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Doctor Who (series 3)

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Doctor Who (series 3)
Doctor Who Series 3 DVD box set cover art
DVD box set cover art
Starring
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of stories 9
No. of episodes 13 (+1 supplemental)
Release
Original network BBC One
Original release 31 March (2007-03-31) – 30 June 2007 (2007-06-30)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 2
Next →
Series 4
List of Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

The third series of British science fiction programme Doctor Who was preceded by the 2006 Christmas special "The Runaway Bride". Following the special, a regular series of thirteen episodes was broadcast, starting with "Smith and Jones" on 31 March 2007. In addition, a 13-part animated serial (equivalent to one regular episode) was produced and broadcast as part of Totally Doctor Who.

The series stars David Tennant as the tenth incarnation of the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside. In the Christmas special he is joined by Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. The series also introduces Freema Agyeman as the Doctor's new companion Martha Jones, who leaves at the end of the series due to her unrequited love for him. John Barrowman also reprises his role as Captain Jack Harkness in the final three episodes which serve as the finale. The series is connected by a loose story arc consisting of the recurring phrase "Mr Saxon", which ultimately is revealed to be the return of the Doctor's enemy Time Lord the Master, first played by Derek Jacobi before regenerating into John Simm.

Casting[edit]

Freema Agyeman was the first change in companion since the show returned while John Barrowman returned to the series after having his own spin-off created

Main characters[edit]

Series three was David Tennant's second series in the role of the Doctor, during which he is joined by three companions: Donna Noble, Martha Jones and Jack Harkness.

Actress and comedian Catherine Tate was cast as one-off companion Donna Noble for the Christmas special.[1] At the end of the episode the character turns down the chance to travel in the TARDIS, however Tate later reprised her role and returned for a full series in the 2008 episode "Partners in Crime".

Following the departure of Billie Piper as Rose Tyler at the end of series two, a new full-time companion was needed. On 5 July 2006 the BBC confirmed that Freema Agyeman would join the show as new companion Martha Jones.[2][3][4] Agyeman had previously appeared in the 2006 episode "Army of Ghosts". John Barrowman also returned as Jack Harkness for the three-part series finale.

Guest stars[edit]

Recurring guest stars for the series included Adjoa Andoh, Trevor Laird, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Reggie Yates, who portrayed Martha Jones' family.[5]

Other guest stars included Thelma Barlow, Ryan Carnes, Christina Cole, Michelle Collins, Lenora Crichlow, Anthony Flanagan, Andrew Garfield, Lucy Gaskell, Mark Gatiss, Don Gilet, Jennifer Hennessy, Jessica Hynes, Derek Jacobi, Dean Lennox Kelly, Matt King, Chris Larkin, Harry Lloyd, Stephen Marcus, Roy Marsden, McFly, Carey Mulligan, Michael Obiora, Ardal O'Hanlon, Travis Oliver, Sharon Osbourne, Sarah Parish, Angela Pleasence, Hugh Quarshie, Miranda Raison, Anne Reid, Thomas Sangster, John Simm and Ann Widdecombe.[6][7]

Episodes[edit]

In "Gridlock", the Macra, which originally appeared in The Macra Terror in Season 4, became the fourth monster from the classic series to make an appearance in the revival after the Autons, the Daleks and the Cybermen.

Three episodes from Series 3 were adapted from previously published works: "Human Nature" / "The Family of Blood" was adapted by Paul Cornell from his own New Adventures novel, also entitled Human Nature, while "Blink" originated as a short story in the 2006 Doctor Who Annual by Steven Moffat called "'What I Did on My Christmas Holidays' By Sally Sparrow".

