Martha Jones

Smith And Jones

Doctor WhoMedical student Martha Jones can tell that this isn’t going to be an ordinary day, whether it’s the black-suited figures at the hospital where she’s studying, or the rainstorm that surrounds the hospital and nothing else in London, or the odd patient with two heartbeats, or the fact that her hospital appears to be transported shortly afterward to the surface of the moon. As towering, skyscraper-like spacecraft land near the hospital and platoons of armed aliens enter, at least two other aliens are making their presence known within the hospital: one is a refugee on the run, and the other is a Time Lord known as the Doctor. When the Doctor all but assumes command of the situation, Martha has any number of questions about who – or what – he is. But if any of the other life forms get hold of the Doctor, Martha may never get her questions answered.

Season 3 Regular Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones)

Download this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Charles Palmer
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Anne Reid (Florence Finnegan), Roy Mardsen (Mr. Stoker), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Tish Jones), Reggie Yates (Leo Jones), Trevor Laird (Clive Jones), Kimmi Richards (Annalise), Ben Righton (Morganstern), Vineeta Rishi (Julia Swales), Paul Kasey (Judoon Captain), Nicholas Briggs (Judoon voices)

Notes: Guest star Trevor Laird, making his first appearance as Martha’s dad, has crossed paths with the Doctor before, in the role of Frax in parts 5-8 of The Trial Of A Time Lord in 1986.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Shakespeare Code

Doctor WhoPromising her a single trip through time, the Doctor takes Martha to London in 1599, the TARDIS landing within walking distance of the Globe Theatre and William Shakespeare himself. But the Bard behaves oddly at the end of a performance of “Love’s Labours Lost”, making a sudden promise to his audience that the sequel, “Love’s Labours Won”, will debut the following night…despite this being the first that any of his loyal troupe of actors have heard of it. The Doctor introduces Martha to Shakespeare, and then the sudden deaths begin, always near Shakespeare. The Doctor gradually learns that the play isn’t the only thing at the Globe – the unusually designed venue may have a more sinister purpose underlying its design. With a little bit of toil, the Doctor uncovers a lot of trouble – three alien “witches” are planning to wipe out humanity to claim Earth for their own exiled race…and the key to their plan will come from Shakespeare’s own pen.

Download this episodewritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Charles Palmer
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Dean Lennox Kelly (Shakespeare), Christina Cole (Lilith), Sam Marks (Wiggins), Amanda Lawrence (Doomfinger), Linda Clark (Bloodtide), Jalaal Hartley (Dick), David Westhead (Kempe), Andree Bernard (Dolly Bailey), Chris Larkin (Lynley), Stephen Marcus (Jailer), Matt King (Peter Streete), Robert Demeger (Preacher), Angela Pleasence (Queen Elizabeth)

Notes: In City Of Death, the fourth Doctor claimed that the handwriting on the original manuscript of “Hamlet” was his, not Shakespeare’s, so presumably – earlier in the Doctor’s life, but later in the Bard’s – the two met up again. The first Doctor and friends observed Shakespeare at another pivotal point in his history via the Time-Space Visualizer in The Chase. Depending on whether or not you include the novels in your personal Doctor Who canon, this may not the first time that the Doctor has had only one heart beating in his chest; Sabbath, an agent of the “time traveling voodoo cult” Faction Paradox, left the eighth Doctor with only one heart for a time in the BBC novels.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

Gridlock

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, despite his initial promise of only one trip in the TARDIS, takes Martha to the distant future, returning to New Earth in the year 5,000,053, some time after his last visit there. But instead of towering cityscapes, the time travelers find slums, where humans tolerate the bleakness of their existence with chemical help from a thriving network of drug-dealing “pharmacists.” Martha is kidnapped by a couple and dragged into an airbus, leaving the Doctor behind. When he tries to enlist the help of another airbus pilot to track Martha down, the Doctor discovers that traffic moves at the rate of mere meters per year – New New York is trapped in a permanent traffic jam worthy of its namesake, and vehicles and their occupants have been disappearing at the lowest altitudes, never to be heard from again. And Martha may soon share that fate when the Doctor’s rescue mission is abruptly cut short.

Download this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Richard Clark
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Ardal O’Hanlon (Brannigan), Anna Hope (Novice Hame), Travis Oliver (Milo), Lenora Crichlow (Cheen), Jennifer Hennessy (Valerie), Bridget Turner (Alice), Georgine Anderson (May), Simon Pearsall (Whitey), Daisy Lewis (Javit), Nicholas Boulton (Businessman), Erika MacLeod (Sally Calypso), Judy Norman (Ma), Graham Padden (Pa), Lucy Davenport (Pale Woman), Tom Edden (Pharmacist #1), Natasha Williams (Pharmacist #2), Gayle Telfer Stevens (Pharmacist #3), Struan Rodger (The Face of Boe)

Notes: The mysterious Face of Boe first appeared in The End Of The World, and returned during the Doctor’s first visit to New Earth, which also introduced the humanoid Cats. The crab-like Macra threatened the second Doctor and his friends 40 years ago in the 1967 story The Macra Terror; he is quick to observe that they appear to have devolved into mindless beasts. (They also appear to have grown considerably in size – either that, or someone made a macro error in judging their scale of this particular Macra terror.)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

Daleks In Manhattan

Doctor WhoIn the throes of the Great Depression, New York City’s towering Empire State Building is erected even as able-bodied men eke out a barely-adequate existence in its shadow, unable to find work. But something other than poverty is stalking them – rumors circulate of pig-faced creatures who walk like humans and abduct unsuspecting people who are then never seen again. The TARDIS lands in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, and the Doctor and Martha make their way to Manhattan, where they learn of the abductions and follow clues to the sewer tunnels beneath the city. The Doctor does indeed find the pig-like beings – humans who have been subjected to genetic experimentation and mutation – but he also finds an amoeboid life form whose origins he knows all too well: a failed attempt to create a new mutant to occupy a Dalek casing. By the time the Doctor and Martha find the Daleks’ base of operations beneath the streets of New York City, the Daleks have already taken a terrifying new step in their own evolution.

