dr who 9

The new companion

Mr Pedia and I are now watching season 3, and we've done the first two episodes with Martha.

First reaction from both of us: We like Martha! Lots! She's smart and calm and knows stuff and reacted perfectly to being transported to the moon. She's quick-witted. These are qualities I like in my female characters. So we're connecting with Martha far more than we did with Rose.

Not that we disliked Rose. (Though oddly, I think we both liked Jackie even more. We were extremely pleased by her eventual reunion with Pete.) We were happy with Rose/Nine. I think we can't properly understand the deal with Rose & the Doctor until we've seen more classic Who and have some examples of other Companions to compare with. I have a feeling "School Reunion" is going to be fairly important in understanding this. His relationship with Martha is going to be reaction/contrast with what he had with Rose. Which I'm gonna bet right now is displaced reaction to the destruction of Gallifrey.

Dammit. I'm going to want to know all the canon here before I feel I can have a real opinion. Anyway. Season 3.

"Smith and Jones" was great stuff. Loved barefoot Doctor.

"The Shakespeare Code" was less satisfying overall than I was hoping it might be. Loved the Harry Potter references, of course. And liked that it was so wordy. But it might have been stronger if it had kept its references more contained to a specific play. Macbeth of course comes to mind. And if the references had been less nudge-nudge-wink-wink at the audience, and more submerged in the dialog. I'm left thinking that the concept was great, the execution sloppy.

Best line in it: the Doctor on the bed in the inn, nose to nose with a gorgeous and smiling Martha, saying he couldn't see what was right in front of his face. From the echoes I've seen on the flist, this is going to be the theme of the season, yes?
School Reunion... will probably not bother you, as you've never really seen classic Who. Bits of it send me into frothy fangirl RAGE. (Bits of it also make me squee. And cry. So it's not a total washout from an old-Who fan perspective.)

I had a point. What was it? Oh. "School Reunion" will not give you an actual look at a classic-Who Doctor-companion relationship. What it will give you is a look at a classic Who relationship through New Who filters. Which is, IMO, very different bird.
What it will give you is a look at a classic Who relationship through New Who filters.

Aha, yes, point taken. It'll tell me what New Who was attempting to do with Rose, anyway. It did sort of explain her overly-dramatic "this is the story of how I died" thing, at least.
They... well, from my perspective, at least, they significantly changed both Sarah Jane's character and her relationship with the Doctor, and seem to have changed what a lot of fans, at least, saw as the heart of the Doctor-companion dynamic. (And I say this as someone whose OTP at the age of thirteen was Sarah Jane Smith/ The Doctor, so this isn't anti-shipping bias coming in.)
I have been reading some Who comms very cautiously and... yow, there's a big divide between the new series fans and the classic series fans. Judging by my reaction to the first story with the Third Doctor, I'm going to like Classic Who a lot.
I adore New Who madly, and most of the Whovians on my friends list are fans of both--I am squealing with glee because apparently my future in-laws are all getting hooked on it, and the future SIL wants to talk to me about Doctor/Rose. *g* And I don't consider it to not be proper Doctor Who, or anything. But it's definitely changed, far more than just a regeneration explains. (And it had to, I think, to be successful on TV in 2007, so I certainly can't fault them.)

I totally agree that the nudge-nudge-wink-wink in "The Shakespeare Code" kept it from greatness. [nods] Also, go Martha!

And, in passing, happy Sunday to you.
We're totally rooting for Martha.

And happy Sunday in return! I see you have posted new fic, the reading of which I will hold in reserve as a treat for when I've finished a draft of mine.
While it is extremely simplistic to say that classic Who companions were treated in a sexist manner, to an extent this is kind of true -- my main memories of Romana and the fourth Doctor mainly involve her screaming a lot (although this could have something to do with the filter of time and my having been only a teenager when I saw the episodes).

In contrast, someone like Emma Peel on the Avengers (same basic era of Brit TV) was much more together, self-possessed, and empowered.

I think you'll like "Gridlock", the next episode.

I didn't care much for the next few episodes after that (the middle of the season is a time they often seem to have problems, and the horrid Chris Chibnall having penned one of the episodes doesn't help -- although this episode ("42) is a bit better than his terribly bad "Torchwood" episodes).

Starting with the two-parter "Human Nature" and "Family of Blood" things pick up a bit, though. "Blink" is good in the usual Moffat way.

Of course the final three arc is my favorite of the season, if only because I'm a big fan of John Sim. I'll be curious to see your take on all this, because my opinions may be very skewed, and there were several people on my f-list who disagreed with me about certain episodes.

I really agree with you about Jackie -- she is a really great character. I also never understood why "Love & Monsters" was so unliked by so many people -- I thought her character really stood out in that episode. Her interaction with Elton in the laundromat was just laugh-out-loud priceless. LINDA was hilarious, too.
I loved "Love & Monsters". I now understand why the Torchwood episode "Random Shoes" wasn't well-received, though: it was too much of a retread of that episode. (We loved that the actress who plays Moaning Myrtle was in it. As a paving slab. Ha.)

We are at the moment watching "Tomb of the Cybermen", with the 2nd Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria. There is a lot of screaming by Victoria thus far, yes. But few characters on 60s TV are going to be as satisfying as the incomparable Emma Peel.