Contains some spoilers
After last week’s blizzard of shocks and twists, it was always going to be hard for Doctor Who to ‘follow that’ this time round. Fortunately it doesn’t even try, but instead takes a deft step to one side and this time out drops the continuity-heavy season arc entirely in favour for a standalone story told with great gusto and intelligence.
The episode drops us right into the middle of things with the story already infolding, a decision that immediately lends pace and energy to the proceedings as we scramble to keep up with what’s happening. The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) is investigating a series of strange events around the world – a dead sailor washed up on the shores of Madagascar, a missing astronaut over the Indian Ocean, the strange behaviour of birds in Peru, and signs of alien technology being used in Hong Kong. All these locations are rather successfully conjured up by director Jamie Magnus Stone, once again filming in South Africa.
For once, the script makes a virtue of the large regular cast by splitting them up with their own assignments. It’s the same technique that writer Pete McTighe (here working in credited collaboration with showrunner Chris Chibnall) developed so successfully in S11’s “Kerblam!”, and his way of pairing up each companion with a new supporting character means we get to see new aspects of our regulars while also getting a proper introduction to each member of the guest line-up. Read the rest of this entry »