"Human Nature" is also the first instance of the Doctor's previous incarnations prior to his ninth being explicitly referenced through the sketches in The Journal of Impossible Things.[8]

StoryEpisodeTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
UK viewers
(millions) [9]
AI [9]
Special
178"The Runaway Bride"Euros LynRussell T Davies25 December 2006 (2006-12-25)3X9.3584
Donna (Catherine Tate), a woman about to walk down the aisle on her wedding day, suddenly materialises in the TARDIS, much to the shock of both her and the Doctor, who has just said his final goodbyes to Rose Tyler. While trying to get her back to her wedding, the Time Lord discovers that Donna has unwittingly been placed into the center of an alien plot to release an alien spider's offspring trapped in the centre of the Earth, which would thereby destroy the planet. The two must face the Empress of Racnoss (Sarah Parish), the alien spider and the last of her kind, together to stop it.
Series
1791"Smith and Jones"Charles PalmerRussell T Davies31 March 2007 (2007-03-31)3.18.7188
The Doctor goes undercover at the Royal Hope Hospital in London, where he meets medical student Martha Jones. The entire hospital is transported to the moon by an alien courier connected with the Judoon, a brutal outer-space police force, who are searching for the blood-sucking Florence Finnegan (Anne Reid). Mrs Finnegan is a Plasmavore and has been assimilating the human blood of hospital workers. The Doctor allows her to drink his blood and she is detected as the Doctor is not human. Martha revives the Doctor using CPR and he invites her to join him for a trip in the TARDIS in return.
1802"The Shakespeare Code"Charles PalmerGareth Roberts7 April 2007 (2007-04-07)3.27.2387
The Doctor and Martha land in 1599 London, Elizabethan England, where they discover that William Shakespeare (Dean Lennox Kelly) is under influence of witch-like aliens known as Carrionites who are forcing him to finish Love's Labour's Won using a poppet. The Doctor learns that they are using the powerful words of the play to bring back their imprisoned species; the words spoken by the actors are instructions which open a portal. The Doctor convinces Shakespeare to use his own powerful gift of words to close the portal.
1813"Gridlock"Richard ClarkRussell T Davies14 April 2007 (2007-04-14)3.38.4185
The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Martha to New Earth in the year Five Billion and Fifty-Three, where the Face of Boe finally reveals "The Great Secret" to the Time Lord: "You are not alone". Meanwhile, terrifying beasts are lurking beneath the city of New New York – creatures that the Doctor believed he defeated many, many years ago.
182a4"Daleks in Manhattan"James StrongHelen Raynor21 April 2007 (2007-04-21)3.46.6986
The Doctor and Martha arrive in 1930's New York, where they expect to see dancing girls on Broadway and the dire effects of the Great Depression, and instead encounter trouble as the Daleks return once more, this time attempting to create a Dalek/Human hybrid.
182b5"Evolution of the Daleks"James StrongHelen Raynor28 April 2007 (2007-04-28)3.56.9785
Concluding part to Daleks in Manhattan. The Dalek plan is in full force until a human-Dalek hybrid, Dalek Sec, begins raising doubts among the three remaining Daleks. When Dalek Sec asks for the Doctor's assistance in relocating them to a new planet, the other Daleks rebel, and The Doctor, Martha and their New York friends must fight to save the planet from the Daleks and a new type of foe.
1836"The Lazarus Experiment"Richard ClarkStephen Greenhorn5 May 2007 (2007-05-05)3.67.1986
A 76-year-old scientist, Doctor Lazarus of LazLabs, has created a device that appears to restore eternal youth. However, the process doesn't go as planned, and The Doctor and Martha must stop Lazarus before it's too late.
1847"42"Graeme HarperChris Chibnall19 May 2007 (2007-05-19)3.77.4185
The Doctor and Martha answer a distress call and find themselves on a cargo ship hurtling towards the center of a star. The Doctor only has 42 minutes to save Martha and the rest of the ship's crew from an inevitable doom. The key lies behind the universe's deadliest "pub quiz", but the situation is a lot hotter than it appears.
185a8"Human Nature"Charles PalmerPaul Cornell26 May 2007 (2007-05-26)3.87.7486
John Smith, a teacher in the year 1913, dreams of adventures that involve an alien time traveller who calls himself The Doctor and journeys through time and space in a blue box, picking up numerous companions along the way. As John and Joan Redfern (Jessica Hynes), the school nurse, begin to develop feelings for each other, a mysterious, other-worldly family with an army of animated scarecrows make their presence known, and Martha must find a way to keep the TARDIS hidden while still maintaining her school-maid identity.
185b9"The Family of Blood"Charles PalmerPaul Cornell2 June 2007 (2007-06-02)3.97.2186
The Great War arrives a year ahead of time as the Family of Blood takes over the bodies of four individuals and attack the school, all while the Doctor remains unaware of his true being. Martha tries to convince the Doctor that the "dreams" he has recorded in his book are real and that it is his current life as a school master that is the fantasy. As time runs out, John Smith faces an impossible decision while fighting to retain his identity.
18610"Blink"Hettie MacDonaldSteven Moffat9 June 2007 (2007-06-09)3.106.6287
In an abandoned house, the Weeping Angels wait. The only hope to stop them is a young woman named Sally Sparrow and her friend Larry Nightingale. The only catch: The Weeping Angels can move in the blink of an eye. To defeat this ruthless enemy – with only a half of a conversation from the Tenth Doctor as help – the one rule is this: don't turn your back, don't look away and don't blink!
187a11"Utopia"Graeme HarperRussell T Davies16 June 2007 (2007-06-16)3.117.8487
Professor Yana (Derek Jacobi) is trying to save mankind in the very distant future at the end of the universe, but is he what he seems? Featuring the return of Captain Jack Harkness.
187b12"The Sound of Drums"Colin TeagueRussell T Davies23 June 2007 (2007-06-23)3.127.5187
The Doctor, Martha, and Jack return to the 21st Century, just four days after the events depicted in the first episode. They arrive to find that they've missed the election, and the new British Prime Minister, Harold Saxon (John Simm), is actually the Master, the Doctor's old enemy, who was seen to regenerate in the previous episode.
187c13"Last of the Time Lords"Colin TeagueRussell T Davies30 June 2007 (2007-06-30)3.138.6188
It's been a year since The Master unleashed the mysterious Toclafane onto Earth. With the human race and the Doctor enslaved under the Master's control, Martha Jones secretly returns to England. The Toclafane are building a fleet of rockets they will use to attack other worlds, and The Master takes great pleasure in humiliating the Doctor and has Martha's family doing menial chores. However, Martha turns the Master's mind-control satellite technology against him; having travelled the world to gather support for the captured Doctor, she has instructed them to think of the Doctor just as the Master intends to launch his fleet, so that their combined thoughts, travelling through the network, are able to give him immense powers. The events of the Master's reign are undone so that no one who was not directly involved will remember, and Lucy Saxon, the Master's wife, shoots and kills him.

