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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Series 3 - A Flawed Masterpiece
Having just read all the comments below, I thought I would add a few lines to try and resolve the apparent conflict between those who loved it and those who hated it.

The point about series 3 is that it is brave. It tries stuff. Sometimes it comes off (as in the truly astonishing Blink), sometimes it doesn't (human daleks in manhattan - puh-lease)...
Published on 31 Oct 2007 by Mr. N. D. Timperley

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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weakest season since 'New' Who began!
I found this season very drab and boring until we reached the fantastic Paul Cornell two-parter; Human Nature & Family Of Blood, the nigh on perfect Blink by Stephen Moffatt, and the first two parts of the '3-part finale' were good; Utopia & The Sound Of Drums. I felt grossly underwhelmed by the finale, although Simm was excellent as the master the plotting was just lazy...
Published on 13 Nov 2007 by S. Harris


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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Series 3 - A Flawed Masterpiece, 31 Oct 2007
By 
Mr. N. D. Timperley (Sheffield. UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
Having just read all the comments below, I thought I would add a few lines to try and resolve the apparent conflict between those who loved it and those who hated it.

The point about series 3 is that it is brave. It tries stuff. Sometimes it comes off (as in the truly astonishing Blink), sometimes it doesn't (human daleks in manhattan - puh-lease).

The trouble with trying stuff is you put yourself out there to be shot down. Also, traditionalists hate it: one reviewer here has decided not to buy it in spite of having every other episode already. And I can (kind of) understand why - when series 3 is bad, it's pretty awful....

So - why the 5 stars? Well, it's because the highs it hits are better than anything Dr Who has done before. I'm a lifelong fan, but I'd put the Human Nature and The Family Of Blood two-parter, plus the truly frightening Blink, into the "as good as anything ever" category.

But that's not all. Tthe 3-parter around the Master is simply the best Dr Who ever told. Bar none. Again, John Simm has attracted praise and brickbats. But that's because his performance is extraordinary. He actually completely steals the show - which some traditionalists are not going to like as it threatens the pre-eminence of Doctor - but hey it's called acting guys. And boy, can this guy act. Simply the scariest enemy the doctor has ever faced. (And to think - he has to follow the great Jacobi on to the stage...).

Oh, and to the reviewer who talks about the soundtrack - I've tried it and he's right. The attack of the Toclafane is astonishing. As I write, it is weeks since I last saw it, yes it still makes me skin tingle to hear the strains of Voodoo Child banging out as the human race gets slaughered. Devastating.

My advice is - just buy it. When it's bad, just keep watching. Trust me, it gets better and better and better.

And then John Simm shows up... and it's glorious.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Messiah complex notwithstanding - a compulsory buy, 25 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
Despite being unsure of Freema Agyeman's portrayal of new TARDIS companion Martha Jones, I found this series of Doctor Who to be bold and brash and enjoyed watching this DVD set more than I did the original broadcast.
The return of The Doctor's ultimate enemy - the Machiavellian Master, is enough to whet the appetite of any fan, and John Simm's playing of the character is refreshingly assured if a little too normal looking (although I maintain that Derek Jacobi should have been given the part permanently). With a familiar Earth-based theme from RTD and co., the Jones family replace the Tylers as the characters through whom we witness the various invasions and terrors wrought upon our fragile planet, although unlike Rose's Mum and boyfriend this family is under surveillance...
The best episode is easily the seminal 'Blink', which somehow manages to tap into all that is good about Doctor Who whilst remaining refreshingly original. Stephen Moffat does emotive without being saccharine; sentimental without being cloying, and it is his episode that resonates longest after the credits have rolled.
The Shakespeare Code is also superb, with its Elizabethan authenticity practically wafting through the TV screen and the hideous Carrionites making their splendid bow in the Whoniverse. Two-hander 'Human Nature' and 'The Family of Blood' is pant-wettingly marvellous, and is arguably David Tennant's finest hour as The Doctor; Harry Lloyd, so wooden as Will Scarlet in Robin Hood, also puts in a show-stealing performance as the alien 'son of mine'.
The series also sees the welcome return of Captain Jack, taking a break from Torchwood, and with an intriguing reveal at the end as to his past, the show seems to be going from strength to strength.
I have to say that the final episode, with its unabashed portrayal of David Tennant's Doctor as some kind of Messiah, did disturb me somewhat, however with the knowledge that Stephen Moffat's new take on the Time Lord is just around the corner I can live with this; just.
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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another season of improvement, 3 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
New series, new companion, new (and old) beasties and new adventures, the 3rd series of the revitalised juggernaut that is Doctor Who rumbles into view. And, generally speaking, it's another success, and maybe the best of the all the new series'. Series 3 was mainly concerned with the following themes: a new companion, Martha Jones, and her feelings towards the Doctor, a cryptic message from The Face of Boe, and the enigmatic Harold Saxon. Martha's character, and her introduction in `Smith & Jones' (maybe the best of all the new series' openers), is generally handled well and Freema Agyeman does reasonably well in her first major role, and I was pleased to see that she will be back for series 4, along with Catherine Tate (oh dear..).

