Doctor Who came back to our screens with a very dramatic start and I loved it. Master and all.
Now with the Master out of the way it is time for more adventures with the Doctor, Graham, Yas and Ryan. This time to a spa.
What could possibly go wrong?
This episode was amazing until it wasn’t amazing but it was still very amazing.
I praised Worzel Gummidge for making a nice statement about looking after the environment and what we’re doing to it, Doctor Who just came and did the exact opposite by trying to scare us all into seeing where the world could end up (again) and letting us know that we can change it.
A great message delivered so badly.
Without that message there was a brilliant scary episode with a new alien species that was kind of some horrific cross between the looks of Alien and the skills of Predator.
With the unknown help of a upset kid trying to kill her mother they enter into a Spa on the Orphaned planet and start to attack and kill everyone in sight. There are some truly creepy moments like when Bella and Ryan were face to face with one of them just before the Doctors fix to get rid of them happened as well as Benni’s final wishes which was equally chilling as it was heart breaking.
It is everything you want from Who.
New monsters that truly scare you, a nice rounded story that doesn’t leave any big holes that you want filled and some great moments between all characters.
Sure there were a few too many characters, a few rushed character stories as well but overall I enjoyed them. Personally I feel it could have done without Nevi and Sylas, a waste of a great comedian and a fantastic young actor, and given some more time to the truly sweet story of Benni and Vilma.
Those are small things though that didn’t stop the fact that it was a lot of fun and at times terrifying.
So why did the message not work for me?
It felt forced if I’m honest.
Don’t get me wrong the more messages aimed to all of us about the harm we as a species do to the planet is great and I get why they did it the way they did but even when the Doctor was talking about it to the TARDIS crew at the end she did it in such a fast way that it felt like a after thought.
Not only that but the Dreg never came over as something to pity. These were the last survivors of what we did to this planet yet they constantly just came over as very cool creatures that should be feared which isn’t what you should feel for them. There was never that big moment where that message and the episode we were watching came together.
It didn’t ruin the episode for me but it did take me out of it.
I said it I think at the end of the last review that not everything has to come back to the Doctor and it is the same with something like this. Not everything has to come back to Earth, it doesn’t always have to be a horror story because Wow Earth. Sometimes we could just be on a random Orphan planet being attacked by aliens that have no reason to attack other then that is what they do.
Take away the two very obviously not needed characters or that message and some of the more important and deeper stories could have played out more.
In other words this episode didn’t need a emotional anything for Yas or Graham. Ryan bonding with Bella was enough drama for the TARDIS Crew away from the alien threat, we didn’t need the “is this what is going to happen to Earth” stuff and could have left the other two to be badasses.
Then again big props to this season so far for not being afraid to split up the crew either. I loved Tosin Cole and Gia Ré together and again because there was so much crammed in I felt bad that Bella didn’t get a proper ending with her mum but the scenes her and Ryan were in together were amazing.
Not only that but I’ve said twice that Nevi, played by James Buckley, and Sylas, played by Lewin Lloyd, weren’t needed but it was again nice to see people other then the Doctor being able to do mechanical things so that the Doctor can do what the Doctor is best at.
Run around and run her mouth whilst working to save everyone.
So I might sound like a stig in the dump about this episode but I truly loved it for the scary alien story it was and I think for me at least it’ll be much better on a second viewing.