The Doctor might be able to travel through time and explore the past via the tardis but if we want to do so it involves far more work and toil; searching through the lonely earth, climbing through the briar and bramble for the past that once felt the touch of the kings and the breath of the wind as it now sits with the ghosts of the men who can never sing again and thus the Doctor and team tardis will this week be becoming detectorists in……………….
Or they would be if the first thing they found wasn’t a sonic mine. They are saved from bleeding out on a rubbish tip by a friendly passing medical ship that decides to beam them on board and patch them up. This takes about four days and they are now only about half way to their destination when the Doctor starts to question whether she locked the Tardis before they left. Unfortunately there isn’t much she can do as they are stuck on autopilot leaving our heroes to mingle around with the other passengers until they dock. They have a war hero, her pleasure bot and her brother. I should possibly clarify that her brother is not her pleasure bot but that she is accompanied by two people.There is a bloke giving birth two rooms over and our two doctors running the ship. Well until the ship picks up a gremlin.
If you’re a fan of the big world ending event pieces of t.v that Moffat and Davies gave us then by now I think it’s clear that you might be leaving the Chibnall era more than a little disappointed. However unlike the last two; this writer seems to know his strengths and is more than happy to play to them. While Davies was at his best giving small contained bottle episodes he felt the need to cap everything off with layers upon layers of fan wank and while Moffat was great at tightly written, smart episodes he kept giving us over baked tosh. Each of the guest cast gets a little story arch as we learn more about them and why they are here. The slight problem being that this doesn’t extend far into the Tardis crew with Bradley letting Ryan have a go carrying the acting burden this week and while the Doctor crawls back from last week with waxing poetic about anti matter, Yas once again brings up the rear as the tin dog of the group.
Would the episode have worked with a more serious and dark threat to the crew of the S.S Hospital? Maybe. But I think that would have gone against the light tone they wanted, despite the body count we got, and they avoid diluting it too much by keeping the Stitch like monstrosity off screen for most the episode dealing with the damage it can do and the threat of it rather than the actual physical thing itself meaning that you could take it seriously enough. If you haven’t seen the episode and want to picture it or even worse you have and think I’m wrong on this picture Arena but replace the Gorn with one of those cute child like aliens from Galaxy Quest.
Though I will say that this makes a perfect score of bad guys escaping their just desserts this week though some may let them off on this account as Nibbler is by far the least “evil” of the threats we’ve faced thus far. I’m not sure if this is come unconscious thing on behalf of Chris, a commentary on the world around us or an awful build up to the final episode where we get an evil league of evil to face off against team Tardis.
This isn’t a clever episode but it doesn’t try to be. It just tries to have heart and it has that from panicking second officers to curmudgeonly machines and a brother and sister that don’t quite get along. Though I would argue that people their age shouldn’t use the term bro and or sis.