This is a twice a week feature (Wednesdays and Fridays) where Christa of Hooked on Books and myself will be watching and discussing all of the reboot of Doctor Who. Posts will contain spoilers for that episode and ones before it, so you may want to watch the episode before reading. I hope you’ll join us in enjoying this fantastic show, and don’t forget to check out Christa’s post (with past posts over here) as well! Allons-y!
Gridlock by Russell T Davies
One trip the Doctor said, but the Doctor’s not good with rules so one trip to the past and one trip to the future. It’s back to New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York, but things have changed since he and Rose were there, and not for the better.
This episode has always been one of the first I think of when I think of season 3. There is something about the idea of thousands of people on a sort of modern pilgrimage that really stuck with me. The first time I watched it, I watched it for the story of the episode, but watching it this time I see so much more, and I feel so much more.
First, let’s focus on the story itself. The secondary characters introduced in this episode are, as I seem to say of all secondary characters, the reason why I love this show so much. I love how we can spend literally seconds with a character, and I’ll feel as if I know him or her. I’ll feel connected to that character. When the motorway opened up, I cried because I was so happy for these imaginary characters that had been on my screen for minutes. My favourite of these characters is the unnamed cat lady who was in the fast lane with what looks like twins. Who knows how long she was down their, surviving in the fast lane, and her final act was to warn Martha’s car. Writing about it now, I get chills.
The secondary storyline that I COMPLETELY IGNORED the first time I watched this episode is the Doctor/Martha storyline. The Doctor is treating her like Rose, as if sometimes he forgets. He brings her to New New York. He describes it the same way as he described it to Rose. But then you’ll see the moments when he remembers and his face closes up until he can make himself forget again. Meanwhile, Martha deserves a gold star. She stays alive when the Doctor fails to save her. She shows faith and loyalty to him, even though he’s done little to deserve it. And when he tries to push her aside and push her away she demands that he faces her and tells her the truth. And I think this is the first time Martha really comes into her own and becomes something other than “Rose’s follow up.” Martha sits and listens to the Doctor’s stories of Gallifrey and that is something that Rose never had.
“Hardly know her. I was too busy showing off. And I lied to her. Couldn’t help it. Just lied.” – the Doctor
“You are not alone.” – the Face of Boe
-the patches, like Bliss, remind me of SyFy’s Alice. Maybe New New York is Wonderland.
-Boe is the last of his kind?
-Martha was there when Boe died. THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT LATER.
Oh wow…there are no David Tennant gifs in this post. That’s weird…uhhhhh here: