Season: 3
Episode: 3
Vital statistics
Air date 14 April 2007
Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Richard Clark
Episode guide
Previous Next
The Shakespeare Code Daleks in Manhattan

Gridlock is the third episode of Series 3 of the programme Doctor Who.


The Tenth Doctor and his new companion Marther Jones go to New New New New New New New New New York on an alien planet in the far future, where they discover almost everyone is stuck driving their flying vans in a traffic jam on an underground flying highway. Marther gets kidnapped by a couple who need a third person for the carpool lane who later request cash, ass or grass from her (and get two of three). The Doctor goes hopping from van to van to find her, meeting a lady who married a cat guy and had kittens, two lesbians in their own van, a British guy (!!!) a white guy and some other oddballs in their own vans before Marther and the otherwise-friendly kidnappers sing a song and almost get eaten by giant crabs living below the highway who like the smog (which didn't make a lot of sense if you know who those crabs were - how did they get there if they were no longer intelligent?" is one of many questions RTD pretended didn't matter).

Turns out everyone up above and NOT on the flying van highway was kill so the Doctor makes the upper deck doors open and then meets the dying Face of Bo who tells him "You are not a clone," which becomes important because it's the activation code for some new software on the Doctor's sonic screwdriver or something.

The cat guy was kind of fun, the kittens cute if ridiculous (OMG KITTIES!!! <3!!!), the crabs were a call-out to a Second Doctor foe from episodes that no longer exist goddamn it and the Doctor tells Mardra about his feels. It felt very 2000 AD (the British comic book, not the year).

Tennant Loses It

According to reliable sources Tennant went berserk during the filming of this episode. Tennant was already silently fuming before but the sight of Russell in person set him off.

Tennant: "I want you off the fucking set you prick"

Russell: I'm sorry.

Tennant: "No don't just be sorry. Think for one fucking second. The fuck are you doing?"

Russell: I was coming to check how the episode was going.

Tennant: Ohhhhh, goooood for you. And how was it? I hope you think its shit. Because that's what you've written. Shit. Utter Shit."

Russell apparently left sulking. Tennant was never the same after this event.


Like a macra-mé (ha!) sweater, you pull at one plot thread and the rest of this story becomes a tangled mess fit only for a cat toy (OMG kitties!!! <3!!!), but emotionally, this story hits all the right buttons... sweater buttons... so it gets a pass. Overall fairly comfy.