, telling him he needed to earn that title before she used it. She's made a good first impression on me, and I hope it lasts.
  • Okay, I understand the notion of suspension of disbelief when watching a science-fiction show; however, that doesn't mean ignoring inconsistencies and absurdities within the logistics of the created world.

    These are just a few questions I noted, and I confess I wasn't paying full attention:

    • How exactly was the hospital transported, apparently instantaneously, to the Moon?
    • What happened to all the electrical devices that would have been cut off from their power supply? How come computers, MRI scanners, etc, were still working?
    • If it was through some kind of space-time portal (yawn), why don't the rhino police use that for their own travel instead of huge and presumably expensive space ships?
    • Why was the hospital taken to the Moon? I know the Doctor said something about Earth being outside a Galactic treaty, but if so why isn't the Moon, too? • If there's a treaty that makes Earth off-limits, how come it's been attacked by other aliens in the past? Why didn't the rhino police deal with them for being in breach of the treaty? • If the rhinos knew their quarry was in the hospital, why didn't they just transport her and not the whole building? i.e. they must have been able to track her, so could have focussed a lot more closely on her than that.
    • How did they track her there anyway, if she's able to disguise her alienness?
    • How did the villain change an MRI scanner into a weapon that can kill everything within 250,000 miles using nothing more than a few twists of some dials? With that kind of power, surely she could have changed a telephone or something into an anti-rhino gun and saved herself?
    • If the rhinos knew who and what they were chasing, surely they'd have known she could assimilate human essence through drinking their blood and therefore evade the scanning process?
    • How did the Doctor come back to life if all his blood had been drained away?

    Some other thoughts:

    The surprise factor for characters discovering the Doctor is an alien is being contradicted by the fact they've all seen tons of aliens by now. Hence, Martha's reactions to him are muddled: part surprised, part old hat.

    Scenes with plastic actors all barking into mobiles, discussing an unfeasibly complicated family situation is no substitute for character depth.

    The banter between the Doctor and Martha is virtually identical to the banter between the Doctor and Rose. Apart from her skin colour and the fact she's a trainee doctor, Martha's character is already in danger of becoming interchangeable with her predecessor's. Again, character depth requires more than an artificially tangled family background - it needs uniqueness, idiosyncrasies, charm, surprise and a lot of qualities that only appear when the writers have bothered to do their job properly. Overall, there was some excitement in this episode and the fun of a new companion being introduced. However, much of the excitement is artificially generated and involves a lot of running down corridors rather than genuine brinkmanship. Which is not very different to the last series, and is why I won't be watching much more of this one. What's needed is a series-long story arc, to hold together and give purpose to all the individual episodes. Without it, we're expected to believe every time that the Doctor or the Tardis just happens to bump into extraordinary events. Davies gets away with this to an extent with Doctor Who because of its rich history to lean on, and the fans' good will. But look what happens when he's given the freedom to create something virtually from scratch? We get the wooden and unwatchable Torchwood. I know he's a fan of Joss Whedon, but that needs to result in more than just copying the surface excitement of Buffy or Angel, or trying to emulate the clever, snappy, dialogue. It means creating a compelling world where every event affects the characters' development, in which something important matters very much to the main leads - because without that, we end up with the hollow knowing winks and smug in-jokiness that the Doctor and Rose descended into.
  • The Doctor is stuck in a hospital on the moon with a bloodsucking convict on the loose, thick-headed judoon on the patrol for the criminal, no Tardis, his screwdriver destroyed and only Martha Jones to help him out as they begin to lose air as time passes

    The Doctor has begunm his new travels without Rose, still greiving inside from losing his love, but soon finds excuitement in this adventure with new companion Martha Jones.Is it me or did they deliberitely choose Marth because the wanted a different racial backround companion ulike the orginal series? Back to the story; the doctor has a new suit and loses his sonic screwdriver to an upgraded x-ray machine, but later gets a new one. With the help of martha and the logical stupidity of th judoon, the doctor manages to expose the vampire-like alien Florenece Finnigen by having her suck a few sips of his Time Lord blood to register her as a non-human on the judoons scanners. With the 3 series, a new story arc begins, the Saxon Arc, leading up to the return of the Doctor's mirror image Time Lord rival, the MASTER
  • We first get to meet the new assistance of The Doctor, Martha Jones as the hospital she works in is transported into space, gets invaded by Rhino aliens and has two people inside who are alien. One's the Doctor so whose the pretend patient?

