Doctor Who Review: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos *Contains Spoilers*

We have arrived at the season finale, folks, and…well, I wish I could say that lots happened, but this has been such a lackluster season that it wouldn’t really be true. Still, there were some interesting concepts explored in this episode, and spoilers about all of them await any who venture further.

Remember the Stenza warrior from “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” not-so-affectionately dubbed Tim Shaw? Well, we found out what happened to him. He never actually made it back to his own planet, instead arriving on Ranskoor Av Kolos and being mistaken for a god. The locals just happen to be a race that is capable of creating and building anything with the power of their thoughts, making them the perfect vehicle for his revenge. But Tim isn’t the only one looking for revenge; Graham has learned the man responsible for his wife’s death is here…and he doesn’t care what the Doctor thinks about revenge.

This episode still had some of the bland bits that have been a problem with season 11, but on the whole I think I liked it. Yes, it wasn’t as epic as “Doomsday”, “Journey’s End”, “The Big Bang”, or “The Doctor Falls”, but it wasn’t the completely terrible mess that earlier episodes this season have been. Tim actually felt menacing in this episode, and Andinio and Delph were two representrally atives of a fascinating species that I hope we see in future episodes. I wish they had found a way to follow up with the Timeless Child plot thread from “The Ghost Monument”, though. Perhaps that will come in season 12, which, we learned, definitely will not be arriving until 2020. Granted, I haven’t really liked Jodie Whittaker, but I still think it’s a mistake to put the new Doctor on hiatus so soon after she arrived.

Since this was the season finale, there won’t be any new reviews for a few weeks. We do, however, have the New Year’s special “Resolution” to look forward to.

Please be Daleks, please be Daleks…

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Doctor Who Review: It Takes You Away *Contains Spoilers*

And we have one more episode left, ladies and gentlemen! Excited? Sad? A mix of emotions? Well, at least we got a solid episode this week, an episode that I was worried would be terrible but actually turned out to be really good. As always, spoilers await any who venture further.

The TARDIS arrives in Norway, and it isn’t long before the crew finds trouble in the form of a boarded-up old cabin with a single occupant inside. Young Hanne is terrified of the unseen monster that prowls outside their cabin; she is convinced it has already taken her father and is coming for her next. Slight problem, though–there is no monster outside her cabin. Speakers have been hidden around the property to make Hanne think there’s a monster outside. Why would her dad terrify her into staying indoors and then disappear? Could it have something to do with the mysterious mirror portal in his bedroom? What’s on the other side?

This was by far the best episode we’ve had all season. Don’t get me wrong; Whittaker still gives a very bland portrayal of the Doctor, which disappoints me since I thought she would have developed a personality by now, but the writing and the overall story were very much Doctor Who. Even the conscious universe that took the form of a talking frog is the proper bonkers plot development I have come to expect from the show in recent years. And the mirror dimension is probably the first genuinely interesting thing we’ve seen all season; I hope they are able to revisit it in some form in subsequent seasons.

Far and away the best part of this episode was Graham. He’s been my favorite part of the show for awhile now, and this week solidified why. His strength, his loyalty to Ryan and the Doctor, and his love of sandwiches all work together to create the stirring story of a man who lost the love of his life but managed to find a reason to keep living. If Graham is the first of Thirteen’s companions to get the axe, I will protest. Loudly.

Next week is the season finale, “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos”, which teases the return of a familiar face…or at least a familiar voice. Will the finale make up for the lackluster episodes we’ve had this season? Only one way to find out!

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A Special Post-30 Days of Gregorian Chant Treat

We did it, everyone! We made it through National Blog Post Writing Month! To celebrate our success, I have created a Spotify playlist of the songs featured in 30 Days of Gregorian Chant.

Enjoy!

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30 Days of Gregorian Chant: Rorate Caeli

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30 Days of Gregorian Chant: Sanctus (Missa Orbis Factor)

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30 Days of Gregorian Chant: Pax Aeterna

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30 Days of Gregorian Chant: Victimae Paschali Laudes

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