In Review: Doctor Who – The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

On the planet of Ranskoor Av Kolos, a battlefield, a conflict-scarred survivor, and a deadly reckoning await the Doctor, Ryan, Yaz, and Graham. 

Synopsis: On the planet of Ranskoor Av Kolos, a battlefield, a conflict-scarred survivor, and a deadly reckoning await the Doctor, Ryan, Yaz, and Graham.

Review: The Doctor and her companions answer nine separate distress calls from 3,700 – years in the future and meet an old nemesis who is using a religion and race of spiritual people to make him into a God.

The Story

The episode begins with two monks from a religious and spiritual race known as the Ux going about their worship, but things get shaken up when they mistakenly confuse the sudden arrival of an Alien being as their god. When it is really the Stenza known as Tim Shaw.

While on the Tardis. The Doctor and her companions pick up nine separate distress calls from Ranskoor Av Kolos and head directly to the source of the signals with the precautionary measure of neural inhibitors to stop the planet from tearing down their mental faculties.

Upon arriving the Doctor and crew meet up with a soldier called Paltraki who is close to madness. The Doctor persuades Paltrake to wear one of her neural inhibitors so that his mind can clear and he can tell her what happened. He tells her that his team is one of a few that have been sent to the planet, but none have returned. We later learn that Tim Shaw is holding Paltraki’s team and will not let them go until Paltraki gives him what he wants.

Upon Learning that Tim Shaw is alive. Graham tells the Doctor that he will kill the alien in retaliation for Tim Shaw having killed Grace. The Doctor tells Graham that if he does such a thing then he will no longer be welcome to travel with her.

The whole episode hangs on the Doctor and her companions finding out what Tim Shaw is up to and stopping it. Two that end The Doctor and Yaz seek out Tim Shaw while Ryan, Graham, and Paltraki seek out the prisoners and attempt to free them.

The Acting

There is some really solid in this episode and Mark Addy puts in a good performance as the war-weary soldier Paltraki who proved to be a great help to Graham and Ryan on their mission. Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole put in wonderful performances this week as they build on solidifying the Grandfather and Grandson bond that they solidified in last weeks episode when the two finally came to accept each other. There’s a great scene in which Ryan pretty much tries to talk Graham out of what is essentially a suicide mission.


Truth be told. I wasn’t a fan of Tim Shaw from the get-go and am still not a fan. I mean he is pretty much a knockoff of ‘The Predator’ and rather generic at that.

Thankfully, the episode’s story gives Tim Shaw a little more to do, but even so, it could have been any number of The Doctor’s enemies that could have formulated the diabolical plan that Tim Shaw has here. Which was basically using technology and the Ux to collect and miniaturize various planets. To What end isn’t really explained beyond it being for a weapon that will make Tim Shaw a god. The miniaturize planets are kept in a triangular shaped containment thingy, which kind of reminded me of The Krampus movie, which saw the Christmas Demon keeping families that he’d taken in snowglobes.

The use of the race known as the Ux who are fooled into thinking Tim Shaw was a god worked out pretty well, but I found myself wanting to see the UX explored a bit more given that Tim Shaw was such an uninteresting villain.

I also feel that the ending was a bit rushed with all manner of technobabble and use of telepathic Tardis circuits coming into play. The story attempted to have an epic feel and in parts did, but ultimately it failed.

A good thing to come out of it though was the closure that Graham and Ryan are able to get by imprisoning the villain. Hopefully, he stays there forever. So we can see some more interesting new villains in the future as opposed to them being relegated to simple plot devices.

Doctor Who - The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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