This week brings us Arachnids in the UK, the fourth installment of DOCTOR WHO Series/Season 11.
The episode is described thusly by BBC...
Something’s happening with the spiders in this city.” The Doctor, Yaz, Graham and Ryan find their way back to Yorkshire – and Yaz’s family – only to find something is stirring amidst the eight-legged arachnid population of Sheffield.
Arachnids features a script by current WHO overlord Chris Chibnall - and will mark the fourth script he has either authored or co-authored for this Season/Series. It'll be directed by Sallie Aprahamian, who has previously helmed multiple episodes of EASTENDERS and CASUALTY. The great Chris Noth will guest star.
While still suffering from significant editorial/directorial drag, last week's episode, Rosa, saw a substantial improvement in tone, clarity, and quality over the first two episodes of S11. Storytelling seemed more well balanced, and actually invested in a semblance of substantive payoff. Companions felt more natural, and (for once) came across as characters who'd actually known each other over a period of time (part of their stated backstory in S11's opening story). Jodie Whittaker felt a bit more 'Doctor'y and less affected. Although, she still has a great deal of territory to go before being able to claim she's made the role uniquely, unmistakably her own. Will someone amongst The Powers That Be, at some point, compel here to abandon that almost fangirlish Tennant sneer?
Given the controversial casting/political situation surrounding Whittaker, seems a metric of true empowerment would be for a female to 'make a mark' on her own merit - instead of doing so by mimicking men who have preceded her (there's some Matt Smith in her performance, too).
Such considerations not withstanding, it'll be interesting to see if Team Chibnall can continue to refine and improve the slow-but-upward(ish) trajectory of S11. Despite my harsh criticisms of the Series/Season thus far, and my condemnation of some of the suspect (to downright shaky) politics driving how S11's creative decisions are being approached, it is in every WHOvians best interest that the show get its shit together as quickly as possible. Regardless of the apprehension and ambivalence I'm experiencing in this moment, I very much hope it jumps on track - or even mostly onto a track - and fully becomes she show it can be, instead of the show it feels content to be. Or the show it has settled on being.
Geeklectica's Arachnids in the UK message boards are now open. The warmest of welcomes to all returning and new contributors, and to any lurkers who may be observing these proceedings with interest from afar.
We warmly invite and encourage an open discourse and free exchange of ideas, but will enforce a strict zero tolerance policy regarding trolling, disrespect, or hate speak of any kind.
COMING NEXT WEEK:
The Tsuranga Conundrum