That’s a bit hard for me to swallow considering such classically bad episodes as the two-parter “Aliens In London/World War Three” and let’s not forget “The Long Game” and a little “Boomtown”. He technically still is bad, but his style is slightly avoided in “Smith and Jones”, the series three opener which aired last night in the United Kingdom on BBC One.
Doctor Who is a science fiction adventure series centered around a character known as The Doctor, a man who can travel in time and space in a police box. He’s an alien from a race known as the Timelords and he is the last of their kind. In his journeys he sometimes gains the help of a companion or two (or three) who often have been walking question marks in the lexicon of the series history (Doctor Who originally began in 1963). This is where my “slightly avoided” comment comes into play when observing last night’s episode.
“Smith and Jones” begins, once again, on Earth some time after the events of Season Two’s “Doomsday” which saw Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler exit the series, trapped on an alternate Earth with her family (complete with alternate dad Pete). We open with Martha Jones (the new companion of the series played by Freema Ageyman) in a series of fastly edited clips, introducing her family using cell phone conversations about an upcoming birthday celebration for Leo Jones, Martha’s brother (Reggie Yates). This is suddenly interrupted by a meeting with The Doctor, although it’s completely random and out of place (he merely stands in front of her demonstrating he can take a tie off in seconds).
We next see Martha at her job, a medical student at the local hospital. She flops a couple of diagnoses in front of her hospital administrator Mr. Stoker (Roy Marsden), one for an elderly patient named Florance Finnegan (Anne Reid) and one for The Doctor, the same stranger she met before she came into the hospital. Then, rain starts to pour from a cloud centered only on the hospital. As a result, the hospital Martha is in gets transported to the moon by the Judoon – a race of warriors (a reboot of the Sontarans) who have rhinos for bodies. They seek a Plasmavore who has the ability to suck blood out of other life forms. In return, the Judoon will return the hospital back to Earth, but not without a few scenes of running around, mistaken identity and a purposeful kiss between Martha and The Doctor.