Smith and Jones (2007)

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This episode was first broadcast on 31 March 2007. A brief and spoiler-ish summary of the plot: boy meets girl. Boy and girl meet rhinos. Boy, girl and rhinos meet bloodsucker. Bloodsucker meets bad end.

If 'School reunion' was about the Mrs. meeting the ex, then 'Smith and Jones' is about the Mr. meeting the new girl. No, really. Ignore the rhinos, the bloodsucker, the view from the hospital's windows and the content of the dialogue for a moment, and what you're watching is two people flirting with each other for forty-five minutes. Romantic comedy. The looks, the body language, it's all there. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and there's enough chemistry between the Doctor and Martha to make it all watchable, but it is a bit unusual for Doctor Who.

Then again, let's forget about the flirting for a moment. What we're left with is, for the most part, a pretty good science-fiction action story. The Judoon are great aliens, the plasmavore is an entertaining villain, the story is well-paced, well-directed and well-acted and there's a great deal of witty dialogue. What this story does better than 'Rose', its counterpart from the 2005 season, is that we get the chance to see the plot develop from the start, rather than entering the story when the Doctor is already in hot pursuit of the Big Bad.

At one point the romantic comedy seems to clash with the action adventure. Spoiler ahead - after being sucked dry by the plasmavore the Doctor is left on the floor, apparently dead. After some quick first aid from Martha he makes a miraculous recovery only for the flirting to continue, with neither of them ever mentioning the incident again. This is a waste of what would have been a dramatic high point in an action adventure story, and of what might have been a defining moment in the relationship between the Doctor and Martha.

Also, the story falls a bit flat near the end. Another spoiler ahead - the business with the plasmavore using the MRI-scanner to exterminate half of the earth's population (how would that work, anyway?) seems to be mostly filler, and the '... and then they are back on earth again...' ending is a bit anticlimactic.

My verdict:


Light-weight but extremely entertaining.

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