Creepy Cloths and a Dead Planet
After a successful opening episode that surpassed expectations, everyone was waiting to see what would come next. In an attempt to locate the TARDIS, the Doctor accidentally teleports herself and her new friends into deep space. It was a great cliffhanger that made me excited for what came next. But before we get into the plot, I have to mention the new opening.
Regardless of what anyone has to say about the episode, I think everyone will agree that the new titles are fantastic. It has a perfect blend of the classic and modern eras.
The theme tune definitely has elements from the first Doctor’s.
The kaleidoscope effect is also a clear throwback to the third Doctor’s.
Something I forgot to mention last time was the music. Series composer Murray Gold stepped down after working on the show since its revival back in 2005 to the Christmas special following the conclusion to the tenth series.
Taking over as composer is Segun Akinola. Instead of going the for orchestral, which was Murray’s style, Segun’s music is more electronic, pulsating, and dark. This creates a vibe that is more eerie and foreboding rather than the adventurous tone of the past. I love this new direction because it gives the show that haunting feeling of the classic era.
Picking up right where we left off, the Doctor and her companions are rescued by two different pilots heading towards a dead but hostile planet called Desolation. They’re competing in a race to reach a mysterious object referred to as the Ghost Monument. Only the winner will be able to leave the planet along with a cash prize while the other will be left to die. It’s also discovered that the Ghost Monument is the TARDIS. On their journey they discover that this was once a thriving planet before its inhabitants and ecosystem were mysteriously wiped out.
I really enjoyed the story as a whole. The planet’s history was interesting and when it got to the reveal it gave some hints towards the possible villains of the series. The sentient cloth creatures called the remnants were pretty creepy though I wish we could have seen a bit more of them. Also, there is a very out of place scene where Ryan tries to attack a group of armed enemies. When his weapon has no effect he runs back screaming. It’s meant to be comedic but it felt out of character and it didn’t make sense that the Doctor would let him do that.
Once again the performances are on fine form with Jodie Whittaker and Bradley Walsh being the highlights. Graham is still mourning the loss of his wife while trying to connect with Ryan, who still refuses to call him granddad. Surprisingly, the supporting characters were really good too. We got to learn about their back stories and what drove them to compete. Chibnall does a good job of giving the characters time to develop. It was a shame that Yasmin didn’t have much to do in the story. I let it slide last time but it was more noticeable here. Jodie Whittaker continues to show how great she is as the Doctor.
The final moments where the Doctor finally reunites with the TARDIS were beautiful. The new TARDIS interior is also really cool. It’s got a more organic look to it rather than the last Doctor’s digital version.
Overall, this was a fun episode that makes me excited to see where our TARDIS team goes to next.