TARDIS Thoughts: January 2014


Series 3, Episode 1: "Smith and Jones"


Finally, after many months trying to catch up on Series 2, TARDIS Thoughts's analyses have finally moved on to Series 3, the era of Martha Jones and Mr. Saxon. I am intending to cover Series 3 and 4 via scheduled posts throughout the month of November, to give you all something to read while I spend November feverishly attempting to win NaNoWriMo as a rebel with my Alys Reed story. I worked it out; I should be able to cover both seasons in a month, with two days to spare even. One of these days, November 23rd, I have set aside to cover the 50th Anniversary Special (obviously). The other day, November 30th, I will devote to the specials "Time Crash" and "The Infinite Quest." (Assuming I can find some place to watch "The Infinite Quest"...I know "Time Crash" is definitely on YouTube but not sure about "The Infinite Quest"). This did not occur during the month of November as scheduled. I started it then but the posts did not get posted. Sorry about that.

So, here we go...Series 3, Episode 1, "Smith and Jones." Allons-y!

Not much to say about the plot of this episode. It has similarities to "Rose" and "The Bells of Saint John," where the plot is really about introducing the new Companion more than anything else, and the villains of the episode are not actually that important. I mean, yeah, they have an evil plan that could threaten the whole human race which the Doctor is obligated to stop, but we really don't focus on them that much, nor are they presented as a huge threat, like say, the Daleks perhaps.

Anyway, as I mentioned, this episode introduces a new Companion: an intelligent, Afro-British, doesn't-take-s***-from-anyone medical student named Martha Jones:

As the episode starts, we already learn some things about her life: she has a mom, dad, brother, and sister, and her brother (Leo) is having his 21st birthday party that evening. We also find out her dad has a girlfriend, a blonde, white, long-legged girl named Annalise.

As she walks to her training at Royal Hope Hospital, a strange man shows up in front of her in the street out of the blue and says:
DOCTOR: Like so.
(He takes off his tie.)
Ah, but what the heck is the Doctor doing there? Keep this in mind; it'll be explained at the end.

Martha shrugs off the weirdo and heads into the hospital, only to almost be run over by a suspicious-looking motorcyclist.

She then goes on the typical medical-students-shadow-a-doctor rounds we see in any medical drama. Over in the orthopedic ward, she runs into the Doctor again, who appears to have checked himself in with abdominal pains:

She recognizes him as the guy she ran into in the street and asks him about it, but he acts like he has no clue what she means (which technically he doesn't...but more on that later). Martha is asked to diagnose what's going on with him and proceeds to listen to his heart with a stethoscope, shocked to hear two heartbeats. The doctor she is shadowing (whose name is Dr. Stoker) thinks she can't find the heart for some reason, but she quickly covers for her apparent mistake. Stoker also reminds her she neglected to check the patient's chart, and proceeds to do so, only to get a static shock. Martha remembers that the same thing happened to her at her locker when she was changing into her scrubs, while fellow students Morgenstern and Swales say the same happened to them from the door handle and the elevator respectively. Stoker says that is due to a thunderstorm being on the way, since lightning is a form of static electricity. He asks the students who this was proven by, and the Doctor correctly answers Benjamin Franklin, then proceeds to prattle on about knowing Franklin and being there the day of his famous kite flight in a thunderstorm, at which point Stoker decides to move on, suggesting that maybe "Mr. Smith" could do with a visit from the psychiatric department. The Doctor and Martha exchange grins as she walks away.

The next scene, it's a little later, and Martha is on the phone with her sister Tish, trying once again to resolve the situation with Annalise potentially showing up at Leo's party. Tish offers to come by for lunch to talk about it, but Martha says it's pouring rain. Tish says it isn't raining where she is. She also notices there's a big black cloud just over the hospital, and that the rain near there is going up instead of down.

There is lightning and a lot of jolting around, and all of a sudden, the landscape outside has changed:

Martha and Swales can't believe it:

SWALES: Martha? It's night. Look. It was lunchtime.
MARTHA: It's not night.
SWALES: But it's got to be. It's dark.
MARTHA: We're on the moon.
(A half Earth hangs in the black sky over a cratered surface.)
SWALES: We can't be.
MARTHA: We're on the moon. We're on the bloody moon.
Back on Earth, Tish and many others look in horror at the huge crater now standing where the hospital was just moments before. She tries to call Martha but can't reach her.

