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Category: doctor who recaps

Doctor Who: Throwbacks And Reminiscences Deal Intense Success

You know, I was ready to write this one off. The Judoon have never been my favourite villains for this show, and they’re right there in the title – Fugitive of the Judoon. Unless the fugitive was, I don’t know, Captain Jack Harkness or something, what could the show pull out that would actually keep me interested?

Well. 

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Doctor Who: Tesla Aids Rallying Doom Insects, Sentimentally

Ahh. 

You hear that? That’s the sound of the sigh of relief I let out when I realized that this week’s episode of Doctor Who, Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror (what a deliciously pulpy banger of a title, by the way), was going to be a historical outing. Of my favourite stories of Chris Chibnall’s run on the show, most of them have been historically-based – Rosa, Spyfall, The Witchfinders, to name a few. There have been some great futuristic or more abjectly sci-fi outings, for sure, but, as last week’s something-to-be-desired proved, this writing room is still very much finding its feet when it comes to the great beyond of the future. But the past? Yes, the past they seem to know how to handle.

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Doctor Who: Threatening Abundance Really Destabilizes Insecure Story

Doctor Who, I’ve decided, has a people problem.

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Doctor Who Review: Spyfall Part Two

Ah! I’m excited. I’m actually excited to write this review. Which is pretty amazing, given that you’d think I would have cast television itself from my home since, you know, that happened. But here’s Doctor Who along again to make everything better, to soothe my troubled soul and remind me that there is good in the world of the small screen once more.

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Doctor Who Review: Spyfall Part One

“God, I hope this isn’t shit,” My partner remarked next to me as the credits for the Doctor Who festive special, Spyfall, began to roll.

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Doctor Who Review: Resolution

Well, what a way to start the year – with a Doctor Who review. Instead of the Christmas special, we have an hour-long episode to kick off 2019, and I’m so ready to get into it.

Honestly, I’ve been missing Doctor Who since the day it finished. While last season had a wobbly start, it kicked into high gear with the back end and just killed it week after week. As I wrote in my review of the finale of the last series, it’s been so nice to feel like I’ve fallen back in love with one of my favourite shows of all time.

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Doctor Who: Tremendous Imagination Redefines Direction In Show

Well, here we are: at the end of another season of Doctor Who. And this time, instead of letting forth an earth-shattering groan of relief into the void, I’m actually pretty sad to be saying goodbye to the best part of my Sunday evening.

 

While season eleven did have some wobbles in finding its feet, I really have enjoyed this ten-week run of Chibnall’s Doctor Who debut (debwho? I’m working on it), much more than I expected I would.

For the back half of the season especially, the show has been hitting it out of the park with original stories, interesting characters, cinematic settings, and bold ideas, feeling so joyous in its newness that it’s been impossible for me not to get swept along. Graham, Yas, and Ryan (in that order) have provided a great counterargument to the idea that the assistant, singular, should be a hot young lady in love with the Doctor, with Bradley Walsh and his heartfelt quietness in particular a highlight across the whole season. I’ve loved how this Who has grounded its assistants in their realities – from Yas knowing how to handle children in distress due to her police training, to Graham knowing who James Blake is because of his own history as a bus driver, they’ve felt more connected to the real world than any assistants have since way back in the glorious days of Donna (my OTP, with myself).

And, as I’ve been saying week after week, what has really sold me on this season is Jodie Whittaker – yes, I know I said I was hardly going to be unbiased about her, but she’s genuinely impressed me – both the performance and the writing have imbued Whittaker’s Doctor with a warmth and fierce compassion that are so fundamental to the reasons I fell in love with this show in the first place. I can already imagine coming back to episodes from this season with a cup of tea and some free-floating nostalgia, and that’s the first time I’ve been able to say that in while.

But my soppy love for this season aside, let’s get into the final episode, The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos (and yes, I did have to copy/paste that title from the Radio Times website, thanks for asking). The Doctor and company receive nine separate distress calls that lead them to an abandoned intergalactic battlefield, where an old foe is waiting to wreak some nasty revenge.

