Doctor Who: The Season Finale

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A Season of promise and frustration…..

And like that…..its over!

Yes, while it only seems like yesterday we were celebrating the return of both David Tennant and Catherine Tate to this iconic series, travelling afar and going on a memorable wild blue yonder adventure, much to the delight of fans everywhere, this weekend saw the fifteenth Doctor’s very short first season in control of the Tardis fans came to an end, with fans no doubt joining in on Ncuti Gatwa’s teary take on the iconic role.

But while Gatwa’s tears were of him saying goodbye to yet another companion – she will be back- fans wiped their eyes with frustration at what has been a very much uneven season, as when its been good, its been brilliant, but when its been bad – you can hear the sight cries of “Where’s Chibnall?” and his Flux to get rid of the mess.

OK, we never quite reached some of the direness of that NuWho era, but the return of Russell T Davies promised us so much and while episodes like 73 yards and Dot and Bubble had shown that there is still plenty of life in the old K9 yet, we still had to suffer the likes of Space Babies and of course, the much hyped Beatles episode that actually contained very little John, Paul and co.

But, hey! If is one thing RTD can do is deliver an epic season finale right? Who remembers Bad Wolf? The sound of drums as the Master returned? Surely Gatwa will get a threat that his new take truly deserves and most importantly, desperately needs?

Well not quite! With the penultimate episode “The Legend of Ruby Sunday” planting some delightful seeds, with the build up to the mystery of Ruby’s Mum, the arrival of mega-villain Sutekh, not seen since Tom Baker and his scarf fought him off in the late 70’s and of course the Doctor and Ruby, finally investigating Susan Twist, a woman seen in every episode – the finale “Empire of Death” promised so much, yet failed to deliver in every single plot thread.

How could RTD get this so wrong? With Sutekh going all THANOS on planet Earth and Marvel looking at copyright issues over the use of The Snap -I’m kidding- fans can feel right to be cheated at the reveal of Ruby’s Mum which was the biggest let-down since Star Wars fans sat through The Last Jedi and got the same feeling with Rey. I know DISNEY are now part of WHO, but copying some elements of their catalogue – we expect more from you Russell and these links will no doubt just fire up Whovians even more over the show being attached to the giant mouse studio.

Talking about giant creatures – With Sutekh now rendered as a huge CGI canine, who has attached himself to the Tardis for thousand of years, causing some major plot issues which we’ll just ignore, his threat at the beginning felt very real. The destruction of UNIT was proper dark and it felt briefly that the show will go down a dark path not seen for a long time but when other characters were getting wiped from existence, the threat immediately became redundant as you just knew that somehow the Doctor would bring them all back. This show badly needs an Adric death right now as it all feels too safe and not very dangerous.

Before the Doctor takes out Sutekh thanks to some timey- wimey nonsense and a lasso, we get this odd scene with Fleabag’s Sian Clifford, which while well written and heartfelt, is rather pointless but he does get a spoon out of it and then just as this finale couldn’t become more ridiculous. Ruby’s mum – the haunting, hooded figure that points creepily at the Doctor in which the mystery has been teased since last Christmas, turns out to a normal woman called Louise, who adds really nothing to the plot and was pointing at the sign called Ruby Road so her daughter could be named from that! Yes, that generally did happen!

As Ruby said her goodbye to the Doctor for now, who flew off and headed towards whatever Steven Moffit has planned for him at Christmas, fans are left wondering at exactly what kind of state the show is in.

It does feel like there is more to come from Gatwa who on times, threatens to explode on screen, but is still wating for “his moment” to truly say his Doctor has arrived. I still say the constant change of outfits doesn’t help his cause. Each Doctor has their own distinctive look and vibe, with fans loving to dress up as their favourite Doc and having missed out on his own regeneration episode having shared his arrival with Tennant, plus being a side -character in some episodes in his debut run, due to scheduling conflicts, I’m hoping Gatwa kicks on in his already filmed second season, as he really does deserve a memorable run. He has done more than enough in fleeting moments to consider he could be one of the greats – but the material needs to be better.

With Anita Dobson’s Mrs Flood breaking the fourth wall once more to inform us that the story of “his Doctor” will end in “terror” – lets hope she sticks to her word and talking about her character. The Clara comparisons will only increase with her “clever boy” line, to go along with her same dress code as the much loved companion.

So, as Sutekh himself turns to dust and with the Doctor travelling alone once more, the future of WHO is in the balance. Low ratings and a not so great reception to this finale, we can only hope that RTD finds his touch, this last episode may have felt like a huge let-down, but there has been moments in this season run that suggests the heart of the TARDIS can still burn bright and with the lingering questions left over from this climatic failure, there is only one that sticks in my head….

Did anyone ever make Cherry that cup of tea?

 

 

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About Ross Hughes 564 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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