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It's a mixed bag to say the least

By:Jared Star, Portsmouth, United States
Date:Wednesday 27 October 2021
Rating:   5

This special is the best New Year’s Special. Which by that I mean, it’s better than “Resolution” and that’s it.

The rating is exactly half because this episode had a balancing act going on. It rehashes “Resolution” but fixes the big issues with it. However, the rip-off of “Blood of the Daleks” for the second half was done poorly. The “Orange Man Bad” character was at his worst ever, but Jack was great. Yaz had some interesting character moments, but Graham and Ryan felt just as useless as they did in series 12 for the majority. Most of the episode is just characters standing around and talking and any action that happens lasts a minute tops. Then, it’s more talking and poorly done character moments.

It was disappointing as well that the Doctor was busted out of prison within 5 minutes. Another example of Chris having good ideas, but poor execution. The thing I was looking forward to the most leading up to the episode was the companions working with Jack to stop an invasion while the Doctor is powerless to do anything. Then, the Doctor makes a big escape from prison and I question why the prison thing was even introduced if it’s just going to be wasted like that.

John Barrowman is a treasure, but he only seems to work well on his own here. He has some fun moments with Yaz for a few minutes, then just becomes another side character. Which is not how he should be treated. He doesn’t play off any of the characters in a fun way like he would with 10 and Martha / 9 and Rose. I honestly forgot he was in there when he wasn’t on screen and he didn’t even show up during the final scene to say goodbye. He just “calls” the TARDIS to give a quick and almost unnoticeable goodbye.

The only thing that has improved since “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” has been the cinematography. This episode seriously proved that. The image of the Doctor standing in the doorway of the TARDIS floating above a Dalek-infested London is forever burned into my mind now. That’s the first image I’ll think of whenever Jodie Whittaker is mentioned. The music also blended well with everything and the ending with the TARDISES was clever.

All in all, it’s a mixed bag. There is a lot of bad balanced with a lot of good. At least it’s not “The Timeless Children.”

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