Ultimately, any series of Doctor Who will be judged on its episodes and series 3 is generally rollicking entertainment. As usual the filler episodes vary in quality, whereas the arcs almost define the long-lasting memories of the season. The Daleks returned again in `Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks', and once again the writers showed an inclination to try something different with the Doctor's most enduring foes, without detracting from the Daleks' original concept, this time creating a Dalek in human form in 1930's Manhattan. The mid-series arc `Human Nature / The Family of Blood' dealt with the Doctor's decision to become a human being in order to escape a malevolent alien family who are out destroy him in order to further their own life span. I remember this story best for David Tennant's excellent, and touching, performance as John Smith, the Doctor's human alter-ego. Strange how his best performance in his tenure was when he wasn't actually playing the Doctor! A great story set in England just before World War 1, with other notable performances from Agyeman, Jessica Hynes and a very creepy Harold Lloyd. The final arc was the series-closing, three-parter, `Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords', which re-introduced another of the Doctor's greatest enemies, the Master, played briefly by the excellent Derek Jacobi, and then regenerating into the wonderful John Simm. The story mainly deals with the Master's domination of both the Doctor and the whole human race and is memorable for Simm's absolutely brilliant performance as the Master, and the return of Captain Jack Harkness to the Tardis crew. While this arc didn't close the season as well as series 2's `Army of Ghosts / Doomsday', it certainly didn't lack in excitement and even managed to draw on a moment from the golden age of Doctor Who in one of its final scenes.

The filler episodes range from being solid to superb. While episodes such as `Gridlock' and `The Lazarus Experiment' fall into the former category, they manage to attain some level of importance in the series with their connections to the series end. `The Shakespeare Code' once again showed the writers' willingness to involve some of Britain's greatest historical figures, this time in a tale of witchcraft, while the absolutely superb `Blink' not only showed Steven Moffat's ability as one of the show's very best, and most original writers (he also wrote `The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances' and `The Girl in the Fireplace'), but also that a successful episode can be made that isn't told from the Doctor's viewpoint. After last season's utterly abysmal `Love & Monsters' I was a little surprised that a similar episode was tried again, but this time we were offered a true `behind the sofa' experience.

Series 3 is not without its niggles though. I still have some quibbles with David Tennant's portrayal of the Doctor. Tennant still has the annoying propensity to grossly overact when displaying bouts of intense emotion or when trying to convey Time Lord eccentricity. Capturing the Doctor's quirkiness is one thing but unnecessary shouting, teeth-gritting and stomping around in a circle while verbally rambling and grasping your hair is another. Barring those points, Tennant's looks, natural charm and sense of style carry him through well enough, always making him extremely watchable, but without him capturing the Doctor's quirks as well as Tom Baker or Christopher Ecclestone. There's also still too much sycophantic babble from the Doctor about the accomplishments of the human race. If the series actually dealt with other races as potential victims a little more this could be reduced, or even avoided. Freema Agyeman's performances plateaued a little after `The Family of Blood', also coinciding with her character appearing a little under-written too. Finally, the re-introduction of Captain Jack seemed almost unnecessary as he added next to nil to the finale; maybe a cameo from the Doctor in Torchwood may have served better.

