DOCTOR WHO: PRAXEUS (S12E06)
What a difference one week makes...
Fugitive of the Judoon threw viewers a whopping curveball on Sunday with the introduction of Jo Martin's 'Doctor' character, and her freakin' gorgeous TARDIS.
Showrunner Chris Chibnall quickly took to media to assure viewers that Martin's Doctor is 'real' and not some parallel universe facsimile, or whatnot. Giving rise to fervent hypothesizing amongst both casual and longtime viewers, who...oif the tenor of message boards is any indication, are currently more engaged with the show than they have been min years.
Come what may, love it or hate it, it's a compelling and provocative turn of events which represents the first 'big swing' Team Chibnall has made on this show to date. The move sports a decidedly Moffat / Davies vibe, a comforting turn of events given the lackluster blather which has thus far characterized most of S11, and to a far lesser degree, S12.
The Martin reveal, coupled with the unexpected but hugely welcomed surprise appearance of John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harkness, was more than enough to send viewers' heads spinning.
It's important, perhaps critically important here in fact, to pay credit where credit is due:
1). Hats off to Chibs for going 'big' when, to date, he appeared to have been thinking so very small.
And, without any doubt or reservation, vast respect is in order to helmer Nida Manzoor and co-scripter Vinay Patel for forging an episode which was...
2) Highly amusing and briskly paced on its own merits, and...
3) Largely among the better DOCTOR WHO episodes we've had in some time.
Will this upward trend of episodes which are at least 'interesting' continue with Praxeus? To what extent will the whack-a-doodle strands introduced in Fugitive carry over into this week's adventure (or the rest of this Series / Season, for that matter)? Are Martin's 'Doctor' and Harkness' apparent plight being queued up for payoff by the end of S12? Or are they part of a more protracted game? Perhaps they're instrumental to the macro '5 year plan' Chibnall has claimed to be working with?
Many questions, many theories. And while uncertainty and discomfort are certainly prevalent given Team Chibs' markedly lackluster stumbling to date, it's...highly agreeable...to finally be able to talk about DOCTOR WHO as if it's a real show again. And regarding it with a show which, after such a floppy start, just may remain a show with something to do, and something to say. Fingers crossed the foundations of this path will only strengthen as we move tentatively into the second half of S12.
This week's Praxeus sees the return of Jamie Magnus Stone to DOCTOR WHO; he preformed admirably with S12's opener, Spyfall, so presumably our chances of seeing solid work out of him this week are at least reasonable. Kerblam!'s Pete McTighe is co-scripting along with Chibnall. This is interesting as Chibnall also shared writing credit on Fugitive - potentially implying further canon/arc related material may well be infused into Praxeus.
The Praxeus discussion forums are now online! One simple indelible rule applies:
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.
Enjoy! Fingers crossed. And, onward! Always onward...
COMING SUNDAY FEBRUARY 9:
Can You Hear Me?