New Who View is a mostly spoiler-free look at the new Doctor Who series before it airs in the Colonies on Sci Fi this July. We said mostly. It's more previewy than detaily. So if you're not going to freak out, keep reading.
Apprehension and fear. They followed me to the couch as I popped in the first episode of Season 3 of Doctor Who just a few short weeks ago. Billie Piper, my new personal flame, was gone, and she wasn't coming back anytime soon. Maybe never.
There was this new girl, Freema Agyeman, who I'd only seen in the Season 2 finale, and she died. What was she doing on my TARDIS, associating with my Doctor and probably staying in Rose's old room?
Bad feelings all around on this one.
Now that I'm five episodes into Season 3 (six by the time you read this) I'm less apprehensive, but still a little fearful. The effects are just as good. David Tennant brings a vitality to the character that you know William Hartnell just couldn't manage. But I've got some concerns, and one great big hope.
I'm not going to rehash plot, but I might throw out spoilers without a second thought.
Agyeman, aka Martha Jones, starts traveling with the Doctor. And here's where one of my big concerns starts. She starts traveling with him after an encounter with "the monster of the week."
Sure, you had the shtick in Season 1, but there was an amazing, even genius metaplot that made everything OK. I could forgive almost anything in Season 1 because of the overarching storyline. Here, not so much. Every single episode appears solely focused on some new creature, and I can't get into it like the previous two seasons.
You may argue classic Who had the same device, but those old stories relied on more than just tin foil. Think of "Garden of Eden." Think of "The Keeper of Traken." These are shows that pit characters against each other with plots and conspiracies that have existed throughout time. Maybe you saw the tin foil underneath, but the foundation, the story was there along with it. I can't say the same for the new Who.
And talking about foundation: Who is Martha Jones? The new show gives us the most flimsy of reasons as to why she is identical to the Torchwood employee who got offed in the Season 2 finale. We knew a lot more about Rose by episode 5 in Season 1 than we do about Martha by the same time. I need more, and until I get it, Martha is little more than a shadow following the Doctor, waiting to fall into a situation that requires him rescuing her.
But don't lose hope, because storylines wait in the wings. We can easily infer that Capt. Jack will rejoin the Doctor because of the season finale of Torchwood (as well as because I've read spoilers).
So we know we'll have that classic moment few companions have been able to experience: meeting a new Doctor when they expected the old. That perfect moment with Sarah Jane in "School Reunion" still gives me goose bumps when I see it.
It's those ties to old shows and characters that make this series come alive for me. The continuity is essential: the same old police box, the Time Lords, the regenerations. It's canon like that which makes a fanboy like me return to the BBC week after week.
And talking about Who canon, let's get right to the point. In a previous review I screamed for a return of another Time Lord, lamenting that the new show constantly harped on how the Doctor was the last of his kind. My prayers may have been answered.
The Doctor gets a teaser in episode 3. Rumors have been flying around about a return of the Master, and I say it's about damn time. An evil Time Lord would be the perfect way to draw connections to the classic series, but also reveal more about the Time War, the Doctor's past and Gallifrey.
All he's done since the show started up again in 2005 is talk about how he's the last Time Lord, how he fought on the front lines in the Time War and everyone else died, blah blah. I think there's a little more to the story that the doc isn't telling us, and the only one in the whole universe who can shed some light on the situation is the the most badass Time Lord there is.
Even though I've got my doubts, you know I'll keep watching. There is just too much potential and possibilities out there. Who's with me.