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New Who: The Story Thus Far – Series 3 (Xmas, Episodes 1-7)

John Hussey continues his series analysing the revival, this time with Series 3.

series3

‘The Runaway Bride’

The Runaway BrideContinuing after the cliff-hanger of ‘Army of Ghosts/Doomsday’ where we were left with Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), i.e. the titular bride, mysteriously transported onboard the TARDIS. The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) was left gobsmacked by the entire event and tried his best to figure out was going on. Unfortunately for him he received a loud-mouthed and demanding bride who wished the “Martian” to take her to the church. This story began a trend for following Christmas specials where the Doctor would receive a one-off companion. It wasn’t until ‘A Christmas Carol’ that the Doctor had companions from the previous series accompanying him.

The Pilot Fish made their last return within ‘The Runaway Bride’ who were now mere robotic slaves to the Empress of the Racnoss (Sarah Parish). The spider-like creature had Lance Bennett (Don Gilet), Donna’s fiancé, implant Donna with Huon particles in order to awaken her sleeping children at the centre of the Earth. Lance was revealed to be a villain and merely went along with the wedding idea to secure Donna within the Empress’ plans, leaving Donna momentarily devastated by this revelation.

The Tenth Doctor was also met with lost love due to the recent departure of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). Throughout ‘The Runaway Bride’ he showed a wounded nature and felt sensitive around mentioning her, a true sign that her loss was a damaging point within his long Time Lord life. Upon the farewell scene the Tenth Doctor offered Donna to join him in the TARDIS but she refused (though she would later return to be his companion in Series Four). She requested though that he should find someone to travel with as he needed someone to stop him (seen during the flooding scene where Donna told him to stop and leave – which would become an important plot-point in ‘Turn Left’). The episode brought about the introduction of Donna’s mother Sylvia Noble (Jacqueline King). Donna’s father Geoff Noble appeared within the episode but sadly Howard Attfield who played him died before the filming of Series Four and so couldn’t return to reprise his role. ‘The Runaway Bride’ also gave the first major reference to Harold Saxon, who ordered the execution of the Empress onboard her ship above London.

‘Smith and Jones’

Smith & Jones‘Smith and Jones’ kicked off Series Three properly with the introduction of new companion Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman). It was certainly the start to a new direction for both the new series and the Tenth Doctor’s era. We had a switch within capabilities from a street-wise Rose Tyler to a trainee doctor Martha Jones. During a routine training day at Martha’s workplace the entire hospital was beamed up to the Moon by the Judoon, a group of thuggish intergalactic police for hire. The villain served as Florence Finnegan (Anne Reid), a disguised Plasmavore, and her Slabs. The Plasmavore had committed the crimes of murdering the Child Princess of Padrivole Regency Nine and the Judoon sought out to find her amongst the humans inside the hospital. The Tenth Doctor tried desperately to find her first otherwise the Judoon would have executed the entire hospital for harbouring a criminal. I always thought it was clever of the Tenth Doctor sacrificing his blood to the Plasmavore in order to change her disguise from human to alien thus allowing the Judoon to find her. It was also during that same scene that Martha’s capabilities were put to the test as she revived the Time Lord through CPR.

Martha’s first encounter with the Tenth Doctor was rough and fast-paced to say the least (the best companion introduction within the Davies era in my opinion) and she certainly adapted well to the dangers around her (quicker in fact than Rose but it could have plenty to do with the circumstances of the events of Martha’s first adventure compared to Rose’s). The interesting element of Martha’s introduction was the fact the Tenth Doctor granted her passage onboard the TARDIS, after returning for her later on, as a form of reward for saving his life rather than a full straight-on deal of companionship like the majority of his previous companions. His sadness over Rose’s departure still lingered within his memory and hearts and like within ‘The Runaway Bride’ still had an affect over him. ‘Smith and Jones’ introduced us to new characters in the form of Martha’s family: Francine (Adjoa Andoh), Tish (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Clive (Trevor Laird) and Leo Jones (Reggie Yates). Finally there was more reference to Harold Saxon who would slowly seep in and become something of vital significance as his story arc unfolded.

