First up: 2006's Christmas Special, "The Runaway Bride", which is definitely a step up from 2005's "The Christmas Invasion". For one thing, it makes much better use of the robot Santas, though the alien spider-woman is kind of ridiculous. Comedienne Catherine Tate is as brilliant as ever as Donna, the bride of the title. In fact, the BBC just announced that Donna will be back as a regular in season four, which I think is great news because Tate's comic timing with David Tennant is awesome. And the line "Sometimes I think you need someone to stop you"? Perfect.
Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time the name Gallifrey has been mentioned in the new series.
Then: the first regular episode of the season, "Smith and Jones". It starts way over the top, what with an entire London hospital building being torn off the Earth and transported instantaneously to the moon -- but oh my God, Freema Agyeman as new companion Martha Jones is so gorgeous, I didn't care. (It's important to know one's own limitations.)
I liked that the episode echoes the structure of the very first one of the new series, "Rose", with Martha meeting the Doctor in the middle of an adventure. And then imagine my surprise when the Sontarans show up! Except they aren't Sontarans, despite wearing armor that makes them look exactly like Sontarans. Must get confusing out there in the galaxy!
You know how each season has a running theme, words that show up in the background all throughout until they come to the fore? The first had "Bad Wolf" and the second had "Torchwood," and if this episode is any indication, I think the third season's is going to be "Saxon."
Okay, that's enough of that. You all know I love Doctor Who, you don't need to watch me dork out in public.
See you when I'm back from L.A.