Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who


It’s time for another Underrated Gem — this time from Deb! Join Deb, Erika, Lynne, and Tansy as we discuss a story that one Verity describes as “a good mid-level rollercoaster.”

Do you think this story is an Underrated Gem? Why or why not? Drop us a tweet or let us know in the comments!


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Extra-special thanks to this week’s editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
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Comments on: "Gridlocked" (6)

  1. Clive Ramsden said:

    I’m looking forward to listening to this episode. I’ve always thought Gridlock is one of the most underrated stories in Series 3. I’ve probably seen it four or five times and enjoyed it every time.

  2. Paul Hardy said:

    Been looking forward to this episode since you announced it– thanks! I emailed a short while after I discovered your blog during a hospital stay (all better now thanks nothing to see here) and you said this would be coming up.

    A couple of things I love about Gridlock:

    1- it reminds me of Brian Aldiss’ novel “Non-Stop”, where there’s constant narrative mis-direction going on. Several times it feels like the plot of the story keeps shifting, from drug abuse story – to kidnap story- to ‘sinister’ chase across cars with Nurse Hame – to monster runaround – but they’re all a mile away from the final resolution, just like the dénoument of “Non-Stop”; and then once all these mis-directions are over and the true story is resolved, Martha sits down and the Doctor finally drops his mask and opens up to her.

    2- the Doctor leaps into action by heading out of Brannigan’s car, literally and metaphorically breaking with the actions of everyone else. Where all the other characters are moving horizontally along the tunnels, he jumps vertically down to the next car in the stack. Thinking outside the box and following his own path which is perpendicular to the story.

    3- Ardal O’Hanlon, delightful performance!

    Thanks again for your podcast

  3. Rebecca Rondomanski said:

    I love your podcast-I appreciate it SO much! It is a standard happy thing in my Doctor Who world. I have not watched this episode in awhile and I had forgotten about the Macra-I didn’t know what they were at the time of my first viewing and now that you kindly reminded me I will definitely be giving this one a rewatch. I just got my Lost Episodes that contain the Macra Terror and listened to it just a couple of weeks ago so the timing is awesome. Thank you for all that you do!!!

  4. David Elmer said:

    Hi, Verities.

    Gridlock is one of my favorite stories from the RTD era, so it’s nice to hear you cover it.

    As an aside, your 7 Favs conversation from 2019 about the RTD era inspired me to make my own 7 Favs list recently, and I almost put Gridlock on said list but ultimately didn’t because I didn’t want to ‘orphan’ it from New Earth, which I also left off my list because I didn’t want to ‘orphan’ it from The End of the World.

    P.S.: Here’s my aforementioned 7 Favs list in case you were curious/interested.

    1. Rose
    2. The Christmas Invasion
    3. Fear Her
    4. The Runaway Bride
    5. The Lazarus Experiment
    6. Midnight
    7. Turn Left

  5. Erica, thank you so much for explaining the Macra’s appearance in this show. Head-canon accepted!
    It had bugged me for years. But the idea of humans creating a system that was both ecologically sound and mutually beneficial between them and the Macra really gives me hope for a better tomorrow.
    And that also makes the last act of the Senate more plausible. Because that had always bothered me, too. It seemed too much of a stretch to believe that a room full of politicians could act both quickly and compassionately. But if they are truly capable of creating a society that is mutually beneficial with a creature like the Macra, then yeah. I can believe that they are kind enough to save millions of their people, even when it is too late for them to save themselves.
    But yeah…
…now I kinda wish it was the Merka. LOL!

    One thing though:

    I don’t understand why you all are so judgey about the Doctor and Martha’s reaction to Jack’s claim to being the Face of Boe. I think it’s cool.
    And it works within the mythology of the show. Jack has already stated that he is aging, slowly, but he IS aging. And what does that mean to someone who is immortal? It has been explained that humanity continues to evolve into all kinds of crazy shapes and states of being (I think in “Utopia”?), but that evolution keeps returning them to our current familiar state. But how would evolution happen within the confines of one continuously existing body? Well… why not just evolving into a really…big…face?
    As for the Face of Boe claiming to be “the last of his kind”… remember that Jack is not alone now, either. After the events of “Miracle Day,” there is now ANOTHER immortal.
    And Deb, please remember that it was the 10th Doctor who owned up to it. But it was your beloved 9th Doctor who abandoned him. (wink) I tease.

    Of course, it’s all Doctor Who. And that means that canon is what you want it to be. Sorry, all you white, middle-aged, ragey-fanboys who like to blast kids on social media for not being “proper-fans.” But it’s true. Doctor Who canon is all in the mind and hearts of the fan (see what I did there?). It is whatever you want it to be. So if you don’t want Jack to be the Face of Boe, then he’s not. But in my canon, he is.
    Huh. So basically he’s Schrödinger’s Face.

  6. That Dunkin’ Donuts skit is a thing of of beauty. Thanks for clueing me in to that, and for the trip down memory lane (even if it was a bit clogged with traffic!). =:o}

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