Doctor Who

  • Title: Doctor Who – The Timeless Children
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Doctor Who - The Timeless Children television review

As has been the tendency of writer and producer Chris Chibnall over the course of this season, the finale of “The Timeless Children” thumbs its nose at Doctor Who canon. Pulling on the thread from the classic Doctor Who serial “The Brain of Morbius,” “The Timeless Children” confirms that William Hartnell was not the first incarnation of The Doctor. Although this contradicts several episodes of Who canon, it’s an idea that has been suggested before. If that was the only change Chibnall had made in “The Timeless Children” it would have been groundbreaking enough. Instead, that’s just one piece of the story. And while that can be, somewhat grudgingly, accepted… the rest… Well, it plays like fan fiction. And not even good fan fiction.

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  • Title: Doctor Who – The Haunting of Villa Diodati
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Doctor Who - The Haunting of Villa Diodati television review

In the final episode prior to the two-part finale, Doctor Who offers up a horror story featuring a haunted house Mary Shelley (Lili Miller), Byron (Jacob Collins-Levy), and maybe the least-frightening Cyberman ever seen on-screen. The episode makes use of several common Doctor Who tropes including loops, mazes, odd ghost-like apparitions that turn out to be anything but, and historical figures not being at all what the companions expected. The episode starts off with some fun bits of horror (the crawling skeleton hand and glimpses of shadowy apparitions), but the reveal of the Cyberman and the explanation of the Cyberium is, at best, a mixed success (especially given it is supposed to kick-off the final two episodes of the year). For better or worse, it looks like Cybermen are on the menu for the finale (although there’s still that pesky “Timeless Child” paradox to deal with as well).

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Doctor Who – Spyfall

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Doctor Who – Spyfall
  • wiki: link

Doctor Who - Spyfall television review

The two-part opening to Series 12 of Doctor Who is notable for introducing Sacha Dhawa as The Master. In a move that’s becoming something of a thing for show runner Chris Chibnall and the show this season, Doctor Who makes no attempt to fit the latest version of the character into the show’s long-running continuity (troubling given The Master’s closed timeloop) or explain the paradox of Gallifrey’s destruction long before the events of “Hell Bent.” One thing I will give Chibnall credit for is attempting to capture a bit more of The Master from classic Doctor Who both in demeanor and in the return of the villain’s shrinking ray. As has been the custom of Doctor Who, the premiere opens a mystery to be solved by the season end, this time being the hidden knowledge which led to the premature destruction of Gallifrey.

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Doctor Who – Fugitive of the Judoon

by Alan Rapp on January 28, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Doctor Who – Fugitive of the Judoon
  • wiki: link

Doctor Who - Fugitive of the Judoon television review

“Fugitive of the Judoon” offers several questions and few answers for an episode that sees the return of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), dire warnings about the return of the Cybermen, and the first appearance of another version of The Doctor (Tosin Cole) whose place in time makes no sense to either Doctor (or to most fans). Returning to Earth to find it being quarantined by the Judoon who are furiously seeking a fugitive, The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companions buy some time while searching for answers which lead to her companions being stolen from the planet by Jack and The Doctor coming face-to-face with an alternate version of herself whose existence she cannot comprehend.

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  • Title: Doctor Who – The Woman Who Fell to Earth
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Doctor Who - The Woman who Fell to Earth TV review

Doctor Who kicks off Jodie Whittaker‘s run as The Doctor with a Predator-style episode featuring an alien hunter sent to Earth after a human prey. With much of the story centered around the humans of Sheffield, The Doctor’s main purpose is to struggle through her recent regeneration and keep the humans alive until she remembers who she is. New friends include Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole) and his grandmother and her second husband. Also joining the proceedings is probationary police officer Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill), a childhood friend of Ryan looking for more adventure than dealing with traffic tickets. The group encounter not one but two aliens, the first is a mechanical search device created to find the prey and the other a cocoon to house the hunter Tzim-Sha (Samuel Oatley).

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