doctor who season 12

You’re going to need a TARDIS to see the next season of Doctor Who. On the heels of star Jodie Whittaker confirming that she is staying at the helm of the TARDIS for at least another season, the BBC announced that Doctor Who season 12 is on its way…in 2020. That’ll be more than a year after the end of season 11, which wrapped last night. And yes, while we do have at least one Doctor Who episode to look forward to in 2019 with the upcoming New Year’s Day special, it’s hard to imagine living a full year without the Doctor coming to call.

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doctor who the battle of ranskoor av kolos review

There’s a line from Peter Capaldi’s run as the Doctor that I keep going back to during this inspiring, but uneven, 11th season of Doctor Who: “Well to be fair, they cut out all the jokes!” This episode, and to an extent this season, could have done with a couple of laughs.

While Jodie Whittaker has injected new life into the show, uttering every line with a twinkling bravado and generally being the best, her strong performance has barely been enough to make up for what has been just an okay season. I had hopes for new showrunner Chris Chibnall to right the ship after Steven Moffat steered it into the eye of the hurricane, but it seems that Chibnall has taken the series to the most placid waters. Except for the historical episodes, this season of Doctor Who has been, for the most part, kind of bland. The show had only started to feel properly like Doctor Who — after treading around familiar monsters and nods to the show — in the past four episodes, which took the season (and in last week’s case, the show) to an all-time high. It’s no surprise that those four episodes were each penned by a different writer who wasn’t Chibnall. But the showrunner took to the pen again for the season finale, “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos,” and as a result, we end the season on an underwhelming note.

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doctor who it takes you away review

Doctor Who has always been the weird, ugly stepchild of sleek, high-concept sci-fi shows. The show frequently nails a unique mixture of heart and camp, more so than the cerebral kind of sci-fi that frequently appeared on high-concept series like The Twilight Zone. But now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, Doctor Who gets downright surreal. And one of those days was last night with the ninth episode of season 11, “It Takes You Away.”

A Grimm fairy tale meets Greek myth meets Solaris, “It Takes You Away” may one of the most cerebral, weird episodes of Doctor Who I’ve ever seen — and at the very least a season best, if not a series best, for the show.

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After “Rosa” and “Demons of the Punjab,” it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that all of Doctor Who‘s historical episodes this season would be somber, pensive affairs. And that’s good, and great, and powerful! But this is Doctor Who, and I still want me some camp and creepy crawlies. And thank Satan, “The Witchfinders” delivers on all of that.

The latest historical episode of Doctor Who manages to tackle this season’s prevailing social issues while injecting it with a little classic Doctor Who camp, the latter of which is mostly handled by a gloriously foppish Alan Cumming. But the latest episode of Doctor Who isn’t without its weighty moments, of course. The episode deals with the unjust persecution of women, blamed for blighted crops and all other kinds of maladies, leading to the deaths of thousands. And most significantly, “The Witchfinders” is the first time that the Doctor has to face the obstacles of her new gender head-on — something that has been mostly handwaved off for the past seven episodes. But in an episode that deals with witchcraft and comes on the heels of “witch hunt” being over- and misused in the current political landscape, Jodie Whittaker‘s acknowledgement of the trials of womanhood couldn’t come at a better time.

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doctor who kerblam! review

Doctor Who may very well travel in time and space, what with the shocking timeliness of its latest episode, “Kerblam!” The seventh episode of season 11 delivers a sharp critique of Amazon while tossing in several fun nods to David Tennant and Matt Smith’s eras, in a story that itself plays like a spirited throwback to Doctor Who of yesteryear.

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doctor who arachnids in the uk review

The holidays are coming and the Doctor is in – just not for the holiday that you’d expect. After reports surfaced that the BBC had scrapped the Doctor Who Christmas special for the first time in 13 years, the network has officially announced that Jodie Whittaker‘s 13th Doctor will have a holiday special after all: on New Year’s Day.  Read More »

doctor who demons of the punjab review

Fifty-five years ago, Doctor Who was created as a children’s educational program: a sci-fi series that took British children on whirlwind adventures to the far reaches of time and space with the express purpose of making history sexy. Along the way, that original intention got lost as the series — like most sci-fi franchises — got bogged down by a dense mythology and cohorts of child fans who had turned into adults. As the series entered the 21st century, Doctor Who had to compete with sleek, modern sci-fi series like Battlestar Galactica or Firefly, leading it to often reimagine itself to appeal to “mature” sci-fi fans who craved complex storylines (though still keeping its signature weird, campy flair).

But Chris Chibnall and co. seem intent on bringing us back to Doctor Who‘s roots. As with this season’s “Rosa,” “Demons of the Punjab” is here to educate and enlighten its viewers about a certain time period or person, aliens be damned. Well no, there are still aliens, but they’re secondary to the all-important historical lesson that Doctor Who has to impart.

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doctor who the tsuranga conundrum review

All this season, I’ve felt like Chris Chibnall’s era of Doctor Who is trying to get on its feet, testing out new dynamics and new baddies while enthusiastically (maybe a little too enthusiastically) proving that this is the sci-fi show you know and love. “The Tsuranga Conundrum,” the Chibnall-penned fifth episode of the 11th season, is the epitome of that: leaning back on a familiar narrative while introducing whole new worlds and universes in a show that has prided itself for its kind of insular mythology. And while I’m happy for Doctor Who to leave the Daleks and the Weeping Angels be for now, I can’t help but feel a little wistful for the recognizable elements that the Chibnall era is so quick to shed.

It’s a good thing then that Jodie Whittaker gives her most delightful turn yet as the 13th Doctor in “The Tsuranga Conundrum.” Where Doctor Who is starting to feel progressively unfamiliar, Whittaker’s Doctor is steadily becoming that familiar friend who I can’t wait to hang out with each week. My ranking of favorite Doctors has already been thrown into chaos.

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doctor who arachnids in the uk review

Doctor Who has never really done Halloween-themed episodes (despite the scary bent of many of its episodes, Christmas is more this show’s speed), but it seems fitting that the BBC sci-fi show’s Halloween-adjacent episode has all the hallmarks of a B-horror movie: corrupt businessmen, science gone horribly wrong, and big-ass spiders. “Arachnids in the U.K.” sees the Doctor and her companions return to Earth in an episode that recalls the classic show and gives us a creepy crawler that — in true Doctor Who fashion — made me feel more emotions than just fear.

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doctor who rosa review

The Doctor has tangled with plenty of historical figures before but — as seems to be the trend with this new season of Doctor Who“Rosa” is unlike any of those past jaunts in history. The third episode of Doctor Who season 11 takes Team TARDIS to 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, where the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham stumble into Rosa Parks on the eve of her big history-making bus protest. But contrary to what we’ve seen in Doctor Who before, “Rosa” plays it completely straight, foregoing the sci-fi show’s usual whimsy in favor of a hard-hitting, utterly empowering episode television.

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