Smith and Jones (2007)

So the third series gets underway with the introduction of Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman). This was the second new companion since the show returned and a test again to see whether the show could ride the post-Billie Piper effect. The defining image is that of a hospital being taken from the earth to the moon with rhino looking aliens storming. The CGI effect from the hospital on the moon to the Judoon walking on the moon. The hospital is on the moon because the Juddon have no jurisdiction on earth but the Juddon are looking for Florence Finnegan who in an attempt to escape intends to fry the side of earth facing the moon.

I quite liked how Martha refused to call the Doctor by his name saying that he had to earn that title. A brilliant opposite to Rose who at that time was just two stories ago. However it’s not long before the Doctor and the companion are locking lips. I do find this tiresome as if the show is trying to make up for 26 years of sexual oppression. They may have got round it by some clever science idea of transferring alien DNA to a human but still. Freema Agyeman is a superb companion because she has the intelligence but also acts like a proper companion. Her time in the show might have been brief but it’s still a strong showing. In his second season as the Doctor, it feels like David Tennant has got a handle on his Doctor and it feels a more stable and stronger version of the character. Also on a fashion front, I do prefer the blue version of the Doctor’s suit to that chocolate brown one in season two. David and Freema set up an instantly good on screen relationship and it’s perhaps a more professional relationship than that of the Doctor and Rose.

I really liked Anne Reid as Florence Finnegan. She had previously appeared in the 1989 story ‘The Curse of Fenric’. As Florence she seems like a nice old lady but turns into a blood obsessed alien. She played it really well and was effective as a villain. The meer idea that a villain could create terror by sucking blood from someone through a straw is quite amusing and well handled by Reid. Roy Marsden (who would go on to appear in the Paul McGann adventure Human Resources) is good in his short appearance as Mr Stoker.

There is a moment which seems totally odd where the Doctor stops infront of Martha and takes off his tie. It’s only towards the end where this is revealed to be a ploy by the Doctor to prove he has a time machine. The moment where Martha walks into the TARDIS is quite similar to what Rose experienced back in series one and then we get the ‘It’s bigger on the inside’ line which is something else that harks back to the classic series.

As the alien of the week, the Judoon are an ok creation who whilst look very good don’t really have a lot more to offer. They do make appearances in the future but it’s unlikely that they would form the basis of a story again.

The series arc is started properly (after a mention in the runaway bride) and the Saxon arc is mentioned as briefly again before posters are plastered on the wall by the TARDIS. When I watched this with my friend we were watching every frame and listening to absolutely everything for Saxon references.

Like the previous two series, we are introduced to a companion’s family. The Jones are a family at loggerheads due to mum (Adjoa Andoh) and dad (Trevor Laird) splitting up. Thankfully this is kept to a minimum throughout the series but as a family they are all very interesting and put in good performances. Thankfully we never get to see Annalise (Kimmi Richards) again after this episode. It’s the best opening story of a series so far (though that’s not tough to do). The introduction of Martha Jones was well handled and the series gets off to a strong start.

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