Doctor Who 11×02 Review: The Ghost Monument

I love me some cliffhangers. They leave me in suspense, and since Doctor Who is one of the few shows I get to watch on a weekly basis, instead of binge-watched, the wait is delightful.

Last week’s cliffhanger is quickly solved, though. After our new friends were stranded in space, we find Ryan already in a spaceship, being woken up by his step-grandad (whether he likes it or not). As it turns out, Ryan and Graham have been rescued by a woman, Angstrom, who calls them bonuses and has no idea where the two women are.

The women have ended up in another ship, this one led by a man named Epzo who doesn’t like the way the Doctor takes control of things and knows pretty much everything. Both ships end up landing (crashing?) in a Mad Max planet called Desolation, the final planet of something we don’t know yet what it is.

As we reach the tent where I totally expected a chill out zone with drinks -and it sort of was- we meet Ilin, a man whom I can only define as a pompous prick. We now learn that Angstrom and Epzo are racers, and Ilin has been hosting a rally that ends in Desolation. Of thousands, only these two participants are left, and whoever wins gets a lot of money (we don’t know the exact rate, not even our Doc) and the other one gets left behind, we assume to die.

The “beauty” of the race is that it ends up when the racers reach the Ghost Monument, which Ilin mentions it appears and disappears. The Doctor, on a hunch, asks to see a hologram of it, and voilà, as you guessed, it’s the TARDIS, so it’s only obvious that our team will join the racers on the quest to reach the monument. The Doctor and her friends ended up stranded because the planet moved out of its orbit, but they were nearing the ship.

On the way to the end of the rally, the Doctor grows suspicious. This is a planet that has no living inhabitants, and its water contains killing microbes. What is going on? It is only when we reach an abandoned mall, or what looked like one, that we meet the first foe, sniperbots. It still doesn’t make sense. This is a deserted planet.

But as the six people reach down a hatch to find out more about the planet, Epzo is almost killed by what really inhabits this planet, and what I referred to in my notes as magic cloth/tiny dementors. We learn that there were scientists in the planet who were forced by the Stenza (yup, teeth guys) to create destructive arms and other means of destruction. The tiny dementors are a result of this. Luckily for us, thanks to some gas knowledge that I found quite impressive from my complete lack of understanding of how gas works, the Doctor saves the day and reunites with her beloved TARDIS, which now looks like a futuristic cave and gives you bakery, which is something I can always get on board with.

It was a nice second episode that helped cement Whittaker’s Doctor, although I would have liked to see more character development in the companions. I barely know anything about Yaz, and I want to learn why Ryan dislikes Graham so much beyond your mere child tantrum. I remember the end of ‘Rose’, and by then I was already invested in her life, her family, her boyfriend. I hope this will get worked on within the next couple of episodes.

 

“You’ve redecorated! I really like it”

-I really want a historical episode. I think it will be fun to see the Doctor, now as a woman, back in a time period where women were treated like… well, I’m not going to surprise you with history facts now.

-My mum is officially a Doctor Who fan -though she loved Broadchurch, so I guess she is a Chibnall fan.

-I don’t do drugs, but if I did, I imagine the new DW intro is what I would see in my head all the time. In a good way.

-I had forgotten: the two racers decide to call it a tie.

-“Are we about to die?” “Oh, sorry Yaz, I forgot you were there. All going to be fine!”

Graham borrows sunglasses from the Doctor. “I can’t remember who I borrowed them off now. It was either Audrey Hepburn or Pythagoras.”

-Please, readers, tell me you spotted a specific piece of advice from the Doctor that would have really worked for someone on Game of Thrones

-Epzo’s super cruel story about his mum letting him fall from a tree reminded me a little bit of the Ragnarok story of Loki’s snake prank to Thor.

-Did the Doctor really lose all hope for a second?

The Doctor, to her TARDIS: “Come to daddy. I mean, mummy…”

-Ryan screaming like a kid in terror after his Call of Duty skills fail to work. I’m here for that.

 

 

More on the episode:

Vulture

Digital Spy

The Independent

IndieWire

The Guardian

Blogtor Who

 

(I only now realised that the next episode is indeed set in the past -I meant a more distant past, though)

 

Categories: Doctor Who, Television | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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