The Doctor and Team Tardis are shocked when the Judoon, a rhino-looking alien police force, land on Earth hunting a fugitive which is supposed to be super illegal. However, upon investigating, the Doctor is soon caught up in a shocking mystery that unwinds what she thinks she knows about herself. Also, an old friend returns and makes everything just… perfect.
All right, because of countless butt-nuggets on Facebook who immediately spoil Doctor Who episodes after they air in England but hours before they air in the states, I already found out that Captain Jack Harkness made his long-awaited return to the Whoniverse and, do you want to know how much it affected my exquisite pleasure of seeing his appearance? Not in the slightest! I mean, yeah… those Facebook pages who spoiled it can die in a grease fire, but still….
John Barrowman is an absolute gift to the universe and, in the twelve or so years since he last graced us as Captain Jack, the man hasn’t lost a single step. The pirouettes and leaps back into the role as if no time has past, effortlessly turning on the humor and the charm and reminding us immediately why we love Jack and why it’s a pure crime we haven’t seen him in so long.
Meanwhile, we’ve got Jodie Whitaker and Rose, the mystery woman. I have to admit, kids, while the Jack reappearance was spoiled for me, I pretty much unplugged and didn’t inadvertently learn anything else about this episode and, lemme tell you, I was absolutely floored by the twists and turns that this episode masterfully unrolled in front of me.
It’s not often that a television episode plays it so close to the chest that I don’t figure out what’s going on… all the way up to that moment when the Doctor uncovered the Tardis under the grave… my jaw literally hit the floor because another Doctor was something that I didn’t expect… It’s such a precious and rare thing from television nowadays, especially from this season of Doctor Who which has averaged from Okay to Worst Ever.
To put it mildly, this episode was incredible. It was so full of curveballs that I think that space-time actually fractured at one point and, the fact that Jo Martin plays a pretty awesome Doctor.
While I am continually disappointed that the writers of this show continue to outright refuse to write any big bombastic speeches for Jodie Whitaker, she is very good with the quiet scenes and non-verbal acting. Watching her analyse Rose in secret, trying to get to the bottom of things and figure things out. She’s really quite good at it. I just don’t know why the writers aren’t allowing her to break out of her quiet and reserved demeanor and have a really good scene because it’s more than obvious that Whitaker can handle it.
Regardless, this episode was a true masterclass. It was insane in premise, took full advantage of it, was expertly plotted, had some wonderful surprises, some amazing revelations, and lays so many seeds for the future of the show. I know I’ll probably be blasted for this, but this reminds me of Series Three with David Tenant, how the show would leave crumbs of prophecy around for future episodes.
While I don’t think that this season has been that great and the Jodie Whitaker era has been frustrating, at least it appears that the showrunners are trying to learn from their missteps and correct things.
We need more episodes like “Fugitive of the Judoon.” I just hope they don’t fumble the ball they’ve been passed as they run it in for a touchdown.