At last, here is my review of Smith and Jones. Would you believe it took me four tries to finish this for some reason? In any case, this episode contains the introduction of Martha Jones to Doctor Who. Knowing what we do now about Martha’s future, it’s interesting to look back at the beginning.
Episode: Smith and Jones by Russell T. Davies
Rating (1 to 5): 4 (for great cultural references, The Doctor’s bare feet, and the dance of radiation removal.)
Place: London (Earth) and The Moon
Baddie: Plasmavore “Florence Finnegan” and her “boys” (And the Judoon aren’t all good)
The Doctor’s Death Wish: He tricks the Plasmavore into sucking his blood…and nearly killing him.
The Doctor Enjoys: Messing with Martha when she is trying to examine him. The fact that the hospital has a little shop. Martha’s idea about the Judoon being there because the Hospital folks were trespassing on the Moon. His sonic screwdriver.
The Doctor Dislikes: People who say stupid things. Destroying his Sonic Screwdriver.
The Doctor apologizes to: Martha for not paying attention to what she was saying when he was busy being upset about his sonic screwdriver.
Saxon? Mentioned on the radio and a Vote Saxon poster is on the wall of the alley when Martha speaks to The Doctor.
Rose? The Doctor tells Martha about her when they are in the TARDIS.
Who fancies Martha? No one in particular in this ep.
Doctor-y Strangeness: He can change clothes really quickly. Even mostly drained of blood, recently resuscitated, and in a room without oxygen he manages to save the day.
Scary Stuff: Well…the hospital is on the moon with a limited amount of air. The Judoon are scary. The Straw. And the Doctor mostly dead.
Does someone local help out? Martha. (The rest of the hospital folks do their best to help the patients.)
What we learn: Martha’s family all seems to expect her to intercede on their behalf with the rest. The Doctor used to have a brother. The Doctor got rope burns off of Ben Franklin’s kite, then got soaked, and electrocuted. Martha’s brother is turning 21. Adeola (from Army of Ghosts/Doomsday) was Martha’s cousin. (She was also played by Freema.) The Judoon are like Police for Hire (but a bit more like Interplanetary thugs.) The Moon is neutral territory. The Judoon have no jurisdiction over the Earth. The hospital was brought to the Moon using an H2O scoop. The Doctor’s Laser Spanner was stolen by Emily Pankhurst. The Plasmavore is hiding out on Earth like Ronald Biggs did in Rio.
My Favorite Bits: The random tie incident. The Doctor in the hospital being cheeky. He just smiles at Martha when she discovers that he has two hearts. The Doctor deciding that Martha is clear thinking enough to talk to. “-I’m The Doctor. -Me, too, if I ever pass my exams.” The black X written in pen on the back of the hand. Judoon Platoon Upon the Moon. The radiation expelling dance. “You’re right. I look daft with one shoe.” Barefoot on the moon. The closeup of The Doctor locking the door manually. “She’s as clever as me…almost.” The Doctor’s act when talking to the Plasmavore. “Great Big Space Rhinos with guns on the Moon.” “-I’m a Time Lord. -Right. Not pompous at all, then.” “Crossing into established events is strictly forbidden…except for cheap tricks.” The Doctor mouthing “It’s bigger on the inside” along with Martha. “Rose, her name was. And we were together.”
Observations and musings:
Welcome Martha! When we meet Martha, it seems that she is the go-between for all of the members of her sizable family. She trying to balance her family craziness and her studies to be a doctor. When her hospital is transported to the moon, she has to deal with some seriously unreal circumstances. Given a very short period of time she even manages to read enough of the Operator’s Manual to know which button to push in the radiation room. Impressive. I wonder if Martha ever managed to pick up her “compensation.” Oh! And what a family she has. They put the “fun” in “dysfunction,” don’t they? The genetic transfer may have given Martha the wrong idea, but she goes with The Doctor anyway. What a life, eh?
The Doctor is in a hospital. How many ways can I consider this bad? Firstly, he has admitted that hospitals give him the creeps. This is not surprising considering how many bad experiences he’s had in hospitals. And also, just consider what could happen if that actually ran tests on him. Eek! Yet he just smiles cheekily at Martha when she is trying to listen to his “heart.” The Doctor likes that Martha is clear-headed and able to think under pressure. So, even though he isn’t looking for a Companion, he enlists her help to deal with the current crisis. Good thing he does, as she ends up saving his life. He was just traveling and not looking for trouble, but he noticed the plasma cores at the hospital. What could he do but investigate? You have to love The Doctor’s distractionary tactics with the Plasmavore. Last 15 years as a postman, indeed. But she can see that The Doctor is “laughing on purpose against the darkness.” Little does she know. He could so easily have died in that hospital. I’m glad that he didn’t. Good to see that he can make a new screwdriver if he loses his old one. It’s also nice to see that he is still talking about Rose.
We get to see The Doctor’s skeleton during the radiation room scene. That was actually sort of amusing. Oh, and the dance of radiation removal. Bit of a Can Can, wasn’t it? Did you notice that Mr. Stoker’s first initial was “B” and that he died from someone sucking his blood?