Sunday, October 25, 2015

NuWho Reviews: The Runaway Bride, Smith and Jones, The Shakespeare Code, Gridlock

The Runaway Bride

When we last left our hero, he had an extremely emotional companion departure, then found an angry ginger on the TARDIS. Clearly this will end well!

After Donna rants at the Doctor, he drops her off on Earth so she can actually make it to her wedding. Unfortunately, the cab she gets is driven by one of those Death Santas, you know, the ones that show up for pretty much no reason at all. The Doctor flies the TARDIS after the cab and creates the best car chase in history. (Except for that ridiculously long car chase the Third Doctor got into, but let's not go into that.)

When the Doctor and Donna finally make it to her wedding, he looks at the footage of her abrupt disappearance and realizes she absorbed Huon Particles. Huon? Don't even know 'on!

This also means more Santas shows up. After a wacky fight, the Doctor discovers that Donna works at a place owned by Torchwood. She and her fiance take him there, where they find a creepy basement of death. 

And in that creepy basement of death is


Luckily, the Empress of the Racnoss is so delightfully, cheesily hammy that it's hard to take her seriously or be frightened of her at all. If all spiders talked to me like that, I'd spend my day laughing.

The Racnoss are a spider species that were supposedly wiped out long ago by the Time Lords, making the Time Lords heroes in my mind, no matter how annoying they are. The Empress has created a pit beneath the company for her nest. Lance has been dosing Donna's coffee with huon particles so she could be used as a key to free the creepy little brats. 

The Doctor and Donna go back to the formation of the Earth to see a Racnoss ship crash land and become the core of the planet, because THANKS DAVIES I DIDN'T NEED TO THINK ABOUT THE CORE OF PLANET EARTH BEING INFESTED BY SPIDERS.

When they return, Donna is kidnapped, Lance is killed because he has outlived his usefulness, and the Santas are now working for the Racnoss, because of course they are. The Racnoss start escaping and the Racnoss ship, which previously starred in Star Trek as the Crystalline Entity, starts shooting at random civilians, BECAUSE THE EMPRESS IS EVIL, CAN'T YOU TELL BY HER HAMMY ACTING?

The Doctor makes his usual offer of peace, which is rejected out of hand, and he goes full on Enraged Time Lord. He destroys one of the walls, unleashing the wrath of the River Thames and drowning the spiders, and Donna has to remind him to leave instead of staring broodily into the flames.

To be fair, this is what everyone looked like after Doomsday.

Then the Racnoss ship is destroyed because Mr. Saxon said so, and no one wants plastic daffodils again.

Donna decides not to travel with the Doctor, she's had more than enough excitement, thank you, but points out that the Doctor does need someone to travel with him. Because he gets loopier than usual after traveling alone for a while.

Smith and Jones

Martha is the previously Cyber-controlled Adeola's identical twin cousin. She is on her way to work at a hospital and runs into a strange man who removes his tie and walks away. But that's not even the strangest thing to happen. She gets to work and finds the same man, but he has no memory of her.

And then the hospital disappears to the moon.

Whether or not the Judoon cried "To the moon, Alice!" before transporting the hospital is unknown.

The hospital has been transported by the Judoon, an intergalactic police force with the empathy of the Vogons and the appearance of Rocksteady.

Actually, Rocksteady might be more intelligent than the Judoon.

The Judoon are searching for a nonhuman criminal in disguise. It is a plasmavore, so basically a shapeshifting vampire that doesn't sparkle, because that would be ridiculous.

Martha runs into John Smith again, who explains he's actually the Doctor. Meanwhile, the plasmavore is a sweet old lady sucking out blood with a straw, because this show needed more cheese. Since she has drank someone's blood she will register as human, because the Judoon's scientific instruments suck. The Doctor, meanwhile, has to avoid them, and they have to stop Florence Finnegan before the Judoon think the hospital is harboring her, because the Judoon are also kind of stupid.

I'm not sure what this says about Davies' opinion of British policemen.

After the Doctor destroys his sonic screwdriver killing one of Finnegan's henchmen and bounces around on one foot like an idiot, he snogs Martha to infect her with nonhuman DNA and confuse the Judoon (again, stupid) while he finds Finnegan. Upon finding her he has his blood drained, but luckily Martha arrives with the Judoon in time to do a scan on Finnegan, who is promptly executed. The Judoon then leave, Martha revives the Doctor because two hearts, and the hospital is actually put back, so I guess the Judoon aren't completely stupid.

The Doctor proves to Martha he can travel through time by trolling her the previous morning, and they fly off for "just one trip" and agree that she "totally isn't a replacement goldfish, or anything".

