OMG Look Out for the Walrus!
Season 1 behind us, we forged ahead knowing that The Doctor who brought sexy back, David Tennant, was the hope to redeem the series.
Dear God, were they right.
Season 2, Episode 2 (“New Earth”) or what CinemaSnackBar likes to refer to as “Rose Tyler gets acting lessons”:
I have to admit, when I saw David Tennant as Hamlet on the RSC stage in Stratford-Upon-Avon, I was less than impressed. That dude be crazy. He was over the top and in a way that was almost terrifying. However, after experiencing his Doctor, this man is a genius!
Introducing the new Doctor after his regeneration with this young, spry, happy, crazy, but determined and no nonsense Doctor was perfect. Everything we’d hoped the Eccleston Doctor to be was now reality with David Tennant. Billie Piper somehow listened to the feedback from Season 1 or enrolled in some higher level actor training, because SHE WAS BRILLIANT. The height of her impressiveness shown through in “New Earth,” when Cassandra took over her body. As the season went on, she was written as a more competent, intelligent, and trusted sidekick (and more prominently a love interest) of the Doctor, despite her continuing back and forth with Mickey.
Granted, the shows of season 2 still had some of the hand-waving family wholesomeness. Bringing back K-9 when he could have had a noble death was completely unnecessary and bringing back Moaning Myrtle as a concrete tile was unnecessary and a little morbid.
However, who could forget the terror and shock of accepted slavery and disposable aliens in “The Satan Pit” or the quintessential example of the Doctor’s unfortunate paradox as shown in “Girl in the Fireplace.” The episode distills the Doctor’s lifelong contradictory situation in which he can love, but never fully be loved in return as each time he attempts to catch it, it becomes fleeting and lost before he even has a chance. The writing in Season 2 got better as it went on and with it so did the interest, intensity, and devotion to the characters.
I can never again call Mickey “Ricky the Idiot.” He is dear to my heart after “Age of Steel” and his rising to the challenge of English Resistance proves him worth his salt.
Also, despite my previous protesting, I cried when Rose told the Doctor “I love you,” him just having the whisper of it on his lips. So heartbreaking and real.
Of course my favorite and most iconic moment of Season 2 is “Doomsday.” I am entranced by the Daleks. They are MY villains, bad 60’s steel cages and all.
“You would destroy 5 million Cybermen with four Daleks?”
“We would destroy the Cybermen with ONE Dalek!”
These badasses will only get cooler as time goes on. Leading us into Season 3…
Season 3, to me, is a love-hate relationship. I love David Tennant ever more than before and I hate Freema Agyeman more than words can say. More accurately I hate Martha Jones.
Freema is a fine actress (more than I can say for Billie Piper Season 1), but Martha is an annoying twit who thinks she’s all that and yet still never seems to catch on to the way things work in the Doctor’s lifestyle. After a little while, Rose could at least anticipate the Doctor’s actions, almost reading his mind, working in sync with him rather than against him. Martha always seemed to question the Doctor and be helpless despite her medical training and her growing forbidden love for him.
She redeems herself slightly by putting herself through hell for the Doctor in “Last of the Time Lords.” She traveled around the world for a year, apparently becoming the world’s greatest spy, but she just doesn’t cut it as the Doctor’s companion and I felt relief when she stayed behind on Earth at the end of Season 3.
I can’t fully defend my hate for her except to say that she’s come a long way from being a Cybermen controlled lacky (0:28-0:31 marker).
Despite my loathing for Martha Jones, Season 3 has some of the BEST written episodes to date. Husband favors “The Family of Blood,” citing the icy wrath of the Doctor and the bone-chilling Family in the episode as some of his favorite moments.
“Blink” is one of the all-time Doctor Who fan favorites and with good reason. The Weeping Angels are fantastic in their simplicity and yet their palpitation-inducing stalking. Thankfully, Martha isn’t in that one as much, so I also enjoyed it quite a bit. 😉
When the Doctor says “Don’t Blink,” he bloody well means it! The nicest predators of the universe… they kill you with kindness and send you out of your time.
I will admit, however, despite knowing the potential backlash this statement might create, I was disappointed by the Master and especially by the resolution of “Last of the Time Lords.” The Master just wasn’t evil enough and the hokey almost hand-waving nature of everyone on Earth thinking of the Doctor at the same time was too sappy, too sentimental, too far.
This, unfortunately, brings me to my conclusion that while brilliantly reimagining Doctor Who in an updated way, Russell T. Davies is a god-awful writer, relying on lazy plot devices and overly sentimental feel-good endings. Also, remember how I mentioned that there was a lot in store for those badasses we know as the Daleks? Disappointing and insane, the Daleks become the joke of the Season trying to evolve and then instead ending up back where they started, one escaped and on the loose.
Hurry up and get here Steve Moffat. We’re all counting on you.