When Graham wins some kind of an intergalactic sweepstakes, he and the Tardis Fam are instantly teleported to a futuristic resort and spa but, instead of relaxation… they get monsters because this is Doctor Who and that’s how it rolls.
After “Spyfall,” which was largely well paced and brilliant, “Orphan 55” is a significant step down. It was rushed, strangely edited as if chunks of the story were missing, dialogue clumsily stepped across scenes as if they didn’t have enough time to say what they were going to say, disposable characters were barely introduced before they were disposed of, and the moral lesson of the episode was incredibly heavy-handed. I’m not one of those people who criticize a series because it’s “woke” or whatever buzzword that stupid people are using these days, but I do like it when I’m not hit over the head with the lesson of the week and, after “Orphan 55,” I feel absolutely bludgeoned by it.
That’s not to say that the episode was boring, because it wasn’t. It was many things, but certainly not boring. The monster designs were very well done even if the green-haired aliens and the squirrel girl looked cheap and hokey. The action was fairly well done even if some of the sequences reeked of a lack of budget. The characters describing what happened to Benni instead of being shown what happened to him was rather silly and didn’t have the impact it should have. Come on, Doctor Who, we saw that fat naked absorbing alien during “Love and Monsters,” we could have handled whatever was supposed to be going on!
Graham continues to be a source of fun and there were a couple of cute comedic moments that broke the tension. I have to give major props to Tosin Cole who’s comedic timing and physical humor really sold the scene where Ryan was infected by the virus. I actually laughed out loud for real during that scene.
Yaz… really didn’t do anything.
I see we’re back to a problematic cast dichotomy.
There was a nostalgic feeling to watching such an old-fashioned monster episode, but the minuses outweighs the pluses. What’s worse is that, for a couple of times, it seemed like the episode was finally going to give Jodie Whittaker a chance to chew the scenery and have a big Doctor moment only to have each scene insultingly wimp out.
Not a great outing.