Now we meet the macguffin of our episode. The character who gets 5 minutes to introduce the villain, get killed and then is rarely mentioned for the remainder of the episode. The first truly negative moment of the episode. Followed by a bit more exposition for our new companions. Again, I could take or leave this but at least but at least it was somewhat relevant to the plot.
Side note: The Doctor waking up and the revelation about DNA bombs was what won me over with the accent. So far, for me, Jodie is taking the best bits of David Tennant’s Doctor without all the shouting.
The Doctor and her companions finally meet the big bad of the episode, chase after it, but ultimately lose it. They find a temporary base so they can have some time for more exposition where we find out more about Ryan’s condition (Dyspraxia), a bit more detail on the villain alien and even more on the character of the Doctor.
30 minutes in and we’re getting a little bit more of what we expect from a Doctor Who debut episode, there’s talk of Sonic Screwdrivers and what happens to the Doctors body during regeneration. There’s also a very cool sequence where The Doctor creates her new Sonic Screwdriver. Something we’ve not seen a lot of in the past.
And the macguffin is back, to provide a little more detail to everyone before never being mentioned again. Followed up by a little more Sonic Screwdriver exposition, scientific explanation and a long overdue Doctor monologue.
Switching to a short scene between the big bad and a drunken local, culminating in the most one sided fight between kebab salad and an evil alien I’ve ever seen. The Doctor and her companions have finally found the big ball of energy – which they learn is a beacon with the data about the previously thought of unimportant Carl (from the train).
The evil alien arrives and corners the gang and answers a number of questions. What is its name (Sim Shaw), why is it here (To hunt Carl, and become leader of his race), and why does it steal teeth (They’re a trophy). In another Tennant-esque moment, The Doctor accuses Sim Shaw of cheating in his mission and gives him a funny name, which just serves to make him angry and use the short range teleport to get away from The Doctor.
Side note: Some actual hiding behind hands for my 6 and 7 year old at this point – this is proper Doctor Who.
After the amount of death in this episode I was instantly afraid for poor Dennis (the security manager) we see in this scene as soon as we saw how happy he was and how much he enjoyed talking to his granddaughter. He was marked for death from the second that video call finished.
Not much to say about this next bit other than everything progressed like you would expect, Doctor Doesn’t have a plan (until she does), Doctor’s plan involves an unnecessary amount of danger, Doctor’s plan seemingly goes wrong until she does something heroic and The Doctor reveals a plot point that happened off screen.
Grace and Graham (obviously) don’t listen to The Doctor and end up coming back to try and defeat the big ball of energy. Before the unexpected death of Grace. Again, a very Doctor moment where she gives Sim Shaw the opportunity to go home before she makes him. He obviously chooses the latter and ends up killing himself. The Doctor throws him the transporter and Carl kicks him off the crane – which The Doctor isn’t happy about.
Side note: I assumed Grace was destined to die as soon as she came back but I knew she was going to be a recurring character so I assumed they would pull a “bring back to life using spare regeneration energy”. Turns out I was wrong, and I’m glad of it.
The last 5-10 minutes are spent getting the Doctor into her new costume (with a textbook reaction from her new companions), some final character exposition, the funeral of Grace, more Doctor Who backstory and The Doctor searching for her TARDIS – with a nice lead in to next weeks episode.