Here's your GIF of the Episode:

The Shakespeare Code

A young man serenades a young woman named Lillith. Because he hasn't heard any stories ever, he thinks her name is totally a nice name. She reveals she is wrinkled hag, just like her mothers, ObviousEvil and AlwaysEvil. They then devour him, because innuendo is a thing that happens.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Martha are in Elizabethan London, attending a performance of Love's Labour's Lost. Sexy McEvil and her Evil Mothers voodoo Shakespeare into announcing a sequel the following night, Love's Labour's Won. Skeptical Doctor is Skeptical, so he decides to meet Shakespeare at the pub, where the playwright drinks a lot and hits on Martha, ignoring her pants (or focusing too strongly on them, whatever).

The Master of the Revels (which, despite it's cool name, was really about working for the MPAA) demands to see the script. The witches then voodoo him to death. They then Voodoo Shakespeare into writing an extra paragraph at the end of his play, frightens Shakespeare's lover to death, and flies away.

Meanwhile, the Doctor finds out the Globe has 14 sides, and the architect who built is insane. The witches told him how to build it, and they probably got their ideas from Nyarlathotep, because apparently he was interested in architecture or something. After the witches kill the architect, the Doctor realizes they're Carrionites-they manipulate psychic energy through words. Heck, they can't even hear their names said. I wonder what would happen if...

No, that's far too silly.

Anyways, the whole plan is that Shakespeare's play will free their species from prison, which makes this by far the wackiest jail break ever. They try to Voodoo the Doctor to death, but forget that Time Lords have two hearts. By the time the Doctor and Martha reach the theater, the portal has already opened up. But Shakespeare comes up with a short rhyming stanza to close it back.

Fun fact: my first exposure to Doctor Who was through Mugglenet. Everyone kept talking about this TV show that made Harry Potter references. Then I looked, saw how much I had to catch up on, and gave up.

Then I changed my mind, BECAUSE I AM A SMART PERSON.

Needless to say, this scene was my first taste of Doctor Who.

The Carrionites can't withstand the full force of the Potter fandom, and all are imprisoned back, to brood on the fact that THEY WILL NEVER READ THE SEVENTH BOOK.

Our heroes part ways: Shakespeare revealing he totally knows about time travel, and the Doctor and Martha having to flee Queen Elizabeth's soldiers because SOMEONE NEVER CAME BACK AFTER THE WEDDING.


The Doctor decides to take Martha to New Earth. But New Earth has become a dystopian novel, and not even a bad YA dystopian novel. People sell mood patches like drugs, because life is so dull that they need to manufacture their moods. Wait, maybe this is a bad YA dystopian novel.

Regardless, Martha gets kidnapped by a young couple. Why? They need three passengers so they can use the fast lane. They're only going ten miles. No problem, right? Oh, ten miles takes only six years or so. And there's something rumored to live in the fast lane, where cars never return...

The Doctor enters the Motorway, an enclosed highway full of hover cars that are packed in like sardines and barely move. He pops into a car, owned by Thomas Kincade Brannigan, his wife Valerie, and their kittens.

Yeah, Thomas is a cat person. Valerie is human. They have kittens. Try not to think too hard about it.


The police put him on hold, because this is a dystopian novel, so the Doctor goes from van to van, trying to find Martha. Unbeknownst to him, Novice Hame is apparently not in police custody, and is chasing after him. Meanwhile, Martha's kidnappers have entered the fast lane. A car radios them, telling them to escape, before being eaten. Despite this, the kidnappers decide to stay in the fast lane.

The Doctor finds himself just above the fast lane, and sees what the trouble is. The fast lane is filled with giant alien crabs. Why? WE DON'T KNOW. Martha cuts the power to the car to keep the Macra from finding them, and Novice Hame teleports the Doctor to the senate building.

The Face of Boe is back! Novice Hame has been caring for him as her penance. Apparently a mood drug called Bliss mutated a virus, which wiped out the surface population in minutes. The motorway was sealed to keep the ones left alive, and the Face of Boe has kept the motorway operational. However, to power it up enough to re-open the motorway, the Face of Boe sacrifices his life energy and dies, but not before telling the Doctor his secret:


Fans exploded, the Doctor's eyes somehow get bigger, and he finally opens up to Martha.

In a Dystopian Novel, random chairs are found in back alleys all the time.

I liked this, both as an ending for the Face of Boe and the possibility of another Time Lord being around. (Hands up, how many knew exactly which Time Lord it would be? That's right, all of us did.) The Macra seemed kind of random. It's never explained how they got there or why they were there.


  1. Yay, more Doctor Who! We're all caught up with NuWho now and have started going back and watching ClassicWho to fill the void in our lives between episodes in real time.

    Also, I'm still disappointed that the awesome Face of Boe ending was tacked on to what is my absolute least favorite episode of Doctor who from 2005-present. For some reason, I just couldn't stand Gridlock.

    1. Dale and I are watching series 9 via Google Play. It's 1.99 an episode. (Supposedly AMC has new episodes on their site for free for a week after it airs, but we aren't that caught up yet.)