    After getting my hands on advanced tickets I couldn't wait to see the new episode of Doctor who. And it was fantastic. Everything you wanted you got, humor, sadness, fighting, and the Doctor throwing hhis trainers into a bin. People are going to love the new episode. I was expecting a bit of disappointment that Billie (Rose) wasn't in it anymore (And I did feel a bit sad) but on the whole it was brilliant.
  • Back with a bang

    And so the Doctor returns and we get a new assistant, and more importantly a new sonic screwdriver. I was a bit wary at first about what the new assistant Martha would be like, after two years with a chav, what would her replacement be like? And to be totally honest, Martha almost instantly feels like a smarter version of the chav we spent two years with. She's the first black assistant (I think, my knowledge of classic who aint that good) I'm actually glad that people didn't find racism in that up until now Martha is the first black assistant, I mean there was an outcry about black jelly abies for christs sake (never mind, they taste like crap anyway) Anyway, Martha isn't much of a change, glad to see that they've realised that we sort of got used to Rose and made Martha sort of like her and...why am I just focusing on the new assistant?
    The episode in itself wasn't too shabby, set on earth/near earth (Again!!) and I would've seen this as a chance to bring the sontarans back into the fold, I mean the Judoon are a great idea but sontarans, the sontarans! Anyway, onto something that just isn't me moaning. The plot I liked, disagree if you want but I thought it was a well written idea, it had its flaws in script occasionally sure, but you can't argue with the quality of this episode that's introduced the world to a new assistant. Its a great story (and its great to see Anne Reed go evil) I througholy enjoyed this episode, but it wasn't without its dissappointments, the obvious could've been better's but I'm not gonna hold petty grudges, we've had the set up for a great series ahead of us, looking forward to next Saturday whether the Shakespeare code is any good or not.
  • A New companion and a trip to the moon!

    Well the new companion is introduced and i must admit she wasn't bad i was expecting it to be terrible but she did a good job!

    The whole episode was revolved aroung Martha and her introduction with a few Judoon's and a trip to the moon added in i wouldnt say it's one of their best but i understand they had to explain the character and i was thoroughly impressed by the quality and subtleness of the writing.. A few of the lines reminded me of previous episodes and it implied that the Doctor was still hung up on Rose it was so subtle it just worked without being corny or just inappropriate so well done to the writers..!

    I look forward to future episodes.
  • Welcome Martha Jones

    Ok, I'm posting this before i read other people's opinions so I'm not influenced by them in any way. This is my view.

    I like Martha. She's not like Rose. She's not doe-eyed and possessive like. Good. That annoyed me.

    As for the episode. It was ok. Not perfect but then I'm not bothered. I don't think the actual plot mattered much, just the introduction of Martha. The rhino aliens looked pretty cool and never before has an old lady with a straw been so ominous.

    Also, poor sonic screwdriver. Let's mourn its sad demise. And welcome the new one. Replacing comapnions and screwdrivers. It's been a busy episode for the Doctor.

    All in all, a very good episode. Can't wait for the rest of the series now.
  • New series, new aliens, new companion but still the same great show

    All in all this was a great episode and a much better start to a season than "New Earth" was.
    The Judoon were a fantastic alien and i hope we see them again and often. I liked the way that they were weren't portrayed as out and out evil and although slow not complete idiots.
    Martha Jones made an instantly good impression and is not bad on the eyes either. Solid story with top effects.

    However there were a few things i didn't like. Martha has a large family with plenty of troubles, i could have done without that. I don't want to see Martha treated as a retread of Rose with a few tweaks here and there with the Tardis always ending up back on Earth mixing it up with the folks. That sonic screwdriver really needs to go, it robs sooo much drama as it can seemingly do ANYTHING. Towards the end when the Doctor is tring to stop the MRI from exploding he goes to use the screwdriver but remembers it's broken so instead just disconnects a red wire???? eh? how does that make sense.

    One last thing, shaking the radiation out throught his foot!? rubbish, utter rubbish a stupid idea acted in a cringe worthy over the top way.

    P.S I did like the idea of sucking the blood through a straw
  • Yay It's back!

    I was very pleasantly surprised by this episode. Before I watched it I already knew I would hate Martha and the stupid actress from Crossroads (which I may have watched and liked at the time but couldn't possibly comment on such a terrible thing)
    But I was pleasently surprised and I think she's great and not an ugly les as I may have called her before the episode (well she was a girl with gelled hair)I liked her quirkiness and I think she'll bring as much to the show as Rose did. (I do remember saying about a year ago that "this new David Tenant bloke will never be as good as the last one" but i gess I can be wrong about new people)
    i liked the story and i liked the beginning at the end bit. it was well-written, as always with doctor who, bring on teh rest of teh series (and bring on Captain Jack, i want to know when he's going to be in it but don't want to trawl through all of the spoilers that ruin everything, so if anyone knows and would like to tell me I'd be thankful)

    In summery- great episode, bring on series 3
  • A combination of some classic moments with some silly moments, with more departures from the classic Doctor Who universe.

