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Ravagers, Passengers, Mad Moles and Grand Serpents

December 5, 2021

Now, then what do we know?

Not as much as I would like.

Apparently the Ravagers were the central bad guys here. The Sontarans were trying to survive and triumph (incompetenly as usual) but we already knew that. Surprisingly, the Grand Serpent (who we didn’t really get an explanation for, much) was also being an opportunist. We never did learn what his long term scheme was. Was he really necessary? Why was he there? Just to fill up screen time? He’s now stacked somewhere he can be retrieved from if a future showrunner decides he’s worth reviving and being given a story of his own.

But the Ravagers we saw were just the minions and servants of something called Time who seems to have been the chief mover and shaker. We were told that they were seeking revenge, doing to the Doctor what she had done to the two of them. What that was is… unclear but there was a lot of gloating. The Doctor got called ‘First of the TIme Lords’ which looks like Chibnall wants to go back to the daft theory from the tie-in novels of the 80s in which the Doctor was a contemporary of Rassillon… But where is Rassillon in this continuity? I dunno?

Among the other things I don’t know:

Who was the guy in bed with the female Ravager back in the first episode?

Why did the Luparans feel they owed the humans a debt? Were they an uplift species?

We had a whole mess of destruction of space time and different times mixing together. Causality took a sharp kick in the ghoulies and lots of things didn’t make sense. Last time it happened on this scale the Doctor had to reboot reality. Why not this time? Is that a trick you can pull twice.

Did the clever Daleks and Cybermen all get wiped out by the Flux leaving only the gullible ones to fall for a transparent Sontaran trick?

Why was the lady in charge of Division destroying the Universe? What was all that about with Division? Why are they going around putting kill switches in the skulls of Luparans when just killing them outright would work better?

What happened to the Weeping Angel inside of what’s her name the psychic?

I have approximately 50,000 questions of this sort and rewatching will only increase their number.

Good things included: three Jodies for the price of one.

Jodie getting to be the Serious Doctor for once. (She could have done with more of that earlier in her tenure.)

The rickety house of the Doctor’s lost memories. That is far too nice a conceit not to get re-used when she finally fishes the Lost Watch out of storage.

The Professor’s final words but then I’m a sucker for an apposite quotation. I’d have been happier to see him as a continuing character than I would John Bishop as Dan. He hasn’t been as well served by the scripts as the Doctor or Yaz.

Bad things included the wasting of so many characters. The Mad Mole of Liverpool would have had a whole adventure of his own and a decent farewell speech if he hadn’t just been jammed into the insane multi-dimensional trifle that was the script here.

Back to Daleks on New Year’s Day. This isn’t over yet.

EDITED TO ADD:

You know what this felt like? Like Chris Chibnall throwing all the neat ideas he’d had about the Doctor and the Whoniverse that will now never get an episode of their own into one food processor and turning it on to blend. This isn’t what I would recommend.

From → DOCTOR WHO, Reviews

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