Review time once again, ladies and gentlemen! And I have to say that “Kerblam!” was not the train wreck I was expecting. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s the best episode we’ve had all season, which is something I definitely was not expecting to say last week. As always, spoilers await those who venture further.
The Doctor, Graham, Ryan, and Yaz decide to investigate Kerblam, the galaxy’s largest retailer, after the Doctor receives a package from Kerblam with “Help Me” written on the packing slip (also, let us take a brief moment to pause in silence and rejoice for the return of The Fez). Kerblam runs on 90% automation, but having the robots in charge of the humans is not the best way to make the humans happy. The humans feel like they ought to be happy they have jobs since so many have been replaced by machines, but the resentment starts to build until young Christopher decides to strike back.
I have to say that for the first time in season 11, I felt like I was watching a proper Doctor Who episode. Still not completely sold on Jodie Whittaker, but this week’s script definitely felt more Doctorish than it has in a long time. And the future problems it presented are something we see echoes with now; people are already asking how the rise in automation will affect job employment in the future. Solid writing for the minor characters was a huge plus, and Christopher actually felt like a villain. So many of the threats we’ve seen so far haven’t felt threatening at all, so to have someone who posed a legitimate threat was refreshing.
With such a refreshingly good episode as this, it makes me excited to see what “The Witchfinders” provides next week. Of course, now that I’m looking forward to the episode, it will probably be terrible.