Download this episodewritten by Helen Raynor
directed by James Strong
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Miranda Raison (Tallulah), Ryan Carnes (Laszlo), Hugh Quarshie (Solomon), Andrew Garfield (Frank), Eric Loren (Mr. Diagoras), Flik Swan (Myrna), Alexis Caley (Lois), Earl Perkins (Man #1), Peter Brooke (Man #2), Ian Porter (Foreman), Joe Montana (Worker #1), Stewart Alexander (Worker #2), Mel Taylor (Dock Worker), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek Operator), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek Operator), Anthony Spargo (Dalek Operator), David Hankinson (Dalek Operator), Nick Briggs (Dalek voices), Paul Kasey (Hero Pig)

Daleks In ManhattanNotes: This marks the first time that footage for episodes of Doctor Who has been custom-shot in the United States. In 1985, the Colin Baker story The Two Doctors was originally written to take place in New Orleans, but budget constraints forced the story to be rewritten to take place in Seville. The 1996 TV movie’s shots of San Francisco were taken from stock footage (the movie itself was shot in Vancouver). For Daleks In Manhattan and Evolution Of The Daleks, director James Strong and a small camera crew from BBC Wales traveled to New York City and shot video and photos – much of which would be digitally touched up in post-production to “de-age” the city to the 1930s; most of the footage – even the scenes that appear to be at the base of the Statue of Liberty – were still filmed in Cardiff. Guest star Hugh Quarshie has dabbled with Duane Dibbley in Red Dwarf and protected Padme as Captain Panaka in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

Evolution Of The Daleks

Doctor WhoDalek Sec, transformed into a hybrid between a Dalek’s mutant occupant and a human, terrifies not only the Doctor and Martha, but even its fellow Daleks. Fearing any evolution that could steer them away from being “pure” Daleks, the rest of the Cult of Skaro now treat their leader’s orders with skepticism. The Doctor and Martha lead their fellow captives to the relative safety of Central Park, but with the realization that the Doctor is working against them, the Daleks follow, no longer worried about hiding. When Dalek Sec spares the Doctor from imminent extermination, the other three Daleks turn against him. With his one hope of reasoning with a new breed of Daleks gone, the Doctor is all that stands between Earth in one of its most defenseless junctures in history and the Daleks’ hunger for conquest.

Download this episodewritten by Helen Raynor
directed by James Strong
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Miranda Raison (Tallulah), Ryan Carnes (Laszlo), Hugh Quarshie (Solomon), Andrew Garfield (Frank), Eric Loren (Dalek Sec), Earl Perkins (Man #1), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek Operator), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek Operator), Anthony Spargo (Dalek Operator), David Hankinson (Dalek Operator), Nick Briggs (Dalek voices), Paul Kasey (Hero Pig), Ian Porter (Hybrid)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Lazarus Experiment

Doctor WhoMartha is crestfallen when the Doctor brings her home, announcing that this is where their travels together end. When she sees her sister in a TV press conference, however, Martha is intrigued. When he hears Professor Richard Lazarus announce the unveiling of an invention that will “change what it means to be human,” the Doctor decides to investigate. He and Martha go to the public demonstration of Lazarus’ new invention, which – after a near-overload is averted by the Doctor before it can destroy the entire building – apparently regresses the elderly inventor to his youth. But the Doctor, examining Lazarus’ DNA, discovers that the transformation is only just beginning, and when the first corpse is found, the Doctor believes that Lazarus is mutating into something that feeds on living flesh. He sets out to put Lazarus’ evolutionary experiment to an end, but can’t do so without putting Martha in mortal danger. And that’s when Martha’s mother – who has apparently received confidential information about the Doctor directly from the office of Harold Saxon, a candidate for Prime Minister – decides that Martha’s TARDIS travels must end.

Download this episodewritten by Stephen Greenhorn
directed by Richard Clark
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Tish Jones), Reggie Yates (Leo Jones), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), Mark Gatiss (Lazarus), Thelma Barlow (Lady Thaw), Lucy O’Connell (Olive Lady), Bertie Carvel (Mysterious Man)

Notes: Actor Mark Gatiss has written several Doctor Who stories (including The Unquiet Dead and The Idiot’s Lantern) for television, Big Finish’s audio adventures, and numerous novels, and has lent his voice to such characters as the Master in Big Finish audios as well. The Doctor seems to have some experience as an organist, as he demonstrates both here and in 1985’s Attack Of The Cybermen. Harold Saxon doesn’t appear here, but is mentioned in The Runaway Bride and Smith & Jones; “Vote Saxon” signs were seen in the backgrounds of those episodes, and even in the Torchwood episode Captain Jack Harkness. On its original UK broadcast, The Lazarus Experiment concluded with an extended trailer showing scene from much of the remainder of the season, since there was no “next week’s episode” – the series took a one-week break to be pre-empted by the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

