Series 11 Episode 11
Length: 45 minutes
Air date: 1.1.2019
About: As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?
As always, Bradley Walsh is incredible. His blend of sincerity and humour is perfect for the role. How his character handles the loss of his wife and the arrival of her surviving son is nothing short of emotional.
Speaking of Aaron, son of Grace and father of Ryan, that subplot was heartbreaking and well crafted. The acting brought to the forefront the ongoing grief of the characters and really is getting important messages across.
The guest characters of Lin and Mitch are a good addition and Charlotte Richie could be remembered as fondly as Carey Mulligan and her Blink character Sally Sparrow.
The setting under the roads of Sheffield was stunning, atmospheric and something I’d have liked to have seen more of.
The Bad and the Ugly
I wasn’t completely sold on the opening sequence: it didn’t gel with the rest of the story.
The UNiT sequence, which gained a little chuckle, was too political and soapboxy for my liking. I also feel that it would have been a perfect time to call in Captain Jack. While I know John Barrowman has a very busy schedule, but the show is doing a disservice to the show, the character and the fans by ignoring his existence.
The biggest mistake Chibnall made for me was this article (
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2018/09/11/no-daleks-cybermen-new-doctor-says-chris-chibnall/amp/), published in September 2018. The episode lost my attention when the revealed the Darlek. It didn’t matter how clever, or original the first half was; I’d been taken for a mug. I’m not sure if it was to engineer a ’twist’, but it just felt contrived and a slap in the face to fans.
It highlights a larger problem I have with tv shows and responding too much to social media opinions. It degrades the integrity of the storytelling and Dr Who is not the only one guilty of this. Check out my post on shows that jump the shark.
I’m worried. Chibnall had started strong with Jodie, but bringing the Darleks in makes me think he’s already run out of ideas. Having to wait until 2020 for the next series is not filling me with much hope either; it stalls the narrative and again, makes me think the BBC are not as invested as they once were.