Doctor Who: Season 3, episode 3: Gridlock  » TV  »
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  • In an interesting twist, there is no real threat

    • by David Finniss


      When I read the general synopsis of this episode, I didn’t think it would work out that well. The idea of a gigantic traffic jam isn’t a bad one, but it doesn’t exactly scream excitement. As it turns out, this episode managed to turn me around and win me over.

      The episode opens with the Doctor agreeing to take Martha on one more journey before taking her home. As he took her into the past, he decides to bring her to the future, returning to New New York on New Earth, where he had taken Rose before.

      Martha is quickly kidnapped and the Doctor makes it his mission to find her. Having the two leads spend the almost the whole runtime

      separated should’ve been a reason for it to be lackluster, but somehow, the writers made it work.

      We’re introduced to some new characters who we learn about and connect with as the story progresses. I rather liked Thomas Kincaid Brannigan. He seems like he’s just going to be a one and done character, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him return as he had a good rapport going with the Doctor.

      This episode also features the return of the Face of Boe, who, as predicted, gives the Doctor an important message before he dies. This scene was rather poignant as the Face of Boe was a character who left an impact, despite only appearing twice before. Even Martha is brought to tears and she ...

      • had never encountered him previously.

        As far as his message is concerned, I’m surprised that the two main characters are so perplexed as to its meaning. While a major revelation to be sure, it seems pretty straight forward. If nothing else, it does make for some nice foreshadowing, especially if you’re like me and you know who this season’s “big bad” is.

        In an interesting twist, there is no real threat. Yeah, there’s the Macra, giant crabs that feed on any vehicles that drop into the “fast lane”, but they aren’t featured as prominently as one might expect. As they are just mindless beasts, they just give the passengers something to be afraid of. It works as they do bring some tension

        and the exterior effects shots for their sequences are very well done.

        From the sound of the Doctor, he still doesn’t sound too keen on keeping Martha around. I have to wonder how long they can keep playing the “I’m going to bring you home now, oh never mind” game. I have to figure he’s eventually going to cave and let her tag along at some point, but I could be proven wrong.

        All in all, this episode worked rather well. There were some nice character moments and the episode was strongly written. I wasn’t so sure it was going to work, but it did. It’s not my favorite episode of all time, probably not by a long shot, but it was an hour pretty well spent.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in December, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1021121553390331/k2311a1221/12.21.11
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