If there was any doubt that Doctor Who has the best premise in TV drama history, the jump from last week’s intense history lesson about the American Civil rights movement to this story about giant spiders in Sheffield should prove it. What other show has this level of versatility?
Showrunner Chris Chibnall’s jokey punning title for this episode is a fair indication of its overall tone, while the casting of Sex And The City’s Chris Noth as an obnoxiously over-the-top American hotel tycoon, whose new property was the subject of a major spider invasion, added to the giddy atmosphere. That said, the scene in which the Doctor passive-aggressively persuaded Yaz to invite her in for tea with the family so she wasn’t being abandoned altogether, and Graham’s moving return home to face up to the loss of his wife, were both beautifully handled. Again, Bradley Walsh is proving the doubters wrong with his highly impressive acting chops.
A fun 50-minute monster movie of an episode.
But the main thrust was the infestation of massive spiders, and kudos to the effects department for pulling off what must have been a tough CGI challenge. The arachnids were genuinely horrible; their texture, pace and movement perfectly judged, and the way in which they kept getting bigger and nastier made them all the more effective as proper, old-school scary Doctor Who creatures. The story’s other monster, Chris Noth’s Trump-like businessman Robertson, was also well judged, and Chibnall’s clever rug-pull of making him a future challenger to the current Moron-In-Chief was a lovely touch.
This was a fun 50-minute monster movie of an episode; the kind of simple but memorable story of which classic Who memories are made.
Read the review of Episode 1, The Woman Who Fell To Earth
Read the review of Episode 2, The Ghost Monument
Read the review of Episode 3, Rosa
Read the review of Episode 5, The Tsurunga Conundrum