Series three starts with a thunderclap, a disappearing hospital and a very familiar feeling.

Primary Cast and Crew

David Tennant as the Doctor
Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones
Anne Reid as Florence Finnegan
Roy Marsden as Mr Stoker
Paul Kasey as the Judoon Captain
Nicholas Briggs provided the Judoon voices

Written by Russell T. Davies

Directed by Charles Palmer

Originally aired on the 31st of March 2007 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis

A large London hospital is unexpectedly transported to the surface of the moon complete with staff, patients and the Doctor. Before they have time to come to terms with this remarkable occurrance, the hospital is invaded by a team of mercenary police looking for an alien.

High Points

  • “I’ve got my straw…” Anne Reid’s performance was superb.

Low Points

  • I know I criticised the lack of knowledge of past alien events exhibited by Donna in the Christmas episode last year, but now I find that everyone remembers everything is rather jarring. It’s not like Doctor Who, somehow. Humans aren’t supposed to remember these things very well. Once more I invoke the Seventh Doctor’s comment about the human capacity for self-delusion when questioning Ace about the Yeti in the Underground – which, of course, she doesn’t remember.
  • Another companion who’s young, female, reasonably attractive and prounounces ‘mother’ with a double v in the middle. This is starting to get familiar.
  • Why bother with the whole X-ray absorbtion thing? It felt like time-filling, or new gratuitous alien ability demonstration.

The Scores

Not an enormously original episode. I kept thinking back to previous episodes of this revival of Doctor Who. Massive alien crisis happens on Earth. One plucky young woman steps up to help. Sound familiar? Three out of six.

The effects were generally good. Exactly what we saw last series, in fact. Four out of six.

A disappointing story with echoes of the original Ninth Doctor story. Acquisition of a new companion is always going to have some sort of commonality to it, but they managed it slightly better in the old days. The plasmavore plot was nice, but the Doctor’s solution was pretty unimaginative although undeniably rather brave. Four out of six.

We know David Tennant can act and he did the best he could have done with this script, I think. Freema Agyeman I remain undecided on, as I’m not sure what was here and what was awful dialogue. Anne Reid’s performance, however, was an absolute triumph. Five out of six.

I’m afraid to say that my chief emotional response was irritation that the Judoon turned out to be rather dull and apparently barely sentient. There were some funny bits as well. Three out of six.

Production-wise, it certainly looks like the interior of an NHS hospital in England, which is great. I really doubt they filmed the exterior scenes in London though. It just doesn’t look much like the capital, there most certainly is not a large hospital right next to the London Eye, and the police weren’t wearing Metropolitan Police uniforms. I know that last point is a nitpick most people wouldn’t notice or care about, but if they continue to have difficulty making it look like they’re filming in London, possibly the most well-known city in the UK, why not set the story somewhere else? Four out of six.

Overall my misgivings about series three after the disappointing Christmas episode have so far been fulfilled, although things weren’t quite as dire as my worst nightmares might have suggested. While this episode is entertaining to watch, it doesn’t leave me very enthusiastic about next week. Especially not after seeing the trailer. Four out of six.

Smith and Jones (oh dear, even the title is a bad joke) receives a total of twenty-seven out of forty-two.