Gridlock Reaction

Gridlock has continued Series 3’s slightly darker, and more serious tone and the Doctor’s car-hopping adventures have been reviewed in The Stage and SFX.

The Stage compares the pattern of the series so far favourably with that of Series 1 and 2, and believes that the setting of New Earth is perfect for acclimatising viewers to alien worlds…

It’s a neat way of getting the audience to swallow the often difficult pill of Doctor Who’s more sci-fi based, alien plots, something that Russell T Davies has always been (quite rightly) wary of.

Actress Freema Agyeman meanwhile gets plenty of credit from The Stage:

Agyeman’s confidence in the role continues to grow, able to dominate scenes located in one cramped set with the deft skill of an old pro. Her hurt realisation that the Doctor is taking her to the places he visited with her predecessor is well played

Let’s not forget guest star Ardal O’Hanlon – best known as daft Father Dougal in the hit comedy Father Ted – who played the feline motorway dweller Brannigan:

Ardal O’Hanlon gives a good turn hidden under some feline make-up as the twinkle-eyed Brannigan, with playful verbal sparring with Tennant as the Doctor invades his vehicular domicile. Shame about Martha’s travelling companions who just don’t seem to be throwing themselves whole-heartedly into the Doctor Who fun.

SFX meanwhile declares the motorway setting:

…a clever idea, because it allows for the sort of episode fans have been crying out for – an episode set in a truly immersive alien realm – while using up very little of the precious FX budget (just think about how much time is spent in tiny sets).

So largely positive all round, and the bar certainly seems to have been raised for Series 3. Or perhaps its the fresh blood in companion Freema Agyeman? At this stage it is difficult to say, but remember that the Face of Boe’s revelation should shape the remainder of the series. speaking of which:

Meanwhile Tennant’s reaction to the Face of Boe’s bombshell (sadly underwhelming for hardcore fans, since they gave it away in the Doctor Who Annual two years ago…) and his speech about the wonders of Gallifrey are beautifully played.

Incidentally you can vote for Freema Agyeman’s performance in Gridlock at her fansite, while they also have scans of a Sunday Mirror feature on the actress. It seems to be mainly a series of comments from a fellow drama student from the USA that Freema met while on an exchange programme there, and typically focusses on Freema’s past lovelife, and childhood. It certainly isn’t an interview with Freema herself.

Christian Cawley

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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