We’ve really hit the big time now, and the next 3 seasons of the show are probably my top 3 ever. This season’s brilliance is mainly down to Tennant and Agyeman providing a stellar Doctor / Companion relationship that’s still one of my favourites to this day. There are some great episodes this season, but how would I rank them?
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9 – The Lazarus Experiment
Probably the worst of Gatiss’s terrible selection of episodes, “The Lazarus Experiment” just seems like a chance for Gatiss to flex his acting muscles – but the actual episode itself is awful.
The CGI looks terrible, and it wasn’t even that good back in the day. I would much rather Doctor Who had a practical monster than a CGI mess, so this episode comfortably takes the last place spot.
8 – Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks
There are some good moments in this two-parter (Andrew Garfield’s role is surprising on a re-watch considering he’d end up playing Spider-Man a few years later), but it’s the whole “human / dalek hybrid” idea that is just insulting.
7 – 42
The Chibnall episode that started his reign of terror, and to be honest it’s not a bad episode – it’s just distinctly average.
Tennant does a great job with the material he’s given, and the plot revolving around the sun is actually quite an intriguing one. Martha gets given some time to shine as well, so that’s always a bonus.
6 – The Shakespeare Code
This is just a great historical episode.
The Doctor and Martha’s adventure into Shakespearian times is so much fun to watch, and having three evil witches as the villains is perfect. It’s nice that the ending with Queen Elizabeth I pays of in the “Day Of The Doctor” special 6 years later.
5 – Smith and Jones
A perfect introduction to Martha Jones (one of my favourite companions) and the menacing Judoon.
You can tell David Tennant is completely comfortable in the role by season 3, and his best is yet to come.
4 – Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords
“Utopia” and “The Sound of Drums” on their own would have easily gotten an A (especially Utopia, that episode is amazing), but the finale “Last of the Time Lords” lets the story down.
It’s just weird having the Doctor have a sort of “Jesus resurrected” moment, and the easy one-click button to reverse time is the dumbest cop-out in Who history. It was great seeing the Doctor vs Master fight for the first time on our screens, so this story easily gets at least a B.
3 – Gridlock
Who thought traffic could be so fascinating to watch?
The Doctor and Martha are split up early, so both of them are given moments to individually shine. Also, that last message from the Face of Boe still gives me goosebumps.
This was the first time in the modern series that the Doctor actually sat down and explained his history, so that was a nice touch to a great episode.
2 – Blink
For some, this is THE Doctor Who episode that all others should be compared to. For me, this is easily a top 10 episode (and it only comes in 2nd in this list!).
The Weeping Angels are probably the best villains that New-Who have ever produced, and Steven Moffat provides his typical brilliance in executing a timey-whimey horror / sci-fi masterpiece. My only complaint is the Doctor isn’t in it much (which serves the story well, but means this episode can never be the best in the modern series).
A lot of people say that if you’re new to Who this is a good one to watch. I’d much rather they watched it from Ecclestone’s season, but this is a great one-off isolated episode that anyone can watch and enjoy.
1 – Human Nature / The Family of Blood
If there was ever an episode to showcase the talent of the leading actor, it would be this one (and “Heaven Sent”, but we’ll get to that one later).
Tennant’s portrayal of the vulnerable and mortal John Smith is one of the most devastating performances in the modern series, and the rest of the episode is just perfection.
The scarecrow monsters are horrifying, and their demise at the hands of the Doctor is easily one of my favourite TV moments ever. Definitely one of the best stories we’ve had so far.
Season Rating: A-
Lets look at the stats:
- 2 As (22%)
- 4 Bs (44%)
- 1 C (11%)
- 1 D (11%)
- 1 E (11%)
Couple of bad episodes, but on the whole this is an amazing season – it might be the only one with 2 A+ grades awarded (but don’t quote me on that after I’ve finished all the seasons!).
Next up, the best season of Doctor Who ever to hit our televisions …
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