In the hospital, hysteria ensues, and Martha and the other medical students and doctors try to calm everyone down. Swales and Martha try to figure out how they could possibly still have air in the hospital if they're on the moon. The Doctor, meanwhile, has snuck out of bed unnoticed and changed into his usual suit again:

He then shows some interest in Martha:

DOCTOR: Very good point. Brilliant, in fact. What was your name?
MARTHA: Martha.
DOCTOR: And it was Jones, wasn't it? Well then, Martha Jones, the question is, how are we still breathing?
SWALES: We can't be.
DOCTOR: Obviously we are, so don't waste my time. Martha, what have we got? Is there a balcony on this floor, or a veranda, or
MARTHA: By the patients' lounge, yeah.
DOCTOR: Fancy going out?
DOCTOR: We might die.
MARTHA: We might not.
DOCTOR: Good. Come on.
They go out on a nearby balcony, away from the chaos, and discuss the situation. We learn that Martha had a cousin named Adeola who died at the Battle of Canary Wharf. (This is the show's in-canon explanation for why Adeola and Martha look so similar; both characters were played by Freema Agyeman). And unlike other characters, Martha isn't impressed by the Doctor's credentials:
MARTHA: I promise you, Mister Smith, we will find a way out. If we can travel to the moon, then we can travel back. There's got to be a way.
DOCTOR: It's not Smith. That's not my real name.
MARTHA: Who are you, then?
DOCTOR: I'm the Doctor.
MARTHA: Me too, if I can pass my exams. What is it then, Doctor Smith?
DOCTOR: Just the Doctor.
MARTHA: How do you mean, just the Doctor?
DOCTOR: Just the Doctor.
MARTHA: What, people call you the Doctor?
MARTHA: Well, I'm not. As far as I'm concerned, you've got to earn that title.
DOCTOR: Well, I'd better make a start, then. 
Just then, the rhino-esque Judoon show up:

It turns out the Judoon are basically like space police, and they are looking for some alien creature called a Plasmavore, who they believe is hiding in the hospital. However, Earth is a neutral zone, over which they have no jurisdiction, so they have moved to the hospital to the closest place they do have jurisdiction over - the Moon - so they can catch the dangerous alien.

The Judoon begin patrolling people and scanning them to see if they are human or not. The Doctor realizes they are looking for something non-human, which is bad news for him, so he and Martha go on the run from them. Meanwhile, we the audience quickly learn who the Plasmavore is - it's the old lady, Miss Finnegan, from earlier in the episode, the one Martha and co visited before seeing the Doctor. Apparently, she drinks blood like a vampire, sort of, except with a straw. Which is pretty creepy.

The Doctor finds a room and tries to hack into the computer using the Sonic, but realizes the Judoon have erased all the patient files. While he tries to restore the backup, Martha goes looking for Dr. Stoker, only to realize the Plasmavore has already killed him. She runs back to tell the Doctor, but they are pursued by motorcyclists like the one Martha ran into earlier. They take refuge in a radiology lab, and the Doctor plays around with the X-ray machine, increasing its power to take down the motorcyclist dude.

When he explains this to Martha, she asks him if the radiation won't kill him too, but he assures her it's all right, that it's just roentgen radiation, which he claims he used to play with blocks of in the nursery. (This line is rather ironic, given that it is radiation that ultimately kills Ten later on in "The End of Time"). He claims he's absorbed it and proceeds to dance around trying to shake it out through his feet:

He ultimately does and has to throw his sneaker away, then decides he looks silly with just one shoe and throws the other off too. He investigates the motorcyclist and identifies it as a Slab, basically like a drone robot. Martha tells him the drone was working for Miss Finnegan, and that she's the alien.

The Doctor, however, has bigger issues on his mind - he mistakenly left his Sonic Screwdriver in the x-ray machine, and it's fried! He's devastated:
DOCTOR: My sonic screwdriver.
MARTHA: She was one of the patients, but
DOCTOR: Oh, no. My sonic screwdriver.
MARTHA: She had a straw like some kind of vampire.
DOCTOR: I loved my sonic screwdriver.
MARTHA: Doctor?
DOCTOR: Sorry.
It's worth noting that Martha calls him "Doctor" here, after she had said she wouldn't. The Doctor even notices:
DOCTOR: You called me Doctor.  
She gets his attention back and tells him Miss Finnegan was feeding off Dr. Stoker's blood with a straw. The Doctor then realizes Miss Finnegan wasn't drinking the blood; she was assimilating it. Assimilating human blood so when the Judoon find her, she will register as human!