    In this episode the Doctor gets to have two super powers we haven't seen before: One, he dies, is confirmed dead by the space rhino's scanner gizmo, and then is resuscitated by Martha and recovers without needing to regenerate. Two, he can absorb any amount of radiation without harm, but he has to shed it afterwards. This leads to a very silly moment, where he jumps and shakes about and dumps the excess radiation into his shoe and tosses it the dustbin. When Martha complains, we get a classic Dr. Who witty response that almost makes up for the silliness. The plotting is rather poor as at one point simply by the Doctor having kissed Martha, she fails the test of being human because of the traces of non-human DNA, but earlier the plasmavore passes the test because she drank a few liters of blood. If the space rhino's scanner can detect non-human contact from just a kiss, why wouldn't they have detected the alien creature more easily? Also, the plasmavore has rewired the CAT scanner to create a magnetic pulse that not only will kill everyone nearby, but also half the earth also. Not very believable, but it does allow for a bunch of showy special effects until the Doctor can save the day just by pulling the plug. And biggest of all, the hospital is transported from earth to the moon because the Judoon can't go there because of some galactic treaty and the moon is neutral territory, but they can take the entire facility and all the people from the earth? Not only that, but they take it because they are looking for an alien suspect and it takes a few days to charge it up before teleporting it. This give the doctor plenty of time to notice something strange is going on, and check in, but the plasmavore doesn't notice and gets easily caught. The Judoon may be interstellar policemen, but you'd think that even if they are space rhinos they should still have come up with a better plan for catching a criminal.

    The doctor qualifies Martha as being a potential assistant when she wonders about how is it that they can breath OK, while everyone else in the hospital is busy freaking out.
    But another question that should have been equally obvious is why are the lights still on? At least at the end the Doctor returns to standard character when he makes it clear that he has absolutely no romantic interest in Martha. We can only hope that the writers never get so loony as to change that.
  • Meh, bit limp for a season opener/companion intro.

    OK so here's what annoys me about the show now:

    I'm REALLY getting sick of ALL big events taking place in London, London, London. And London. And don't forget London! LONDON!!!!! It's not hard to pull of a few cheap tricks and appear to be anywhere besides London in the world, ala Alias. It's detracting from the show! And showing up the producers as pompous, arrogant Brits who shan't dare send the Tardis beyond the grasp of the Hempire!

    Secondly, when in London, it's always set in the here and now. This makes two companions in a row that are a) from London, b) from the early 21st century, and c) young, attractive females. This formula is wearing thin. Why not pull a girl from the future, or from the 80s? Indeed, why not pull a guy? Do they have to be young? Do they have to be from London? Earth?

    The trouble is that they are trying to make the Doctor's companion his love interest as well, and it shows like duct tape on a torn up Van Gough.

    Having Martha's family in the mix makes the show seem like EastEnders on LSD, but EE all the same. Camp, trashy, domestic namby pamby. With Rose it was tolerable, but redressing the family unit and passing it off again with the second companion... unforgivable.

    Too much of this episode resonated with the episode Rose, it almost felt like a hack and slash affair cobbled together on a train on the way to work. With coffee stains here and there, and crumpled, worn edges. A companion's intro should be more unpredictable and surprising. Now it almost seems like the Doctor goes shopping for a new companion and brings her aboard like a 40-something brings his young girlfriend home on the back of a motorcycle.

    [SIGH] I never meant for this to become a ramble, but it has. I'll finish by saying that the aliens were cool, plasmavore with straw included. But really, that's it. A disappointing start to the season, I think we all expect better.

    Times I mentioned London: 11.
    Times I want to mention London in future post of this series: 0
  • The start of a new friendship

    For a starting episode of another season, this was not actually to bad. There were quite a few funny parts in it, the acting was great, the new girl is not too bad for her first time and the special effects were fairly decent. The evil purpose could have been a little more better if you ask me, considering what the doctor has faced, this was not excellent. However, the evil was not too bad and the way she killed was fairly creepy and funny at the same time-a god mix. All in all, i believe that while this was not the best starting episode i have seen, it could have been worse.
  • Judoon, Plasmavore, Slabs. Had the BBC run out of money before the series began?