‘The Shakespeare Code’

The Shakespeare CodeMartha’s first journey (or reward trip as it was meant to be) in the TARDIS took her to Shakespearean England. ‘The Shakespeare Code’ took the new series tradition of using both historical figures and mythological creatures and incorporated a tale where William Shakespeare (Dean Lennox Kelly) met Witches. The magical narrative was well constructed and brought one of the most famous writers to life in style who aided the Tenth Doctor wonderfully in his adventure. His intelligence was more than enough to keep the Time Lord on his toes as he constantly read him like a play. The story played upon a lost play written by William called ‘Love Labours Won’ in which the Witch-like Carrionites Lilith (Christina Cole), Mother Doomfinger (Amanda Lawrence) and Bloodtide (Linda Clarke) tried to use his brilliant words to release their sisters from imprisonment (just as they had used his traumatised words whilst grieving over his son’s death to free themselves). It is of course William’s words that sent them all back in the end. The interesting element of ‘The Shakespeare Code’ was the developing of Martha’s character and of course her love interest with the Tenth Doctor. She was clearly shown to have feelings towards him but he was oblivious to this and once again rebuffed her by speaking about Rose, who he was still grieving over. Last but not least, the revealing of Queen Elizabeth I (Angela Pleasence) having a unknown grudge against the Tenth Doctor (which would eventually be revealed in ‘The Day of the Doctor’).

‘Gridlock’

Gridlock‘Gridlock’ gave us the conclusion of the ‘New Earth Trilogy’ which started back in Series One with ‘The End of the World’ and continued in Series Two with ‘New Earth’. We had the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) encounter the end of the Earth and then the Tenth Doctor encountering New Earth and its new ideas of continuing life upon the ways of ye old Earth. This time the story took an even more dark turn of events with the idea of drug abuse and addiction causing the end of life. The mood drugs were an interesting idea that really displayed humanities stupidity when it came to curiosity and ways of making life that bit more easier. This left the lower areas of New New York in never ending endurance of hell as the Motorway caused them to drive round and round and round in a never ending cycle all in the vein hope of achieving their salvation of a better life up top.

The story was good at playing with the idea of a new companion having the realisation that they don’t quite know who the Doctor is and that they followed him into the TARDIS on a whim and they find themselves in peril at the hands of a complete stranger. The story also brought about a unique idea of the Tenth Doctor lying about his homeland Gallifrey in an attempt to make himself happy and still believe in his lost home. The result later caused him to admit to Martha the truth and that Gallifrey, his people the Time Lords along with all of his family and friends are no longer around. It was truly an emotional scene to watch and still is to this very day. The sadness the Time Lord bore after the Time War was just heartbreaking and Series Three played on this a lot. The only disappointing factor was the under-usage of the Macra, who made their one and only appearance in ‘The Macra Terror’. Their appearance was almost unnecessary and it was a shame these Classic creatures weren’t used for a better reprise story. Finally ‘Gridlock’ brought about the end of the Face of Boe (voiced by Struan Rodger) after he sacrificed himself to save the people of the Under-city. This brought about him finally revealing his great secret to the Tenth Doctor: you are not alone. This message would become very important later on in ‘Utopia’ where all hell broke loose.

‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks’

sec-hybridThe idea of the Daleks being at the end of their ropes and finding ways of survival after the Last Great Time War was a massive story-plot within the Russell T Davies era. In ‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks’ this was explored to the peak as the Cult of Skaro found themselves in an ignorant point in time where technology wasn’t advanced and they were left to make the ultimate choice in survival. Dalek Sec’s descent into humanity was an amazing idea which had never really been done before (apart from within ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ when some Daleks were infected with the Human Factor) and really created some devastating pieces of conflict that ended with one of the most horrific endings for the Daleks. Dalek Sec came to the conclusion that their ways of living would bring their extinction and so decided to alter that by any means necessary.

After combining itself with Mr Diagoras (Eric Loren) Dalek Sec became a Human-Dalek Hybrid (which in my eyes was one of the most chilling cliff-hangers of Doctor Who). This brought about its alliance with the Tenth Doctor and its ideas of making a new Dalek Empire that was more like humanity, without evil intentions, a mind of cruelty and hatred along with emotions to show feelings of love and affection. The Cult of Skaro turned against their leader and attempted to turn humanity into pure Daleks with an invasion of Manhattan imminent. The Tenth Doctor foiled their plans by interfering with the gene-splice causing the Human-Daleks to have Time Lord DNA as well as Dalek. Due to them being failures the newly appointed leader Dalek Caan ordered their destruction which resulted in a battle between different Dalek species.

