Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Mothership Smith And Jones Review

Smith and Jones

Episode 1, Series 3
By DJ Forrest
Writer Russell T Davies
Director Charles Palmer
Broadcast 31st March 2007

It’s a busy day and Dr. Martha Jones is on her way to work at the Royal Hope Hospital, the sun is shining.  She receives a phone call from various family members about her brother’s 21st birthday party that’s planned for the evening, and then a phone call from her dad about the same.  Just then a man steps from the crowd, and proceeds to remove his tie, in front of her and then walks off again.  She’s confused and after a few moments returns to her conversation and makes her way to the hospital.  Just before she enters, a man clad in leathers and wearing a motorcycle helmet savagely bumps into her without apology and continues on his way.  Martha is less than impressed.

In the hospital Martha gets ready for her day at work, but as she goes to close her locker door she receives a static shock.  During her rounds the junior doctor’s stand around the bed of an elderly woman called Florence Finnegan, who has eaten nothing but salad for her meals, thus leaving the consultant with the suggestion that she has a salt deficiency.
On her rounds again Martha enters a ward where the same man, who stood in front of her in the street earlier, with his tie in his hand, is sitting up in bed, wearing striped pyjamas complaining of abdominal pains.  After giving a diagnosis of his symptoms to the consultant in charge, Martha then proceeds to check the man’s heart rate and is a little astonished by her findings.  Not only does the man not know what Martha is talking about, having not been anywhere since he came in last night, but Martha has detected two heart beats!

Little does Martha know that the man in the bed is the Doctor!

Another electric shock from the clipboard at the end of the bed suggests that there’s something going on within the hospital.  The Consultant, Dr Stoker, suggests that it’s a thunderstorm heading their way.  He begins to test his juniors about static electricity and who discovered it, and while the Doctor prattles on about Benjamin Franklin and a kite, the consultant feels that the Time Lord might require a visit from the psyche ward.

Martha is taking a break and making herself a brew, the rain is lashing down against the glass.  She’s on the phone again to her sister Tish, when the discussion about the rain crops up.  It’s only raining at the hospital, everywhere else is bone dry. As they talk Tish is able to notice something else, which another junior doctor also notices, the rain is going up!
As Martha stares at the rain, there is an almighty shudder, and the junior doctors are thrown off their feet.  The hospital staff panic and scream and terrified patients and visitors alike can only watch in terror as the hospital they are in is wrenched from its foundations and begins to rise and disappear into the darkness.  When it levels out and the noise stops, the junior doctor beside Martha realises why it’s dark and can’t believe her eyes.  As Martha looks out of the window she sees for herself.
“We’re on the bloody moon!”

Dr Stoker stares in disbelief at the distant planet Earth when Mrs Finnegan who ate nothing but salad has popped in for a visit.  With her are two leather clad men wearing motorcycle helmets which are established as ‘slabs’.  The old woman begins to explain her reasons for the salt deficiency as she nears the desk, and with the aid of the two slabs that hold the consultant steady, proceeds to drain him of his very fine Michelin star rating gourmet blood!

The Doctor by this time is dressed and is as curious as Martha and the hospital staff and patients as to why their hospital is miles from planet Earth.  Martha wants to get a closer look and considers opening the window, but her very nervous colleague thinks that’s a bad idea.  When the Doctor decides he wants to have a closer look, Martha goes with him, leaving her colleague behind who in the Doctor’s mind would only slow them up.  What they discover is that there’s a force field around the hospital keeping them all in, but the Doctor is concerned, even more so when he sees ships land on the surface of the moon. 

“Judoon!”  He says as Martha asks who they are as they stand on a balcony overlooking the ships below them.  Squads of space police march towards the hospital, wearing black leather uniforms and large helmets which when they enter the hospital reveal themselves to be rhinos.  They speak in a strange language, lots of “Sho, ro, go ho!”  They corner a young doctor who begs for mercy, assimilating his voice using a gadget from their uniform, the Judoon are able to speak English for all to understand them.