42

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is modifying Martha’s cell phone for “universal roaming” when the TARDIS suddenly picks up a distress signal. The call for help comes from the cargo ship Pentallian, whose engines have just died, sending it on a slow but fatal trajectory straight into the sun. The moment the Doctor and Martha announce their presence, pressure doors seal them off from the TARDIS – and when the Doctor tries to open the door to evacuate everyone with his timeship, he learns that the temperature in that area has risen dramatically. The ship’s auxiliary engines are controlled on the other side of the ship, and a crew member is suffering from an unknown infection. Martha and one of the remaining crew go to try to reach the backup engines, while the Doctor tries to get the main engines restarted, but the ill crew member soon proves to be even more important. Though heavily sedated, he proceeds to get up and utters the phrase “burn with me” over and over just before vaporizing the ship’s doctor. He continues to pick off the crew one by one, leaving them with little chance of escaping their fiery fate – and before long, he’s not the only one saying “burn with me.”

Download this episodewritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Graeme Harper
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Michelle Collins (Kath McDonnell), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), William Ash (Riley Vashtee), Anthony Flanagan (Orin Scannell), Matthew Chambers (Hal Korwin), Gary Powell (Dev Ashton), Vinette Robinson (Abi Lerner), Rebecca Oldfield (Erina Lessak), Elize Du Toit (Sinister Woman)

Notes: The fourth Doctor once mentioned a “Pentallian drive” in the story Revenge Of The Cybermen; it may or may not have been related to the ship of the same name, which was set further in the future than 42.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

Human Nature

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Martha are on the run from alien pursuers, who have the ability to track the TARDIS. The Doctor stores his own knowledge and personality in a pocketwatch fashioned from Time Lord technology – as well as detailed genetic information – and turns himself, both physically and psychologically, into John Smith, history teacher, a perfectly ordinary human (with odd gaps in his memory) teaching at a boys’ school in 1913, on the eve of the First World War. Martha is left to fend for herself, but stays close to “John Smith” in the guise of his maid and guards the pocketwatch containing his true essence with her life. In the process of discovering what it means to be human, the former Time Lord falls in love with a local woman who is attracted to his simplicity and gentle nature – but when the aliens come to Earth, discovering that they have done business with a Time Lord and trying to track down his regenerative DNA to save their dying race, “Doctor John Smith” must risk everything and everyone to protect his fellow humans.

Download this episodewritten by Paul Cornell
directed by Charles Palmer
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Jessica Hynes (Joan Redfern), Rebekah Staton (Jenny), Thomas Sangster (Tim Latimer), Harry Lloyd (Baines), Tom Palmer (Hutchinson), Gerard Horan (Clark), Lauren Wilson (Lucy Cartwright), Pip Torrens (Rocastle), Matthew White (Phillips), Derek Smith (Doorman), Peter Bourke (Mr. Chambers)

Notes: This episode and its second part, The Family Of Blood, were adapted by Paul Cornell from his own 1995 Doctor Who New Adventures novel of the same name. Numerous changes were made, including the omission of the book’s meeting between the Doctor’s companion and a “future” tenth Doctor (actually one of the aliens in disguise, and “future” since that Human Naturebook originally featured the seventh Doctor as played by Sylvester McCoy). In the original novel, the “family” didn’t take over human host bodies, but were instead shapeshifters called Aubertides. One carryover from the book is the metafictional mention that “Sydney and Verity” were Smith’s parents’ names, a nod to the creator of Doctor Who and its first producer, Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert. A book of sketches by “John Smith” reveals the faces of all of the past Doctors, though they’re not all clearly seen on screen; these sketches also put to rest the running fan debate about whether or not Paul McGann is “official” as the eighth Doctor (he is).

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Family Of Blood

Doctor WhoMartha manages to turn the tables on the Family as they try to force John Smith to change back into the Doctor. Smith, Joan, Martha and the other villagers run for the safety of the school, where the call to arms is sounded ahead of an attack by the Family and their army of scarecrows. Tim, the schoolboy with the pocketwatch containing the Doctor’s Time Lord essence, helps to distract the Family, and later, after Smith goes into hiding, brings the watch to him. With the English countryside under siege, even Joan is now convinced that Smith isn’t what he seems, and that he can help to save the day…but now that he’s found love and happiness in human form, will the Doctor’s alter-ego choose to become a Time Lord again?

Download this episodewritten by Paul Cornell
directed by Charles Palmer
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Jessica Hynes (Joan Redfern), Rebekah Staton (Jenny), Thomas Sangster (Tim Latimer), Harry Lloyd (Baines), Tom Palmer (Hutchinson), Gerard Horan (Clark), Lauren Wilson (Lucy Cartwright), Pip Torrens (Rocastle), Matthew White (Phillips), Sophie Turner (Vicar)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

Blink

Doctor WhoSally Sparrow’s inquisitive nature, and eye for a good photo, leads her to a creepy abandoned house. Under the house’s peeling wallpaper, Sally discovers a message – written to her by name – containing a warning from someone called the Doctor. When she returns to the house with her best friend, Sally is stunned when her friend vanishes – and then a man claiming to be her friend’s descendant arrives at an appointed time with a letter from his ancestor…in the distant past. Sally goes to share the shocking news with her friend’s brother Larry, and finds him obsessed over several DVD easter eggs, all of them containing cryptic (and occasionally incomprehensible) messages from a man called the Doctor. But the video messages from the Doctor are very clear on one thing: alien killers in the guide of weeping angel statues are stalking the Earth…and if Sally and Larry blink when they encounter the statues, they’re dead. But why isn’t the Doctor on hand to fight the aliens himself?

