Doctor Who: Series 11 pre-finale triage

During the Moffat era, I posted my season rankings pre-finale, because finales are so often either uncommonly great or massive train wrecks. This time I decided just to triage the series, since it divided so evenly, and since I found it difficult to order my…

Doctor Who: “It Takes You Away”

“‘It Takes You Away’ appears to change genre throughout the episode — from cabin-in-the-woods-style horror to dark fantasy to Solaris-esque SF, but really there’s only one overarching genre at work: the fairy tale.”

Doctor Who, “The Witchfinders”

They really backloaded this season with the good stuff, didn’t they? I spoke way too soon about favorite episodes last week. This is riveting Doctor Who, put way over the top in more ways than one by Alan Cumming’s delicious “I know everything about Satan!”…

Doctor Who, “Kerblam!”

“It’s likely that future Doctor Who episode guides will recall this episode as ‘never letting us look at bubble wrap the same way again.’ But there’s a chance — just a chance, but a good one — that I’ll recall it as ‘my favorite story of the Whittaker era.’”

Doctor Who, “Demons of the Punjab”

Despite the obvious historical milestone of introducing the first non-spoof female Doctor, the Who accomplishment Chibnall’s era may be most noted for in the long run is reintroducing the no-win historical. Prior to this season, the closest we’ve come to a past-history episode in which…

Doctor Who: “The Tsuranga Conundrum”

I’m at a loss to understand why Chibnall felt this story was worth telling. The setting, while featuring lovely set design of almost Tron-level sterility, was just a ship; the individual stories (a decorated pilot with a career-limiting ailment, a pregnant man from a race…

Doctor Who, “Arachnids in the UK”

I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since I was 8, but I’ve been a spiders-and-snakes fan since I can remember. Ranger Rick taught me that these scary-looking animals were, if not harmless, certainly less likely to harm than their reputation would suggest. I was fascinated,…

Doctor Who, “Rosa”

Last week I implied that this would be Doctor Who doing Quantum Leap, and that is exactly what it’s done. What I didn’t add was that Quantum Leap was a really excellent show. I remember a few episodes vividly, not the specifics so much as…

Doctor Who: “The Ghost Monument”

Since I’m no longer writing these for publication to a general audience, the torch having been passed to a new runner, we can let our hair down a little and just talk. I’ve been listening to the Trial of a Time Lord Podcast a lot…