Synopsis: The Doctor and her friends discover that the luxury resort where they are holidaying is hiding a number of deadly secrets. What are the ferocious monsters attacking Tranquillity Spa?
I felt that the story this week was based on an interesting idea that could have been executed better. I thought there was too much moving from place to place and the action was not tight or thrilling until the last third of the episode, where all the threads seemed to come together. This outing suffered from a few too many characters in my view. It might have been better to have built up Kane and Bella’s relationship a bit more and possibly made more of Kane and the Doctor not being so different from each other. Having said that I loved the twist that Orphan 55 was an irradiated Earth from the future and that the Dregs were what humanity had mutated into. I thought that the environmental message was delivered well without becoming preachy and I liked how Silas, the youngest of them all, was the one to save the day by fixing the teleport to send the Doctor and her friends back to the TARDIS.
Jodie Whittaker is clearly trying her best to portray the facets of the Doctor we all know but her performance is still a far cry from any of her predecessors. The big speech about saving the planet at the end of the episode is the most Doctor-like I have seen Jodie Whittaker. Regrettably though she still struggles to project the Doctor’s air of authority in any situation, which can be seen in the way that Laura Fraser dominates their interactions. Laura Fraser was good as the tough and gritty Kane and shows real emotion when she explains why she does what she does. Gia Re was not very good at portraying Bella I felt and needs to up her acting game. Bradley Walsh got some funny lines at the start of the episode but I thought that the humour when Ryan caught the Hopper virus fell flat. Going back to Jodie Whittaker, there is a good moment when she says “Never mind the money. There’s a man’s life at stake.” I also enjoyed the darker, angrier 13th Doctor we seem to be getting now but Jodie Whittaker needs to try harder to sustain her intensity throughout her adventures. I did like when 13 sat between Ryan and Bella oblivious that Ryan was trying to chat up Bella however.
The music in this episode was much less noticeable this week, but did its job of making us feel the strangeness of a far future Earth and the distance between the characters. There were some good scores during the more actiony moments of this episode.
I loved the CGI of the Dregs and of the ruined Earth when the Doctor and her friends flee the destroyed vehicle. The effect of the ionic membrane surrounding the luxury Spa was brilliant as well as was the CGI of the Hopper virus that Ryan contracted. There were some really good atmospheres created when the Doctor and her friends were underground and when they found their way back to the Spa.
A decent enough episode with a great ending.
- Incidental Music8.0