Download this episodewritten by Steven Moffatt
directed by Hettie MacDonald
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Carey Mulligan (Sally Sparrow), Lucy Gaskell (Kathy Nightingale), Finlay Robertson (Larry Nightingale), Richard Cant (Malcolm Wainwright), Michael Obiora (Billy Shipton), Louis Mahoney (Old Billy), Thomas Nelstrop (Ben Wainwright), Ian Boldsworth (Banto), Ray Sawyer (Desk Sergeant)

Notes: This episode is based in part on Steven Moffat’s short story “What I Did On My Christmas Holidays, By Sally Sparrow”, which appeared in the 2006 Doctor Who Annual as a ninth Doctor story with a much younger Sally – and no weeping angels. The original short story can be read at the BBC’s official Doctor Who site here.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

Utopia

Doctor WhoThe Doctor once again brings the TARDIS to Cardiff to recharge the timeship’s engines with energy from the interdimensional rift that runs through the city. When he spots Captain Jack running toward the TARDIS at full speed, the Doctor tries to dematerialize the TARDIS – but Jack, eager to seek the Doctor’s help with his newfound immortality, leaps onto the time machine and clings to it as it tries to escape him. The TARDIS makes a rough landing on the eve of what could be the last night of humanity: the universe is collapsing, the stars and galaxies are dying, and the last remnants of humankind huddle in a rickety launch silo, awaiting their orders to board a rocket that will take them to a planet called Utopia. Trying to help ready the rocket, but making little headway, is the enigmatic Professor Yana, who seems to have a strange reaction to the Doctor and the TARDIS. A race called the Futurekind closes in on the last human settlement to feed, and Yana reveals that the rocket really won’t work at all. As the Doctor and Jack try to help, Martha notices that Professor Yana has a pocketwatch similar to one which once hid the Doctor’s personality and genetic information – a device of Time Lord design. But when the Doctor realizes that he isn’t the last Time Lord in the universe, he faces the horrifying revelation that only one other member of his race could’ve had the drive to survive the Time War…

Download this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Graeme Harper
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Sir Derek Jacobi (Professor Yana), Chipo Chung (Chantho), Rene Zagger (Padra), Neil Reidman (Lieutenant Atillo), Paul Marc Davies (Chieftan), Robert Forknall (Guard), John Bell (Creet), Deborah MacLaren (Kistane), Abigail Canton (Wiry Woman) and John Simm (The Master)

Notes: Both this colony and the isolated human colony seen in Frontios (1984) are said to be the last human colonies in existence in the universe, though the implication is that Utopia is set much, much further in the future, during the twilight of the universe itself. During Professor Yana’s moments of mental distress, sound clips of Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley as past incarnations of the Master can be heard; ironically, Sir Derek Jacobi played the part of the Master in a one-off animated Doctor Who story, Scream Of The Shalka, as well as starring in a well-received UtopiaDoctor Who: Unbound audio story, Deadline. Presumably, Jack’s chase after the TARDIS takes place immediately on the heels of his disappearance in the Torchwood episode End Of Days (and the Doctor remarks that the Cardiff rift has seen recent activity, possibly from the opening of the rift in that episode), although End Of Days strongly implies that the TARDIS materialized inside the Torchwood hub. (Maybe the scattered papers found by the rest of Jack’s team were an indication of how fast he ran outside…)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Sound Of Drums

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Martha and Jack are barely able to escape their fate in the year 100,000,000,000, returning to present-day Earth only when the Doctor is able to modify Jack’s teleportation device. But the England they return to is in the thrall of its new Prime Minister, the charismatic Harold Saxon – a man that the time travelers now realize is the Master’s new incarnation. The three are declared high-risk enemies of the state, and Martha’s family is rounded up and placed under arrest to bait her – and the Doctor – out into the open. Once in office, “Saxon” quietly kills off his entire Cabinet and then announces to the public that he will conduct first contact with an alien race in full public view. The newly elected American President flies to London to demand that Saxon’s alien encounter take place with a more international presence, to which Saxon only reluctantly agrees. The Doctor, Martha and Jack teleport aboard the airborne UNIT aircraft carrier Valiant, where first contact will take place with the Toclafane – a name that the Doctor remembers from Gallifreyan children’s stories, but not a name that he’s ever heard connected to an actual alien species. When the Toclafane appear, they assassinate the President on Saxon’s orders, and he then has the Doctor brought before him. Using a laser screwdriver modified with the anti-aging technology pioneered by Dr. Lazarus, the Master ages the Doctor by decades, and kills Jack (with the full knowledge that Jack will recover). Using Jack’s teleport, Martha teleports away from the Valiant as millions of Toclafane burst into the Earth’s atmosphere, murdering countless people on the ground. The reign of the Master has begun – and now Martha can count only on herself to bring it to an end.

