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Macra in New New York
This episode is by Russell T. Davies and is an exciting and compelling futuristic adventure. It is also the third in the ‘Face of Boe’ trilogy (the first two being ‘The End of the World’ and ‘New Earth’).
The Doctor gives Martha another trip in the TARDIS by taking her to the year 5 billion on New Earth. But the future has become bleak as traffic jams of flying cars have plundered the word into disarray.
I like this episode returning back to New New York on New Earth. It keeps the series consistent and it’s interesting how the Doctor keeps returning to that future and takes Martha with him in this.
I found the idea of the human population slowly travelling in flying cars for years without end very disturbing and terrifying. It’s not ideal and one wonders why people have allowed this to happen.
David Tennant is great as the Doctor in this episode. He tries to be a show-off to Martha here and makes a mistake when she gets kidnapped and blames himself for being so irresponsible for her.
I like it when the Doctor goes to rescue Martha and meets up with Brannigan; his family and all the other car drivers. The Doctor jumps out of and onto a lot of flying cars going downwards in the story.
Freema Agyeman is also great as Martha in this episode. Martha has her own adventure when she’s separated from the Doctor. She’s very calm and resourceful when she’s with her captors in their car.
Adral O’Hanlon (well-known from ‘Father Ted’) guest stars as Thomas Kincade Brannigan. Brannigan is a cat-man and was great to watch. I like the love he has for his wife Valerie and their lovely kittens.
Martha’s captors are Travis Oliver as Milo and Lenora Crichlow as Cheen. Both are a romantic couple with a baby on their way and they only kidnapped Martha so they could get into the ‘fast lane’.
There’s also Jennifer Hennesy as Valerie; Bridget Turner and Georgine Anderson as Alice and May (the Cassini ‘sisters’) and Erika Macleod as Sally Calypso who turns out to be a hologram on screen.
The monsters are the crab-like Macra. The Doctor has encountered them before when he was the Second Doctor in ‘The Macra Terror’. It was exciting to watch these old monsters in the new series.
Anna Hope returns as Novice Hame, who was in ‘New Earth’. She was part of a terrible scheme involved diseased humans. But Hame has been redeeming herself by serving the Face of Boe.
The Face of Boe makes a return too, and it was great to see how he helps to save the human race. He gives the Doctor his final secret and tells him that “You Are Not Alone”. What could that mean?
At the end of the episode, Martha asks the Doctor what the Face of Boe meant. The Doctor soon reveals to Martha that he is the last of the Time Lords and tells her about his home planet Gallifrey.
‘Gridlock’ has been great to watch. I really enjoyed this episode with the Doctor and Martha and featuring the Face of Boe. The CGI effects sequences in this episode were spectacular from gridlocked cars to Macra. I wondered when we’ll know what the Face of Boe’s last words really mean.
The DVD special features on this episode on ‘The Complete Series 3’ are as follows. On Disc 2, there is a trailer and a commentary with Travis Oliver; executive producer Julie Gardner and VFX producer Marie Jones. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Are We There Yet?’
On Disc 2 of ‘The Complete Series 3’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there are David’s Video Diaries looking at the making of ‘Smith and Jones’; ‘The Shakespeare Code’ and ‘Gridlock’ from David’s point of view.
This first three episodes of Series 3 in ‘Doctor Who’ have been a great introduction to Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones. There’s a good variety of entertainment to enjoy with the Judoon; the Carrionites and the Macra. I was looking forward to seeing how the Doctor and Martha’s friendship developed later on in the series.
‘Gridlock’ rating – 7/10
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