My very favorite Doctor Who episode of all time is “Vincent and the Doctor” for the sheer beauty of the concept. A beloved historical figure revisited with that final scene of recognition just heartbreakingly gorgeous. I’m not saying that this reached that level, but for me it came darn close!
Too Smart for His Own Good
It should come as no surprise that the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) would connect with one of the greatest inventors of all time, Nikola Tesla. Portrayed by Goran Visnjic, who some of you may recognize from Timeless, Tesla gets himself into his own predicaments. Far beyond his time, looking outward to space he’s made contact with the wrong sort of alien. Unbeknownst to him of course, and disbelieved by anyone around him. Tesla pushes boundaries and in this episode that’s exactly what he’s wanted for. By a race of aliens known as Skithra, a race who scavenge and steal and most importantly – can’t build for themselves. Who better than a brilliant inventor to kidnap and fix their spaceship. Enter the Doctor.
The reason this episode couldn’t reach the heights of Van Gogh’s is simply that the problem and solution were fairly straightforward. Of COURSE you’d need to use Tesla’s inventions to stop the aliens. And of COURSE even still he wouldn’t win the respect of the population. It’s a little obvious. But despite that, it was a fun ride. The costuming was fantastic! The Doctor is on her game and thrown off of it at the same time in a way that’s really building to something cool. I hope we get some serious payoff for that this season.
I’m torn about the Skithra. The Queen (Anjili Mohindra) was fantastic, I loved the makeup and effects! However, the CGI scorpions on earth were awful. Let’s be real though, in a show were we openly accept the scariest aliens having a toilet plunger as an arm, CGI isn’t too bad. I liked the effect that them being a scavenging race had. Mostly just because I love The Doctor going around the room just naming randomass pieces of equipment as belonging to specific other aliens races. Give me all the weird.
All in All
A big step up from last week’s episode which I just hated. After the insanity of Skyfall, it’s hard to follow with anything huge, but previews for next week give me hope!