    When I first saw the Judoon my heart hopped into my dry, open mouth as I had a momments anticipation at the possible return of the Sontarians, those egg headed creatures whose heads deflate like a punctured balloon when killed by a clever knock to the feeding valve on the back of their necks.
    But no....we got rhinos. It was shockingly dumb.
    I thought Cat-People was stupid. But a rhino is simply lazy.
    I really hated the Plasmavore. Why not have fangs, or some kind of spikes to feed. Not a blunt straw.
    And the Slabs were the worst of all. They walked like gay dancers trying to be butch. It was frustrating to watch.
    The storyline was boring, And I love RTDs writing.
    A very sad introduction to Martha who was enjoyable to a degree.
    I am not looking forward to Episode Two.
  • Great Start...

    Season 3 kicks of pretty good, It follows a medical student by the name of Martha Jones and as she meets The Doctor her world turns upside down. I haven't seen to much of Doctor Who but I think Rose is a better companian than Martha. For a few minutes I thought The Doctor had really gone off his rocker, but you never know with him. I like how when martha went into the TARDIS she said it was so small and the Doctor said really I hadn't noticed. I think season 3 started off really well even if it doesn't have rose. Later...
  • I'm kinda mixed about this epsiode.

    On one hand there were several brilliant moments which i thoroughly enjoyed. On the other hand I was quite upset about some aspects of the storyline.

    Ok lets start with what i liked

    The Doctor in the hospital.i love it when that happens.What's more he was pretending to be a patient.ahahah

    The doctor and the radiation. AHAH i loved that scene!the doctor jumping about and making the radiation go to one shoe then throwing both away because it looked silly with only one shoe.and David Tennant's feet.yumm

    Sonic screwdriver gets destroyed.very sad :( but i loved the doctor's reaction.

    Martha examines the Doctor's hearts.Is it just me or does anyone else go wild when you hear his two hearts beating?

    The doctor luring Martha into TARDIS. THAT SMUG/SLY GRIN omg squee

    Doctor looking out into space

    Comments on the little shop in the

    Oh and that part before he got his blood sucked.

    And what i didn't like

    The whole thing about Martha reviving the doctor with CPR after his blood got sucked.WUT.I don't see how the two connect...and he was "deceased" wasn't he? he was on the ground for quite some time so isn't it too late trying to revive him? lesigh. And how come Martha didn't think of unplugging the MRI machine?You don't need the doctor to know you can do that!

    And i hate the fact that whenever something/someone has their gun/lazer/egg whisk or whatever pointed at the doctor they wait and wait and wait and let him escape.I mean, of course, I don't want the doctor dead but couldn't the writers think of another way for him not to get shot? mmm and I still miss Rose.and Nine for that matter
  • I deducted seven-tenths of a point for omitting the episode title from the opening credits.

    Other than that, this was most enjoyably action-packed. From the "cheap trick" played on Martha, as she's on her way to work, to the conclusion where the Doctor rescues her from her dysfunctional family. The special effects were wonderful, too. From the thunderstorm used to cover the teleportation of the hospital, to the landing of the Judoon spaceships on the Moon. Speaking of whom; it was very clever of the writers to have only the leader of these bounty-hunting space rhinos take off his helmet. With the show's limited make-up budget, I'm sure only one prosthetic mask could afford to be produced! What I loved best of all, however, was the kiss between Martha and the Doctor. Just a genetic transfer? Yeah, right! And, Captain Jack is 100% straight! In short, it looks as if Donna's wish for the Doctor to find someone who will occasionally stop him (when's he in danger of going Darth Vader) has come true. Now, I just have to hope that MY wish--that all those chorus girls from the trailer montage--comes true, in next week's episode.
  • Great comedy episode.

    A lot of my favourite Doctor Who stories, S3 finale/S4 finale, and all about the drama and action. But Smith and Jones is my favourite comedy episode, with a good amount of action as well. I thought the premise was very interesting and unique. It was also one of Martha's best episodes since I am not really a fan of hers. And it was very well dont for an introductory episode. The Doctor and Marth seemed to work so well with each other right away. It was a bit misleading really :P since I dont think I actually like Martha again until "Last of the Time Lords". It had a lot of great comedy. This is in my top 5.
  • As good as it gets.

    I was wondering just how they were going to introduce Martha and they did it in spades. This was well done, full of action, wit, and the show just seemed to blend from one scene to another. A great way to introduce the Doctors new partner and start a great new season. What will they think of next. Whatever it is I am sure I will be entertained.
    I do miss Rose, my mind is not made up who I like better, I think time will tell, or maybe that with Martha the show just grew a little.
  • Totally awesome!!!