They find Stoker, and the Doctor confirms that Finnegan is indeed a Plasmavore. They try chasing her down, and the Doctor realizes she has fled into the MRI room. Still worried the Judoon will scan him and realizes he's not human, he plays for time:
DOCTOR: Martha, stay here. I need time. You've got to hold them up.
MARTHA: How do I do that?
DOCTOR: Just forgive me for this. It could save a thousand lives. It means nothing. Honestly, nothing.
He then kisses her, long and hard:

Before proceeding to run away. Martha is saddened that, to him, the kiss had no meaning:
MARTHA: That was nothing?
The Doctor confronts the Plasmavore in the MRI room. Here David Tennant gives probably his best performance of the episode (which is saying something, cause this episode overall is pretty meh), playing dumb about everything that's going on:
DOCTOR: Have you seen them? There are these things. These great big space rhino things. I mean, rhinos from space. And we're on the moon! Great big space rhinos with guns on the moon. And I only came in for my bunions, look. I mean, all fixed now. Perfectly good treatment. The nurses were lovely. I said to my wife, I said I'd recommend this place to anyone, but then we end up on the moon. And did I mention the rhinos?
DOCTOR: Er, that, that big er machine thing. Is it supposed to be making that noise?
FLORENCE: You wouldn't understand.
DOCTOR: But isn't that a magnetic resonance imaging thing? Like a ginormous sort of a magnet? I did magnetics GCSE. Well, I failed, but all the same.
FLORENCE: The magnetic setting now increased to fifty thousand Tesla.
DOCTOR: Ooo, that's a bit strong, isn't it?
FLORENCE: It'll send out a magnetic pulse that'll fry the brain stems of every living thing within two hundred and fifty thousand miles. Except for me, safe in this room.
DOCTOR: But er, hold on, hold on, I did geography GCSE. I passed that one. Doesn't that distance include the Earth?
FLORENCE: Only the side facing the moon. The other half will survive. Call it my little gift.
DOCTOR: I'm sorry, you'll have to excuse me, I'm a little out of my depth. I've spent the past fifteen years working as a postman. Hence the bunions. Why would you do that?
FLORENCE: With everyone dead, the Judoon ships will be mine, to make my escape.
DOCTOR: No, that's weird. You're talking like you're some sort of an alien.
FLORENCE: Quite so.
FLORENCE: Oh, yes.
DOCTOR: You're joshing me.
FLORENCE: I am not.
DOCTOR: I'm talking to an alien? In hospital? What, has the place got an ET department?
FLORENCE: It's the perfect hiding place. Blood banks downstairs for a midnight feast, and all this equipment ready to arm myself with should the police come looking.
DOCTOR: So, those rhinos, they're looking for you?
FLORENCE: Yes. But I'm hidden.
DOCTOR: Right. Maybe that's why they're increasing their scans.
FLORENCE: They're doing what?
DOCTOR: Big chief rhino boy, he said, no sign of a non-human, we must increase our scans up to setting two?
FLORENCE: Then I must assimilate again.
DOCTOR: What does that mean?
FLORENCE: I must appear to be human.
DOCTOR: Well, you're welcome to come home and meet the wife. She'd be honoured. We can have cake.
FLORENCE: Why should I have cake? I've got my little straw.
DOCTOR: Oh, that's nice. Milkshake? I like banana.
FLORENCE: You're quite the funny man. And yet, I think, laughing on purpose at the darkness. I think it's time you found some peace. Steady him!
(The Slab forces the Doctor to his knees and turns his head so Florence has a clear shot at his jugular with her straw.)
DOCTOR: What are you doing?
FLORENCE: I'm afraid this is going to hurt. But if it's any consolation, the dead don't tend to remember.  
Martha, meanwhile, must face the Judoon alone. The Judoon scan her and ultimately identify her as human, but with "non-human traces." After the Judoon release her, she goes to look for the Doctor, and the Judoon follow her into the MRI room...where Miss Finnegan is sucking away at the Doctor with her straw. The Doctor is lying on the floor, and the Judoon's scan confirms he is dead.

