This week brings us the shamelessly, simply titled Fugitive of the Judoon, which in all likelihood will involve a fugitive of some sort, and definitely features the welcomed return of long-standing DW antagonists, the Judoon.
This installment also serves as a half-way marker for Season / Series 12, which BBC has noted with a sizzle reel pimping upcoming adventures.
When weighed as a whole, Series / Season 12 has fared quite a bit better than S11, while still falling short of a comfortable or reliable baseline in terms of either storytelling or presentational quality. Directorial energy, editorial cadence, and wisdom in scripting are still all over the place here, and an nerving sense of 'waiting for the other shoe to fall' prevails.
This said, there does seem to be consistent effort being expended to course correct a few of S11's more egregious waverings. Such efforts should never be taken for granted in situations like this, given the economies and egos invariably surrounding the making of any show. So, hats off to...whomever...for at least trying. But are such efforts arriving too late to stem the show's wavering, but continuing, bleed of viewers?
Fugitive of the Judoon is helmed by Nida Manzoor, whose directing of last week's Nikola Tessla's Night of Terror ranged from serviceable to commendable (skewing towards the later). Vinjay Patel, who last season scripted S11's Demons of the Punjab, is writing. I wasn't as in love with Punjab as many out there seem to be; I found its premise compelling and well on the way to being worthy, but felt it lacked supporting historical context to earn the dramatic impact it was clearly reaching for. Hopefully Fugitive will be more well rounded.
On a related note: as an accessory to last week's Tesla episode, BBC has issued a 33 minute reel featuring the Doctor's previous encounters with personages of historical significance.
At face value, the assemblage itself is a tad lazy.
On the flip side:
Since the beginning of the Chibs/Whittaker Era, The Powers That Be on current DOCTOR WHO have effectively marginalized (or sidelined) the 'past' of the show. Its history, both in real world and in terms of canon, have been scantly referenced, and even maligned on a few occasions (within the context of Whittaker episodes, and in a few interviews/press statements). This new reel represents The Powers That Be's most pointed and open acknowledgment of the show's background since the Chibs/Whitaker Era began, which is noteworthy at the very least.
Is this a case of a 'need to inform' giving rise to begrudging recognition? Or, are we witnessing the beginning of a much-needed walkback of the historical revisionism which has subtly, but pointedly, characterized the Chibs/Whittaker Era to date? It'll be interesting to see where this goes, if anywhere. Or what this means in the bigger picture, if anything.
Behold the Fugitive of the Judoon reader-reaction-talky-thing! For it is now active, and awaiting your horny input! Wait, that sounded wrong...
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COMING SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2: