This week bring us The Witchfinders, the third to the last installment of S11 (not counting the New Year’s special). It stars Alan Cumming as King James, and is described thusly by BBC:
The Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz arrive in 17th century Lancashire and become embroiled in a witch trial, run by the local landowner. As fear stalks the land, the arrival of King James I only serves to intensify the witch hunt. But is there something even more dangerous at work? Can the Doctor and friends keep the people of Bilehurst Cragg safe from all the forces that are massing in the land?
Witchfinders is helmed by Sallie Aprahamian, whose work on Arachnids in the UK a few episodes back sometimes approached fine(ish). It’s scripted by Joy Wilkinson (Doctors).
Last week's Kerblam! was kinda/sorta entertaining, but...like nearly every episode of this run...it never full engaged or compelled, and felt more like 'going through the motions' instead swinging for the fences.
Aspirations that DOCTOR WHO's current conceptual and energy struggles will be overcome by S11's conclusion now seem a fool's hope at best. After this week, one of the two remaining tales is written by a scripter who is close to a complete unknown (which may or may not work to his advantage - his name is Ed Hime), and the other is from Chris Chibnall (who has yet to fully land one of his five scripts for this series to date).
Compounding the improbability of a rally? Both remaining episodes after this week are helmed by Jamie Childs - whose work on S11 thus far has never come remotely close to catching fire (The Woman Who Fell to Earth, Demons of the Punjab). Unless a miracle happens...which it could, in theory...Witchfinders is pretty much our last chance of S11 experiencing any infusion of awesomeness whatsoever. Given the overall vibe of how S11 has unfolded both before cameras and behind the scenes, the likelihood of any kind of broader S11 recovery seems dubious at best.
Geeklectica's The Witchfinders discussion boards are online! As always...
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COMING NEXT WEEK:
It Takes You Away