Let me start this review off by apologising for what comes next. Nothing makes sense because I have been left speechless and just a little bit confused.
Unfortunately there will be spoilers ahead so avoid if you haven’t watched.
When I say confused I think that is what we are meant to feel.
Away from the crazy things going on which I’ll get onto in a little bit nothing much really happened in this episode other then to hint towards other things that tie into the big story of Gallifrey, the Doctor and the Master.
If anything the Judoon were the perfect species to bring back for this episode. We already know who they are so there wasn’t any need for long explanations, being police for hire means that it didn’t really matter what the threat was or who they were hunting they were just the glue that brought the Doctor and whoever they were together.
Together indeed they were brought and the confusing thing is that they were bringing The Doctor back together with, well, The Doctor.
This was only one of many stories happening in a episode that also featured the return of John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness and which served as a warning for a future foe in the Lone Cyberman as well as telling us that The Master is probably on the loose once more.
As I said it was a jumble of craziness and the first episode this season that I think I can only watch the once and enjoy.
That is because there just isn’t much to it as I said.
Whilst the threat of the Judoon is really good that disappears half way through after the death of Lee Clayton who barely gets any time on screen to do anything other then look dodgy. Once more the companions and Doctor are split which means we don’t quite get to see Jack meet the new Doctor but also means that the episode became even more disjointed with the companions on a ship being attacked having Jack talk at them in the way he does things whilst the Doctor helps Ruth break through her programming to find out who she really is.
Just for her to be The Doctor, confirmed by sonic screwdriver, and for there to be a rather forced, boring and complicated question asking conversation between both Doctors and Gat, a Gallifreyan who was there on behalf of Gallifrey who had been the ones to ask the Judoon to find the fugitive… The Doctor.
Just Jo Martin’s Doctor not Jodie Whittakers Doctor.
Why it worked the first time around is that the Judoon are kind of scary in their ways. They beam down, cause chaos and kill a few harmless town folk. Its all action, action, action until it isn’t and then there was a lot of talking between the two Doctors. In between all of this action and talking is Harkness and the rest of the TARDIS Crew in a very loud under attack space ship.
At this point even if you don’t like Harkness you can’t help but be a little excited for yet another return and even more excited that he came baring a warning about the Lone Cyberman.
Well that is if you love Cybermen.
For me the strength of the episode lay in Jo Martin who was wonderful as Ruth, a bubbly tour guide and even more amazing as her own version of The Doctor. A little more sharper and snappier then Jodie’s but no less amazing. I have a feeling seeing this season all seems to be trying to expand the Lore of The Doctor even more we won’t have to wait long to see her again or at least I kind of hope we don’t have to wait long to see her again because she made a episode that in hindsight was quite bland and really relied on action and returns to make you sit up and go wow much better then it seemed.
It would be unfair to say it was the first dud of the series because sometimes a episode IS all about the surprises, the returns and boring dialogue that means nothing really. It just isn’t the best of the season so far.