The end result was the obliteration of Dalek Thay and Jast, bringing about the end of the great Cult of Skaro in the bleakest way possible. Their strive for survival and their insanity to ibide by their logistics of supremacy brought about their downfall. Dalek Sec, along with the Human-Daleks, was of course killed by its once loyal soldiers after it tried protecting the Tenth Doctor. Dalek Caan was left the only survivor of the Cult of Skaro and the Dalek race, escaping once again through the means of Emergency Temporal Shift. ‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks’ is a brilliant story in my eyes due to its dark themes and the share hatred between the Time Lord and his enemy and the end result showcases their never ending struggle and how far both sides will go to gain their victory.

‘The Lazarus Experiment’

Richard-Lazarus-mark-gatissThe Tenth Doctor reinforced the idea that Martha was merely travelling with him as a means of reward for saving his life in ‘Smith and Jones’ which accidentally escalated slightly. This was a harsh reality and made Martha’s story that bit more tragic. She was the companion who wasn’t truly noticed in some respects. ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ brought the plot back to modern-day Earth, after Martha had four episodes on the trot away from home (double the amount Rose got in Series One before returning home), and slammed the Tenth Doctor and Martha into a deadly situation of scientific ambition going terribly wrong. Mark Gatiss came in front of the camera for Series Three and played one last part within the Russell T Davies era by playing Professor Lazarus, a misled scientist whose ambitions of living forever got the better of him and transformed into a rampaging beast. This was a fundamental element within human nature played out brilliantly within this story. ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ reintroduced Martha’s family and added them into the heart of the Doctor’s lifestyle for the first time with Leo being injured while Tish helped out the Time Lord. Francine on the other became distressed towards the Tenth Doctor due to a message sent to her by Harold Saxon explaining the deadly dangers his life holds on those around him. Martha in the end more than proved her worth and pointed out that she was good enough to become a true companion for the Time Lord. Martha’s days of earning one more trip in the TARDIS was over.

‘42’

doctor-who-42-episode‘42’ placed the Tenth Doctor into a sticky situation when the title basically signified the bulk of the story: the Time Lord has but 42 minutes to prevent certain disaster. Trapped on a spaceship colliding with a Sun the heat truly rose as time, for once, wasn’t in favour of the Time Lord. ‘42’ played well with the idea of possession with a difference, i.e. the possessor in question being a living Sun rather than an organic creature of flesh and blood. This in turn came about due to humanities stupidity and lack of thinking. They carved out the soul of the Sun without a second thought, causing it to scream out in pain and act out its vengeance by dragging the entire crew into its burning heart. A rare occasion occurred with the Tenth Doctor committing the ultimate sacrifice by exiting the ship’s hull in order to re-magnetise Martha’s escape-pod which was ejected from the ship by one of the possessed crewmates, which caused him to suffer the pains of the Sun’s extreme heat in the process. The Tenth Doctor was briefly taken over and caused to feel the meaning of fear which was a dire moment that left us worried for his survival and emotions. The most interesting part of the episode was the continuing development of the mysterious Harold Saxon who had his agents, led by Miss Dexter (Elize du Toit), use Francine to spy on Martha and her activities with the Tenth Doctor. The plot certainly thickened and started to lead us towards the dark revelations of the finale.

My Verdict so far

  • ‘The Runaway Bride’ – 10/10
  • ‘Smith and Jones’ – 9/10
  • ‘The Shakespeare Code’ – 10/10
  • ‘Gridlock’ – 9/10
  • ‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks’ – 10/10
  • ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ – 10/10
  • ‘42’ – 9/10

 Join us for part 2 tomorrow, looking at the remainder of the Series 3.

Step back in time...

