Doctor Who: Series Three

Doctor Who: Series Three

Series three of the popular time-travelling program is another corker that lives up to its two predecessors and proves Russell T. Davies and his writing team are really sharpening their pencils on the boundless inspiration a character like the Doctor gives a writer. The second series ended with Rose (Billie Piper) and the Doctor (David Tennant) separating, a move that sets the tone for a much more emotional Doctor this go around. Beginning with the traditional Christmas episode, the Doctor meets Donna (Catherine Tate), a bride accidentally transported onto the TARDIS just as she’s walking down the aisle for a wedding with greater consequences than she realises. (Donna’s cameo proved successful enough to warrant bringing her back as the assistant in the fourth series.) From there, the Doctor hooks up with Dr. Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), who signs on as this season’s partner, holding her own against the youth-absorbing Lazarus, flirting with William Shakespeare and helping defeat the Daleks in their bid to produce a human hybrid. While the season never slows down, it offers two of the finest storylines yet. The thrilling "Blink” hardly involves the dynamic duo, using guest stars to unlock the Doctor’s cryptic messages from 1969 to stop an army of modern day Weeping Angel statues who are deadly when no one’s looking. And the three-parter that ends the season begins with the Doctor and Martha reuniting with the great Captain Jack Harkness at the end of time. There, they run away from cannibalistic warriors and discover that there is another Time Lord, the elderly and unknowing Professor Yana (played by Sir Derek Jacobi), who is actually the Doctor’s long-time adversary the Master. After that, the Prof absconds in the TARDIS and regenerates into a younger form (Human Traffic’s John Simm), becomes the British Prime Minister, takes over the world, degenerates the Doctor by 1,000 years and tries to destroy the planet using billions of Toclafanes (basketball sized creatures that zap). It’s a tall order for the Doc, which leaves him without an assistant and facing a problem of "Titanic” proportions in the end. The bonus features include David Tennant’s video diary, which is basically just low budget footage from behind the scenes, and "Music and Monsters,” a watered down and fairly corny "behind the scenes” doc on a performance held in Wales that showcased the music of Doctor Who and featured a full orchestra, with stage appearances by Tennant, Daleks and Cybermen. (BBC/Warner)