Jodie Whittaker recently made a welcome return to our screens as the thirteenth Doctor, along with companions Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh). As I mentioned in a previous post, series 11 was my least favourite so far. I liked series 12 better, although it still suffered from some wooden dialogue and a preachy tone. The storylines were improved and had more of a connection to previous series.
There was an explosive start to the series with a 2-part episode, ‘Spyfall’. I felt that there were too many ideas crammed into it, as if the writers were trying too hard to impress. It was tense and exciting but busy. I also didn’t see the point of Stephen Fry’s cameo as the spymaster. Maybe they couldn’t afford to pay him to appear for more than a few minutes. The third episode, ‘Orphan 55’, started off very intriguingly but as the environmental message became clear, it was like they were beating us over the head with it. ‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror’ was an excellent historical themed episode, with the right balance of education and action. ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ was very good with a brilliant twist, although I find the Judoon (mercenary aliens with rhinoceros heads) annoying. ‘Praxeus’ was a good action-packed episode which took inspiration from The Birds and was a warning about plastics.
‘Can You Hear Me?’ was an odd and slightly distasteful episode but I did appreciate the theme of talking about one’s mental health and asking for help. ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’, a frightening and yet meandering episode set on the night that Mary Shelley conceived of Frankenstein, set the wheels in motion for the series finale, the 2-part episode ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’ (spoiler – the Cybermen come back!) and ‘The Timeless Child’. This was an explosive and complex ending which explored the history of the Time Lords and the identity of the Doctor. It certainly wasn’t as grim as some of the previous series. Generally I enjoyed watching series 12 but it’s not one of my favourites.
Image taken from BBC iPlayer.