    With a new assistant, better storylines and more humour, Doctor Who just keeps getting better and better. I didn't think that they would be able to find someone to fill Rose's shoes but Martha was even better than Rose. Congratulations Freema Agyeman! I particuarly liked the fact that she stood up to the Doctor from the beginging. I also liked the 'genetic transfer.
    The plot was strong, exciting and everything i expected plus more. I liked how they had light and shade, you you take my meaning. There was 'light' in the funny sides and shade in the more deathlike situations. The special effects were good as always.
    In summery, i think this was one of the best episodes yet. Can't wait for more!
  • Fantastic

    After lots of aprehension the new series of Doctor Who it has finally arrived. Everyone was waiting for this episode to see how the doctor meets his new assistant. The time has finally come and it was brilliant. I have to say when I was waiting for this epsiode I was thinking im not going to like Martha because she is taking Rose's place but I thought Martha was fantastic and Freyma who plays her was fantastic. The storyline was fantastic and I thought it was very original. I have to say my favourite bit out off all of it was when the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver was ruined and he was so shocked that he was listning to a word Martha was saying. Ther was also another famous Baddie, who also played her part brilliantly. Doctor who is getting better and better.
  • A hospital in London is transported to the moon so the Judoons can search its occupants for a non-human.

    Can TV get any more fun?? I've never been committed or on-the-ball enough to watch a full season of Doctor Who, but I am now determined that Season Three will see me (or the TiVo...) at the TV set every Monday evening. I'm a huge Sci Fi TV fan and also a huge fan of British humour, and Doctor Who puts the two together in the very best of ways! I am so excited for the third season coming to Canada, and it sure started off with a bang! The plot of this episode was absolutely ridiculous, original (maybe not for Doctor Who, I'm not sure; but original compared to most TV), and TONS of fun! I love that the show doesn't take itself seriously; if it did, it just wouldn't work. I like Martha MUCH better than Rose (she seemed very stuck-up and pouty to me, and didn't deserve the Doctor at all!): she's powerful but not perfect. And I absolutely adore David Tennant! I think they'll make a fantastic duo and I CAN'T WAIT for the rest of the season! :)
  • New character, new start.

    Well, what can I say. New Doctor Who series, with a new assistant, this time Martha Jones. Seems she will be able to replace Rose but time will tell. Seem to be a great epiosde, and kept me hooked for the hour that it was on. Whether the rest of the series does that is another matter. The sucking out of a straw was a werid thing, but liked the writers thinking. There were some great special effects, like the rain only falling on the hospital. The rhino-like creatures were an interesting creation as well. I wonder what some of the other alien creatures will be like through out the series.
  • Hello Miss Jones.

    This episode sees the return of Doctor Who for its 3rd Siries of the revived Doctor Who.To be honest this episode is a great start to a new season.It welcomes Marth Jones abroad the Tardis.But first she is put to the test,to stop the Plasmavore and her loyal servants the slabs.She's a criminal on the run and is being chassed down by the Judoon (Inter Galactic Storm Troopres or Police)who arent that clever really.She drinks human blood in order to hide her identity,so she's not caut.But the Doctor comes to the rescue,allowing her to drink his alien blood,there for she gets caught,some how the Doctor surves the lack of air on the Moon,and everyones saved.Martha later is welcomed abroad the tardis ,she not replacing Rose as a Character,but taking here place as a crew member after a family argument.This is a thriling start to a new siries and the Doctor Who team keep producing the goods.
  • Empty bottle. Nice looking one, though.

    Despite sumptuous lunar panoramas and enough tension to snap a rebar, this is an unsatisfying episode. I think it's because the episode's ‘problem’ is its own solution (alien police find and execute alien fugitive) with the Doctor just deflecting ‘the ball’ into goal.

    And with the episode playing from Martha Jones' perspective, there's not the thrill of uncovering a conspiracy – the Doctor's already johnny-on-the-scene, and Martha is focused on uncovering his ‘secret’, not on having an adventure.

    It's only at the end, when Martha leaves her feuding family, that there's any sense of achievement. And that's too little, too late.
  • This was important to introduce Jones, but I still think they could have done a little better job, over all. actually in some ways the runaway bride was a better episode. lets hope The Shakespeare Code is better then this one.

    This was important to introduce Jones, but I still think they could have done a little better job, over all. actually in some ways the runaway bride was a better episode. lets hope The Shakespeare Code is better then this one. I tend not to like the ones that go in the past.
  • The Doctor And A Doctor Written by Russell T. Davies Directed by Charles Palmer

    Martha: “People call you ‘The Doctor’?”
    The Doctor: “Yep”
    Martha: “Well I’m not. Far as I’m concerned, you’ve got to earn that title”.

