Cordé, the Loyal and Loving

 

Cordé, the Loyal and Loving
(2003-2016)

corde pose

 

Sunday was tough.

We had known for a while that Sunday was inevitable, but that didn’t make the choice any easier. Sometimes the right choices aren’t the easy ones. The vet told us that she was willing to do anything within her power to help us, but the desperate plea for thirty more years with our beautiful girl was not something she could manage.

Cordé had been with us for nearly thirteen years. She was a road-side rescue in South Carolina, and when she came to our home, she was a tiny ball of scraggly brown fur infested with ticks, fleas, and worms. I was adamant that a dog wouldn’t fit into our military lifestyle, but Rosalyn asked me to hold the puppy and think about it. All of my apprehension disappeared in the smallest of licks on the chin, and as my heart melted, I agreed to welcome her to our family under one condition: I got to name her.

I presented Rosalyn with a list of names, most of which came from Star Wars. The memories of the prequel era were fresh in my mind and I knew that this pup would fill a place in Rosalyn’s heart that our ornery cat never would. She would be a good companion for those lonely days, nights, weeks, and months that take me away from her side. Rosalyn chose Cordé.

We went to PetSmart and picked up supplies. When it came to toys, we quickly discovered two things: Regular tennis balls were just as big as she was, and someone had the foresight to make the most adorable miniature versions for smaller dogs. Cordé loved those little tennis balls, and she chased them all over our small fenced-in yard on the naval base. She was so upset when she outgrew them, and she never accepted full size tennis balls, settling on stuffed animals as her toy of choice.

 

Corde rocks

 

Cordé went on so many adventures with Rosalyn, including hikes in the mountains and trips to the beach. She loved the ocean from day one, from splashing in the waves to rolling in the warm sand, and it was almost second nature to her years later when we took a long weekend to Charleston and visited the beach again. The years rolled off that old dog as she trotted into the salty waters and immersed herself in her personal fountain of youth.

When we moved to Connecticut, our southern dog discovered snow. She fell in love with the cold white flakes, and any time that it snowed, she was so excited to go outside and play. After years away from it after we left Connecticut, she was overjoyed to visit family in Utah during the winter, and refused to come inside during a storm. After we pulled her inside, she raced down to the dog door and let herself out again, letting the snow bury her until she had her fill.  Nothing beats the sight of seeing a large mound of snow shake itself down into a medium-sized dog.

 

corde snow

 

Cordé’s heart was bigger than she was, and all she knew was how to give. When Rosalyn was upset, Cordé would dig a favorite toy out of the basket and drop it at Rosalyn’s feet. With all of that hair, she overheated easily, but if someone needed consolation, she offered just enough cuddle time to make things better. When things were good and the world was right, she was content just to lay on your feet and let you know that she was thinking of you. She loved visiting her friends and family, especially when it meant taking a ride to visit her aunts and uncles, and she was always overjoyed when we mentioned the airport because that meant we were bringing her a surprise guest.

She never forgot about how we met, either. I typically don’t like being licked by dogs, but she took great joy in waiting for the right time to stealthily reach out and give me a small puppy kiss on any exposed flesh she could find. I’d give her the most annoyed of looks and play up the drama, but still pet her on the head and scratch her ears in the way I knew she loved.

 

Corde Papers

 

When Cordé was a pup, an Army veterinarian told Rosalyn that our girl wouldn’t make it past the age of six. Cordé’s heart beat a bit fast, and she always panted, even when she was at rest. The doctor was concerned that she would simply exhaust herself at a young age, and after she turned six, we treated the next few years like precious gifts. Unfortunately, I started to take that time for granted. Cordé was our girl. She was a constant anchor of love that was always there and never failing.

Honestly, that’s my biggest regret.

Time slowly marched across her fur in waves of grey. She developed diabetes in her later years and slowed down as the years moved on. We introduced a pup named Jango, and his youth and companionship reinvigorated her for a while, but her moods began to shift as her mind started to go. Her eyesight faded, and her steps were less sure. She became forgetful and, at times, aggressive. She even started giving up her position as leader over Jango, including her second-favorite toy, the manatee.

Eventually her bad days outnumbered her good ones.

Saturday was a good day. She went for a walk, she played with Jango, she played study-buddy for Rosalyn, and she even spent time on our laps during a study break. On Sunday morning, she played fetch for a little bit before it was time to go to the vet. We went to discuss options, and the doctor offered them for everything but the mood shifts and aggressiveness. Based on indications, she speculated that it was the result of a stroke or brain lesion, and could only offer confirmation through expensive testing and the promise that it would only get worse with time.

