TL;DR – With the last episode
for a year, we get the return of a villain past, and not really a whole lot
else, which leads to an interesting if forgettable episode.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The debut season for Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall has come and gone, and while I generally enjoyed it, it has been divisive among the fans, and no not just because The Doctor is a woman now (though there are still those people, sigh). The show pretty much used this season as an opportunity as a soft-reboot and a good entry point for new people joining in without years of storylines to catch up on. All of this meant that we got some amazing episodes like Rosa (see review) and the Demons of the Punjab (see review) but there was also an awful lot of filler and constant use of ‘oh the bad guy is not the actual bad guy.’ All of this lead to many episodes feeling undercooked and the drive to have all new enemies for the series probably didn’t help. Well, today we look at the epilogue for the series and its first ever New Year’s special and see how well it does for the last Doctor Who episode for over a year.
So to set the scene, back in Earth’s distant past a creature came from the heavens to lay waste to all around. The foe was only defeated when three waring enemies came together for the greater good. They burnt the creature and split the remains in three to be sent to the furthest reaches of the globe, only one never made it out of England. Today the body of the fallen guardian was discovered in an archeologically dig under the Sheffield Town Hall by Lin (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mitch (Nikesh Patel). Putting the remains under ultraviolet light, they accidentally recharged the creature which jumped all its body back together. Thankfully this set off warnings in the TARDIS, so the gang The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Yas (Mandip Gill) jump back to Earth, but little do they know the enemy they are about to face is the most dangerous threat they have faced so far. Now, from this point, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead if you have not watched the episode.
the past, the Christmas special has been the big bombastic tent poll episode in
the series, up there with Season Finales. We have seen Doctor’s regenerate, we
were introduced to David Tennent, we discovered colonies on Mars, and also
there was that Titanic that one time. However, besides the return of an old
enemy, this kind of felt like any normal episode, bar maybe that one tiny car
chase that we got for a moment. Now, this does not make it a bad episode in any
stretch of the imagination, but more one that didn’t reach its potential.
Well given it was the main driver of the episode, let’s take a look at the returning enemy, The Doctor’s greatest enemy, the Daleks. Besides maybe The Master, the Daleks are the reflection of the Doctor, if you were looking through a mirror darkly. All of that drive for good in the world is replaced with the need to kill and destroy, or to put it more bluntly exterminate. One of the issues of this episode is I don’t think anyone was surprised by the return of the old enemy because the BBC all but said this was what was going to happen in the trailer killing any of the possible impacts of the surprise. This meant that since the episode was structured around this big reveal it lost a lot of its weight, even though hearing Nick Briggs back as the voice of the Dalek was, of course, a joy. The one big surprise was that the UK government shut down UNIT, because of the lack of external support, and I’m wondering what point they were making there.
Once again we follow the series drive of introducing someone in love only to kill them off in a dramatic fashion, sorry mate but you just announced that your fingers were secure, you be dead. This is important because Ryan’s long departed dad Aaron (Daniel Adegboyega) has returned, adding the other plot drive in the episode. The relationship between Ryan and Graham has been one of the main building blocks of this season, so it makes sense that you would throw a wrench into it after the resolution of The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos (see review). While it was good to see this develop more, it did tie up a bit too nicely at the end and it did mean that the episode mostly side-lined Graham one of the best additions to the supporting cast.
In the end, do we recommend Resolution? Sure, it is a perfectly fine episode, and the return of one of The Doctor’s classic enemies was a fun switch up. However, it was not a substantial episode and just felt like a normal episode rather than a special. Also, please the BBC, I doubt you will ever read this but could you please stop spoiling your big surprise points in your trailers, you keep doing it and it keeps undercutting the story. While it has been a joy to see Jodie Whittaker play The Doctor, there are some issues with the season that I hope that they will take the time over the next year to work through, so the show can keep getting better and better.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow
Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV,
he’ll be talking about International Relations,
or the Solar System.
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Trailer – Click
Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Doctor Who
Directed by – Wayne Yip
Written by – Chris Chibnall
Showrunner – Chris Chibnall
Starring – Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole & Mandip Gill with Charlotte Ritchie, Nikesh Patel, Daniel Adegboyega, Darryl Clark, Connor Calland, James Lewis, Laura Evelyn and Nick Briggs