Tenth Doctor: Gridlock


Writer: Russell T. Davies

Director: Richard Clark

Producer: Phil Collinson

Companion: Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman)

Series: 3, ep 3

Summary: The Doctor takes Martha to New Earth’s New New York. Traffic jams are so bad that they take years to end. Moods are sold like drugs. An old alien race has returned. And the Face of Boe has a message.

Review: This episode has filler written all over it, but there are good points. I feel like Davies took a page out of good old Robert Holmes’s playbook and wrote about something that annoyed him, in this case traffic jams. (Robert Holmes did that all the time with stories like “The Sun Makers” and “The Two Doctors”. )  The revamp of the Macra is good, especially since the original appearance is still missing. Were it not for the return of Boe, this episode would be pointless. It’s here to foreshadow the return of The Master. I guess my other problem is that Martha feels like extra baggage. Really the only reason the Doctor took her is “Rose liked it here.” I liked her better once she was no longer the “rebound companion.”

Overall Review: 5/10

Continuity: This episode is a sequel to “New Earth” and “End of the World”, concluding the Face of Boe’s arc. The Doctor quotes the description of Gallifrey given by Susan in “The Sensorites”. The Face of Boe’s message foreshadows events in “Utopia”. The Macra were last seen in the missing episode “The Macra Terror.”

Trivia: Russell T. Davies said this episode was inspired by Judge Dredd’s Mega City One.



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