Supplemental episode[edit]

A 13-part animated serial, The Infinite Quest, was produced and broadcast as part of the children's programme Totally Doctor Who on CBBC. Each installment was approximately three-and-a-half minutes in length and, when compiled, was equivalent to a regular episode. The serial was broadcast in its entirety on 30 June 2007 and later released on DVD.

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)
The Infinite QuestGary RussellAlan Barnes2 April – June 30, 2007 (2007-06-30)0.6–0.9[10]
The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones set off on an adventure through space to find the datachips to unlock The Infinite, a huge spaceship that can grant people their heart's desire. However, the evil Baltazar is also searching for the ship.

Production[edit]

The Doctor Who title card for series 3, slightly modified from that used in the first two series, and used until David Tennant's final episode in 2010.

Following the success of the first series, the BBC announced that Doctor Who had been recommissioned for a third series on 16 June 2005,[11] only two months after the announcement of the second series.[12] Recording for the Christmas special began on 4 July 2006,[13] with production on the series itself beginning on 8 August 2006[14] and concluding on 2 April 2007.[15]

First-time writers for the show included Gareth Roberts, who previously wrote the interactive episode "Attack of the Graske" and the TARDISODEs, Helen Raynor, one of the show's script editors, Chris Chibnall, the head writer and co-producer of spin-off series Torchwood, and Stephen Greenhorn. Previous writers Paul Cornell, Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies all contributed to the series, with Davies continuing to act as head writer and executive producer. Phil Collinson and Susie Liggat acted as producers, with Julie Gardner as executive producer. Euros Lyn, Charles Palmer, Richard Clark, James Strong, Graeme Harper, Hettie MacDonald and Colin Teague directed episodes in the series.

