Series 3 was not my favourite series because I did not particularly like Martha Jones. I just didn’t like her puppy eyes (especially when she finally got a key to the Tardis) and the unrequited love angle, though it was dealt with nicely when Captain Jack admitted that he felt the same way.
Anyway, here are my favourite episodes from this series.
5. Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks (Episodes 4-5, Helen Raynor)
Andrew Garfield with a Tennessee accent! That was strange and funny at the same time. It’s always great whenever we see the Daleks, but the pig and the showgirl trumps everything for me. It also leads me to one of my favourite quotes of the episode from the precocious Tallulah:
Tallulah: Hey, you’re lucky, though. You got yourself a forward-thinking guy, with that hot potato in the sharp suit.
Martha Jones: Oh, he’s not – We’re not – together.
Tallulah: Oh sure you are! I’ve seen the way you look at him, it’s obvious.
Martha Jones: Not to him.
Tallulah: Oh! I should have realized. He’s into musical theatre, huh? What a waste.
4. Human Nature / The Family of Blood (Episodes 8-9, Paul Cornell)
I think this was a very unique story arc, seeing the Doctor as the full-blown human John Smith, and boy did I not like him that much. He seemed too… human. Yeah, that doesn’t make sense, but I like what Nurse Redfern said, John Smith (or the Doctor) would not want mere boys to fight for him. Just two things that bothered me the whole time about these two episodes which is why I didn’t rate it higher than perhaps I should: 1) I did not like Baines. At all. And it’s not because he’s a villain – it’s just that I find him so annoying. 2) I did not like how the Family of Blood would call each other xxxx-of-mine (son-of-mine and so on). I just did not like it.
To be fair to John Smith though, you could see that he really did not want to become the Doctor, but in the end he did choose to open the fob watch.
I didn’t like Nurse Redfern that much at first – mainly because I did not want another love interest for Ten(nant), but when I watched it again, I liked how forward and honest and sincere she was. I liked how controlled she was during her last conversation with the Doctor:
Joan Redfern: Where is he… John Smith?
The Doctor: He’s in here somewhere.
Joan Redfern: Like a story… could you change back?
The Doctor: Yes.
Joan Redfern: Will you?
The Doctor: No.
And then again, Doctor Who makes something mundane unbelievably creepy. The little girl with the balloon – she was creepy to start with. And then they had to go and trap her in every mirror…
3. The Shakespeare Code (Episode 2, Gareth Roberts)
I seem to enjoy the episodes where the Doctor goes back in history and meet historical characters (like the one where Nine met Charles Dickens). So I knew from the start that I would enjoy this episode, even though I’m not that big of a Shakespeare fan. But how can you not resist all the Harry Potter references?
Martha Jones: So, magic and stuff? It’s a surprise, it’s all a bit Harry Potter.
The Doctor: Wait till you read book 7. Oh, I cried.
And book 7 hasn’t been released yet at that time. And of course…
Just brilliant. Coming from Barty Crouch Jr., whose father, Barty Crouch Sr, invented the Cybermen. Yeah.
2. Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords (Episodes 11-13, Russell T Davies)
I hated these episodes at first because the Doctor seemed so helpless. But then again – Captain Jack Harkness! I just love this guy. I need to download the Torchwood episodes now. Anyway, I thought the Master was brilliant, and he reminded me of Nine, with all his silly inopportune grins. Having never watched Classic Who beforehand, I had no idea the Master was such a big deal.
These episodes had such great dialogue:
Professor Yana: Oh, every human knows about Utopia! Where have you been?
The Doctor: Bit of a hermit.
Professor Yana: A hermit… with, uh, friends?
[points to Jack and Martha]
The Doctor: Hermits United. We meet up every ten years, swap stories about caves. It’s good fun, for a hermit.
And then there’s this one:
Professor Yana: [to the Doctor] Might I ask, what species are you?
Doctor: Time Lord. Last of. Heard of them? Legend or anything? Not even a myth? Blimey, the end of the universe is a bit humbling.
And then we had that touching conversation between Jack and the Doctor, when they talked about Rose and what happened to Jack and why he couldn’t die.
The Doctor: [about Rose] Everything she did was so human. She brought you back to life, but she couldn’t control it. She brought you back forever. That’s something, I suppose. The final act of the Time War was life.
Captain Jack Harkness: [working a power system panel] Do you think she could change me back?
The Doctor: I took the power out of her. She’s gone, Jack. She’s not just living on a parallel world. She’s trapped there. The walls have closed.
Captain Jack Harkness: I’m sorry.
The Doctor: Yeah.
Captain Jack Harkness: I went back to her estate in the Nineties, just once or twice, watched her growing up. Never said hello, time lines and all that.
The Doctor: Do you want to die?
Captain Jack Harkness: [pulling on a power system panel] This one’s a little stuck.
The Doctor: Jack.
Captain Jack Harkness: I thought I did. I don’t know, but this lot, you see them out here surviving and that’s fantastic.
1. Blink (Episode 10, Steven Moffat)
When I first started watching Doctor Who, I asked a few Whovian friends on what their favorite episodes were. They all voted very strongly for Blink as one of the best episodes of all time. So I couldn’t wait to get to 3×10. Even though they assured me that I could watch it out of sequence, I was determined to not skip a single episode and wait till I get to the tenth episode of series 3. And that is how I wound up watching Blink – by myself – in the middle of the night. I think I’d put the weeping angels as the scariest Doctor Who villain so far.