One of the shows with a high body count among what a friend of mine calls the "helpful humans", though of course what they turn out to be doing is not so helpful after all. A good example of the monster-that's-not-a-monster-really trope, which this show does so often I sometimes get surprised when it really is a nasty evil badguy... And I liked the bit with Saxon trying to use Martha's mom to track the Doctor.
"Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood"
By way of contrast this really is a bunch of bad folks, so we get an uninhibited battle... the bit with the Doctor being disguised as a human was a neat idea, and I liked Martha's difficulties in fitting in back then. I imagine there was a lot of discussion about how it wasn't tough enough for her, but that's an ongoing question with Martha's race/gender/modern attitudes in their trips to the past.
The standout part of this story to me was the end, with the Doctor's vengeance on the family being so eye-poppingly nasty and the tie-in with Timothy surviving the trenches and then the bit at the end. It was a little taste of the man who ended the Time War and a bit disconcerting yet bracing to see in Tennant. It turned what could have been an ordinary story into something special for me.
Wow... just wow. Easy to see why this is one of the all-time favs. Speaking of bad guys, they don't get any scarier than this, and AFAIK it's a pretty unique idea. SF is full of things like Daleks and Cybermen, but the Angels are a mind-blowing concept. Despite being a Doctor-lite episode it kept going very smoothly, with the DVDs and timeloops very entertaining. The bit with the bow-and-arrows and lizard-hunting was a classic throwaway which I hope they never explain. It's perfect as it is.
As a old lover of I, Claudius
I'm always tickled crimson to see Derek Jacobi in pretty much anything, and having him be the Master [albeit briefly] was a hoot... and I love Capt. Jack, plus the tie-in with the Face of Bo's last message and the Doctor's severed hand was cool. Other than that it's mainly a setup episode of course for the main event.
"The Sound of Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords"
As someone raised on Anthony Ainley and Roger Delgado, Simm's Master is a bit of a culture shock... I liked the portrayal but I had a hard time accepting him as being the Master for a while. [It'd help if he'd shrunken someone down to doll-size!
] Taking over as PM is a logical idea, and the bit with the incineration of President Winters was a classic, even for someone from over here. In an election season, disintegrating politicians always seems like a good idea.
[This show's portrayal of America brings an ongoing smile to my face... and in its own way no less inaccurate than how we show ourselves on TV. Always good to have an exterior perspective.
The aged Doctor was an odd-looking little thing, that's for sure... not sure how well that worked.
liked the solution, with the mental energies of the planet concentrated to save the Doctor in return for all the times he'd saved them... a catch-in-the-throat time to be sure and probably my favorite Martha moment of all... and the loss of that memory was an interesting foreshadow of what would happen to Donna, as it turns out. Martha's departure made sense, sad as I was to see her go... and Jack as the Face of Boe is a stellar idea... having the Master die be a bad thing from the Doctor's POV was also nicely done, though I know better than to assume it's permanent lol.
OK I'll stop there at the season's end. More soon, but I have to go watch "Vampires of Venice".