    And as far as I’m concerned my reason to entertain Saturday evening television is back as the best Sci-Fi/fantasy programme is back on our screens. Now Torchwood was brilliant but flawed, Primeval a tad disappointing and as much as I enjoy Lost and Heroes, they still don’t hold as much resonance as this series does.

    For the past three weeks we’ve been inundated with trailers and you couldn’t pick up a magazine without seeing both David Tennant and Freema Agyeman staring right back at you and if I sound like I’m complaining, well don’t worry I’m not, it’s just with all this unabashed hype I couldn’t help but wonder if “Smith And Jones” would live up to my expectations and you know what, it actually did!

    Just like “Rose”, Season Three’s opening episode opens up with Martha and within the space of five minutes we know enough about Martha’s personal life than we arguably need to but at the same time, it’ll prove essential in her decision making later on in the episode.

    So who are the family behind little Miss Jones? Well there’s a nagging mother called Francine who’s organising a 21st birthday party for Martha’s brother but she doesn’t want her soon to be ex-husband Clive and his brain-dead girlfriend Analise anywhere near proceedings. Although I’m not particularly fond of Francine I get her point. Not only is the actress who plays Analise so mind numbingly annoying but you kind half wonder if she was written to be like a Jade Goody/Danielle Lloyd type of dimwit?

    The interpersonal stuff however is dealt with reasonably well but seeing as I cannot empathise with either parents and wasn’t given much to form a balanced opinion on Leo, the only person from Martha’s family I do seem to like is Tish, who has been described as quite ambitious. The theme is that Martha seems to be one family member people have a tendency to dump their problems on and that makes me kind of relate to Martha in that respect.

    When Martha and Tish aren’t trying to come up with reasonable ways of diffusing tensions between Francine and Analise at Leo’s party, Martha bumps into The Doctor on her way to work who greets her by giving Martha his tie and walks off. It’s basically the first WTF moment of the episode but again it plays its part towards the end of proceedings.

    With Rose Tyler being a shop girl, the writers have had to come with some ways of distinguishing between her and Martha Jones and aside from race and family background, Martha is also a medical student, which despite having a reasonably bedside manner (she’s not too arrogant but doesn’t appear to be an idiot), fails to impress her supervisor Mr Stoker when giving her own diagnosis on a sweet old dear called Florence Finnegan. Then again just because the OAP looks sweet it doesn’t mean she’s got something nasty working in her devious mind but I’ll get to that soon.

    Martha quickly has her second encounter with The Doctor when he turns up as the patient John Smith and there’s a delicious moment between them when she figures that he has two heartbeats and he gives her a flirtatious wink. Moments like that are likely to anger either Ten/Rose shippers (not me) or purists who prefer their Time Lord more asexual but it’s rather subtle and cute to warrant any real complaints.

    In between another call with Tish and jesting with Julia, Martha’s first bit of adventure really kicks off when abrasive couriers come storming into the hospital and a black cloud over St Thomas’ Hospital transports the entire building to the moon, which will be a nice way of informing certain people that this season won’t be entirely earthbound.

    The cause of this change in location come from a hoard of intergalactic police called Judoon, who surprisingly come across as more threatening that promotional had lead me to believe that they would do. They’re here for a particular reason and they are willing to go to any lengths possible to obtain their goal and anyone who objects is in for some major execution.

    With a slightly similar mentality to the Cybermen this lot grab a medical student named Oliver and cleverly use his protests for mercy as a way of being able to speak English and although they only kill one person and are technically not evil, you still need to watch yourself with them as well.

    For instance, they’re after something alien and like a few people; I thought it might have been The Doctor. Their way of trying to sort through humans and aliens within the hospital works brilliant as they attempt to catalogue what is human and destroy what is alien. However the very thing that they happen to be looking for is the very thing that is clever enough to fool their scanner.

    So what do you think they were looking? An insanely gorgeous 900 year old Time Lord, a space pig, maybe remnants of the Lady Cassandra or Victor Kennedy? Well seeing as it’s none of them; the real thing they are looking for is that not so sweet old lady Florence Finnegan and by God, isn’t she a nasty piece of work or what?

    It turns out that dear old Florence is on the run from the Judoon for killing a child princess from another world and the only she has avoided detection so far is by passing herself off as human by feasting on human blood but obviously that’s not working enough if the Judoon knew which hospital to transport to the moon after all.

    Probably more known for playing more demure roles, Anne Reid is quite creepy as the callous and conniving vampire like creature known as a Plasmavore. Her means of survival are characteristic but audacious and unfortunately for Mr Stoker, Florence is quite happy to suck him dry and all with the clever and rather original use of a straw.

