With the school now under attack and the Doctor still unaware of his true being, the Family of Blood has now taken over the bodies of four individuals. Unable to find the pocket watch, 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. The Doctor clings to his new life as John Smith and refuses to accept any suggestion to the contrary. He has a glimpse of what the future would hold for him and Joan Redfern and fights to retain his new identity.Written by
He Who Would Valiant Be
Written by John Bunyan, modified by Percy Dearmer
Performed by (uncredited) See more »
A showcase of acting brilliance
Well well, Paul Cornell has cooked up another stonker here. This two-parter, and this episode in particular, is probably one of the best yet, second only, in my opinion, to the previous two season finales, and on a par with The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit. Of this series, only 42 has engrossed me more.
The main point of this episode is, of course, the Doctor becoming a slightly idiotic human to avoid the eponymous Family of Blood, Martha's struggle to make him realise who he really is again, and the importance of the watch that the Doctor stored himself inside. I won't say any more than that for the sake of spoiling what is truly a fantastic story. Every part of it is brilliantly executed - the script, the direction, the effects, and the aftermath.
Special mentions in this episode though, go to two people. Firstly, David Tennant, whose portrayal of the ordinary man struggling to come to terms with who he might be and what he has to do with everything is fantastic. Secondly, to Harry Lloyd, who plays Jeremy Baines, the ringleader of the Family. While he is relatively unknown as an actor - his only major role to date has been as Will Scarlet in the BBC's retake of Robin Hood - I can't think of any world-famous actor who would've fitted the part better than him. His performance is absolutely astonishing, he plays the mad eyes, frightening smile, and all round scariness of his character to utter perfection. He's probably been the scariest and most believable human-looking villain since the show was resurrected, with the possible exception of Roger Lloyd-Pack's John Lumic from last year. Maybe it's in the surname.
This is, without doubt, one of the best story lines seen in Doctor Who so far. And next week's 'Blink' looks like a cracker as well. Series 3 is storming towards being the best series yet, if it isn't already.
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