okay.. they’re both played by the rather hunky/gorgeous David Tennant – if you haven’t been watching, then Mr Smith is the human that the Doctor changed his body into, putting his timelord persona into a watch, in order to hide from some nasty aliens that wanted his body so that they could live forever.. only they’re like mayflies, they only live for 3 months so the Doctor arranged to hide in 1913 as Mr Smith (a teacher at a school for boys) and for Martha to be his chambermaid – only.. the Doctor kinda hadn’t planned for Mr Smith to be a sort of.. “Mr Chips” character, and fall in love with the widowed Matron..

The really nice part is the fact that Mr Smith realises, towards the end of the two parter, that he must become the Doctor again, and that he’ll lose himself within the Doctor, lose his future with Matron, become this incredibly lonely person – he must sacrifice himself, on multiple levels, sacrifice his future and his children. At one point the Time Lord persona, trapped within the watch, gifts both Mr Smith and Matron with a glimpse of how their future could’ve been; their marriage, their children, bursts of happiness together, his deathbed. All things that the Doctor cannot experience, and therein lies the bittersweetness. Yes, he gets to live forever, but at what price? Neatly hidden behind the scifi part of the story is a homily about life, expectations and happiness – and its this that lifts these two episodes out of the realm of some of the other ones. Both Michiel and i had tears in our eyes at the end of the episode, where the Doctor and Martha visited the war memorial, and its been playing on my mind since last night, as the best works (whether film, TV, books or whatever) tend to do. well worth catching, if it gets repeated, and you’ve not seen it before.

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