We chose to remember the good days.

We said goodbye on the afternoon of May 22nd. We gave her a final home among the shady trees she loved so much, nestled with her favorite plush squirrel, where she will always be cool and on an adventure in the forest.

It was the hardest thing we have ever had to do in our lives.

 

Young Corde

 

I know that was the right thing to do, and that she’s no longer in pain. I believe that somewhere out there, perhaps at the foot of the Rainbow Bridge, she’s happy once again, chasing bunnies and birds and playing mother hen like she always did.

We miss her so much. I have never seen such a caring, loving, and empathetic dog in my life, and I’m deeply grateful for the years that she spent with us. It’s a debt that I feel like I can never repay, but I will certainly try by living up to the potential that Cordé saw in me.

Every morning as we got up and greeted the day, she would make the rounds and check on us. It was my turn on Monday, and I told her all of this as I made sure she rested soundly.

I will always love you, Cordé. Be good.

 

Corde thought

 

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Timestamp #72: Death to the Daleks

Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks
(4 episodes, s11e11-e14, 1974)

Timestamp 072 Death to the Daleks

 

Sometimes you get to go to the beach, and sometimes you get enslaved by xenophobic mutants in armored cans bent on galactic domination.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane are getting ready for a sandy vacation when the TARDIS loses all power and crashes. Main power, backup power, battery power, all of it gets drained away. Luckily, the Doctor has a kerosene lantern to light the way and they pair goes outside to investigate, but when Sarah Jane returns to the TARDIS to change out of her swimsuit, the Doctor gets pursued the planet’s natives. Sarah Jane returns and looks for the Doctor, but only finds a blood-stained lamp. Sarah Jane is pursued by the aliens and discovers a city with a large pulsing light. The city is a holy shrine, and trespassing is punishable by death. Of course, Sarah Jane is discovered and captured.

It’s a somewhat clever device to keep the travelers engaged on the planet: The TARDIS is utterly useless at this point.

The Doctor escapes captivity and encounters a Marine Space Corps expedition. The planet is Exxilon, and the expedition commander was gravely injured by the Exxilons. The humans are in search of parrinium, which is abundant on Exxilon and desperately needed to treat a plague. On their way to harvest it, their ship also lost power and crashed.

I did note that the human expedition badges look like a sideways version of the insignia from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It’s probably just coincidence.

On cue, another ship arrives. The expedition mistakes it for a rescue mission, but it is actually a Dalek ship. The Daleks disembark and try to exterminate, but their weapons are disabled by the energy drain. The combined stranded groups consider forging an alliance since the Daleks are also seeking the parrinium. The allied team returns to the mining dome, but are ambushed en route, and the Exxilons kill one of the humans and a Dalek before taking the entire group into custody.

When they arrive at the Exxilon camp, the Doctor saves Sarah Jane from being sacrificed, but is in turn sentenced to die for his actions. The Daleks negotiate terms with the High Priest, which the humans presume are for everyone’s release. Back on their ship, the Daleks who remained on board replace their ray weapons with projectile weapons, and those Daleks arrive and take over the Exxilons. The Doctor and Sarah Jane escape into the tunnels, which is where something is lurking that will complete the interrupted sacrifice. The Daleks enslave the Exxilons for mining the parrinium, and the humans are to hunt a renegade group of Exxilons in exchange for the minerals they need, as well as hunting the Doctor and Sarah Jane.

Smart Daleks. They keep evolving as the franchise carries on, as they also now move under psychokinetic power.

The Doctor investigates a tunnel as Sarah Jane waits, where she is approached by one of the renegade Exxilons. The Doctor discovers a strange tentacle that looks like the Martian eyestalks from 1953’s War of the Worlds, and it strikes at him. He evades until a Dalek arrives, which provides him a chance to escape. The renegade Exxilon offers them refuge from the patrols, and they agree.

The Doctor was actually cheering the tentacle’s destruction of the Dalek. What was that about abhorring violence?

The renegade Exxilon, Bellal, tells the tale: The civilization was once very technologically advanced, including travelling in space. Thousands of years ago, the Exxilons built the enormous city, which the Doctor thinks might be one of the Seven Hundred Wonders of the Universe. The city became sentient and drove the Exxilons out, and the Exxilons gradually degenerated into their current primitive society which worships the thing that destroyed them. Bellal and Gotal are from another, much smaller faction which wishes to destroy the City. The Daleks also plan to destroy it so they can escape the planet, which they will do by force with explosives.