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61 comments
Whovian1500
Whovian1500

The Runaway Bride - 10/10

Smith and Jones - 10/10

The Shakespeare Code - 10/10

Gridlock - 10/10

Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks - 10/10

The Lazarus Experiment - 7/10

42 - 10/10

The 11th Doctor
The 11th Doctor

My Verdict on Series 3, Xmas-Episode Seven:

The Runaway Bride: 9/10 (90%)

Smith and Jones: 7/10 (70%)

The Shakespeare Code: 7/10 (70%)

Gridlock: 7/10 (70%)

Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks: 6/10 (60%)

The Lazarus Experiment: 7/10 (70%)

42: 8/10 (80%)

Average Rating: 7.3/10 (73%)

TheOncomingStorm
TheOncomingStorm

Runaway Bride - 9/10 Smith And Jones - 10/10 Shakespeare Code - 7/10 Gridlock - 10/10 DIM/EOTD - 4/10 (cos I'm nice) Lazarus Experiment - 6/10    42 - 8/10

MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

I love this series (apart from 2 stories in the first half):

Smith and Jones- 8/10

The Shakespeare code- 7/10

Gridlock- 7/10

Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the daleks- 3.5/10

The Lazarus experiment- 3/10

42- 9/10

NewWho2012
NewWho2012

I like all the episodes in this article except for the Dalek two parter, never really liked it for some reason might have been the setting of 1930's America, not relevant to me at the time, only when I did GCSE History. But my era of Doctor Who was quite good looking back on it even having not watched it in a while.

Wibbly-Wobbly is John Reese
Wibbly-Wobbly is John Reese

Wow... Pretty high. Series 5 should get full 10s by this standard. 


For me it would be more like this: 


The Runaway Bride: 8/10

Smith and Jones: 8/10

The Shakespeare Code: 9/10

Gridlock: 10/10

Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks: 6/10

The Lazarus Experiment: 10/10

42: 10/10

DaftDalek
DaftDalek

YES YES, someone who likes Daleks in Manhattan!

DW_girl
DW_girl

Good review, and I agree with most. 

My ratings:

The Runaway Bride: 9/10

Smith and Jones: 9.5/10

The Shakespeare Code: 6.5/10

Gridlock: 8/10

Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks: 7/10

The Lazarus Experiment: 10/10

42: 10/10


Love series 3. It is in my top 3 favourite series. :)

The Finn
The Finn

Wasn't the Queen Elizabeth thing paid out in TEOT pt 1?

Jeavons
Jeavons

This series of articles is definately not for people trying to get into Doctor Who if they were going by the scores. The descriptons and opinions of each episode are alright but you leave no room for movement in the scores. Starting with the first installment if you don't think about the future you end up giving almost everything a 9 or 10. How you could justify giving The Lazarus Experiment a 10 when you'll be forced to say something like Vincent and The Doctor is equal to it, you'd need to introduce a 13/10 or higher at some point

TheOncomingFish
TheOncomingFish

Series 3 is my favourite Tennant series. I love Martha, I don't know why she gets so much hate. 

gunslinger19
gunslinger19

My favourite tenant series with a hugely underrated companion and underrated episodes. gridlock, daleks in manhattan, evolution of the daleks and 42 are some of the best episodes that the show has produced. the dalek 2-parter gets a lot of hate, im not really sure why. it moves the dalek story arc post time war forward and is both tense and exciting. the cliffhanger had me desperate to see the next half and Martha is really able to show off her skills not just as a doctor but also as a resourceful companion. and the supporting cast were all brilliant, especially mr diagras and spiderman.

Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd
Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd

Series 3 along with series 1 and 5 is the series which I would give 5 stars to. The only thing it could've improved on IMHO is by only mentioning Rose in the runaway bride, smith and jones and utopia so for me: 

0.The runaway bride 8/10 My second favourite christmas special 

1.Smith and Jones 8/10 

2.The Shakespeare code 8/10 Gareth Roberts best script 

3.Gridlock 8/10

4.Daleks in Manhattan 7/10 the only dalek episode to scare as a kid for some reason  

5.The Lazarus experiement 8/10 love the monster in this 

6.42 9/10 its based off one of my favourite films (sunshine) 


TheOncomingSnow
TheOncomingSnow

I saw 10/10 next to Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks and now I want to cry.

TheDreamer
TheDreamer

I haven't watched series 1-4 in ages, so it's hard for me to remember every detail or write an accurate review, but I will go with the impression they left on me and try to rate these...