    It’s a pity, I like the idea of vampires on Doctor Who especially given how wonderful werewolves worked last season and I certainly wouldn’t have minded seeing some sharp teeth even if the straw method exudes the right amount of discomfort you should be feeling when watching this episode.

    As the Judoon continue their mission of cataloguing people while Florence has plans of destroying part of the earth in a scheme not properly explained, The Doctor and Martha has some intense moments together that definitely explain why these two could be good for one another.

    Martha’s reaction to being transported to the moon is certainly an eye-opener. She can believe in aliens and questions the air that they shouldn’t be breathing on the moon but it takes a fair amount to convince her that The Doctor is an alien and this is obviously after she had discovered her mystery man having two heartbeats. It takes some getting used to.

    Her attitude with The Doctor however is quite spiky and so far never in a way that feels like Russell is deliberately trying to separate Martha from Rose in every way imaginable. I like that she questions why he sucking up so much radiation after the abrasive couriers are revealed to be a slave race known as Slabs, who are working for Florence. The radiation is used to put one of them out of order and there’s a prodding quip about the Slabs working in pairs. It’s prodding because The Doctor knows he never stays solo for too long and also because he’s proved too intriguing for Martha to walk away from this debacle and never think of him again even if Donna could do that.

    The much publicised kiss between The Doctor and Martha stems from a deliriously silly “Genetic Transfer” moment because when Martha deduces that Florence is the alien, The Doctor uses her as a distraction for the Judoon so he can apprehend Florence in his own unconventional manner.

    The Doctor put Martha in a dangerous position with the Judoon. Given the fact that they aren’t the most patient of races, they could’ve easily killed her when their scanners detected alien within her and it’s lucky for Martha that she was able to convince the Judoon not to harm her otherwise The Doctor would have another death on his conscience as such.

    Now The Doctor’s confrontation with Florence was delightful with David Tennant clearly cutting down on the overexcited schoolboy persona of last year. Playing dumb was fun and I am amazed that Florence just assumed The Doctor was an annoying patient as opposed to be an alien of sorts. Her draining The Doctor made for another gory moment and Martha’s grief was kept to the right side of naturalism.

    If I haven’t made it clear then my like for Martha Jones should be known – I think she rocks. Not only did she deduce the air about the moon but she was also able to get the Judoon to identify and execute Florence as the threat and her death is done as swift as the poor bloke who got it for merely assaulting another person.

    As guest aliens go this week, both the Judoon and the Plasmavores easily outdo the cat nun nurses and zombie patients from “New Earth” and I liked the somewhat unpredictability of them. The Judoon caused damage while trying to exact justice and if it wasn’t for Martha chastising them, everyone would be stuck and eventually dead on the moon.

    The return to Earth for Martha is like the aftermath of the Autons attack in “Rose” when a family member checks if the assistant is alright in a bumbling manner and this time, it’s Tish who checks that Martha is okay which is consistent as Tish saw the hospital and I also got the impression that Martha might be more close to her than other people in her family.

    Now with the threat out of the way we needed a reason for Martha to ditch her family and career and go travelling with a complete and total stranger and an argument at Leo’s party between Analise and Francine in the street would be incentive enough. Face it Martha you need excitement and The Doctor needs company and dynamic wise, these two have a connection.

    Freema Agyeman has successfully proved her worth in her debut episode like her predecessor Billie Piper. Not every critic or viewer will be quick to sing her praises but Martha drives this episode fantastically and her rapport with The Doctor is a breath of fresh air. She’s undeniably captivated and somewhat scared of him but at the same time when he tries too hard to wow her or talk down to her she’s quick to talk him down. This could be a very interesting friendship indeed as she signs on boards, insists on not be a replacement for Rose and notes the obvious factors about the TARDIS such as it being bigger on the inside and a bumpy ride. The Doctor may have said he wanted to ride solo but throughout this and “The Runaway Bride”, he clearly loves having help when and wherever he can find it.

    Also in “Smith And Jones”

    No Previously On or even a Teaser, we just went straight into the Opening Credits and aside from the logo looking more stretched out, there seems to be no other change.

    Martha: “You came up to me and took your tie off”
    The Doctor: “Really what did I do that for?”

    Florence went into the hospital and was diagnosed with salt deficiency while Martha had thought she had diabetes. My Mum doesn’t use salt because of diabetes so maybe Stoker shouldn’t have been too dismissive.

    Tish: “Martha, have you seen the rain?”
    Martha: “Why is everyone fussing over the rain?”

    Martha: “We’re on the moon”
    Julia: “We can’t be”
    Martha: “We’re on the moon; we’re on the bloody moon”.