But, as I mentioned earlier, series 3 is possibly the best of all the new series and seeing as it doesn't have any really weak episodes then I can't help but recommend it heartily (still not looking forward to Catherine Tate though...)

A brief footnote: I must say that this 'exclusive' box-set from Amazon represents very poor value for money. A lenticular sheet stuck onto the front of the high-street box-set hardly seems worth an extra £8 after last year's Cyberman box and exclusive postcards. More effort for the season 4 packaging please.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another 'swish' package from the Beeb..., 22 Dec 2013
By 
A. THORN (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
As you would expect from the Beeb, this is a glossily packaged DVD box set with a fair few bonuses and extras.

Picture and sound excellent.

Nothing against John Simm (who put a 'funny but psychotic' spin on his portrayal of the character) but I would like to have seen a little more of Derek Jacobi in the role. I thought the contrast between his doddery, eccentric but rather sweet and lovable Professor Yana and his cold, callous Master was masterfully done and with such economy - as you would expect from an actor of his stature.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Series.....just one tiny niggle, 7 Nov 2007
By 
Lokious "Lokious" (Stoke-on-Trent, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
I have to disagree with a couple of the previous reviews, specifically the one about how this series is only for children and the 'easily' amused. This is a well thought out and executed series which appeals to both children and adults.....and isn't that what doctor who is about? all the family being able to watch together and enjoy it on different levels? Anyway, like I said, a fab series that includes old and new favourites from Daleks to Arachnids and Weeping Angels to The Master. The only negative point i have is.... as someone who owns the 'Tardis' edition of the first series and 'Cyber Head' edition of the second series, i would have a liked the third to follow the pattern with a more exciting packaging choice, but alas we cant have everything we want and the content on the discs more than makes up for unimaginative packaging.
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30 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best series ever..., 9 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
Series 3 of new Doctor Who is without doubt one of the strongest in its whole 44 year history. It may actually be the best series ever.

From the wonderful introduction of Marta in episode 1, "Judoon Platoon upon the moon.." the series barely contains a duff scene.

Shakespeare Code and Gridlock are both excellent episode and I challenge any fan not to shed a tear as the Doctor finally tells Martha the truth about his existence.

The Dalek two parter is IMO the best story with the pepperpots of death since their return and a worthy successor to Genesis of Daleks as story that delves deeper into the origins of the Daleks.

The Lazuras Experiment is on the surface a fairly standard Monster of the Week story, albeit one that deals with modern obsession over youth. However by now we know all is not well on Earth, just who is Mr Saxon and why is he so obsessed about Martha, her family and the Doctor...?

42 is probably the weakest story of the whole series yet even that is unfair as its very enjoyable as a throwaway adventure and again it adds more to the building sense of anticipation this series had with the revelation Martha's mother is working for Saxon, not good news...

Human Nature and Family of Blood may just be one of the greatest Doctor Who stories of all with outstanding performances from Harry Lyod and Jessica Hynes and indeed from Freema Ageyman who excels beyond the levels of Billie in this story.

Blink as the Doctor lite story is terrific frightfest.

Then we come to the final three episodes. The end of Utopia is the best cliffhanger in the series history and marks the return of the Master in guise of John Simm. From Murray Golds terrific regeneration score this is where the series just goes beyond magnificent...

The Sound of Drums has become without doubt my single favourite episode of Doctor Who ever and that is largely down to the one and only John Simm as the Master. Its one of the best performances I've ever seen on TV and I can't praise him enough, he steals the ENTIRE series. The Telegraph referred to him as "a national treasure" and its really hard to find fault in that assesment.

Last Of Time Lords left me feeling a bit numb at first, wasn't sure about the resolution or the fate of the Master. Nn furter viewings I've come to love it especially as its probably the most dark and apocalyptic episode in the series history. The revelation as to the real identity of the Toclafane is particularly chilling.

In all an outstanding series, visually big and ambitious with storylines to match the ambition. Murray Golds scores for the Master are more movie scores than TV scores.

