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5.0 out of 5 stars 'Human Nature' and 'The Family of Blood' are the best episodes of Doctor Who since it's return!, 10 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Series 3 Vol. 3 [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD continues the third series of the BBC's hit revival of 'Doctor Who' and contains three episodes. It is perhaps the strongest vanilla release to date, due to the fact that it contains the episodes 'Human Nature' and 'The Family of Blood' - easily the best episodes since the show was revived in 2005. David Tennant's performance as the Tenth Timelord remains strong, energetic and vibrant, whilst newcomer Freema Ageyman as the charming Martha Jones continues to impress. This disc contains no special features, but there will be a 6-disc boxet released in November that comes crammed with bonus material and content. But if you're like me and can't wait that long, this DVD is definitely a must-buy when it is released. The three episodes on the disc are all of an extremely high calibre, and the standard set so far by the series is maintaned. So, where is the TARDIS taking us this time...?

Human Nature/The Family of Blood

Writer: Paul Cornell

Director: Charles Palmer

Original airdate: 26/5/07 and 2/6/07

'Wow' is perhaps the only word I can use to describe this beautiful two-parter. This review really can't do it justice, because it is absolutely perfect in every single aspect. Doctor Who has had some fantastic episodes in the last few years, but nothing comes close to this. Paul Cornell's script is exciting, tender, moving, scary and combines all the ingredients that make a good Doctor Who story. David Tennant also gives easily his best performance to date (ironically not as the Doctor) and the killer scarecrows are brilliant. Set in the cold winter of 1913 at a boy's boarding school, we see the Doctor as we've never seen him before - as a human being; schoolteacher, John Smith. As a Time Lord, we have never seen the Doctor experience true human emotions before, so it was really interesting viewing experience to see him fall in love with a woman (the school matron). David Tennant manages to expertly portray John Smith as a thoroughly charming, likeable character, but subtely slips back into Doctor-mode from time to time, which is rewarding and a really nice touch. There are also lots of nice references to the 'classic' series to please old fans of the show, but plenty to keep the kids entertained too. It's hard to believe that arguably the best piece of television we've seen all year was shown at 7pm on a Saturday tea-time, because it really is a beautiful piece of work - and tackles some really mature subject matter, such as war, love and loss. And anyone who can get through 'The Family of Blood' without welling up has a heart of stone! In short, an absolute masterpiece - new Doctor Who has never been better. It deserves more than five-stars. Sublime - in a different league to anything we've seen before in the show. Anyway, enough rambing - on to the next episode...

Blink

Writer: Steven Moffat

Director: Hettie MacDonald

Original Airdate: 9/6/07

Although this episode isn't as good as the 'Human Nature' two-parter, it is still a very good, and very frightening episode of Doctor Who, that comes from the same pen as the fantastic 'Girl in the Fireplace' and 'The Empty Child'. Like last year's episode 'Love & Monsters', the Doctor is absent from a lot of the action in the story - but luckily, it still works very well and the supporting cast are strong enough to carry the episode by themselves. It is also one of the most terrifying episodes of Doctor Who since it returned - and there are lots of nice, spooky moments that will give the kids nightmares, which is always a good thing! It's hard to condense the plot of the story down to a sentence, but it's a very clever, well structured episode, that features a nice traditional haunting hause and some very sinister moving stone statues - 'The Weeping Angels'. It's also full to the brim with humuor too, thus making 'Blink' another superb edition to New Who.

There are a number of guest stars in these episodes, but Jessica Hynes (from 'Spaced' and 'The Royle Family') stands out as Nurse Joan Redfern, John Smith's love interest in 'Human Nature'. She gives a beautiful performance. Harry Lloyd also steals the show in the two-parter as the sinister Jeremy Baines, who positively oozes malice. Carey Mulligan is also good as Sally Sparrown in 'Blink' - her engaging performance helps to make the episode the enjoyable affair that it is. So all in all, quite possibly the strongest 'vanilla' DVD release so far - and proves that Doctor Who still hasn't lost it in it's third series. Fantastic - buy it now! It's worth it for 'Human Nature' and 'The Family of Blood' alone, I promise.
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Location: Rochdale, UK

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