Created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, & Donald Wilson/Revived by Russell T. Davies/Starring David Tennant & Freema Agyeman
My rating: 4 of 5
After losing his dear friend and companion (and love, even if he won’t say it) Rose Tyler to an alternate universe, the Doctor carries on getting into trouble and saving worlds without their ever knowing . . . but you can see in his eyes how lonely he is. Then one day an undercover investigation into a London hospital leads to an encounter with physician-in-training Martha Jones, a competent, clear-headed young woman who’s brilliant in a crisis. Following their resolution of the problems in the hospital, the Doctor offers to take Martha on a trip in the TARDIS, and one trip naturally flows into another without Martha ever properly even going home to explain what’s going on to her family. They see some incredible things together, face impossible dangers and survive, and naturally enough Martha falls in love–for an alien who’s still pining for someone else. And throughout their journeys, there’s this haunting line echoing . . . “you are not alone.”
I must say, I was deeply saddened by the ending of the second series of Doctor Who, and I think I carried that into the beginnings of the third series. I really miss having Rose in the story! Honestly, I almost quit watching in the first episode of series 3 when I thought the Doctor was going to take that harpy Donna with him (I know, I know, series 4 spoilers, but that’s different somehow). And even when he picked Martha . . . well, she’s a great character. In other circumstances, I probably would have absolutely loved her. But coming right after Rose, it’s like I’m comparing her from outside the story AND the Doctor’s comparing her to Rose within the story, and in both cases she’s found lacking. She doesn’t get to shine in her own right as she should, at least not at the beginning of the series. Also, the story writing toward the beginning of the series just didn’t resonate with me–especially episodes 4 and 5. Seriously, I know they have important plot setting parts for series 4, but you could read the Wikipedia summary and just skip the actual episode. You wouldn’t miss much. So, after all that negativity, why do I still give this a 4 rating? For one, because David Tennant is an incredible actor, and his character development as the Doctor in this series is, well, brilliant. He’s so cheeky and full of himself that it’s great fun. And then the story writing improves greatly after the first several episodes. I think “Blink” (episode 10) may be one of my favorite TV episodes of any story ever. And Captain Jack Harkness shows up again in this series–always an interesting twist. Honestly, for all its faults, series 3 of Doctor Who is still one of the best science fiction shows out there, and I enjoyed it a lot. I’m looking forward to where the story goes from here!