LOUISE WILSON shares the good, the bad, and the bingo for Doctor Who: Episode Three
Episode 3 felt tense, a bit frantic, and we got to discover more about the Doctor’s past. It was divisive by all means, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s my full review:
Maybe it was just the curse of ‘the fam’, but every companion introduced since then has been so much more interesting. I’ve mentioned previously how much I’ve enjoyed John Bishop as Dan, but Jacob Anderson’s Vinder also feels like a breath of fresh air compared to Chibnall’s previous attempts at companions. Within one episode he already feels more fleshed out than Ryan or Graham ever did. I complained about how we were robbed of Dan’s reaction to the Tardis, but Vinder’s joyful little cry when he pops his head into the box more than makes up for it. The writing and the performances of the companions has improved a lot.
Secondly, Jo Martin is back! Given how last season was wrapped up I presumed she would return to give 13 some answers (check the bingo card), but it was still nice to see her pop up. Regardless of how I feel about the notion of ‘pre-Hartnell’ Doctors, I can’t fault Martin herself. She’s everything the Doctor should be, full of charm and wit, with an underlying sense of danger about her.
Lastly on the pros list are the Angels. The Weeping Angels are the greatest thing Steven Moffat ever did for Doctor Who. Blink is his magnum opus, it is the perfect introduction to one of the greatest Who villains ever created, and I am so glad to see them back. They are genuinely terrifying and the small glimpse of them we had in this episode encompassed that perfectly; the little glimpses Yaz had through her mirror, appearing through her tv screen and then her phone. We haven’t had a focussed Weeping Angels story in almost ten years, so I am very excited for next week’s episode.
I am starting to sound like a broken record, but I am so sick of Chibnall’s expositional dialogue. Normally he uses the back and forth between the Doctor and her companions to slip it in, but this week 13 had nobody to interact with and so conveniently explained everything she was doing to absolutely no one. It is so frustrating because it tarnishes an otherwise solid episode, and if he did it in a way that wasn’t so clunky and obvious it wouldn’t even be that bad.
Okay so the Ravagers have something, if not everything, to do with the Doctor’s origins, yes? Swarm changed his appearance in the first episode after being locked in a prison for thousands of years, seemingly ‘regenerating’ himself. Additionally, Jo Martin’s Doctor was sent to thwart them by the Division, who we know were essentially utilising the Doctor’s regeneration energy, using her as a soldier and then wiping her memory when they were done with her. Surely any enemy of theirs can’t actually be that bad? We’ve seen Swarm and Azure murder people and obviously enjoy taunting the Doctor, but we don’t really know their end goal yet.
Just the one point in bingo this week but given that we’re only halfway through I don’t expect any big revelations until the final episodes.