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You may wish to consult Series 3 for other, similarly-named pages.

Series 3 of Doctor Who ran from 25 December 2006 to 8 July 2007. It starred David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones and John Barrowman as Jack Harkness. The regular series was preceded by The Runaway Bride, opened with Smith and Jones and concluded with Last of the Time Lords.

A special screening of the series-opening episode was shown on 25 October 2019 as part of a Doctor Who theme night at Natural History Museum in Kensington as part of their after-hours series Lates.[1]


It consisted of ten stories and fourteen episodes. Predominated by a story arc that dealt with the mystery of Harold Saxon, a British politician who turned out to be the Saxon Master, the series also involved the return of Jack Harkness. Because Jack's involvement in the series was narratively important to Torchwood, the series had a demonstrable impact on series 1 and series 2 of that sister programme.

Since the series 3 commission also included the 2006 Christmas Special, the series could also be said to have started the BBC Wales irregular tradition of having a "one-off" companion. The success of Catherine Tate's Donna Noble would not only cause the production team to successfully court her to return as a regular companion for the next series, it also showed the audience could accept, and apparently enjoy, a single-episode companion. Consequently, series 3 paved the way for the inclusion of any number of famous and busy guest stars to be companions in single episodes thereafter.

A trailer for the series was released.


Series 3 introduced a slightly tweaked logo, first shown in The Runaway Bride, which remained in place throughout the remainder of David Tennant's tenure as the Doctor. This brought the show's title sequence more in line with its merchandise and promotional material, as it's official logo had been this version since 2005. A revamped version of the theme tune was also offered up by Murray Gold.

A new costume was added to the Doctor's wardrobe. From this series forward, he had a blue suit of the same basic design as his brown one. Though at first just a way to give him a Pertwee-esque variation from story to story, it would actually become narratively important to telling the story of series 4's Journey's End, where another version of the Tenth Doctor appeared.

Equally important to the future was the series two main story arcs. The storyline with the Saxon Master was crucial to understanding the way in which the Tenth Doctor's regeneration in the later End of Time occurred. Likewise, the reasons for Martha Jones' departure at the end of the story were reflected in each of her later appearances in both Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Crucial to the development of the programme was the series' Doctor-lite episode, Blink. It introduced BBC Wales first new enemy that could be said to genuinely rival the Daleks' enduring popularity: The Weeping Angels. They would become one of the Eleventh Doctor's main rivals.

Series 3 was also important for including a direct adaptation of a story that had been originally written for another medium. Though the audios Jubilee and Spare Parts had been the very loose bases for two previous stories, Human Nature was the first, unmistakably direct adaptation of an existing story in franchise story. It would not be the only time when the production office directly adapted a pre-existing work.

The series also inspired the first original animation in franchise history, a 45-minute episode stripped across each episode of Totally Doctor Who's second season. Though nominally a part of the TDW commission, The Infinite Quest nevertheless gave Martha and the Doctor a 14th televised adventure that could be followed each week alongside the live-action programme.




Television stories[]

Christmas special[]

Title Writer Director Notes
N/A The Runaway Bride Russell T Davies Euros Lyn First appearance of Sylvia Noble.

Regular season[]

Title Writer Director Notes
1 Smith and Jones Russell T Davies Charles Palmer First appearance of Martha Jones, Tish Jones, Francine Jones, Leo Jones, Clive Jones and the Judoon.
2 The Shakespeare Code Gareth Roberts Charles Palmer Martha's first trip in the TARDIS. First appearance of Elizabeth I in-person.
3 Gridlock Russell T Davies Richard Clark Reintroduction of the Macra. Final appearance of the Face of Boe and revelation of his secret.
4 & 5 Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks Helen Raynor James Strong Return and destruction of the Cult of Skaro, save only for Dalek Caan, who escapes.
6 The Lazarus Experiment Stephen Greenhorn Richard Clark
7 42 Chris Chibnall Graeme Harper
8 & 9 Human Nature / The Family of Blood Paul Cornell Charles Palmer First television story adapted from the expanded media. First appearance of the Chameleon Arch.
10 Blink Steven Moffat Hettie MacDonald First appearance of the Weeping Angels. Doctor-lite and companion-lite episode.
11, 12, & 13 Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords Russell T Davies Graeme Harper (1)
Colin Teague (2, 3)
Reintroduction of the Master. Return of Jack Harkness. Last regular appearance of Martha Jones, Francine Jones, Tish Jones, Leo Jones and Clive Jones. Resolution of the Saxon arc.

Animated special[]

Title Writer Director Notes
N/A The Infinite Quest Alan Barnes Gary Russell Shown originally in 13 parts on Totally Doctor Who, later rebroadcast as a single episode. First time an animated serial of Doctor Who premiered on television.

Adaptations and merchandising[]

Home media[]


All episodes of series 3 were released in 2007 in both individual volumes and in boxset form by 2|Entertain for Region 2, by Warner Home Video for Region 1, and by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in other territories.

In 2014 the series was re-released on DVD in the US, split into two volumes labelled "Part One" and "Part Two" respectively, mimicking the home video release of Series 6 and 7. This release is missing much of the bonus content seen on the previous box set. Re-packaged versions of the complete series were also made available.

name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Doctor Who: The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride
1 x 60 min. 2 April 2007 1 July 2007
Doctor Who: Series 3, Volume 1
Smith and Jones
The Shakespeare Code
3 × 45 min. 21 May 2007 1 August 2007
Doctor Who: Series 3, Volume 2
Daleks in Manhattan /
Evolution of the Daleks
The Lazarus Experiment
4 × 45 min. 25 June 2007 5 September 2007
Doctor Who: Series 3, Volume 3
Human Nature /
The Family of Blood
3 × 45 min. 23 July 2007 3 October 2007
Doctor Who: Series 3, Volume 4
Utopia /
The Sound of Drums /
Last of the Time Lords
2 × 45 min.
1 x 52 min.
20 August 2007 7 November 2007
Doctor Who: The Complete Third Series 1 x 60 min.
12 × 45 min.
1 x 52 min.
5 November 2007 5 December 2007 6 November 2007


Series 3 was included in the Doctor Who: Complete Series 1-7 Bluray boxset, released November 4th, 2013 in the UK and on November 5th, 2013 in the US.

Stories set during this series[]

Novels and anthologies[]

Several novels featuring Martha Jones.


This series won a 2008 Saturn Award in the category of "Best International Series", following its transmission on the American Sci-Fi Channel.

External links[]