The episodes in series three are arranged in a loose story arc: "Mr Saxon", an alias for the Master.[16] The character's name was first mentioned in "The Runaway Bride"; the Ministry of Defence shot down an alien craft at Saxon's request.[16][17] Several elements from episodes in the series are contributory to the three-part finale: the events of "The Lazarus Experiment" and "42" were directly influenced by the Master;[16][18][19] the Face of Boe's prophecy is directly related to Master;[20][21] and a similar fob-watch that was used by the Doctor to change his Time Lord biology into human was also used by the Master to hide from the Time Lords.[16][20][22][23]

Production blocks were arranged as follows:

Block Episodes Director Writers Producer Code
1 "The Runaway Bride" Euros Lyn Russell T Davies Phil Collinson 3X
2 "Smith and Jones"
"The Shakespeare Code"
Charles Palmer Russell T Davies
Gareth Roberts
Phil Collinson 3.1
3.2
3 "Gridlock"
"The Lazarus Experiment"
Richard Clark Russell T Davies
Stephen Greenhorn
Phil Collinson 3.3
3.6
4 "Daleks in Manhattan"
"Evolution of the Daleks"
James Strong Helen Raynor Phil Collinson 3.4
3.5
5 "Blink" Hettie MacDonald Steven Moffat Phil Collinson 3.10
6 "Human Nature"
"The Family of Blood"
Charles Palmer Paul Cornell Susie Liggat 3.8
3.9
7 "42"
"Utopia"
Graeme Harper Chris Chibnall
Russell T Davies
Phil Collinson 3.7
3.11
8 "The Sound of Drums"
"Last of the Time Lords"
Colin Teague Russell T Davies Phil Collinson 3.12
3.13

An animated serial, The Infinite Quest, was also produced alongside the series and was broadcast as part of the CBBC programme Totally Doctor Who.

Reception[edit]

Arnold T. Blumberg of IGN gave an overwhelmingly positive review of the third series. He praised the acting of Tennant, Agyeman and John Simm, describing Simm's portrayal as "a master stroke". Overall he said, "With an assured air earned by success, Series 3 of Doctor Who is a tour de force excursion across time and space...it doesn't get much better than this". He gave the series 9 out of 10 (Amazing).[24] Nick Lyons of DVD Talk gave a positive review saying, "series three is on par with the last two seasons of the new series." He said that the character of Martha and series three, "will no doubt please fans". He gave the series 4 and a half stars out of 5.[25]

Awards and nominations[edit]

At the British Academy Television Awards 2008 Steven Moffat won Best Writer for the episode "Blink", Murray Gold was nominated for Best Original Television Music and the BBC Wales sound team were nominated for Best Sound Fiction/Entertainment.[26] At the 2008 BAFTA Cymru Awards Phil Collinson won for Best Drama Series/Serial for the episode "Voyage of the Damned", Ernest Vincze won for Best Director of Photography – Drama for the same episode. Louise Page was nominated for Best Costume for her work on "The Shakespeare Code" and Neill Gorton and Barbara Southcott won Best Make-Up for the same episode.[27]

At the 2008 Constellation Awards the series won Best Science Fiction Television Series of 2007. David Tennant won Best Male Performance in a 2007 Science Fiction Television Episode for his critically acclaimed performance in the episode "The Family of Blood". Carey Mulligan won Best Female Performance in a 2007 Science Fiction Television Episode for her guest appearance in "Blink".[28] At the Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2007 the series won Best Programme of the Year.[29] David Tennant won a Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award, in the Screen Award category at the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards.[30] The Monte-Carlo Television Festival nominated Freema Agyeman and David Tennant for Outstanding Actress and Actor in a drama series.[31] At the 2008 Hugo Awards Blink won the award for Best Dramatic Presentation. "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood" were also nominated for the award.[32] At the 13th National Television Awards the series won Most Popular Drama and Most Popular Actor for David Tennant, Freema Agyeman was nominated for Most Popular Actress.[33][34]