Download this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Colin Teague
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), John Simm (The Master), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Tish Jones), Travor Laird (Clive Jones), Reggie Yates (Leo Jones), Alexandra Moen (Lucy Saxon), Colin Stinton (President), Nichola McAuliffe (Vivien Rook), Nicholas Gecks (Albert Dumfries), Sharon Osbourne (herself), McFly (themselves), Ann Widdecombe (herself), Olivia Hill (BBC Newsreader), Lachele Carl (US Newsreader), Daniel Ming (Chinese Newsreader), Elize Du Toit (Sinister Woman), Zoe Thorne, Gerard Logan, Johnnie Lyne-Pirkis (Sphere voices)

Notes: For the first time in the new series, the Time Lords and their world are seen as the Doctor reminisces about Gallifrey. The description of Gallifrey having orange skies and silver leaves dates back to a verbal description given by the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan of her home planet in the first season of the original series – the 1964 six-parter The Sensorites – though this is really the first time that the show’s incumbent production team has gone out of its way to stick to that description. The flowing Time Lord ceremonial costume, first seen in 1976’s The Deadly Assassin, was originally created by then-costume designer James Acheson, and the design is largely adhered to here. Also seen is a black-and-white garment which was seen on the Time Lords in their first screen appearance, 1969’s The War Games. Here, there seems to be an implication that the black and white robes signify that the wearer is a novitiate or a Time Lord in training, which does not seem to have been the case in The War Games. The Master’s “origin story” here has never before been recounted in the television series; different versions of the Master’s origins – though perhaps not necessarily conflicting – can be found in the novel “The Dark Path” and the Big Finish audio story Master. The mention of Time Lord children being “taken from their families” may or may not conflict with the New Adventures novels’ continuity, which states that Gallifrey is a sterile planet whose children are “woven” on looms of genetic material; the families from which the children are taken could just as easily be the novels’ families comprised entirely of cousins. On the other hand, the novels’ Gallifrey-as-sterile backstory may already have been invalidated by the eighth Doctor’s memories of being on Gallifrey with his father (again, seen in the 1996 TV movie). The Time Lord practice of taking families from their children for training may or may not be an homage to a similar practice among the Psi Corps in Babylon 5, when humans with telepathic ability are detected at a young age.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Last Of The Time Lords

Doctor WhoA year after the Master’s takeover of Earth, the aged Doctor remains his prisoner aboard the Valiant. After an escape attempt with the help of Martha’s family and Captain Jack, the Doctor is subjected to the Master’s aging process again, this time winding up as an emaciated, tiny figure unable to regenerate. Still, he promises that he has only one thing to say to his fellow Time Lord – one thing which the Master is not interested in hearing. As for Martha herself, she has spent a year walking the Earth, spreading the word of the Doctor’s heroics and planting instructions for an eventual uprising against the Master’s rule. With the help of other resistance fighters, Martha discovers the horrifying true nature of the Toclafane, but is eventually captured by the Master and sentenced to death. Even in the face of execution, Martha remains defiant, because she holds the secret to restoring the Doctor to his full power – and then some. But just how far will the Master go to torment his nemesis?

Download this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Colin Teague
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), John Simm (The Master), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Tish Jones), Travor Laird (Clive Jones), Reggie Yates (Leo Jones), Alexandra Moen (Lucy Saxon), Tom Ellis (Thomas Milligan), Ellie Haddington (Professor Docherty), Tom Golding (Lad), Natasha Alexander (Woman), Zoe Thorne, Gerard Logan, Johnnie Lyne-Pirkis (Sphere voices)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

Time Crash

Doctor WhoThe Doctor solemnly gets the TARDIS underway after he bids farewell to Martha Jones and leaves her with her family on Earth, but the quiet is shattered as his timeship lurches uncontrollably – and suddenly has another occupant, a man in full Edwardian cricket regalia. A very familiar man, as it turns out: the Doctor is at a loss to explain why his fifth incarnation is suddenly sharing his TARDIS with him, but both know instantly that it’s not good news. Much like the Doctor, the TARDIS has collided with its earlier self, and it’ll take more than an exchange of insurance information to prevent space and time from collapsing as a result…

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffatt
directed by Graeme Harper
music by Murray Gold

Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), Peter Davison (The Doctor)

Appearing in footage from Last Of The Time Lords: Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones)

Notes: Time Crash was a 7-minute scene written for the BBC’s 2007 Children In Need telethon, with the actors, directors, and crew donating their time and talent; technically, it takes place during the final moments of Last Of The Time Lords, between Martha’s departure and the TARDIS’ collision with the Titanic. Director Graeme Harper also directed Peter Davison’s final adventure as the incumbent Doctor, Caves Of Androzani, in 1984 – so he remains Davison’s last director as the Doctor on TV. Davison is now tied with Tennant for appearing in the most in-character Doctor Who Children In Need specials, having also appeared in 1993’s Dimensions In Time; technically, The Five Doctors was originally shown as part of the Children In Need telethon in 1983, but unlike Time Crash and the 2005 Children In Need special, it was not specially made just for the event. Davison has, of course, been reprising the role of the Doctor’s fifth incarnation for Big Finish’s audio dramas since 1999. There were numerous in-jokes on past Doctor Who adventures, including a mention of zeiton ore (something the sixth Doctor ran out of in Vengeance On Varos). If you’re interested in making a donation to Children In Need, please click here to find out more about the charity, where the money goes, what’s up with the little yellow bear, and how you can help.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Sontaran Stratagem