The Dalek-human alliance begins to fracture as the Exxilons are not mining fast enough. After another root comes to the surface through a body of water and kills an Exxilon and a Dalek, the Daleks move the mining operation.

Bellal describes several images from the city walls, which the Doctor has seen before on a temple in Peru on Earth. He’s not saying that it’s aliens, but maybe ancient astronauts? He decides to infiltrate the city, and tells Sarah Jane to get the humans ready for takeoff when the beacon is disabled. If he fails to return, she must leave with the humans. Two Daleks also attempt to infiltrate the city, causing Bellal and the Doctor to flee through a secret doorway. The path forward is via a series of logic, mental acuity, and intelligence tests. The Daleks are in pursuit by way of the same tests.

The Doctor and Bellal reach the city’s brain after passing the tests, but the city attempts to prevent the Doctor’s meddling by creating antibodies. He completes his modifications as the pursuing Daleks arrive, and the antibodies attack the Daleks as the Doctor and Bellal escape.

Sarah Jane finds the human camp and works with Jill Tarrant, one of the expedition members, to exchange the full mineral sacks with ones full of sand. A Dalek discovers that Jill has escaped, and instead of sounding the alarm, it self-destructs from the sheer guilt of its failure. As the Daleks load their ship, the beacon is destroyed by the explosives team and power is restored. The Doctor, Sarah Jane, Jill, and Bellal are all captured, but instead of killing them, the Daleks leave the group to die when they infect the surface with the plague. They plan to use their mineral supply to corner the market and take over the weakened powers of the universe.

No one expects Galloway, however, who kept one of the Dalek explosives and suicide bombs the ship. The remaining humans wait with the parrinium for rescue, and the city dies and melts away. The Doctor laments the loss of such a wonder.

This was along the same lines as Invasion of the Dinosaurs in that it was a decent enough story, and even with some sketchy effects, it holds its own to reach a high 3 mark. Again, I round up.

 

Rating: 4/5 – “Would you care for a jelly baby?”

 

 

UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Monster of Peladon

 

 

The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.

 

Timestamp #71: Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs
(6 episodes, s11e05-e10, 1974)

Timestamp 071 Invasion of the Dinosaurs

 

It’s an invasion! But you don’t know what’s invading until the second episode! Or until you read the title of this Timestamp!

Sorry for the spoilers.

Actually, it’s fairly clever to hide the plot device by changing the name of the first episode. I mean, it’s pretty fun to figure out why London is empty – a feat that had to be fun to orchestrate and film – except for UNIT, the regular army (led by General Finch), and looters avoiding the martial law imposed on the evacuated metropolis. It’s even more clever to make this the “real” timeline instead of an alternate or parallel timeline from the actual events. The history books never really explain the great British dinosaur invasion of Nineteen-Seventy-something-something.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane explore the area, get robbed, try calling the police, and get distracted as their robber’s car gets into an accident. That seemed like a particularly grisly scene for this show. As the pair keep looking about, they encounter more looters and a pterodactyl before being apprehended by the army.  In a humorous bit, they are designated as Prisoners 177781 and 177782 as they keep disrupting the booking process. Luckily, once they are on the official books, the Brigadier and Sgt Benton discover their status and send a dispatch to retrieve them.

Did I mention pterodactyl? Yeah, the city is being evacuated because of dinosaurs.

The travelers are sentenced to a detention camp, but before they depart, the Doctor stages a fight with a fellow prisoner, then subdues the guard before making a run for it. The duo are soon captured again and loaded into a truck for transfer, but the truck gets ambushed by a tyrannosaurus rex.

Unfortunately, the tyrannosaur’s appearance highlights just how terrible the dinosaur effects are.

The travelers escape and hide in a garage where they meet a medieval peasant – not a dinosaur – who believes that the Doctor is a wizard. He attacks the Doctor with a knife but then disappears back to his own time. Soldiers soon arrive, accompanied by the Brigadier, and the group returns to the temporary UNIT HQ where the Brigadier explains the situation. The Doctor theorizes that the dinosaurs are moving back and forth through time, but he doesn’t know who is controlling the process. The general, accompanied by Captain Yates fresh off leave after the adventure with the mine maggots, doesn’t believe any of it.