At the 2007 Nebula Awards Steven Moffat was nominated for Best Script for the episode Blink.[35] At the 34th Saturn Awards Doctor Who won Best International Series.[36] The series was nominated for Best TV Show at the 2007 Scream Awards.[37] At the 2007 TV Quick Awards the show won Best Loved Drama and Best Actor for David Tennant, Freema Agyeman was nominated for Best Actress.[38] Russell T. Davies was nominated by the TRIC Awards for TV Drama Programme. At the 2008 VES Awards David Houghton, Will Cohen, Nicolas Hernandez and Sara Bennett were nominated for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special for their work on the episode Voyage of the Damned, David Houghton, Will Cohen, Jean-Claude Deguara and Nicolas Hernandez were nominated for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series for their work on the episode "Last of the Time Lords". Nicolas Hernandez, Adam Burnett, Neil Roche and Jean-Claude Deguara were nominated for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program or Commercial for their work on the 900-year-old Doctor in the same episode.[39][40] The Writers' Guild of Great Britain honored the writing staff of the third series (Chris Chibnall, Paul Cornell, Russell T Davies, Stephen Greenhorn, Steven Moffat, Helen Raynor and Gareth Roberts) for Best Soap/Series.[41]

Release[edit]

DVD and Blu-ray releases[edit]

Series Episode name Number and duration
of episodes
R2/B release date R4/B release date R1/A release date
3 Doctor Who: The Runaway Bride
"The Runaway Bride"
1 × 60 min. 2 April 2007[42] 4 July 2007[43] N/A
Doctor Who: Series 3, Volume 1
"Smith and Jones"
"The Shakespeare Code"
"Gridlock"
3 × 45 min. 21 May 2007[44] 1 August 2007[45] N/A
Doctor Who: Series 3, Volume 2
"Daleks in Manhattan" / "Evolution of the Daleks"
"The Lazarus Experiment"
"42"
4 × 45 min. 25 June 2007[46] 5 September 2007[47] N/A
Doctor Who: Series 3, Volume 3
"Human Nature" / "The Family of Blood"
"Blink"
3 × 45 min. 23 July 2007[48] 3 October 2007[49] N/A
Doctor Who: Series 3, Volume 4
"Utopia" / "The Sound of Drums" / "Last of the Time Lords"
2 × 45 min.
1 × 52 min.
20 August 2007[50] 7 November 2007[51] N/A
Doctor Who: The Complete Third Series 1 × 60 min.
12 × 45 min.
1 × 52 min.
5 November 2007 (D) [52]
4 December 2013 (Blu-ray box set)[53]
31 August 2015 (B) [54]
5 December 2007 (D) [55]
4 December 2013 (B) [56]
6 November 2007 (D) [57]
5 November 2013 (Blu-ray box set)[53]
[58]
Doctor Who: Series 3, Part 1
"The Runaway Bride"
"Smith and Jones"
"The Shakespeare Code"
"Gridlock"
"Daleks in Manhattan" / "Evolution of the Daleks"
"The Lazarus Experiment"
1 × 60 min.
6 × 45 min.
N/A N/A 10 June 2014[59]
Doctor Who: Series 3, Part 2
"42"
"Human Nature" / "The Family of Blood"
"Blink"
"Utopia" / "The Sound of Drums" / "Last of the Time Lords"
6 × 45 min.
1 × 52 min.
N/A N/A 8 July 2014[60]
2, 3, 4,
2008–2010 Specials
Doctor Who: The Complete David Tennant Years 5 × 6 min, 2 × 7 min,
1 × 8 min, 1 × 12 min,
35 × 45 min, 4 × 50 min,
6 × 60 min, 1 × 65 min,
1 × 72 min, 1 × 75 min.
10 November 2014[61] N/A 11 October 2011[62]

Soundtrack[edit]

Selected pieces of score from this series (and "Voyage of the Damned"), as composed by Murray Gold, were released on 5 November 2007 by Silva Screen Records.[63]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]