May 6, 2010

[TV] The New Doctor Who - Series 3

Doctor Who will always be many different things to different people depending on when you first started watching the series. More recent viewers will probably remember a lanky, pale-faced Doctor running around the world in a trench coat. Older viewers will remember a much older Doctor or perhaps one who has a very long scarf or a piece of celery pinned to his shirt. The brilliance of this show is its creative writing and its diversity given that the Doctor is allowed to "regenerate" into different actors over the years.

Another consistent element to the series involves the revolving door of the Doctor's companions - mostly human beings who somehow get entangled in things and get dragged along for adventures with the time-travelling Doctor. The companion remains a key piece in making Doctor Who work as a series since for the most part they are the advocates / representatives of the audience. Plus they often serve the purpose of grounding the Doctor when he becomes too, well, alien at time.

This season introduced yet another companion to the long history of companions for the Doctor and on a personal note is how I'll always remember the series when I think of Doctor Who.

Actress Freema Agyeman at the launch of Series 3Image via Wikipedia
The third season of the "new" Doctor Who continued on with David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and now with Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) as his companion after Rose Tyler (Billy Piper) left at the end of the second season.

The third season of the show is when, at least as far as I see it, David Tennant really shines and fully comes into the role of the Doctor. In the past season he still finding his take on the role and there were some awkward moments here and there but this time around he clearly knows what it means to him to be the Doctor, and really shines through. Plus his interactions with Martha Jones certainly provide a unique angle to the story and further giving the audience something to look forward to.

This season remains one of the best in terms of the current Doctor Who run given mind-blowing episodes like "Human Nature" and of course that fan-favorite shockfest, "Blink". Believe me, if there's one episode anyone should watch to try and get to appreciate Doctor Who even if you're not yet a fan, it has to be Blink, believe me.

The season built up to a major conflict at the end with one of the Doctor's oldest adversaries, which seems fitting given the run of the show. We've already seem many classic Doctor Who races brought back to life like the Cybermen and of course the Daleks. Although this particular season has been over for some time, I'll decline from mentioning just who this big villain is for now in order to give you newer Doctor Who viewers a chance to experience the show for yourselves.

The show also revisits many key characters brought to life in this revised series such as the enigmatic Face of Boe and the omnnisexual adventurer Captain Jack Harkness. Seeing how all these diverse characters come together as leading up to the final reveal of the season, as has been the case with the previous season finales.

What I liked the most about this season is the willingness of the writers to explore many alternative storytelling styles or even placing the Doctor in radically different situations. It's also why episodes like Human Nature and Blink are my favorites and other still like Gridlock, which present a very different kind of reality to deal with.

The third season of Doctor Who is definitely one of the best and largely remains one of my favorite. It deserves a full 5 Manhattan-style Daleks out of a possible 5.

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