I’m struggling to come to terms with the reality that we’re now (almost) halfway through through the 10th Series/Season of DOCTOR WHO. It’s going by so, so quickly. And it's also driving me completely mental. Well, more so than usual.
On the whole, I’m enjoying it very, very much - but I’m suspicious that it can’t possibly ‘stick its landing.’ Will the ball be dropped upon the reveal of who, or what, is locked away in that vault? Will the much-ballyhooed ‘regeneration unlike any regeneration before it’ (paraphrasing interviews and press descriptions) truly be amazing and inventive? Or…? After all, in the past, show runner Steven Moffat’s payoffs to big build-ups haven’t always equalled or rewarded the journey to such reveals. On the other hand, S10 appears more self-assured and clearly focused than DOCTOR WHO has felt in a long, long time - so hope shines brightly that it will go down in as one for the ages.
Being half-way through S10 also means we’re THATMUCH closer to the (presumed) departure of Peter Capaldi - an incredibly, frustratingly bittersweet affair all around. While his acting has been (expectedly) solid throughout his tenure as the Doctor, many…myself included…have sensed that he never truly found the ‘pulse’ of this character until now, here in S10. Meaning, just as he hits his stride…he’s going to leave? That’s something of a kick in the nuts to those of us who’ve been in his corner all along. Presuming, of course, The Powers That Be aren’t pulling fast one…
So, I’m finding S10 to be filled with hugely conflicting emotions - it is, perhaps, the most bittersweet Season/Series of DOCTOR WHO I’ve come across since beginning my journey with the show. So many lingering tendencies and issues seem to have been corrected. So many misgivings addressed and smoothed over. Sure, DOCTOR WHO has, first and foremost, always been about change - but why do such macro changes (new lead, new show runner) have to come about when Moffat and Capaldi appear to have finally found such strong, loud, communal voices? Should we be thankful to have had this apparent turnaround at all? Or frustrated and angry that the need for such adjustment wasn't identified and implemented sooner? Or, both?
It’s enough to drive one batty. Which, I suspect, would make The Moff smile diabolically.
Which careens us towards Oxygen, this week’s Space Zombies adventure.
As described by BBC…
The Doctor, Bill and Nardole answer a distress call in deep space, and find themselves trapped on board space station Chasm Forge. All but four of the crew have been murdered – and the dead are still walking!
In a future where oxygen is sold by the breath, and space suits are valued more highly than their occupants, the TARDIS crew battle for survival against the darkest evil of all…
Oxygen is scripted by Jamie Mathieson, who previously wrote Mummy on the Orient Express for DOCTOR WHO, as well as The Girl Who Died, and…well…Flatline. Helming this installment will be Charles Palmer, who DW fans may recall from the David Tennant era, in which he directed Human Nature/The Family of Blood (which offered one of my most favorite DW endings ever 1:40 -->)
...Smith and Jones, and The Shakespeare Code.
So, this time around we have some well established…but admittedly inconsistent…DOCTOR WHO veterans leading the charge. It’ll be interesting to see how how Oxygen plays out, and on on what side of that inconsistency this duo lands.
Based on promo images released thus far, I do dig the aesthetic of this episode…
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