As the Doctor says goodbye to Donna Noble, he goes undercover at the Royal Hope Hospital in London, where he meets medical student and future companion Martha Jones. The duo are whisked away with the entire hospital to the moon by an alien courier connected with the Judoon, a brutal mercenary police force, and only the Doctor can defeat them. Written by
As an introduction to Martha Jones "Smith and Jones" worked well. As a science fiction action show this was fairly good. As an episode of Doctor Who this was passable.
Firstly, a brief rant about the recent two series of Doctor Who as a whole: too much action not enough build-up. The old serials of Doctor Who often had 3-6 episodes to build a story. In the modern era we get the occasional 2-parter. a single episode is seldom enough to build emotional involvement in the story. It is not enough that the individual stories may fit into an all-encompassing series arc.
"Smith and Jones" fit this category, in that the storyline felt rushed with events contrived to propel it along and to introduce the new assistant. The Vogons (sorry, I mean the Judoon) seemed to be very patchily characterised. The aliens in Doctor Who and other SF shouldn't just be comical caricatures (longer or slower-paced story lines might help). Similarly the villain of the piece never really gets more than a couple of brush-strokes of characterisation.
That said, David Tennant still seems to fill the Doctor's shoes brilliantly and the new assistant looks promising. The relationship of these two was convincingly scripted as were Martha Jones' family ties, and the Doctor's encounter with the villain was typically very clever, albeit a little broadcast to anyone with more than a minimal knowledge of SF.
I hope for improvement as the series gets into its story arc and the longer/slower-paced story lines start to appear.
Verdict: solid enough start but could do better.
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