“The Ghost Monument” was a great follow up to last week’s premiere. Our new companions continued to grow and Jodie Whittaker shined again as the Doctor. I’m really pleased with how this series is starting off, we had what felt like a very classic Doctor Who episode, in all the best ways. With little peeks of new and exciting!!
***mild spoilers ahead***
This week we learned a little more about each companion, deepening my appreciation for how they’ve been chosen to round out what truly feels like a team.
First off Graham (Bradley Walsh) who is clearly going to be bringing the fashion with the most stellar sunglasses possible. Ok, not seriously, but if he doesn’t wear those the rest of the season I may riot. Graham is quickly getting over his disbelief, although he feels the most “audience” like. Skeptical, not quite understanding why you’d run after another alien (ep1) or frankly just trying to keep up with a madwoman speaking at an incredible pace about stuff that’s WAY over your head. He’s delightfully British. When he speaks about Grace or when he reaches out to Ryan (Tosin Cole) you feel the immense amount of feeling this man must have bubbling under the surface. I thoroughly look forward to him coming out of his emotional shell and bonding more with Ryan. It’s what Grace would have wanted.
Ryan was impressive this week and I’m very happy with where they seem to be taking him. His dyspraxia is not just something you overcome, we saw that last week when he was still unable to ride the bicycle. This came up again tonight when he was forced up and down ladders, a nightmare for someone with a balance disorder. He’s brave and goes on, willingly putting himself in those situations. I’m really hoping that the writers don’t force some type of “healing” moment, I think it’s incredibly important to show how someone with a disability can live *with* that. Not despite, or suddenly magically all *better*. Just different.
I will admit that this week the one thing that fell short to me was Yasmin (Mandip Cole). She’s so smart, inquisitive and grounded, but this week that came across a bit more as quiet. Even boring at times. Cole is a great actress, and I’m hoping that future episodes will allow her to shine. I imagine writing for 3 companions it’s difficult to give everyone a shining moment!
We had 2 extra humans (or humanoid aliens) along for the ride this week. We had Epzo (Shaun Dooley) and Angstrom (Susan Lynch), 2 competitors fighting for money and a way off this desolate, deadly planet. I still can’t believe Epzo didn’t die. And to be honest, I’m a little disappointed. From the moment we see him, Epzo was a total asshat. But in the end, I suppose he did do the “right” thing, so we’ll let him off the hook. Angstrom was far more interesting. She’s the kind of character I love to learn about, that person who’s been through hell and back and used that to motivate them to be better. Stronger. When she spoke about missing her family? Let’s just say chills may have happened. I would love to run into Angstrom again in future episodes. Plus, THAT HAIR. So cool.
From floating in space (and not freezing?) to crash landing on an empty planet, this week our villain was the environment. The Doctor and her (I still love typing that) companions have to overcome an environment designed to kill them. Literally. From deadly water to weird, floating, talking cloth (???) everything was there to cause harm. We hear a name that looks like we’re headed to a big bad since it’s now the second time – the Stenz. A NEW BIG BAD? Yup. That’s very exciting.
We finally saw our girl at the end of the episode and let me tell you, she’s beautiful. Redone in warm hues with amber glowing pillars, she’s simply cool as hell. If you didn’t tear up when the Doctor first saw the TARDIS maybe you’re the Stenz in this relationship. Whittaker has a beautifully emotive face and boy, she really missed her ship.
The biggest one I’m having right now is who in the heck is “The Timeless Child”? The Doctor had a VERY emotional reaction to that so I’m super curious where the writers are headed with that. Second to that is who are the Stenz and why does destruction seem to be their MO?
A solid entry into the Whoniverse, “The Ghost Monument” was a good follow up to our introduction to this new cast. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
4.5/5 SHIPS THAT ARE ALL THAT
Doctor Who airs next on Sunday, Oct 21st at 8/9c on BBC America.