Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I think this was the season when I finally made peace with the show's revival.

One thing it certainly had going for it was the absence of airhead Rose.

Sure, they did their best to replace her with an exact copy, but only mostly succeeded. In Martha we had a character who seemed identical to Rose Tyler, right down to her domineering single mum, but for the absence of her massive pride.

Martha's annoying, and entirely ill-conceived, crush on the Doctor, also lent her a humility that saved her from that.

The season had a quiet story-arc which actually remained true to itself this year. In retrospect, the references to "Mr Saxon" all actually held true for a change (unlike the "bad wolf" and Torchwood refs in earlier seasons), and were more up-front and unashamed, more like a storyline in a TV drama series.

The final story's resolution however hardly delivered on its build-up. Once Mr Saxon was revealed as Prime-Minister, little he subsequently did had anything to do with the job. Why the Master bothered shmoozing the electorate for 18 months when he and the 'Toclafane' could have just invaded as usual is anyone's guess.

The biggest problem with the Master though was his name. "The Master." This was not the Master - this was a completely new villain, and should accordingly have been given his own name. Alternatively, it need only have taken one line to explain that his personality – for the first time - had changed with his regeneration (like the Doctor's does), but not even that parachute was opened.

Story-wise, this season was by no means a classic, but it did feature scripts that were bad, (The Lazarus Experiment) average, (42) and actually brilliant. (Blink)

And that's a scorecard that I think I can live with.

After three years, I'm still waiting for a whole story with the Doctor's spaceship actually on another planet though.

Individual Story Reviews:

The Runaway Bride
Smith And Jones
The Shakespeare Code
Daleks In Manhattan / Evolution Of The Daleks
The Lazarus Experiment
The Infinite Quest
Human Nature / The Family Of Blood
Utopia / The Sound Of Drums / Last Of The Time Lords

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