‘The Runaway Bride’ – 7/10

‘Smith and Jones’ – 9/10

‘The Shakespeare Code’ – 6/10

‘Gridlock’ – 9/10

‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks’ – 7/10

‘The Lazarus Experiment’ – 7/10

‘42’ – 9/10

Didgeridoomen
Didgeridoomen

I like these articles, but when giving a rating out of 10 you should consider that it actually contains 10 different numbers you could all use.

Gustaff
Gustaff

It's funny how high DW fans expectations are. Normally I'd watch anything from 7+, but even on the other polls and articles, most people tend to treat 7/10 as though it were 4/10. Am I the only one seeing this?

MrThorfan64
MrThorfan64

Series 3 was the best of the New Who series, despite a poor Dalek story. Martha is underrated due to RTD liking Rose too much and going on about how she was the perfect companion.

Gustaff
Gustaff

The Queen Elizabeth thing was probably one of the longest brick jokes in the show. Paid off well...eventually.


We need more brick jokes in Doctor Who

Oodkind
Oodkind

I liked the series, but I don't think of it quite as highly as you. 

The Runaway Bride - 9/10: I think it was a good idea, and overall was a lot of fun. There wasn't really anything inherently wrong with it. Because I can't really say it was one of the great moments of Who, I can't give it a 10/10. 

Smith and Jones - 9/10: Similar to above: the episode was good, funny, and overall interesting. I don't think it quite deserves a 10/10, but it's close. Good introduction for Martha.

The Shakespearean Code - 5/10: In my opinion, the lowest point of the series. I found the witches to be stupid, and the power of words magic stuff was pretty silly. Of course, I've never been the biggest Shakespeare fan, and I can see how that could be of appeal.

Gridlock - 8.5/10: I can't say it's my favorite episode, but it was very good. The idea was pretty good, and the concepts with Martha and all that were well played. It was nice to see the Face of Boe, and it was another clue towards Utopia. Good episode overall.

Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks - 6.5/10: I've never really seen the appeal, honestly. People talk about the Daleks being overused, but most dalek-centred episodes were really quite good. That being said, this would be the one I would cut. I suppose the idea was new and cutting edge, but it just didn't do it for me. I think it was really the start of them being laughable instead of the scariest villains ever.

The Lazarus Experiment - 8/10: The main plot I can't say was particularly good. The reversing aging thing was a good idea, but the turning into a weird spider-cannibal thing seemed to be just another silly alien. This was often a problem in the RTD era-- the stand-alone episodes had silly villains. That being said, this episode is still good because of the chemistry of Martha and her family. It really developed her character and set the stage for the Finale. That element was quite well done.

42 - 8/10: Gee, what a short title! Anyway, it was a good scary episode, along the same lines as Midnight. However, I feel it wasn't up to the same caliber. The concept was good, the action was good, and everything was believable, but for some reason, something just seems off. I can't pinpoint it. I feel bad taking away 2 points, but something about it just throws me off.


Overall, that is 7.7/10, which rounds to 8/10. And I would describe that as pretty accurate. It was overall an enjoyable half-a-season, which a few low moments, but they were overall made up for. Good introduction to Martha, good development of Ten, and a great start to one of the best series.

hybries
hybries

I'm genuinely so surprised to see so much love for the first part of series 3, as every time I introduced a friend to the show, this was the moment when they went to ask me when it was going to get better again. Well, sharing their point of view, I had an answer: from Human nature on, it's a bloody good run of episodes! 

StephenAHayes
StephenAHayes

How can you give the Shakespeare Code 10/10.

It's more like 4/10

Same with hthe Daleks Take Manhattan: A great idea just poorly executed and done.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

I really enjoyed Series 3.  The Doctor mourning the loss of Rose was a smart move to distinguish the new series from the classic era, where losing a companion usually rated no more than a shrug.  Martha was a strong companion and Freema Agyeman portrayed her well.  But, I think having the Doctor mourning Rose at the same time Martha was mooning over him was a mistake.  


