Doctor Who – Gridlock

My brief spoiler-y review of the latest episode:

Another excellent episode. So far, the season is three for three — not a dud in the bunch.

Yet again, we have a brilliantly bizarre SF premise (the never-ending life on the Motorway, with the dead city above and monsters below), which makes it seem very much like a story from the old annuals, or a comic strip from Doctor Who Monthly (The cat-in-a-leather-flight-helmet was very “Freefall Warriors”, for those who remember that strip).

Plus: MACRA!!! Holy crap! Take an obscure monster from a Troughton episode (one of the “lost episodes” that the BBC stupidly deleted —a “photonovel” version of the story, taken from stills, can be found here.), and throw it in just to please long-time fans. Brilliant. They could have easily come up with some other kind of beastie, but this way they give a nod to the old-timers like me. Plus….they managed to keep it a secret, even in the age of the Internet. I was gobsmacked.

In other developments, I had correctly guessed what the Face of Boe’s message would be. Russell Davies had said in the magazine last year that it would be “four words” — and I had guessed “You Are Not Alone.” Sure enough, there it was. Also interesting to note that the prophecy surrounding The Face of Boe’s death, first told to us in last season’s New Earth came true — that on the day he dies, the sky will “crack asunder”, and that he’ll tell one final secret to a homeless, wandering traveller…The Lonely God. The sky did crack asunder — the ‘sky’ of the motorway was opened to the air, letting all of the travellers free.

Next week, Daleks in 1930s New York, in part one of the season’s first two-parter. Can’t wait.

7 Replies to “Doctor Who – Gridlock”

  1. Agreed. Season Three thus far seems stronger than season two, and I was glad to see the Face of Boe plot arc satisfactorily resolved.

  2. We enjoyed it, too! I think Martha is a really strong character, and i like the way she is developing. I love the cat people, and I think that Tennant just keeps getting better.

    Someone mentioned that New Yorkers (of any incarnation) would not sit still in traffic like that, and would find a way to cheat their way into the fast lane, but it was so much fun, I did not go into such analysis. Little kittens mewling “mommy” was just too cute, though. :)

  3. I’m going to be interested to see how they resolve the apparent contradiction in the Face of Boe’s words. After all, within a few sentences of each other, he states that:

    1) The Doctor is the last of his kind, and

    2) The Doctor is not alone.

    Some would leap to call it a blatant mistake, but I’m more inclined to think it’s deliberate. I have some theories, but since they involve knowledge of some potential future spoilers, I’ll hold off on sharing them.

  4. I’m afraid…

    I find the idea that anybody, much less several thousand people, would sit in a car not moving for years (unless they’re being drugged & mind numbed) as pretty totally unbelieveable. Besides, where were all the other people coming from- the ones buying & selling street drugs, missing their families, getting pregnant & deciding to hit the road? How did they escape the virus? Somehow, Bliss didn’t make it to the underworld? Not ALL slum dwellers in NYC are content to remain there, & if they can’t get a car, some have been known to bike or even *gasp* walk. How did they miss that they could no longer walk uptown for a knish & some gourmet coffee-beans?

    Sorry, the central plot-hole of this episode was more than even I, a very uncritical Whovian, could swallow.

    & I am still not impressed by an angry Tennant. I just want to pat him on the head & offer him cookies & milk.

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