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.
“So it’s just us. Alone. In space. With that creature.”
Well, that was actually an improvement on last week. From 50s B-movie to… 80s B-movie? The Tsuranga Conundrum is unlikely to go down as a classic like Midnight, but it was a fun, lightweight space opera romp in the style of the ones you might have rented in a video shop in the 80s. True, handsome production values put it a little above, say, a Roger Corman or Richard Band production, and the overall feel was Star Trek the Next Generation meets Alien by way of Ghoulies.
“Big spider problem in this city right now, Yaz. Glad to be home?”
After last week’s affecting historical, Doctor Who was back on more familiar territory this episode with its own take on classic giant spider B-movies like Tarantula. Arachnids in the UK (the title presumably a dreadful pun on the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK) was a pretty undemanding 50 minutes of television, with a fair few plot holes and some underdeveloped guest characters. But you can’t deny it delivered on the giant spider front. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 4 – Arachnids in the UK”
“Now we know what our task is. To keep history in order.”
Did I just watch an episode of Doctor Who or Quantum Leap? It’s not meant to be an unflattering comparison; despite the American show’s later, more saccharine notes, at its height it was capable of using a science fiction and historical background to tell immensely powerful historic dramas like this. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 3 – Rosa”
“What, like a race? Like Paris Dakar in space? Are you two space racing each other?”
After a solid if unexceptional season opener for a thoroughly revamped Doctor Who, new showrunner Chris Chibnall has clearly made an attempt to wow the audience in his second episode, with some amazing location filming, impressive effects, and a pair of great guest stars in Shaun Dooley and Susan Lynch. The story? Well, it was certainly more interesting than last week’s Predator visits Sheffield, but if I’m honest I doubt that what was effectively Top Gear Challenge in Space is going to go down as one of the all time classics. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 2 – The Ghost Monument”
“We’re all capable of the most incredible change. We can evolve, while still staying true to who we are. We can honour who we’ve been, and choose who we want to be next. Now’s your chance – how about it?”