After recently watching several of these episodes it occurred to me that they missed an opportunity.  Martha was too good a character to be hopelessly and unrequitedly mooning over the Doctor.  Instead of starting with her they should have had a "rebound" companion for the Doctor.  I'm thinking someone who stuck around for a few episodes but who quickly got fed up with the depressed, distracted Doctor, told him off and left of their own accord.  Then they could have jumped into 'Smith and Jones' without the Doctor bringing so much baggage from Rose and with Martha not necessarily being in love with him.

TheImprobableBoy
TheImprobableBoy

  • ‘The Runaway Bride’ – 7/10
  • ‘Smith and Jones’ – 9/10
  • ‘The Shakespeare Code’ – 9/10
  • ‘Gridlock’ – 9/10
  • ‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks’ – 8/10
  • ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ – 7/10
  • ‘42’ – 7/10

TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

The Runaway Bride - 7/10

Smith and Jones - 8/10The Shakespeare Code - 7/10Gridlock - 9/10Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks - 4/10The Lazarus Experiment - 8/1042 - 7/10

KarenBee
KarenBee

I do like Martha, most resourceful and intelligent of the new series companions and have a soft spot for Series 3.

GaryKingston
GaryKingston

I really like the RTD era but in my opinion series 3 is the weakest of the series. This is because because of many reasons the biggest one being the shadow of rose. although it was nice to see the doctor morn over her due to the fact the doctor usually forgets his companions (well at least in the classic series) and they are never mentioned again. But then Maratha wasn't given enougth time which is extremely unfortunete and the whole love thing was annoying as well. I like series 3 and enjoy some episodes like the master trilogy, human nature and the Lazarus expirement but it doesn't quite live up to the other seasons

sontaran17
sontaran17

  • The Runaway Bride’ – 8.5/10
  • ‘Smith and Jones’ – 10/10
  • ‘The Shakespeare Code’ – 9/10
  • ‘Gridlock’ – 10/10
  • ‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks’ – 9/10
  • ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ – 7.5/10
  • ‘42’ – 10/10

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

Maybe Im biased because it was my first season of the show, but season 3 remains my favourite season

Galax
Galax

Wow. Completly different thoughts. Series 3A is by far my least favourite run ever in the NuWho history.


The Runaway Bride - 7/10. Enjoyeable thanks to Donna.

Smith and Jones - 7.5 (8)/10. Good opener with pretty good aliens, GREAT new character (Martha is wonderful in the first episodes) and the episode is visually and musically stunning.

The Shakespeare Code  - 7/10 Hem, many clichés but still a decent historical episode. Shakespeare is awesome but the Carrionites stuffs are a bit lacking.

Gridlock - 8/10 There you are. The Best of the first part. A journey through the society with great themes, great mysteries and an excellent ending.

Daleks in Manhattan & Evolution of the Daleks - 3.5 (3)/10 The first part is "bad". The second is absolute cringeworthy. Overall, one of the worst Doctor Who story ever. I don't understand how we can like it. You put the devil in me is one of my favourite DW Song ever, though.

The Lazarus Experiment - 5.5 (5) /10. So promising... A wonderful vilain, some great characterization, Tish was a very good supporting compagnion, and the roof discussion is beautiful. But then, it's just chasing an awful CGI monsters and playing orgue to kill him... What a disappointment 

42- 8/10. I don't count it in Series 3A, but in 3B. Because... it his good. Very good. Chibnall's best. The first episode since Smith and Jones (and a little of Gridlock) who finally managed to make a good relation between Martha and the Doctor. The capsule scene is very touching and the final twist pretty good.

So overall, a 6.57. It's VERY bad for me as I consider that Doctor Who average is between 7.5 and 8. Still, it's funny, Series 3B is one of the best run ever, I really like (>8) every single episode (bar Utopia).

shyx111
shyx111

Not the best series, though part two is very good and way better than part one. The Runaway Bride, The Shakespeare Code and Gridlock are the one I enjoy the most, I admit that every time I rewatch this Series I skip 42, I don't know... I simply don't like it, not that is a bad episode, it's just me, much like Cold War for Series 7, and I find Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks a bit boring. Good: not having Rose around anymore, bad: having Martha haunted by Rose's ghost all the time.

