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Doctor Who - Gridlock

episode 3.3

UK 2007
produced by
Phil Collinson, Russell T. Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Richard Clark
starring David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, Ardal O'Hanlon, Anna Hope, Travis Oliver, Lenora Crichlow, Jennifer Hennessy, Bridget Turner, Georgine Anderson, Simon Pearsall, Daisy Lewis, Nicholas Boulton, Erika Macleod, Judy Norman, Graham Padden, Lucy Davenport, Tom Edden, Natasha Williams, Gayle Telfer Stevens, Struan Rodger (voice)
written by Russell T.Davies, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Martha Jones

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Who (David Tennant) takes Martha (Freema Agyeman) to New Earth (known from the episode New Earth), the planet where humankind has settled after the demise of the original earth millions of years in the future ... but when they arrive in New New York, Martha is immediately kidnapped by two motorists (Travis Oliver, Lenora Crichlow) who need a third passenger to - according to carpooling regulations - get access to the fast lane. It turns out that the motorway has been in a constant traffic jam for the past 24 years, and if you're not driving the fast lane it takes years to even make a few miles ... problem is, the fast lane is populated by Macra, giant lobster-like aliens who live on cars (since this is the future, the cars of course can fly, but the motorways are totally sealed off from the upper city, so they are totally filled with exhaust gas.

The Doctor soon figures that to save Martha he has to go to the upper world and to the city council, and with the help of Novice Hame (Anna Hope) - a feline baddie from the episode New Earth who now tries to redeem for her sins - he actually gets there, to find the council has all beeen killed by a virus - like everyone else on New Earth -, the people on the motorway are the only ones left alive, and everything is kept going (if only just) by the Face of Boe (Struan Rodger) - see episode New Earth yet again.

Somehow, the Doctor figures to save the motorists and New Earth as such he has to open the motorway to the upper world and ... everyone is saved, only the Face of Boe dies from exhaustion.

End.

 

As a story, Gridlock is full of weaknesses, it has no real middle and a disappointing ending - one which leaves many questions open (like why has the Eye of Boe not opened the motorway to the upper world long ago) - and at times it's way too preoccuppied with the series' overall continuity to tell its actual story ... but that aside, the idea of a gigantic and totally jammed motorway running beneath New York - with flying vehicles no less - is nothing short of brilliant (even if the design of the whole thing is highly reminiscent of Luc Besson's Fifth Element), with the car-eating locusts being a good addition to the concept - which makes this one, despite definite weaknesses, one of the better episodes of season three of Doctor Who.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD