Episode Review – Doctor Who Season 11, Episode 2 “The Ghost Monument”

In the second episode of Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the new Doctor in Doctor Who, the Doctor and her newest companions – Graham, Ryan and Yaz – end up stranded on a desolate planet –  a planet literally called Desolation – with two others battling it out in a race across the universe for an immense amount of money. These two have to reach what is called the Ghost Monument in order to win and the Doctor and her companions tag along because, of course, the monument is none other than the TARDIS.

Original Air Date:

October 14th, 2018

Air Time:

50 Minutes

Guest Starring:

Susan Lynch as Angstrom, Shaun Dooley as Epzo, Art Malik as Ilin

Review:

I thought this was a nice follow up to the first episode. I love that it went directly from episode one into episode two, without a pause, and gave us a chance to see the companions really experience something out of this world, without really choosing to. They are all fresh from the death of Grace, a fourth companion so to speak, from episode one and tensions are definitely high. They don’t know the Doctor, Graham and Ryan have tumultuous relationship and they are now in outer space, scooped up by strangers and dumped on a planet whose name literally translates to Desolation.

The two characters that save our gang are named Angstrom and Epzo and they are in a race, a rally, a HUGE competition that has spanned many planets and galaxies to earn a prize that equals to a very, very large sum of money. Its like the Amazing Race but a hell of a lot more dangerous and the prize money way larger and the stakes way, way higher. The rally has led the characters to this planet – Desolation – where they are told by the man who runs the rally, Ilin, to reach the Ghost Monument – aka the TARDIS, we discover – and the first there will be the winner.

I genuinely enjoyed this episode and I feel like I’m falling back in love with Doctor Who again. I had absolutely nothing against Capaldi – I thought he was a terrific actor and a fantastic Doctor – but I think his storylines were weak, and I didn’t love him with Clara. Bill was better, but Jodie, so far, has really captured me, just the way Chris did when I first watched Doctor Who years ago. She brings something new, and fresh, and I like that you can tell she’s the Doctor but she’s also something different, the way a new regeneration should be.

I like that we are getting to know the companions more as the adventures continue, especially in this episode. They’ve been through a lot but they’re a resilient group for sure. I think I’m liking Yaz the most right now but only time will tell. The relationship between Graham and Ryan is really hard for me – I’m sort of annoyed with the pair of them but I’m hoping things get better between them once they’re all in the TARDIS. I hope to get more of these characters as it goes along; I’m so used to getting one new companion at a time and having 3 is a little overwhelming but I do like it a lot. We’ve had multiple companions before and I feel like this is a really good group and I’m excited to see how they all work together.

I also really liked this storyline. There is something exciting about a race like this – which is probably why the Amazing Race is on its millionth season – and to have it ending on such a ridiculously creepy planet with no life, no nothing, was super fun. I like that we get a continuation of the Stenza, maybe hinting that this may be a big villain for the new Doctor, and I’m okay with that because ol’ Teeth Face was CREEPY. I also liked the SniperBots and I really liked that there was a sort of peek at something with the “Timeless Child”. They’re dropping hints at what is to come, like in previous seasons, and I’m truly excited to see who else we meet next, good and bad.

Lastly, we finally got to see the inside of the TARDIS, the brand new, Jodie Whittaker, 13th Doctor TARDIS and I’m in love. It’s dark and beautiful – it throws back to the 10th’s TARDIS a bit but its unique and I can’t wait to explore what it can do and what we’ll learn about it. Its fun and its perfect. It has just enough femininity and masculinity in balance that, hopefully, no one can complain about it, though I’m not dumb, I know there are probably plenty of people who are. I really liked it, the outside and the inside. I like that it looks like the TARDIS and has throwbacks to past Doctors but it’s also new and exciting and different, marking this new and, frankly, very exciting era of Doctor Who.

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

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