Series 4 has a lot to live up too.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the new adventures, but not perfect, 1 Feb 2008
By 
Greg (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
First of all I must declare that I prefer the classic series, 1970-1977 era. However, the 3 new seasons have been better than the dark days of the classic series (i.e. the post-Davison era).

I found series 3 to be the best since the programme returned. David Tennant has settled into his role & Freema Agyeman is very good as Martha. The standard of the stories is pretty consistent, unlike the variability of the previous two series. In my opinion the soap-like family issues that Martha and before her, Rose, had were completely unnecessary. However, Martha's problems were not as intrusive.

The best stories are Human Nature/Family of Blood, Blink and Utopia. Derek Jacobi is very good as Professor Yana, and the music does a superb job of building the tension. If I had to pick my favourite story it would be Human Nature/Family of Blood, in which Tennant is allowed to act his socks off and play it straight. If only he was allowed to do this more often (and if only Chris Ecclestone had been allowed to play it straight). The two part finale to the series is the biggest disappointment for me. It was built up to be something special, but like the finales of the previous two series it was a let-down. I just did not like John Simm's characterisation of the Master - it reminded me of Tom Baker when he was at his worst, but without the sheer presence. It might have been better if he was shown to be sinister & serious when he was alone. Unfortunately he was just too silly.

This set is well worth getting. The extras are quite good as well. Let's hope that series 4 carries on the quality of this series & the Xmas special, although with Donna repacing Martha, I have my doubts...
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15 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HERE. COME. THE DRUMS., 18 Sep 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
Series Three...always entertaining, occasionally magnificent and, in a couple of cases, totally bloody unforgettable.

Having already reviewed the individual releases in detail (see profile) I'd like to offer a different reason as to why this box set is seriously worth considering: the remixed 5.1 soundtrack. Make no mistake, DOCTOR WHO is now very much a cinematic viewing experience which, for me, began with 2005's THE CHRISTMAS INVASION - one of the most impressive British science-fiction tv movies in a LONG time. And it has continued like that ever since. So if you possess the audio firepower to match the lavish visuals then, go on, turn the lot up to 11 - the attacking TOCLAFANE, MACRA, CARRIONITES and JUDOON (on the Moon) will just blow you away. As will pretty much everything else from The Doctor's 2007 adventures, including MURRAY GOLD's brilliant, radiant score.

The shifty-looking dude on the reflective cover? Well, you just gotta be ready because...Here. Come. The Drums.

Buy into the brilliance.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ace!, 23 Nov 2007
By 
This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
A lot of people have given mixed reviews. All I'm going to say is, when New Who - and especially this series - is good, its bloody magnificent. And when it's bad, it still knocks spots off everything else on telly these days.

There. I will gladly sit through the episodes that other people didn't seem to take to (Daleks in Manhatten, anyone?) rather than the tripe on cable TV. And after having watched the very last episode again, it comes off not quite as weird as I first thought.

The other outstanding eps - "Smith & Jones", "Shakespeare Code", "Gridlock", "The Lazarus Experiment", "42" (yes, I loved "42"!), the fantastic "Human Nature" + "Family of Blood", the freaky-is-cool-for-deep-people "Blink", the impossible-to-beat "Utopia"... oh what am I saying, this is 90% of the series...

You get the idea. I loved it. Just a few more outtakes on the boxed set would have been nice...
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 15 Nov 2007
This review is from: Doctor Who : Complete BBC Series 3 Box Set - Limited Edition Lenticular Master Sleeve (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
Series 1 was ok, apart from the Doctor; Series 2 better, even allowing for an increasingly irritating companion (sorry, it's not Billie Piper, it was the whinging, clinging way Rose's "love interest" with the Doctor was written) Series 3 on the other hand gets just about everything right.

David Tennant has just about taken over as my all-time favourite Doctor now, and he's given some fantastic material - Human Nature/Family of Blood, Utopia and The Shakespeare Code are my favourites, but the spooky (almost Doctor free) Blink and the atmospheric first half of the Dalek two-parter (pity about the second half!) come close. Freema Agyeman is great; the production values are exemplary; and the DVD extras, including an hilarious final-episode commentary from Tennant, Agyeman and John Barrowman, are highly entertaining. A proper treat of a series.
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