The Runaway Bride - 7.5/10 Smith and Jones 6/10 The Shakespeare Code 7/10 Gridlock 8/10 Daleks/Evolution 5/10 The Lazarus Experiment 6/10 42 5/10

supermoff
supermoff

An average series for the most part, but far better than Series 2.  

"The Runaway Bride" - 7/10

"Smith and Jones" - 5/10

"The Shakespeare Code" - 8/10

"Grid Lock" - 7/10

"Daleks in Manhattan" / "Evolution of the Daleks" - dear God no

"The Lazarus Experiment" - 5/10

"42" - 2/10. 


hybries
hybries

Aren't the grades a little too high? I get that you like these stories, but when Daleks in Manhattan is a 10, what are classics like Parting of the ways, Blink, Midnight, Day of the Doctor (just to name a few)? Well I sure hope they are also 10s, but it's like the Daleks now: awesome at the start, but now they're just everywhere and aren't that special anymore.

Mikeyboss182
Mikeyboss182

The Runway Bride – 6/10: Not a bad Christmas special, Donna is brilliant and it’s very funny at times but all the Thames stuff is a bit boring and the villain dose absolutely nothing.


Smith and Jones – 9/10: Adore this story, Martha’s introduction is awesome and David’s on top form, best series opener of the Tennant era.

The Shakespeare Code – 10/10: Gareth Roberts first story is a triumph, it’s funny, brilliantly written and Kelly makes a great Shakespeare, It also looks amazing.  

Gridlock – 9/10: I will admit I didn't actually like this story when I first saw it but it’s really grown on me just because of how dark and original it is, It also has one of my favourite Tenth Doctor moments, going down.

Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks – 4/10: Ah Series 3 was going so well and then this story happened, it’s just not very good at all. I do love the scene were Solomon dies, now that Steven Moffat is how to write the Daleks.

The Lazarus Experiment – 5/10: A very average story that’s just one big run-around, Mark Gatiss is great though and I love that scene in the church between him and David.

42 – 7/10: I find the first half of this story quite forgettable and to similar to The Impossible Planet but once the Doctor gets possessed it turns into something so much more and David’s performance is amazing.  

JFrance
JFrance


I haven't watched Daleks in Manhattan/ Evolution of the Daleks for some time but at the time I thought it was pretty good two parter and the series was pretty good too. 

Nightmarish
Nightmarish

Love these articles! Series 3 was a very strong series, I agree with all your scores except I would give the Dalek two parter a 7/10.

TheMysticalFez
TheMysticalFez

Smith and Jones + Human Nature/Family of Blood are two of the best stories of New Who.

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

My thoughts:

Runaway Bride

A fun and interesting story. The Racnoss was creepy and I never saw Lance's betrayal coming, so that was interesting. I did find Donna fairly I likable in this one though. And it suffered from a common issue for RTD Christmas specials in that they were simply set at a Christmas, but had very little to do with the holiday. This one probably has it the worst in that area. 6/10

Smith and Jones

As good a series opener as any. The plot was simple, but still interesting. Martha proved to be an interesting character from the word go. The Judoon were great, both visually and narratively. The Plasmavore and her bendy straw were surprisingly menacing for a sweet old lady. Overall a fairly interesting story. 7/10.

The Shakespeare Code

Why it's taken this long for the Doctor to visit Shakespeare I'll never know. Kelly's portrayal of the character was great. He had great chemistry with Martha. The constant references to his plays were nice as well. The Carianites (who once again were a Shakespeare reference) were interesting foes. A bit campy but still quite scary. The whole thing about the magic of names and numbers and stuff was a little confusing, but for the most part this was a fun story. 8/10.

Gridlock

So not the best story ever, but it had its moments. The return if the Macra was certainly a surprise. And we surprisingly got to see the Doctor and Martha bonding despite being seperated for most of the stories. The Face of Boes death was sad, but his prophesy certainly made me exited about things to come. 6/10.

Daleks in Manhatten/Evolution of the Daleks

A lot of people don't like this episode, but I've got nothing against it. I mean it's certainly not my favourite episode, but it's not as bad as people make it out to be. It was very interesting to explore the extremes of the Great Depression. The characters were all very well written and likeable. The pig slaves were a little pointless, but had their moments. And then there's the Human Dalek. I thought the idea of the hybrid was a brilliant one that proved to be very interesting and really showed us what the Cult of Skaro were all about. 7/10.

