Doctor Who: Smith and Jones Reviews

The first episode of Doctor Who's third season has been broadcast, and the general consensus seems to be that it was very good indeed. Martha Jones comes in for almost universal approval, and there are good comments about everything from the other actors to the tiny details. Read on for a selection of reviews and commentary.

Jen, aka jekesta, posts an excellent, long and interesting review and commentary.

Here's a sample quote:

And there were brilliant bits like him carrying her for NO REASON AT ALL, and her giving him HER LAST BREATH MEANINGFULLY, and her closing that guy's eyes because OMG THE HUMANITY

PF, aka blue_condition, remarks in his review that:

In some ways I felt in season 2 DT was playing scenes with an eye over his shoulder thinking "how would Chris Eccleston have played this? I'll either do exactly what he would or play it 180 degrees removed"; now it's his show his Doctor is fully emerging from the shadows. He's calmed down some of the clowning (a bit like McCoy after his first season) and he's... well, when he's not being icy and serious he's cool rather than geeky. I like the minor changes he's made to his performance.

... and I agree entirely; I liked David Tennant a lot more in this one episode than I did in the whole of Season 2.

And then, Doyle really liked Martha Jones:

I thought Martha was wonderful, smart and brave and adventurous and compassionate and I can't wait to see more of her.

I have to agree with most folk on this; I thought Freema did really well in this first episode. The reference to Adeola from the end of the last season is a nice touch on continuity as well as explaining why the two characters look the same.

Things I didn't like:

There isn't really a clear explanation in my mind for why the Doctor is acquiring yet another companion. I know it's the format of the show, and always has been, but that's not internally logical. You'd think that after Rose, he'd be more cautious, and not go offering a place in the Tardis to someone after one day.

We've another companion now with a Family. I didn't like the effects that Rose's family had on the show; it smacked too much of soap opera, and not enough of free-wheeling swashbuckling adventures across time and space. I don't want Martha to be tied to a particular place and time, just to the events in her own personal timeline.

Things I liked:

The Judoon wear New Rocks as part of their uniform. Having spent enough years stomping around in those myself, I know them well.

The reflection of the Earth in the windows of the hospital as people are peering out. That really worked well, and showed a level of attention to detail that nobody could fault.

The reactions of people, the mass hysteria effect - first disbelief, then panic, and a lot of retreat into near denial states. That's what people do when confronted with completely impossible situations.

Overall, and having had time to think about it, I'm rather impressed, and greatly looking forward to next Saturday's episode. It's like the first season all over again!

Posted by Drew Shiel at April 3, 2007 12:50 PM

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in responce to your "things i did'nt like" comment on wondering how real it was for the Doctor to not be cautious after Rose,and jumping into another Doctor/companion "relationship",one might say,i believe i can shed some light on this.

As a person with Type 1 Bi-polar disorderi relate to the character of the Doctor in many ways, the Doct has always been a VERY Manic character.

Manic people are IMPULSIVE,and they DO jump from one relationship into the next,feet first not worrying about consequences,or being cautious.

And,like the Doctor, Do not mistake mania for foolishness, being impulsive does not equate to intelligence. it is consistent for the Doctor to get on with life, after all,hurt by Rose's departure or not, his 900+ years of wisdom have sunk in time and again,that the only way to get over a loss is to move forward.

And i completely agree..I to, do not see Martha as a "replacement" for Rose, but a New companion.

George S- usa

Posted by: George at April 4, 2007 11:57 PM

There isn't really a clear explanation in my mind for why the Doctor is acquiring yet another companion.

Because he's lonely. Simple as that.

Also, he is an attention whore and likes having somebody around to go "ooh!" and "ahh!" when he does something clever.

Anyway, have you forgotten "The Runaway Bride"? He offered a berth in the Tardis to Donna after he'd known her for about two hours. And Donna pointed out to him that he really needed to have a companion so that he wouldn't run off the rails and start destroying planets: "You need someone to tell you to stop." Assume that "Smith and Jones" takes place quite soon after "Runaway Bride" (at least from the Doctor's perspective) and it makes sense that he'd be trying to find someone to do just that.

I don't really feel that the Doctor's desire for a companion needs explanation, as such, to be honest. Not when the episode makes it clear that he's a showoff and also likes being with people -- the right kind of people, anyway. Previous Doctors were more emotionally self-sufficient so they sort of needed to be pushed together with their companion; this one is kinda needy.

Posted by: Katherine F. at April 5, 2007 12:27 AM

As for the doctor's quick enlistment of Martha, I liked Katherine's comment that he *wants* someone to temper his actions. I'd think the Doctor's godlike existence could get kinda bored and he LIKES a challenging companion, either smart or better yet, bright and adventurous...which leads into my second comment. He spends a lot of time accessing Martha's response to the unimaginable situation she's in. She's cool headed, calm and logical throughout most of the ordeal. The Doctor seems very impressed with her response. I think this, above all else, motivated him to pick Martha as a traveling companion. She will provide the stability he needs in his adventures. Rose really didn't challenge him so much as use her adventures to *grow up*. Many of the doctor's enemies and even Sarah Jane has taken him to task regarding his casual attitude (even indifference) towards those he interacts with. Rose didn't. Martha likely will. Even a god sometimes wants boundaries.

Posted by: DDamico at April 27, 2007 9:51 PM