Doctor WhoA call from Martha brings the TARDIS back to Earth, just in time for Donna and the Doctor to witness a UNIT raid on the Atmos factory. Standard-issue in more than half the automobiles in the world, Atmos cancels out all harmful pollution emissions from any car – and the Doctor recognizes it as something far ahead of current human technology. But as everyone knows, Atmos is the invention of former teen prodigy Luke Rattigan, who now heads his own academy for developing young genius. A visit to Rattigan’s academy reveals that he is in league with a Sontaran invasion force, a discovery from which the Doctor barely escapes alive. He decides to dissect an Atmos device for himself, only to accidentally trigger a weapon within it that emits toxic gas. Using a clone of Martha to keep UNIT’s attention away from the real danger, the Sontarans activate all of the gas emitters in all of the Atmos-equipped cars worldwide…

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Helen Raynor
directed by Douglas MacKinnon
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Freema Agyeman (Dr. Martha Jones), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Ryan Simpson (Luke Rattigan), Rupert Holliday Evans (Colonel Mace), Christopher Ryan (General Staal), Dan Starkey (Commander Skorr), Eleanor Matsuura (Jo Nakashima), Clive Standen (Private Harris), Wesley Theobald (Private Gray), Christian Cooke (Ross Jenkins), Rad Kaim (Worker), Elizabeth Ryder (Atmos voice)

Notes: The Sontarans last appeared with The Two Doctors (namely Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton) in 1985, though fanmade productions such as Mindgame and Shakedown revisited them after the cancellation of classic Doctor Who. This is the first episode to give, in dialogue, the revised name for UNIT – the Unified Intelligence Taskforce – which was changed from the original name, United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, for completely non-fictional legal reasons. Despite the change, dialogue elsewhere in the episode still says that UNIT gets its funding from the United Nations. Speaking of UNIT, a bit of fun is poked at the long-standing debate over whether the third Doctor‘s stint with UNIT took place in the 1970s or 1980s – and the issue certainly isn’t resolved. The Sontarans are apparently aware of the Time War, but for whatever reason were “not allowed to take part in it.” The reference to the human female’s “weak thorax” is a riff on the 1975 story The Sontaran Experiment, in which Field Major Styre noted differences in the thorax between the human genders.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Poison Sky

Doctor WhoA worldwide crisis is declared as Atmos-equipped cars across the globe poison the atmosphere with toxic gases. Meanwhile, the Sontarans’ clone of Martha continues to undermine UNIT’s preparations for all-out war against the invaders, but she’s also been noticed by the Doctor, who uses her to find the real Martha and discover why the Sontarans – usually a race that craves all-out war – are sneaking around with tactics such as poisoning the atmosphere. But the TARDIS is not at his disposal: the Sontarans have teleported it to their ship, with Donna inside. As he uncovers the plan to terraform Earth into a world suitable for breeding more cloned Sontaran warriors, the Doctor has a life-or-death choice to make – and he has to offer one to the Sontarans as well.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Helen Raynor
directed by Douglas MacKinnon
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Freema Agyeman (Dr. Martha Jones), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Ryan Simpson (Luke Rattigan), Rupert Holliday Evans (Colonel Mace), Christopher Ryan (General Staal), Dan Starkey (Commander Skorr), Clive Standen (Private Harris), Wesley Theobald (Private Gray), Christian Cooke (Ross Jenkins), Meryl Fernandes (Female Student), Leeshon Alexander (Male Student), Bridget Hodgson (Captain Price), Kirsty Wark (herself), Lachelle Carl (US Newsreader)

Notes: The Brigadier gets his first mention in the new series, even though he isn’t seen; apparently there’s only one Brigadier serving in UNIT, since Colonel Mace seems to instantly know who the Doctor is talking about.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Doctor’s Daughter

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Donna – with Martha along as an unwitting passenger due to the TARDIS’ unexpected takeoff – arrive in a war-torn underground world where the Doctor is immediately held at gunpoint by soldiers and subjected to a mechanical tissue sampling process that uses his DNA to create a new soldier – a young girl with a brilliant mind, two hearts, and, like the rest of the human soldiers, a genetically-programmed knowledge of the long war between the humans and the fishlike Hath. She immediately joins in a pitched battle against the Hath, and winds up saving her human comrades – but not before the Hath have abducted Martha. The Doctor’s “daughter” – to whom Donna gives the name Jenny – is locked up with the time travelers for fear that she’s been swayed by the Doctor’s promise to stop the humans from committing genocide against the Hath, and vice-versa. Jenny proves to be as resourceful, and ultimately as compassionate, as the Doctor herself…but when she becomes the key to ending the bloodshed, she may also find out whether or not she can regenerate.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Stephen Greenhorn
directed by Alice Troughton
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Freema Agyeman (Dr. Martha Jones), Georgia Moffett (Jenny), Nigel Terry (Cobb), Joe Dempsie (Cline), Paul Kasey (Hath Peck), Ruari Mears (Hath Gable), Akin Gazi (Carter), Olalekan Lawal Jr. (Soldier)

The Doctor's DaughterNotes: Actress Georgia Moffett really is the Doctor’s daughter – just not this Doctor. She’s the daughter of Peter Davison, who played the Doctor from 1982 through 1984, and only recently reprised his role on TV in the Children In Need special scene Time Crash. She guest starred in one of Davison’s Big Finish audios, Red Dawn, in 2000, and in 2004 she auditioned for the part of Rose Tyler; she married David Tennant after his departure from Doctor Who. This title of this episode may or may not be a play on the classic production staff in-joke title of The Doctor’s Wife – a story title, fictitiously attributed to Robert Holmes, which was posted openly in the Doctor Who production offices circa 1985 by then-producer John Nathan-Turner in an attempt to find out which production staffer was leaking story details prematurely to fanzines. Though the mole in Nathan-Turner’s office was never pinpointed, some UK fanzines did indeed announce that The Doctor’s Wife was in production for the coming season.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The Stolen Earth

