Ever since we
got our first good look at David Tennant in 2005’s The Christmas Invasion, the Doctor
Who Christmas special has become a festive tradition. So you can imagine
the apoplexy of some of the more… reactionary fans when the BBC announced that,
for the first time in 13 years, there would be no new Doctor Who this Christmas (Ian Levine practically exploded, again).
“None of us know for sure what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Keep your faith. Travel hopefully. The universe’ll surprise you – constantly!”
One of Chris Chibnall’s stated intentions as incoming showrunner was to abandon the previous two incumbents’ approach of each season having an overall plot arc which would build to a climax at the end of the season. It was often frustratingly done –witness the nonsensically shoehorned references to Torchwood in David Tennant’s first season. But when done well – and probably RTD’s Bad Wolf arc in the 2005 series is still the benchmark – it produces a real feeling of anticipation for the last episode.
“This woman is clearly an alien force collapsing two realities and impersonating your dead wife. Time to move on!”
What an intriguing title! It Takes You Away immediately called to mind the horror genre, with titles like It’s Alive and It Follows. That cabin in the woods setting only served to reinforce the impression, and of course, when that monstrous roar started sounding…
After last week’s rather dreary talkathon, this week The Walking Dead limped to its mid-season finale with at least a little more pace. Though, it has to be said, this was still a pretty slow and uninteresting affair, only enlivened by some last minute Walker/Whisperer shenanigans that slightly advanced the plot.
“Together we shall save the souls of our people from Satan. Even if it means killing them all.”
We seem to have settled into a pattern in this new series of Doctor Who that every other episode will have a historical setting. That’s a higher ratio of stories set in the past than any other time since the show’s 2005 revival, but so far it’s been worth it – I’d say the historicals have been far and away the best eps of the season.
The Walkers may be learning to talk, but it’ll be a while before they’re as talky as this episode was. Written by Vivian Tse and directed by former cast member Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), this was intended as a character piece; but with comparatively little plot advancement or Walker action, it seemed more like a post-apocalyptic soap opera than anything else.
“Delivery fulfilled. And remember, if you want it, Kerblam it!”
So the Robots of Death work for Amazon now? Kerblam! (I think it’s meant to have an exclamation mark) was a bit of a confusing one. On one level, it was a light, silly sci fi romp about a futuristic corporation, with sinister grinning robots, breakneck conveyor belts and a dangerous conspiracy. On those largely undemanding terms, it succeeded.