The Judoon are looking for someone who is not human which is good news for the Earthlings but bad news for the Doctor.  As he tries to explain to Martha that he’s not from Earth she finds that incredible to believe given his human qualities, aside from the two hearts.  As the Doctor leads Martha through the many corridors of the hospital to put some distance between them and the space rhinos, the Doctor is as curious as the Judoon to find out who is wanted by the Police. 

He explains to Martha that the Judoon have no jurisdiction on Earth so to allow them access they steal the hospital and place it on the moon.

The Judoon begin cataloguing every human in the hospital, those who have been scanned receive a black X on the back of their hands from a thick marker pen. One visitor completely overwhelmed by the visitation of the aliens, cracks a large pot over the head of one and is duly disintegrated for his actions.

The creature that they’re looking for is finally discovered to be the old lady with the taste for blood.  Having located the dead Consultant, Martha is chased around the hospital with the Doctor by a ‘slab’. 

Martha and the Doctor run into the x ray department and the Doctor secures the door with the help of his sonic screwdriver, it will only hold the slab for so long.  The Doctor instructs Martha Jones to find the operating instructions for the x ray machine that he’s preparing to defend them against the slab.  When the creature batters down the door, the Doctor yells for Martha, she hits the yellow button and the X ray machine ramped up to maximum fries the slab, killing it stone dead.  Of course the Doctor has been exposed to the radiation within the room and has to expel it from his body.  He isolates it in his shoe and promptly bins it, looking stupid, he bins the other one too.  He’s also completely destroyed his sonic screwdriver.

“Barefoot on the moon!”

Florence Finnegan is a plasmavore, she uses the blood to alter her DNA so that when she’s finally catalogued she’s classed as human, thus evading capture for her crimes.  The Doctor realises that if the Judoon don’t locate the Plasmavore it means that the Judoon will leave empty handed, but also that the hospital will remain on the moon and the hospital patients and staff and visitors will all die from oxygen deprivation.  There’s only one thing for it. 

Locating the Judoon the Doctor and Martha are once again running for their lives down the corridors, the Doctor apologises to Martha for what he’s about to do next, and kisses her.  It’s no ordinary kiss, it plants a genetic transfer which will halt the Judoon and scan Martha for alien contact.  It works, and while the Judoon are busy with Martha, the Doctor is busy with the plasmavore. 

Pretending that he’s a lost human having had his bunions fixed, being a postie, he wanders in to the MRI department locating the Plasmavore and learns what she is up to.  Aware of the risks, he mentions to the Plasmavore that the Judoon have pushed the cataloguing up to level 2, which means that the plasmavore must feed again.  The Doctor makes lame jokes about banana milkshake and the straw that the Plasmavore carries with her in her handbag, buying himself a little time, but as the last slab secures the Doctor, the plasmavore attaches the straw to the vein in the Doctor’s neck and begins to feast on his blood. 

It takes some convincing from Martha to the Judoon that the woman they want is in the MRI unit, and even when they do locate her, the Doctor lies lifeless on the ground having been almost sucked dry.  The plasmavore claims that she is human but Martha realises what the Doctor did and snatches the catalogue device from the Judoon and shines it at the plasmavore revealing her true identity.

Dealing with the plasmavore who has set a bomb to explode not only the hospital and the moon but so powerful that it will take out the side of the Earth that looked out on the moon, the Judoon leave – quickly!  It’s down to Martha Jones to do everything she can to bring back the Doctor and hope he can save them.

After the ordeal in the hospital, the Doctor and Martha meet again outside the venue of the party.  He tells her who he is and shows her around the TARDIS which as we all know is ‘Bigger on the inside.’  It’s the start of a brilliant series with the return of some familiar faces and a lot more running!

Research source
©BBC Doctor Who 1963

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