Doctor WhoConfronted with the imminent arrival of Rose from the alternate universe, the Doctor and Donna make a quick jump to modern-day Earth, finding that everything is all right and returning to the TARDIS. But a sudden displacement of time and space leaves the TARDIS floating in space – without Earth. The Doctor flies into action to try to track the planet down, even going so far as to pay an unannounced visit to the Shadow Proclamation, an intergalactic law enforcement body, where he talks his way past Judoon guards and discovers that Earth isn’t the only planet missing: the Shadow Proclamation has placed the entire universe on alert. Taking note of the mass and properties of the missing worlds, the Doctor hypothesizes that the planets may have been stolen to become components of a massive engine, generating energy on a scale not seen since the creation of the universe. The representatives of the Shadow Proclamation are prepared to go into battle, but only if the Doctor surrenders his TARDIS; he opts to go it alone instead.

On Earth, chaos has broken out. Night has fallen around the world, and the sky is now teeming with unfamiliar planets. At UNIT HQ in New York City, at Torchwood in Cardiff and at Sarah Jane Smith’s home in Ealing, former companions of the Doctor are among the first to hear a message transmitted from an oncoming barrage of spacecraft: a Dalek voice endlessly repeating the word “exterminate”. The Daleks attack the planet, concentrating their firepower on military installations or entities that have prior knowledge of the Daleks: Torchwood and UNIT are among the first targets. An unlikely ally unites Martha, Torchwood and Sarah, using a technology invented for an emergency in which the Doctor hasn’t arrived to save the day. But the TARDIS does indeed make its way to Earth, finding the stolen planets time-shifted within the Medusa Cascade. The Doctor discovers that Davros, creator of the Daleks, has survived the Time War and bred a new race of Daleks to do his bidding. As the Doctor’s former companions race to join up with him, Torchwood comes under Dalek attack and Gwen and Ianto are left to fend for themselves. Sarah finds herself at the mercy of the Daleks, and even when Rose finds the TARDIS, it may not be enough to save the Doctor when he finds himself in a Dalek’s gunsights.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Graeme Harper
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Penelope Wilton (Harriet Jones), Adjoa Andoh (Francine Jones), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Julian Bleach (Davros), Michael Brandon (General Sanchez), Andrea Harris (Suzanne), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells), Richard Dawkins (himself), Paul O’Grady (himself), Marcus Cunningham (Drunk Man), Jason Mohammad (Newsreader), Paul Kasey (Judoon), Kelly Hunter (Shadow Architect), Amy Beth Hayes (Albino Servant), Gary Milner (Scared Man), Barney Edwards, Nick Pegg, David Hankinson, Anthony Spargo (Dalek Operators), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voice), Alexander Armstrong (voice of Mr. Smith)

The Stolen EarthNotes: Davros first appeared in 1975’s Genesis Of The Daleks, and returned to terrorize each of the Doctor’s successive incarnations until his final appearance in 1988’s Remembrance Of The Daleks. Even the cancellation of the original series didn’t slow him down, as he returned to do battle twice more with the sixth Doctor, and then with Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor in Terror Firma, and even appeared in his own audio spinoff series, I, Davros. Apparently he’s been missing since a battle during the first year of the Time War, which – just to drive fans crazy – remains unrecorded in either novel or audio form. Actor Julian Bleach becomes the fourth actor to play Davros, having played the Ghost Maker in an episode of Torchwood’s second season. Bernard Cribbins, as Donna’s grandfather, has come up against the Daleks before – 42 years before this episode’s premiere, in the 1966 feature film Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. starring Peter Cushing as Doctor Who. Penelope Wilton returns as former Prime Minister Harriet Jones, not seen since the then-newly-regenerated Doctor uttered six fateful words in The Christmas Invasion. Appearing as himself, evolutionary science advocate Richard Dawkins is the husband of former Doctor Who co-star Lalla “Romana” Ward; coincidentally, they were introduced by former Doctor Who writer and script editor – and Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy author – Douglas Adams.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

Lost Souls

Torchwood: Lost SoulsTorchwood leaves Cardiff behind for a flight to Switzerland after a call from Martha Jones. Serving as part of the UNIT contingent at the soon-to-be-activated Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, Martha says that strange occurrences and even unexplained disappearances among personnel are taking place – followed by a cover-up which UNIT doesn’t seem to be able to penetrate. Torchwood gains access to the collider by passing Ianto off as the Welsh ambassador, and Martha gives them a first-hand look at what’s been happening to some of the people who enter the colliider tunnel. But when Gwen and Ianto enter the tunnel for themselves, Ianto’s certain he can hear the voices of the dead – even voices claiming to be Owen, Toshiko and Lisa – while Gwen tries to fight off the same sensation. Unknown to them, however, someone else on site has already been hearing those same “voices of the dead” – and is doing their bidding, regardless of the consequences to the collider experiment or its personnel.