The Doctor and Brigadier go out to a dinosaur sighting where they find a stegosaurus. The dinosaur fades away into a time eddy, and the localized distortion makes time run backwards for the witnesses, which eliminates the memory of the transition. The Doctor works on a gadget to knock out a dinosaur and track the temporal distortions, which are the result of Professor Whitaker and fellow scientist Butler’s experiments.  Unfortunately, Yates is working with the scientists, and proposes that the Doctor could be helpful to them. Whitaker declines in order to protect the operation and directs Yates to break the dinosaur stunner. Yates accompanies the Doctor and Brigadier to a dinosaur sighting, and sabotages the stunner. A time eddy takes the apatosaurus away, but a tyrannosaur appears behind them.

In trying to escape the threat, the Doctor falls, and Yates rushes to his rescue, fixing the stunner and taking down the dinosaur. Yates berates the scientists for trying to kill the Doctor, but agrees to sabotage the Doctor’s efforts to track Whitaker. Sarah Jane, who is still a reporter, has also been working on finding him for months.

Yates continues to hinder the Doctor by breaking the tracker. Sarah Jane gets permission to photograph the T. rex, and it wakes up and chases her because General Finch has loosened its chains. The Doctor rescues her, and Sarah Jane begins her own investigation as the Doctor begins work on a smaller, portable tracking device. Sarah Jane’s investigation leads her to an ecologist Member of Parliament, Sir Charles Grover, who is the acting Minister with Special Responsibilities in London. When she presses her points, he drugs her. She wakes up on a spaceship three months away from Earth.

Wait, what? Where did that come from?

The spaceship is filled with minor celebrities and is bound for New Earth, a pure, younger version of the current Earth. There are over 200 people on the ship in stasis, and there are seven ships. I’m not sure that 1400 people are enough for a diverse gene pool, but the concept is there I suppose. Sarah Jane questions things, so the others send to the re-education program so she can be trained to think like them.

The Doctor drives his new Whomobile – Where is Bessie and what is this shark-jumper? – and tracks the temporal distortions to an abandoned Underground station. He discovers a hidden elevator and takes it down to the lab and heads toward the reactor. The scientists steer him back to the elevator by closing a series of doors (which make the sets shimmy), and then they set a pterodactyl on him. He fights it off and escapes.

The Doctor brings the Brigadier back to the station, but the elevator has been disabled. The two of them confer with MP Grover who tries to deflect them, and Operation Golden Age, a plan to establish a fresh start for humanity by rolling back time across the entire planet, now conspires to discredit the Doctor.  Whitaker comes out of hiding, pretends to be an innocent bystander in the affair, and asks the Doctor to meet him in the hangar. The scientists drop a stegosaurus in the hangar when the Doctor arrives, and Finch brings in the Brigadier to reveal the “true” perpetrator. The Brigadier places the Doctor under arrest, which helps the Doctor to uncover the UNIT mole when Yates will not help him escape. Sgt Benton, on the other hand, allows the Doctor to run so he can unravel the mystery.

Sarah Jane attempts to convince Mark, a fellow captive on the spaceship, that the whole thing is a elaborate ruse. He watches her depressurize and step out of the airlock without being harmed. As the Doctor evades capture by an army squad, Sarah Jane is captured by Finch after trusting him with what she’s discovered. MP Grover explains the plan to her, and then starts rolling back pockets of time. Coincidentally, this leaves the Doctor surrounded by dinosaurs. The dinosaurs fight each other in a bloodless battle (which is strange since the car accident victim in the first episode was a bloody mess), and the Doctor runs only to be apprehended by Finch and the Brigadier. The Brigadier asserts his authority to take custody of the Doctor, and they return to the temporary HQ where Yates holds everyone at gunpoint. He explains the plot to the Doctor, the Brigadier, and Benton, but is distracted by another soldier which allows Benton to disarm him.

Sarah Jane returns to the spaceship, convincing Mark that it’s all fake, and they set out to reveal it to everyone on board. They get locked away for disruptive behavior. Adam, the ship’s leader, calls MP Grover and explains the situation. Grover comes into the spaceship set in a spacesuit, and berates Sarah Jane in her cell. Adam overhears the discussion and frees Mark and Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane demonstrates that the airlock is not real, and the captives escape.

So, there’s only one ship. That’s 200 people. That’s definitely not enough for diverse gene pool.

Also, everyone we saw on the ship was white. Oops.

