"Doctor Who Series 3" DVD cover.

“Doctor Who Series 3” DVD cover.

After the devastating ending to Series 2, the Doctor (David Tennant) takes on a new companion in Doctor Who Series 3. Freema Agyeman plays the very capable Martha Jones, a spunky medical student.

Before the season begins, the Christmas Special starts things off with a bang when the Doctor finds Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) transported into the TARDIS during her wedding vows. Donna is a fun character in small doses, and this episode did a good job of balancing that with the campiness of the invading Empress of Racnoss, a spider-like being who wants Earth as a feeding ground for her many offspring.

My favorite episodes in Doctor Who Series 3, however, were “The Shakespeare Code”, “Daleks in Manhattan”, “The Family of Blood”, and “Blink”. Martha and the Doctor go back to the time of Shakespeare (Dean Lennox Kelly), where they have to battle a coven of witch-like Carrionites intent on opening a portal to their world so the Earth can be consumed by their species. Kelly brought the Bard to life, and played well against Tennant and Agyeman. Christina Cole also did a great job as Lilith, one of the Carrionites. This is one of my favorite episodes up to this point.

“The Daleks in Manhattan”, in addition to being a noir-ish mystery featuring the Daleks, also features a guest appearance by Andrew Garfield, who later on became known for playing the lead character in The Amazing Spider-Man. This is the first of a two-parter, and I enjoyed having the Cult of Skaro make another appearance. I found they made the Daleks much more interesting, rather than just two-dimensional killing machines. Miranda Raison (who played Talullah) was excellent as a ditzy-on-the-surface-but-not-really showgirl.

Every time I think of “The Family of Blood”, I remember Harry Lloyd and his freakishly creepy smile. This was the second of a two-parter, and it offered a wide range of characters who all did amazingly well. All of the characters, including Martha and the Doctor, were placed into extreme peril as the Family hunted for the Doctor, do things got a little dark at times. However, the tension was handled flawlessly, making this another solid favorite in Doctor Who Series 3.

Among the most terrifying of the Doctor’s antagonists, the Weeping Angels were introduced in “Blink”. Sally Sparrow was the highlight of this episode, and Carey Mulligan was truly amazing in the role. She fairly sparkled every time she was on the screen, and in a great way. Watching Sally sort out the cryptic messages from the Doctor was a true joy. This episode is one of the most scary of any episode in the entire run of Doctor Who, but also one of the most satisfying.

The weakest episode in Doctor Who Series 3 was “Gridlock”. Thousands of commuters are stuck in eternal gridlock, creating an atmosphere of choking fumes. No one seems to know why they are stuck, but they have all been there for years. While I enjoyed the eclectic characters the Doctor and Martha met in the episode, the plot was rather weak and treated everyone as if they were stupid sheep.

This series was the strongest up to this point, with only the one weak episode. Captain Jack (John Barrowman) makes a few appearances, but he’s never been a huge favorite of mine. Despite Jack, this season truly energized the franchise, and kept me coming back for more. I was sad to see Agyeman leave at the end of Doctor Who Series 3 since she was one of the most competent companions in franchise history. What a wonderful season!

Episode list:
    “The Runaway Bride” Four point five stars
    “Smith and Jones” Four point five stars
    “The Shakespeare Code” Four point five stars
    “Gridlock” Four point five stars
    “Daleks in Manhattan” Four point five stars
    “Evolution of the Daleks” Four point five stars
    “The Lazarus Experiment” Four point five stars
    “42” Four point five stars
    “Human Nature” Four point five stars
    “The Family of Blood” Four point five stars
    “Blink” Four point five stars
    “Utopia” Four point five stars
    “The Sound of Drums” Four point five stars
    “The Last of the Time Lords” Four point five stars

Original Air Dates: March 31 – June 30, 2007 (UK)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-PG
Network: BBC One
Language: English

MySF Rating: Four point five stars
Family Friendliness: 95%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (rare social drinking or smoking)
Language: 1 (occasional mild, deity)
Nudity: 0
Sexuality: 1 (homosexual kiss)
Violence: 2 (monster fighting, alien invasion, explosions, extreme peril, some death)