Order the CDwritten by Joseph Lidster
directed by Kate McAll
music by Ben Foster and Murray Gold

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), Lucy Montgomery (Professor Johnson), Stephen Crichlow (Dr. Oliver Harrington), Mark Meadows (Leon Foiret)

Notes: This first made-for-audio Torchwood adventure was produced by BBC Radio 4 for broadcast on September 10th, 2008, to mark the occasion of the real-life CERN Large Hadron Collider being fully switched on for the first time. Writer Joseph Lidster, who also penned the Torchwood TV episode A Day In The Death, got his started writing audio dramas based on the series from which Torchwood spun off, Doctor Who. In a way, Lost Souls brings Doctor Who-related audio drama back to its very beginnings – the first Doctor Who audio story, Exploration Earth: The Time Machine, was an educational program starring Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen during their TV heyday.

Timeline: As the funerals of Owen and Toshiko (both of whom died in the second season finale Exit Wounds) are mentioned as a recent event, and they’re also the last time that the surviving Torchwood members saw Martha, presumably Lost Souls takes place between Exit Wounds and the Doctor Who fourth season finale The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End, which saw Torchwood and Martha working together again.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: Devised as a semi-educational part of BBC Radio 4’s “Big Bang Day,” celebrating the inauguration of the Large Hadron Collider operating beneath the border of France and Switzerland, Lost Souls actually falls just a little bit short in both its educational remit and as a Torchwood adventure.

Though the story, via dialogue, gets across the basic news soundbite explanation of the LHC, oversimplifying things a bit, but it gets what information is needed for the purposes of the plot across – that’s okay. What I’m not too crazy about is that we then get, by way of Captain Jack, a more mystified version of that information, with Jack claiming at one point that the Higgs Boson particle is “life” itself. (In fact, the theoretical Higgs Boson particle is related to mass, i.e. why everything in the universe has mass.) To characterize the Higgs Boson as “life” is misleading at best, and normally I wouldn’t begrudge anyone in the Doctor Who universe for taking a little bit of dramatic license, except that Lost Souls was commissioned specially for the occasion of a day of talk radio programming aimed at demystifying the LHC.

As far as the Torchwood end of things goes, perhaps due to its afternoon timeslot, the characterizations and script are perhaps a bit watered down from what we’d normally expect from Torchwood – there are a couple of “what the hell”s uttered, and Jack makes one reference to someone’s good looks. Otherwise, it might as well be audio Doctor Who. But then again, I’m not sure that the middle of the afternoon is a reasonable time to expect the usual saucy Torchwood fare. I did, however, find the frequent mentions of Owen and Toshiko’s deaths as a recent event to be interesting. This is an aftermath that we didn’t get to see played out on TV, and it’s interesting – and not completely incidental to the plot either.

It’s not bad – it at least feels like TV Torchwood – but when the thing was conceived as a part of a day meant to enlighten the public about the LHC, I’m not sure it helps to slot real explanations in alongside something that really straddled the fence between science fiction and science fantasy.

The End Of Time – Part 2

Doctor WhoThe Master has twisted the Immortality Gate into his own weapon, projecting himself as a template onto every human on Earth: every human on Earth is now the Master. The two aliens working undercover in Naismith’s operation are unaffected, and Wilfred is unaffected as well, stuck in the Master’s isolation booth. But the only other human not possessed by the Master is Donna Noble, whose adventures with the Doctor are flooding back into her mind. Wilfred urges her to run, but soon the amount of information crowding her human brain causes her to collapse. The Master interrogates the Doctor, demanding to know the whereabouts of the TARDIS, but this grueling interrogation is soon interrupted by the two aliens, who teleport themselves, the Doctor and Wilfred to their ship in orbit.

An alien artifact arrives on Earth, a piece of the extinct world of Gallifrey, and only then does the Master realize what the drumbeat in his head is: the rhythm of a Time Lord’s hearts. The Master uses this piece of Gallifrey to establish a link, and the entire planet of Gallifrey materializes close enough to Earth that tidal forces begin tearing the smaller planet apart. The Time Lords, desperate to escape their imminent doom in the Time War, have broken free by sending their distress signal – the drumbeat – back in time. They created the Master and made him a madman, all to compel him to provide an escape route for Gallifrey. The Lord President and members of the High Council of the Time Lords arrive on Earth, where the Master demands their obedience and just as quickly discovers that the Lord President is ready to eliminate him: the Master has served his purpose where the Time Lords are concerned. The Doctor cuts Gallifrey’s link to Earth as the Master and the Time Lord President do battle; the planet of the Time Lords disappears again, taking the Master with it.

But it is only after the crisis is averted that the Doctor realizes that the prophecy of his own death has nothing to do with the Time Lords or the Master.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Murray Gold

Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), John Simm (The Master), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Timothy Dalton (Lord President), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Freema Agyeman (Martha Smith-Jones), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Jessica Hynes (Verity Newman), June Whitfield (Minnie Hooper), Claire Bloom (The Woman), Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), Russell Tovey (Midshipman Frame), David Harewood (Joshua Naismith), Tracy Ifeachor (Abigail Naismith), Lawry Lewin (Rossiter), Sinead Keenan (Addams), Joe Dixon (The Chancellor), Julie LeGrand (The Partisan), Brid Brennan (The Visionary), Karl Collins (Shaun Temple), Krystal Archer (Nerys), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells), Paul Kasey (Ood Sigma), Ruari Mears (Elder Ood), Silas Carson (voice of Ood Sigma), Nicholas Briggs (voice of Judoon), Dan Starkey (Sontaran), Matt Smith (The Doctor)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green (more…)

The first book from theLogBook.com, revised and expanded!

© 1989-2014 theLogBook.com Frontier Theme