Anyway, the Doctor and the Brigadier infiltrate the underground lab. The Doctor goes in while the Brigadier calls for reinforcements, but Benton is held at gunpoint by Finch. Benton overpowers the general and dispatches the reinforcements. Everyone confronts Grover and the scientists, and Whitaker responds by throwing the switch. It freezes everyone except (conveniently) the Doctor, and he stops the process and reverses the polarity of the machine. Grover throws the switch again, but it sends Whitaker, Grover, and the machine back in time to their Golden Age, presumably as dino snacks.

The bad guys are put away, Yates is given the opportunity to resign quietly, and the Doctor convinces Sarah Jane to travel with him.

I loved the interaction between the Brigadier and the Doctor. We don’t see a lot of that, so it’s refreshing when it happens. I also loved how much of a hero Benton became with this story. Sarah Jane is a-maz-ing, and I’m so happy to see her character in these stories.

On the costume front, the Doctor’s green and brown outfit was a good break, but I really like this blue and gray wardrobe. He has a ruffled wardrobe for all seasons.

The story was good, but the effects and logistics sketchy at best. I settled on a 3.5, and, fortunately for this story, I round up.


Rating: 4/5 – “Would you care for a jelly baby?”

 

UP NEXT – Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks

 

 

The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.

 

Timestamp #70: The Time Warrior

Doctor Who: The Time Warrior
(4 episodes, s11e01-e04, 1973-74)

Timestamp 070 The Time Warrior

 

Welcome to Series Eleven and a serial chock full of firsts for the franchise. I really like the new title sequence and logo, which combines Star Trek-style warp speed rainbow star streak effects and 1970s psychedelic wormholes.

The story begins with a group of medieval warriors who are complaining about the poor stores in their seized castle, including sour wine and rancid meat, when they see a falling star. After a series of well-done effects for the crash, the raiders investigate and encounter a spaceship piloted by a Sontaran.

A Sontaran!

His name is Linx and his ship needs repair. After he claims Earth for the Sontaran Empire, the medieval warriors exchange their help for super weapons that would make them invincible. Flashing forward to the 20th century, the Doctor and the Brigadier investigate the disappearance of a dozen leading scientists and their hardware. Linx is the culprit, having kidnapped them through time so that they can repair his ship. True to his word, Linx has also provided Irongron, the lead human warrior, with a rifle.

During the investigation, the Doctor provides his name (once again) as Doctor John Smith, and we meet Sarah Jane Smith.

Sarah Jane!

Sarah Jane is a journalist posing as her aunt, a scientist. When another scientist, Professor Rubeish, goes missing, the Doctor traces him through time and Sarah Jane stows away on the TARDIS. When the Doctor sets his course for medieval times, Sarah Jane disrupts an archer who is trying to assassinate Irongron, and then gets captured by his forces.

I loved the Doctor’s quote: “A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.”

The Doctor witnesses Linx removing his helmet and, you know, the Sontarans really haven’t changed that much over the years. Sarah Jane is brought before Irongron, who is in a poor mood. Linx arrives, interrogates Sarah Jane, and provides a robotic knight for Irongron’s exploits. Irongron tests it by pitting the assassin archer against the robot for sport, but the Doctor stops the machine with an arrow to its remote control. The archer escapes with Sarah Jane, and the Doctor breaks into Linx’s lab after Irongron calls the Sontaran away to diagnose the robot. The Doctor discovers the missing scientists, including Rubeish, who couldn’t be hypnotized like the others because he left his glasses in the future, but the Doctor is soon ambushed by Linx. Linx interrogates the Doctor, who discloses that he is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.

Gallifrey!

Sarah Jane is taken to the Wessex Castle where she meets the lord who wants to defeat Irongron, and they all assume that the Doctor is behind the plot to kidnap the scientists. They develop a plan to kidnap the Doctor and stop the insanity. Back in the makeshift lab, Linx restrains the Doctor with a headset that provides a shock when he strays from his assigned task. Rubeish helps him to escape, but the Doctor encounters the human warriors and is nearly beheaded by Irongron. He is saved by the archer Hal and Sarah Jane, but they spirit him away to Wessex Castle. They confront him about his role in the affair, but he convinces them that he is the good guy.

Irongron attacks Wessex Castle and is nearly dissuaded by the dummies that impersonate a superior force, but Linx shows Irongron how to shoot the rifles and they discover the ruse. The Doctor and Sarah Jane drive the warriors back with chemical warfare. Irongron is angered by the failure, and Linx is angry with Irongron.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane lead an attack on Irongron’s castle, and they sneak in disguised as friars. They discover the scientists suffering from starvation and sleep deprivation. When Linx returns to the lab, the Doctor offers to help him fix his ship in exchange for the scientists’ lives. Linx attacks in response, and while the Sontaran is distracted by the weakened Doctor, Rubeish hits Linx right in the probic vent, his only weak spot, and knocks him out.