However, Martha remembers that the Doctor said he wasn't human, and that the Plasmavore can assimiliate the blood she drinks. And she just drank the Doctor's non-human blood! In other words, the Doctor let the Plasmavore kill him on purpose so the Judoon would find her!

Martha points a Judoon scanner at the Plasmavore and confirms this suspicion, and the Judoon arrest the Plasmavore and proceed to leave, their jurisdiction having ended. Martha, however, realizes the MRI machine is acting up, and begs the Judoon to help, but they refuse.

Martha realizes she must stop the machine, but that she needs the Doctor's help. Unfortunately, there's another problem: the oxygen in the hospital is running out.

Luckily, Martha, like any good medical student, knows CPR, so she proceeds to perform it on the Doctor:

She finally manages to revive him, just before collapsing due to lack of oxygen.

The Doctor, also barely able to breathe (Time Lords breathe oxygen too), crawls to the MRI machine to try to stop it, only to remember he doesn't have his Sonic anymore. He resorts to pulling some cables apart instead, stopping the machine. He then makes his way back to the unconscious Martha and carries her to the window, where he watches the Judoon's water scoop reverse and put the hospital back where it should be.

Back on Earth, the survivors - including Martha - are being loaded into ambulances, while Morgenstern gives a statement to the police:
MORGENSTERN: I told them I represented the human race. I told them, you can't do that. I said, we have rights.
The Doctor sneaks back into the TARDIS and dematerializes, while Tish asks Martha what happened.

Later on, we see Martha getting ready for her brother's party, listening to a radio report about the incident at the hospital. Part of Morgenstern's statement is played again:
MORGENSTERN [OC]: I was there. I saw it happen. And I feel uniquely privileged. I looked out at the surface of the moon. I saw the Earth, suspended in space, and it all just proves Mister Saxon right. We're not alone in the universe. There's life out there. Wild and extraordinary life. 
Pay attention to that "Mister Saxon" reference. Mr. Saxon will get mentioned a lot this season. He's basically the meme for Series 3, like "Bad Wolf" in Series 1 and "Torchwood" in Series 2.

And then we go to the infamous party, where apparently there was an altercation between Mrs. Jones and Annalise. As the argument winds down, Martha spots the Doctor standing in the background and follows him into an alley:

She then proceeds to question him about who he is, and he invites her on a trip in the TARDIS as thanks for saving his life:
MARTHA: I went to the moon today.
DOCTOR: A bit more peaceful than down here.
MARTHA: You never even told me who you are.
DOCTOR: The Doctor.
MARTHA: What sort of species? It's not every day I get to ask that.
DOCTOR: I'm a Time Lord.
MARTHA: Right! Not pompous at all, then.
DOCTOR: I just thought since you saved my life and I've got a brand new sonic screwdriver which needs road testing, you might fancy a trip.
MARTHA: What, into space?
MARTHA: But I can't. I've got exams. I've got things to do. I have to go into town first thing and pay the rent, I've got my family going mad.
DOCTOR: If it helps, I can travel in time as well.
MARTHA: Get out of here.
DOCTOR: I can.
MARTHA: Come on now, that's going too far.
DOCTOR: I'll prove it.
He then goes into his TARDIS and dematerializes, only to return a moment later, his tie in his hand.

But what's this about? Well, remember the beginning of the episode, where Martha ran into the Doctor and he took off his tie in front of her in the street? That's future him, him from later that day. At the moment he told Martha he would prove he could time travel, he time traveled back to that morning, appeared before her, did that, then returned. (This is why when she met the Doctor again in the hospital, he didn't remember seeing her - because that was the Doctor from the then currently-running timeline).

Martha realizes now why she ran into him that morning, and that that Doctor was him from right now, from after the whole Judoon thing, and asks him why he didn't warn her not to go into work that day. He tells her he can't interfere in established events, "except for cheap tricks." He then invites her into the TARDIS, which she says looks quite small, and that they'd be "intimate" if they were both in there.