    Martha throws in some delightful mentions of “Aliens Of London”, “The Christmas Invasion” and “Army Of Ghosts”. She even mentions that Adeola was her cousin, which readers of the book “Made Of Steel” already knew.

    The Doctor: “I’m The Doctor”
    Martha: “Me too if I ever pass my exams”.

    Mr Stoker: “What are you?”
    Florence: “Oh I’m a survivor, Mr Stoker at any costs”.

    Isn’t it a little strange that three of our actresses in this episode – Freema Agyeman, Adjoa Andoh (Francine) and Anne Reid have all played different characters in the series before? Two of them were in the 2006 series after all!

    The Doctor: “Something that looks human but isn’t”
    Martha: “Like you apparently”.

    Martha: “You’re completely mad”
    The Doctor: “You’re right. I look completely ridiculous with one shoe on”.

    The sonic screwdriver got destroyed but was replaced. I’m glad as I didn’t want to see that particular thing completely eradicated.

    The Doctor (re Florence): “She’s clever, almost as clever as me”.

    The Doctor: “You’re joshing me?”
    Florence: “Afraid not”
    The Doctor: “I’m talking to an alien?”

    Did anyone notice The Doctor delighting in the site of a shop? That was another reminder of “New Earth”. He certainly likes his shops, doesn’t he?

    Judoon: “You confess?”
    Florence: “Confess? I’m proud of it”.

    The fourth mention of Mr Saxon appeared in this episode who believes in alien life form. He’s already been mentioned in “Love And Monsters”, “The Runaway Bride” and Torchwood’s “Captain Jack Harkness”.

    Martha (to the Judoon Captain): “You can’t go, that thing is gonna explode and it’s all you’re fault.

    I also should point out that both The Doctor and Florence used electricity and radiation at different points by 5000%. Coincidence or what?

    The Doctor: “It’s raining Martha; it’s raining on the moon”.

    Francine (to Analise): “Since when did you watch the news? You can’t handle Quizmania!”

    Just like with Rose, when The Doctor mentioned the TARDIS does time, Martha became a bit more interested. Here’s hoping we don’t get a “Father’s Day” type episode just yet.

    The Doctor (re Rose): “Not that you’re replacing her”
    Martha: “Never said I was”.

    The Doctor: “Ready?”
    Martha: “No”
    The Doctor: “Off we go”.

    Chronology: Are we in the year 2008 and if so what month in 2008?

    Season openers tend to be a bit of a ropey affair for this series and while they are gonna be several episodes to come that will be better than this, “Smith And Jones” confirms two things – a) you’re gonna love Freema Agyeman and Martha Jones in equal measures and b) this is still the best thing on UK television bar nothing and with twelve more glorious weeks on offer, it’s time to sit back and revel in creative, fun and intelligent programming. The Doctor is back and this is the start of proving that he might be quite unstoppable in both ratings and public interest.
  • Meh, bit limp for a season opener/companion intro.

    OK so here's what annoys me about the show now:

    I'm REALLY getting sick of ALL big events taking place in London, London, London. And London. And don't forget London! LONDON!!!!! It's not hard to pull of a few cheap tricks and appear to be anywhere besides London in the world, ala Alias. It's detracting from the show! And showing up the producers as pompous, arrogant Brits who shan't dare send the Tardis beyond the grasp of the Hempire!

    Secondly, when in London, it's always set in the here and now. This makes two companions in a row that are a) from London, b) from the early 21st century, and c) young, attractive females. This formula is wearing thin. Why not pull a girl from the future, or from the 80s? Indeed, why not pull a guy? Do they have to be young? Do they have to be from London? Earth?

    The trouble is that they are trying to make the Doctor's companion his love interest as well, and it shows like duct tape on a torn up Van Gough.

    Having Martha's family in the mix makes the show seem like EastEnders on LSD, but EE all the same. Camp, trashy, domestic namby pamby. With Rose it was tolerable, but redressing the family unit and passing it off again with the second companion... unforgivable.

    Too much of this episode resonated with the episode Rose, it almost felt like a hack and slash affair cobbled together on a train on the way to work. With coffee stains here and there, and crumpled, worn edges. A companion's intro should be more unpredictable and surprising. Now it almost seems like the Doctor goes shopping for a new companion and brings her aboard like a 40-something brings his young girlfriend home on the back of a motorcycle.

    [SIGH] I never meant for this to become a ramble, but it has. I'll finish by saying that the aliens were cool, plasmavore with straw included. But really, that's it. A disappointing start to the season, I think we all expect better.

    Times I mentioned London: 11.
    Times I want to mention London in future post of this series: 0
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