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Cult Spy: 'Doctor Who' Season 3 overview - Part Two

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We dealt with Saxongate and the You Are Not Alone mystery last week, and our Doctor Who season three overview now marches on with the less aesthetically pleasing sights of the Face of Boe, giant crabs and rhinos in familiar looking helmets...

The Face of Boe Mystery

Who would have thought it? Given Captain Jack’s seemingly immortal predicament it seems obvious now, but during the closing moments of ‘Last of the Time Lords’ there was plenty of jaw dropping around the country when that revelation was unveiled. Poor Jack. He’s well known for his intergalactic romping, so he must have had some hard times alone in his glass jar as Boe. Especially as he’s just a head and he has no, erm, bits. Unless they’re locked up in storage somewhere. Or pickled in a jar, suffering a similar fate to Rasputin's famed gherkin.

Looking back, the death of Boe was a genuinely tearjerking moment so expertly realised in the sublime ‘Gridlock’. But we'll never be able to watch it in the same way knowing that we're witnessing two old friends sharing their last few moments together. Intriguingly, why would Boe/Jack not reveal his identity to his time travelling friend? Of course, there's the argument that this is pure plot contrivance and necessary for generating the dramatic impact of the eventual reveal.

However, we have no idea what has happened between Boe/Jack and The Doctor in the masses of time before his death. Jack was hardly impressed when he was left behind on the space station at the end of the first season, so there's a chance that worse has happened that we've yet to see and Boe has real motive for wanting his Jack background concealed, especially if he has betrayed The Doctor at any stage...

Returning Monsters

Every season of the revived Doctor Who has trawled through the archives to dig up some old foes that will put a smile on the faces of hardened Whovians. Those perennially petulant pepperpots the Daleks made another comeback, courtesy of Dalek Sec's emergency temporal shifting abilities.

Whilst the two part 'Daleks in Manhattan' was a fairly disappointing and lacklustre affair at times, it was fantastic to see the metal-bound mutants spout dialogue that was different to what we were accustomed to hearing. Amusingly, two Cult of Skaro members had a right bitching session behind poor Sec's back. Get them on Big Brother now, we say! As for poor Sec, his transformation into the Dalek-Human hybrid looked superb, with real credit due to the prosthetics team for a fine creation.

Doctor Who has giant crabs! Around forty years since the second incarnation of our Gallifreyan hero encountered 'The Macra Terror', the pincer-ridden enemies returned in one of the most unlikely comebacks ever. This really puts the recent David Beckham recall in the shade. Funnily enough, the poor Macra have devolved in the intervening years and stopped their dreaded mind control tactics in favour of feasting on unsuspecting motorists. How long before Ken Livingstone puts them in the Congestion Charge zone?

A special mention should go to the rhino-faced Judoon, for their strong visual resemblance - until they removed their helmets - to a certain potato-headed race of time warriors from the old days of the show. Not so much lamb dressed as mutton, but Judoon dressed as Sontaran.

Next week in Cult Spy, we look at the recurring theme of humanity in the third season and chart Martha Jones' development from medical student to world saviour.

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