Can You Hear Me? emerged as a enjoyable-to-solid affair, with a few nice moves peppered throughout.
WhittaDoc's Asperger-y dismissal of Graham's heart-to-heart regarding his (possibly recurring) cancer was a potent and unexpected moment, and one of the few times in the Chibnall Era either Whittaker, or the show in general, felt in any way plugged into the essence of what makes the 'Doctor' character so deeply interesting and special. A bold and smart move which, naturally and unfortunately, resulted in Team Chibs getting quickly smacked down (thus not rewarded for their effort). Boooo mamby, pampy fans! Far be it from me to argue for giving Chris Chibnall any kind of 'break' these days. But...Jesus, folks.
Despite a number of redeeming qualities, CYHM? wasn't solid enough to roundly convince that either S12, or the show in general, is comfortably back on track after S11's decidedly lackluster run, and S12's herky-jerky stumblethon. A daunting, stress-inducing undertaking which continues this week with The Haunting of Villa Diodati.
[I love this pic! ?]
Directed by Can You Hear Me?'s Emma Sullivan, and scripted by Maxine Alderton (ITV's EMMERDALE), Haunting is described thusly by The Powers That Be...
“Nobody mention Frankenstein. Nobody interfere. Nobody snog Byron.” Should be easy right?
The Doctor and gang arrive at the Villa Diodati, Lake Geneva, in 1816 – on a night that inspired Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The plan is to spend the evening soaking up the atmos in the presence of some literary greats – but the ghosts are all too real. And the Doctor is forced into a decision of earth-shattering proportions…
Haunting represents the last 'regular' episode of this run before the much ballyhooed Season / Series enders Ascension of the Cybermen and The Timeless Children.
Spots like this, currently in heavy rotation on BBC America, assert that 'What's still to come will change everything.'
Whatever that means. What does that mean? Could be pretty cool. But, given the overall trajectory of S11 and S12, I'm kinda thinking there's fuckery ahead for those who've struggled to accept the tenor, energy ,and conceptualization of the Chibnall Era to date.
This said, Chibnall has, legitimately, swung big and landed a few legitimately honorable hits in S12. So, maybe he's up to slam-dunking a big payoff? If it goes catawampus, remember that I did say 'maybe...'
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COMING SUNDAY FEBRUARY 23:
Ascension of the Cybermen