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Keeping up with the Jones

STRATAGEM! Doctor Who, BBC One, 6.20pm

This is a bit of a 'people returning' kind of series of Doctor Who. We've already seen Donna, Wilf, The Ood and (briefly) Rose make their comebacks, and tonight sees three more very welcome returns.

In 'The Sontaran Stratagem', the first of a two-parter, Dame Martha Jones is BACK! We are very happy about this. We love Martha, and we love Donna and so Martha and Donna in one episode makes us very very excited indeed. And if Martha is back, then that must also mean UNIT are back. UNIT have only been mentioned briefly in New Who, although they had a slightly larger mention when Martha popped up in Torchwood last series. For the uninitiated, UNIT stands for UNified Intelligence Taskforce (formerly United Nations...) and it's a military organisation that used to involve all kinds of Who recurring characters, such as The Brigadier, and the one and only Sarah Jane Smith. Martha is now working there, and UNIT play a large role in this two-parter as old adversaries of the Doctor's return to threaten the earth.

Those adversaries are the Sontarans. Mainly seen in the 70s, and a little bit in the 80s, these 'potato-headed' villains have a penchant for war and also for cloning. Hmmmmm. The chief Sontaran in this two-parter is played by former Young Ones actor Christopher Ryan. However, we know the big casting news for some of you is the appearance of Christian Cooke as someone called Ross Jenkins.

This fourth series of New Who has been a joy so far, we've loved speculating what might happen in the future, we've loved Wilf and Sylvia (in tonight's episode as well), we've loved the aliens and we've very much loved Donna. We can only hope tonight's episode keeps up the good work - from the trailers we've seen (and yes, this is the episode with Martha in slime that caused the filthmongers of the internet to suggest she'd been involved in a deviant sexual practice beginning with B, the pervs) it looks like it will...

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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