Tagged With doctor who recap

Doctor Who’s 11th season has seen the series go through a bit of an existential crisis—is the show a character-driven scifi drama, or a big old whizzbang romp with explosive stakes? “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos” distilled that debate within itself by trying to present a finale that tackled both of those things at once...except it only really excelled at half of the debate.

One of the many changes brought to Doctor Who this year is more companions than a dimensionally transcendental phone box knows what to do with. Much of the season so far has left one new traveller—Mandip Gill’s Yasmin Khan—taking a backseat. But “Demons of the Punjab” finally let her shine.

Much of Steven Moffat’s era of Doctor Who was dedicated to solving the mystery of the Doctor — why the name, where’s Gallifrey — and putting answers to that central conceit of who the Doctor is, and what they stand for. Jodie Whittaker’s first trip to an alien world gave us some of that mystery back, for the show and the Doctor.

Doctor Who rarely does big character arcs. By its very nature it's a transitory program: Every week a new adventure, every few years a new Doctor and new companions. That means that a character, especially the Doctor, is established quickly and stays like that till they leave. But this weekend's season 10 finale put a wonderful bookend on an evolution that's been in the works for all of Peter Capaldi's time on the show.

This week's Doctor Who delivered a classic, but very familiar tale of two hostile sides coming together to face a greater threat than each other. But while most of it was a story we've seen many times before, it stood out as a huge, satisfying step on Bill Potts' ongoing journey as the Doctor's student.

After the middling Monk trilogy, Doctor Who fell back on a well-trodden house style this weekend for "The Empress of Mars", a Mark Gatiss-penned romp. But even though this is a classic storytelling style for Who, and even though it had some interesting ideas tucked inside it, it never really strived to be anything more than average.

There are a lot of comparisons to be drawn between this weekend's "The Pyramid at the End of the World" and its preceding episode, "Extremis" -- mainly in that they're both setup for a story that's really yet to shift into high gear. But, they're also both examples of how Doctor Who can transform a humdrum episode into something marvellous in its final moments.

Doctor Who's 10th season is only four episodes in, but I can't remember the last time the show hit the ground running as well it has this season. We've had great chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie, great fun, and now in this weekend's episode, "Knock Knock", we got the rest of the perfect Who formula: A whole load of scares and a lot of heartbreak.

The general arc of a companion's introduction on Doctor Who is pretty much the same each time. They have their "bigger on the inside" moment, they do a bit of space-time travel, and then they learn that running around in a Police Box spaceship can be quite grim. With newcomer Bill, Doctor Who is back in that swing -- but it hasn't done it this well in a very long time.

Doctor Who made its welcome (and long overdue) return this past weekend, and it was all decidedly new: A new companion, new tone, and in some ways, a new sensibility from showrunner Steven Moffat, as compared to his past few seasons on the series. Still, for all its freshness, season 10's opening episode couldn't help but return to explore some emotional drama that Doctor Who is more than familiar with.