The Lazarus Experiment

An interesting, yet cliche story that would feel more at home as the origins of the villain in the new Spider-Man movie. Lazarus was brilliant and terrifying, both young, old and monstrous, a testament to both Mark Gatiss and the Mill's CGI work. I also loved the brief nod to the third Doctor. All up though, not the most memorable story. 6/10.

42

People claim this story is always overlooked. Well there's a reason for that, it's just not that memorable. The sentient sun was an interesting concept, and seeing it possess the Doctor was a truly terrifying moment. There was some good directing as I felt I could burst into flames just watching it. I can't imagine it's easy for the director to capture the temperature, but it was spot on in this one. Aside from that, not much else to comment on for this one. 4/10.

Adric the Genius
Adric the Genius

@The Finn It was referenced, but that takes place after The Day of the Doctor.  The Tenth Doctor must remember at least some of his adventure with Queen Elizabeth I.

DW_girl
DW_girl

@Jeavons Well, it's their opinion that they love The Lazarus Experiment. I personally rank it a 10/10 aswell, and I also give Vincent and the Doctor a 10/10 too. They were great for different reasons.

DW_girl
DW_girl

@TheOncomingFish Martha is so under-rated. I love Rose but I think she overshadowed Martha too much, who should have had another series.

TheDreamer
TheDreamer

Seems comments have been disabled for series 1... so I'll add them here, lol

  • ‘Rose’ – 8/10
  • ‘The End of the World’ – 7/10
  • ‘The Unquiet Dead’ – 4/10
  • ‘Aliens of London/World War Three’ – 7/10
  • ‘Dalek’ – 10/10
  • ‘The Long Game’ – 9/10
  • ‘Father’s Day’ – 10/10
  • ‘The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances’ – 10/10
  • ‘Boom Town’ – 4/10
  • ‘Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways’ – 8/10

Stradiwhovius
Stradiwhovius

@Gustaff  No I've picked up on it too and, I know it's childish, but it really bothers me when people describe episodes as "the worst" and then still give it a 5/10!


KarenBee
KarenBee

To be fair, this has significantly fewer posters than the recent run about Matt Smith's series in which the majority of posters seemed very positive, so maybe 3A has some (few) devoted fans but most people are 'meh'. I didn't like Series 6, for example, and drifted out of watching for a while, so couldn't really make any comment here about it.

Horses for courses!

TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

For some reason, Livefyre won't let me post with spaces between lines which is annoying. Apparently it's "malformed content". I miss Disqus.

KarenBee
KarenBee

Forgot to mention that nice to see some love for Series 3. My favourite in New Who just shading 1 and 4. Minority opinion to both like RTD in general but 3 and Martha in particular, but a badge to wear proudly. I think 3 A is weaker than 3B but then I think 3B is the best run of episodes in New Who. Should include 42 and lose Voyage of the Damned though to make this argument stronger!

Smith and Jones for me is only behind Eleventh Hour as a companion introduction. Shakespeare Code is good - I do love an historical. Gridlock is my favourite of this part of the series. I think its message of hope and faith is thrilling and the final scene with Martha forcing the doctor to step back from his pride and arrogance is beautifully done. 10s speech for me is up there with some of the wonderfully done 11 speeches. Understated and heartfelt and the better for it. The shouty Tennanty 10 earlier in the episode shows that less is more. lazarus and the dalek two parter are disposible but do have good guest stars. I think RTD slightly shades Moffat to date in using the guest names more effectively.i like 42 as well and don't understand the very strong dislike of Chris Chibnall. The silurian two parter is adequately done as are the pair in 7A.

So overall a strong set of stories which don't try to achieve more than good family entertainment but with Gridlock proving some intellectual substance. Good companion nicely introduced and Tennant finding his feet and demonstrating acting chops only occasionally shown in Series 2 and which will be shown at his best over the next set of episodes. Plus some of my very favourite Murray Gold in this Series which I don't think he has bettered and rrom which he continues to draw.

Great to read such a wide variety of views. Is there any Series to date in New Who which most people agree on? Perhaps series 5 or 4, although neither is my favourite.