"I'd rather be on my own," The Doctor insists to a would-be traveling companion.
He's lying, of course, which we know from our history with The Doctor, whether on the decades- spanning original version of the British sci-fi classic "Doctor Who," or the marvelous modern reinvention, which begins airing its third season tomorrow night on Sci Fi.
In every one of his incarnations, The Doctor (a time-traveling anarchist nearly as old as the universe itself) has made room in the TARDIS (his spaceship, cleverly hidden inside a '50s-style blue police call box) for a sidekick or three. After all, who wants to go on a road trip solo, whether to the outer reaches of the galaxy or to Shakespeare's London?
Over the years, those companions have taken all shapes and sizes: brilliant scientists, fellow aliens, even a robotic dog named K-9 (we don't like to talk about him that much). For the first two years of the new series, The Doctor (played initially by Christopher Eccleston, and now by David Tennant) chose Rose Tyler (former teen Britpop star Billie Piper), a London shop girl who turned out to be smarter and braver than even she imagined.
Piper left the series at the end of last year, with Rose stranded in a parallel Earth, forever kept apart from her beloved Doctor, and he from her. So it comes as little surprise that season three opens with The Doctor feeling lonely and defensive, even as he gives two different women a shot at being his new partner.
To read the full thing, click here. Those of you who've seen these episodes (or the full season) already, please keep your comments spoiler-free, okay? We'll talk more about both episodes tomorrow night.