Monday, December 9, 2013

Day Three Hundred and Forty-three - Dr.Who: Series 3, Episodes 1-4, "KITTIES!"

Billy Piper is gone and now is the age of Donna... wait, Martha!

The first episode of Series 3 picks up exactly where Rose's last farewell left us, with Catherine Tate showing up in a wedding dress in the middle of the TARDIS for no good reason other than that it's Christmas time... and she's about to unknowingly get married to a traitorous spider-thrall who is beguiled by the Racnoss Empress.

Apparently the Racnoss, a species of hominid spiders who terrorized the galaxy billions of years ago, actually created the Earth as a timeship where they would lay dormant until the time was right and the Empress would return to them from the far reaches of the universe and reawaken the brood... with the help of MacGuffin particles that Donna (Tate) has been force-fed by her fiance. The Doctor is there to save the day, though, and all is well that ends well... save that The Doctor is a bit more mean and mercenary now that he's been separated from Rose.

Donna, of course, declines to follow The Doctor (this season), and instead he manages to pick up the plucky and intelligent med student Martha Jones while investigating a hospital that has been building-napped (along with its entire complement of patients and doctors) to the Moon by a group of alien mercenaries who have been hired to track down an alien... and, guess what, The Doctor just happens to be an alien (not the right one, mind you, but still) and manages to get in their crosshairs... on the Moon!

After dodging the Plasmivore and the rhinoceros-aliens, the Judoon, Martha and The Doctor travel to Elizabethan England and meet Shakespeare, himself, who is tangled up in a plot by word witches called Carrionites (who act rather like the three crones from Macbeth) who as using his plays and the architecture of The Globe Theatre to attempt to summon their trapped sisters and unleash a hell on earth.

Saving the day, once again (but running from Queen Elizabeth, who apparently knows The Doctor unkindly), they obscond to New New York (where he and Rose fought zombies and cat nuns) where Martha is kidnapped by friendly carjackers and The Doctor finds that the survivors of humanity (and cat-kind) are trapped in the underground motorway... and have been for over twenty years, not knowing that the outside world has fallen victim to a plague.

I think I'm going to spend a lot of time today gushing over this episode (titled - "Gridlock") for two reasons. One, it features the return of, and final call for, The Face of Boe (whom rumor has it is actually a hyper-evolved incarnation of Captain Jack Harkness)... and, two, KITTIES!

The first hovercar that The Doctor gets into is helmed by a mixed species couple who just had a litter of kittens. If kitties crying "mama" isn't the single most adorable scene that I have ever had the pleasure of watching (and re-watching) on Doctor Who, I will eat my hat. My GOD they are precious... and only there for a few seconds, but still... AMAZINGLY ADORBS!

It's nice to see Boe again, as he was a fun bit of mystery and intrigue that popped up several times during the first two seasons and the lore regarding the possibility that he's Cap'n Jack is a lovely bit of geeky goodness. The fact that he's yet another force for the all convenient plot MacGuffins is almost forgivable. I could see him using his immortality energies to sustain the motorways, but am annoyed that he's credited with saving Novice Hame via "his gases."

Yes, both notions are so utterly ridiculous that they should be equally headache-inducing to me, but I find I can take one over the other quite easily.

It's also rather funny that I don't get bent over the self-replicating fuel. Ahem, HEL-LOOOOO. That's not the way energy works, people... stop handwaving away the laws of entropy and thermodynamics just because you don't want to spend thought-sweat on better explanations. I mean, honestly, with the Macra right underneath them, why couldn't part of the motorway's economy be a guild of secret Macra-waste harvesters who never tell the rest of the convoy whats below the fast-lane? Yup, I'm a genius. Pay me, Davies.

Keep an ear out for early references to season arc villain Saxon. Almost every episode tonight has a mention of him in some aside.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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