Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who--"Smith and Jones"

Tonight was the third season premiere of the revamped Doctor Who. Or the 29th season of Doctor Who, depending upon which said of that particular no debate you happen to fall on. A lot of stuff had to be crammed into this one. Rose Tyler is long gone, but you will not remember one bit of her after watching the lovely Freema Agyeman as new companion Martha Jones. Jones has a scientific mind (she is a med student) and more savvy about aliens thanks to the events occurring in London the last couple years. She even had a cousin, Adeole, die at Canary Wharf during the Cyberman-Dalek War. That explains how Agyeman could play both characters. It is a Patty Duke thing. The alien plot is typical Whovian fare, but we also get our first hints of MP John Saxon and his bid for Prime Minister. Can you “master” the clues of who he might be?

Martha’s hospital is transported to the moon. Something fishy was going down and the Doctor hitched a ride before it was transported. A storm trooper race known as the Judoon invade the hospital in search of an escaped convict who murdered some planet’s young princess. The Judoon are garbed in armor similar to the Sontarons, but with rhino heads. We only get to see one without a helmet, but I was impressed with the effects. Everything was quite impessive for a BBC budget. The convict happens to be assimilating human blood to appear human on Judoon scans. Through a contrived plot, the Doctor allows her to absorb his blood and thereby being detected. Before being captured, the convict launches a plot to fry everyone’s brain within a 250,000 mile radius in order to escape, but the plot is quickly thwarted. As a reward, the Doctor offers Martha a single trip in the TARDIS to escape her annoyingly bickering family. I do hope they are kept to more of a minimum than Jackie and Mickey were.

This was the best premiere since 2005’s “Rose.” In fact, I thought the introduction of Martha was done much better than the intro of Rose. It was something of an homage. Although they had met face to face earlier in the episode, during their first moment of action, the Doctor grabbed her hand and shouted, “Run!” Rose loyalists should be happy to know the Doctor and Martha seem reluctant to travel with one another long term. Whatever takes them in that direction, I am pleased she is more worldly than Rose and not so much a starstruck little girl. I am not too pleased with the offhand comment the Doctor has a brother. I hope they are not playing to make him and the Master siblings.

Ratings: *** (out of 5)

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