The thing I want to get into first and foremost is how different this feels from so many other finales we’ve had in recent years – namely, that it’s not focused on unravelling some enormous season-long mega-arc in the vein of The Pandorica Opens or Heaven Sent or A Good Man Goes to War. Yes, this episode ties into the opener somewhat, but really, it’s a story in its own right first – it’s not a “gotcha!”, it’s not an excuse to haul some much-overused villains out of the closet, it’s not the only way we’ll bloody get answers to anything that’s happened in this season so far. The closest thing we get to that is the well-earned sharing of affection between Graham and Ryan, which is a touching ending to the quiet little arc that this season has given to them, but is pleasingly far from the Daleks kicking in the door to my living room for the fiftieth time this season.

And beyond that, this is just a damn good story. Despite it’s aversion to standard finale tropes, it does feel a lot bigger than most of the other tales we’ve had this season – the stakes are higher, the world bigger, the villain more imposing than ever before. While a lot of this season – to its great credit – has shied away from hard sci-fi in place of more human stories, this one really leaned in to the interplanetary, mind-bending enormousness, tossing in a few offhand bits of astute commentary about the weaponisation of faith, a cracking guest turn from the always-welcome Mark Addy, and the nobility in choosing the less violent route of resolution (Graham O’Brien destroying toxic masculinity 2K18).

I think what I’ve loved most about this season is how much it feels new, and, even ten episodes in, that’s the case. And it’s due to more than just a female Doctor, or new assistants, or a new showrunner – it’s because the entire Who universe feels like untrodden territory once again.

Almost everywhere and everything we’ve seen this season has been new for the rebooted version of the show, and I really didn’t think I would ever feel this way about Doctor Who again. Every time I sit down to an episode now, I’m looking forward to seeing where it might take me or who I might meet along the way, because now I’m not dreading sitting through another Dalek two-parter or yet another return of the Cybermen because that’s what Who feels it has to do. With this season of DW, Chris Chibnall has struck out into confidently new territory – from new villains and new planets to a clear-headed take on heavy issues like racism, sexism, and xenophobia, Doctor Who’s world has never felt bigger, the universe never more exciting and unknown. And I know I can’t wait to see where we’re off to next.

And with that, we’re done for another season. How did you like it? Was this finale up to scratch, or did it let you down? Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter or Tumblr! If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to check out the rest of my Doctor Who recaps right here, and also check in with my other recapping projects – I’m currently covering the first Harry Potter book as well as the current season of Riverdale. If you want to read some of my fiction, please check out the ALPHA FEMALE erotica series (eighteen-plus, obviously), available on Amazon now. As ever, if you want to see more stuff like this, please consider supporting me on Patreon!

(header image via Digital Spy)

Doctor Who: Thoroughly Ambitious, Radical Story Investigates Sadness

You know what’s nice? Actually looking forward to Doctor Who on a Sunday night.

For so long, Doctor Who was something I approached with…trepidation? I know that’s a ridiculous thing to say about a TV show, but this is a show that meant so damn much to me and it just continued to disappoint me. Week after week, Steven Moffat would walk directly into my living room and poke me in the eye for forty minutes, and I guess at some point I stopped enjoying it, somehow. Even a few wobbles  early in this season had me nervous, but after a few great weeks, I’m finally back at a place where I look forward to curling up with my cat and my man in his Tardis dressing gown and watching this show that I have loved for almost my entire life.

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Doctor Who: Tremendous Alan Reigns; Direction Invokes Sentimentality

Another historical episode, another one out of the park for these season of Doctor Who.

The Witchfinders has proved that this season is firmly on a roll – following the Doctor and company as they’re dropped into the middle of a Lancashire village deep in the midst of a murderous with hunt, things take a turn for the science-fictional as King James turns up to figure out exactly why these witch hunts have taken on such a fervent turn.

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Doctor Who: Taut Adventure Reverses Decline In Scifi

So, after a really solid historical jaunt last week, we’re zooming off into science-fiction once more, with this week’s outing, the satisfyingly-named Kerblam!

And now, it’s worth saying that I’ve not been the hugest fan of the sci-fi so far this season: The Ghost Monument was oddly-placed and overstuffed, while The Tsuranga Conundrum was seriously rough around the edges (despite both episodes looking truly gorgeous). As I said last week, this season of Doctor Who feels the most forward when it’s looking backwards, and they’ve yet to prove themselves with an excellent space-age outing.

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