But then she walks in:

And, of course, it's bigger on the inside. As usual. She asks if he has a crew, but he says no, it's just him, but that sometimes he has guests, that most recently he had a girl named Rose on board, but reassures Martha she's not replacing Rose. He then proceeds to lay the ground rules: just one trip, just to thank her for saving his life. Martha, however, seems to think he has a thing for her:
DOCTOR: Just one trip to say thanks. You get one trip, then back home. I'd rather be on my own.
MARTHA: You're the one that kissed me.
DOCTOR: That was a genetic transfer.
MARTHA: And if you will wear a tight suit.
DOCTOR: Now, don't!
MARTHA: And then travel all the way across the universe just to ask me on a date.
DOCTOR: Stop it.
MARTHA: For the record? I'm not remotely interested. I only go for humans.
Actually, it's kinda like the famous "snogbox" conversations from "The Bells of Saint John":
DOCTOR: You and me inside that box, now.
CLARA: I'm sorry?
DOCTOR: Look, just get inside.
CLARA: Both of us?
DOCTOR: Oh, trust me. You'll understand once we're in there.
CLARA: I bet I will. What is that box, anyway? Why have you got a box? Is it like a snogging booth?
DOCTOR: Clara. A what?
CLARA: Is that what you do, bring a booth? There is such a thing as too keen.  


DOCTOR: But you don't run out on the people you care about. Wish I was more like that. You know, the thing about a time machine, you can run away all you like and still be home in time for tea, so what do you say? Anywhere. All of time and space, right outside those doors.
CLARA: Does this work?
CLARA: Is this actually what you do? Do you just crook your finger and people just jump in your snog box and fly away?
DOCTOR: It is not a snog box.
CLARA: I'll be the judge of that.
(Also, the "genetic transfer" thing is intended to explain why The Doctor kissed her earlier - he was transferring traces of his genes into her, hoping that the Judoon would detect them and therefore be distracted with Martha while he dealt with the Plasmavore).

The Doctor does the necessary preparations, and they take off. It's a bit bumpy, though, and they find themselves having to hold on to something. They shake hands:

The episode ends with an amiable welcome:
DOCTOR: Welcome aboard, Miss Jones.
MARTHA: It's my pleasure, Mister Smith.

Overall, like I said, kinda a meh episode. It really didn't do it for me. I mean, David Tennant had some good moments, and Martha was cool, but it just didn't wow me. There are better episodes out there. And the Tenth Doctor...I mean, I love Ten, but he just didn't seem like the Ten I know and love in this episode. He seemed, well, alien to me. (No pun intended). Thankfully, as Series 3 progresses, David Tennant clearly gets his head in the game again and once again becomes the Ten we Tenth Doctor fans know and love. Hooray!

First Impression of Martha Jones

This episode was my first time meeting Martha Jones. I guess I had probably seen clips of her here and there, but very sparingly.

Martha gives a good first impression. She's smart, strong, and owns her identity as a doctor-to-be. She doesn't take any crud from anyone, not even her own troubled family. As I write this, I've actually seen all but the last three episodes of Series 3, and she definitely continues to show this intelligence and strength of character as the series progresses. Unlike Rose, who started out kinda weak but got stronger over time, Martha starts out strong and tough, and more or less stays that way. Her character arc is more about romance; like Clara later on, she falls in love with the Doctor during her time with him, but he doesn't seem to notice. Actually, in Martha's case, he doesn't even return her feelings, since he hasn't gotten over Rose yet. (In fact, Rose is as much of a meme as Saxon in this season, with the amount of times Ten mentions her).

That being said, I wouldn't say Martha is my favorite Companion. I like her, but she's not my fave. She has some great moments, and she's well-acted, but she's not my favorite. Rose is actually quickly becoming my #1 favorite, thanks to the novels I've read (or heard via audiobook) with her in them. I still like Amy Pond a lot too, but that may change once I watch Series 5 and 6. And I love Clara; she's awesome. The jury's still out on Donna Noble; I didn't like her in her first appearance, and I don't think Series 4 is going to change my mind about her, but other fans have told me to give her a chance, so I will. Besides these, there are the Classic Who Companions too; I haven't seen enough of Classic Who though to pick a favorite as of yet.


Well, that's it for that. Next up, one of my favorite episodes of Series 3, "The Shakespeare Code"!

Quotes from The Doctor Who Transcripts. "The Bells of Saint John" quotes from this transcript. Pictures from Sonic Biro.

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