Irongron summons Linx, and the Doctor responds in the guise of an upgraded robot knight. He is soon defeated and captured, and subjected to a firing squad to offer Irongron’s men practice with their rifles. Sarah Jane sneaks into the kitchen and slips a knockout draught into the food, and then helps the Doctor escape the rogues and their poor aim. Rubeish removes the scientists’ trance and works to send them all back to their time.

At this point, it’s Linx versus everyone else: When Linx’s spacecraft lifts off, it will produce a shock wave that will level the castle, and the Doctor wants to save the innocents from that fate. Linx begins the power-up sequence on his craft as the guards fall prey to Sarah Jane’s culinary sabotage. The Doctor figures out how to send the scientists home and leaves Rubeish in charge as he faces off against Linx.

Only Irongron remains standing from the drugged stew. He bursts in to confront Linx, but the Sontaran kills him. Hal warns the rogues that the castle is about to be destroyed, and then arrives just in time to shoot Linx in the probic vent with an arrow. Linx dies, but falls on the activation button for his ship, and the castle is destroyed as the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Hal escape.

Irongron is dead, his marauders are scattered, Wessex is safe, and the Doctor and his stowaway companion set course for home.

This was a fun episode with so many pieces of the mythology. Sarah Jane is an empowered and very spirited woman. She takes charge and fights hard, but is also willing to admit when she’s wrong. She’s a fantastic character right from the start. I’m eager to see how she develops as a companion.

Grading this one was easy.

 

Rating: 5/5 – “Fantastic!”

 

UP NEXT – Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs

 

The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.

 

 

 

Timestamp: Tenth Series Summary

Doctor Who: Tenth Series Summary

Timestamp Logo Third

 

The Tenth Series is still a strong performer, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the Ninth Series.

The Tenth had some great high points, including an adventure with all three incarnations of the Doctor and the phenomenal strength of Jo as a companion. As soon as the Doctor got his keys back from the Time Lords, Jo’s eyes were opened to the sheer potential of everything. I adored Liz Shaw for the strength she brought to the franchise as the Third Doctor started his exile, and I consider Jo’s time while the Doctor is still chained to Earth to be much weaker than Liz’s run, but as soon as the Doctor could fly again, a switch flipped in Jo’s character. She became so much more proactive and creative, and she reminded me a lot of Donna and Clara from the recent years in how similar she was to the Doctor.

That’s why I’m going to miss her.

It’s also why I’m apprehensive going forward. I’m on a high with such great chemistry between the Doctor and a companion, and next series brings fan-favorite Sarah Jane Smith to the stage. I’m hoping that she doesn’t let me down.

On a similar note, the Tenth Series was a season of saying goodbye to franchise icons. We said goodbye to a companion, and I praise the show for allowing us to actually see her off and for giving her a happy ending. Her final scenes were so powerful and touching. We said goodbye to a Doctor with William Hartnell’s final performance as the First Doctor, which was bittersweet because it was such a wonderful story coupled with the real-world knowledge of Hartnell’s condition. We said goodbye to the first incarnation of the Master, and even though it wasn’t planned to be his final performance, Frontier in Space is one of my favorite portrayals of the Doctor’s nemesis and friend by Roger Delgado. I didn’t consider it to be a strong story, but he brought so much heart and soul to bear.

The Doctor is finally back to being more high-spirited since he’s returned to traveling in space and time thanks to the Time Lords. His arrogance and rudeness has been scaled back, and I think it’s because he’s free to travel again and free to have fun again. It’s apparent in how crestfallen he becomes when Jo turns him down for a jaunt to Metebilis III in The Green Death, and it’s obvious that there is still a disconnect between them no matter how close they grow. She was a mirror image of the Doctor as her time as a companion progressed, and a key to gauging his recovery from his exile. He started out tied to Earth and ended with the ability to run again. She started out without a distinct course to travel and ended up locked down into a defined future. The parallels are amazing.

This series is one of the highest rated among the average seasons so far. It was fun, but not phenomenal, and it was a good vehicle for transition as the franchise continues to grow.

 

The Three Doctors – 5
Carnival of Monsters – 3
Frontier in Space – 3
Planet of the Daleks – 4
The Green Death – 4

Series Ten Average Rating: 3.8/5

 

UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Time Warrior

 

The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.