Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 4 – Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror

“Nikola Tesla – you’re going to change the world. But first, you’re gonna save it.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

After last week’s uncoordinated mess of an episode, it was rather a relief to come back to what’s admittedly become a formulaic story for Doctor Who since 2005 – the ep centred around a well-known historical figure. Since The Unquiet Dead, these have been a staple of the show; but often the story ends up playing second fiddle to the fannish exaltation of whichever historical figure is on centre stage. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 4 – Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror”

Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 3 – Orphan 55

“You want me to tell you that Earth’s going to be ok – but I can’t. In your time, humanity’s busy arguing over the washing up while the house burns down.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Doctor Who is too preachy these days”. That’s a view I’ve been hearing on and off since the show’s 2005 return after its lengthy break. It’s been heard more frequently since Chris Chibnall took over, usually as a coded way of justifying unjustifiable objections to a female Doctor and a multi-ethnic regular cast. However, after the sledgehammer unsubtle final speech of Orphan 55, it was a view I was dismayed to find myself agreeing with for the first time – although possibly not for the reasons you’d think, and certainly not for the reasons mentioned above. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 3 – Orphan 55”

Doctor Who: Season 12, Episodes 1&2 – Spyfall

“Doctor – the security of the planet is at stake. Can we rely on you?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

OK, so it’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, being in the UK when the first ep of Doctor Who’s new season was broadcast and flying back to Barcelona pretty much the next day, then getting to grips with a packed new teaching schedule. The upshot is that I haven’t much of a chance, till now, to jot down my thoughts on this big, expansive season opener. But also, crucially, it means I’ve now seen both parts of it. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 12, Episodes 1&2 – Spyfall”

Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 11 / New Year special – Resolution

“I always think I’m rid of them. Never am.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

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).

Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 11 / New Year special – Resolution”

Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 10 – The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

“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!”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

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.

Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 10 – The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos”

Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 9 – It Takes You Away

(SPOILER WARNING!)

“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…

Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 9 – It Takes You Away”

Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 8 – The Witchfinders

“Together we shall save the souls of our people from Satan. Even if it means killing them all.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

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.

Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 8 – The Witchfinders”