Oh, I so desperately wanted Doctor Who Season 11 Episode 11 to wow us with something super flashy and potentially ridiculous.
With its return pushed back to 2020, it would've also been satisfying to go out on an episode of consequence, one that leaves us with something to think about for the next TWELVE LONG MONTHS.
Not that it wasn't exciting in parts. Even if there was only ONE Dalek. But it was a SUPER Dalek which was a twist. I guess?
The issue is, and it's been a running issue in several episodes this season, there were TWO separate conflicts going on here and they pulled focus constantly and messed with the pacing.
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First, there's the obvious problem of the 9th Century SUPER Dalek, defeated in a legendary battle where three warring tribes of Britain united to defeat it (shades of Tolkien there), revived by a couple of present-day archeologists, and back on track to destroy the Earth and humanity.
The Dalek-Lin scenes are incredibly vicious and violent. There's a high level of discomfort in having the tentacled alien clinging to, penetrating(!), and forcibly making Lin do and say things against her will, threatening her own well-being as well as that of her friends.
Trying to get out ahead of Dalek-Lin and, later, the re-encased Dalek, is a panicky, adrenaline-fueled pursuit. It's fast. It's reactive. It's scary.
But meanwhile, we have Ryan's dad, Aaron, show up (good timing, that) and there are these long, quiet, emotionally-wrought scenes between him and Graham, then him and Ryan.
Ryan: I don't care how it's been for you. This ain't about us commiserating with each other. This is about you making things right.
Aaron: This is how you talk to your dad?
Ryan: I don't know because he ain't been around. So don't come walking back in, demanding respect, cause that ain't where we are.
Permalink: I don't know because he ain't been around. So don't come walking back in, demanding respect,... Added: January 01, 2019 Then him and Graham again...
And then finally, him and Ryan again.
I appreciate that the theme of family has been dominant this season and that, with Grace's death, both Ryan and Graham are invested in settling accounts with Aaron, specifically regarding his noticeable absences.
He's a problematic character with an ambiguous tension between what we know of him -- abandoning Ryan after Ryan's mother's death, missing Grace's funeral -- and what we see of him here -- trying to make amends, totally lost in his life decisions, suddenly clever when it comes to fighting aliens.
Ok, listen. Here's what you find out when you get older. There are things you've done in your life... to others, the decisions you've made, maybe when things were difficult. You get it wrong. But ..