Doctor Who - Fugitive of the Judoon - great episode
Usually these posts of mine tend to be episode recaps, but I don’t think there would be much point in that this time. The reason is that there isn’t much story to recap. There is somebody who needs saving from the space police, though we don’t find out who they are for over half the episode, and we never find out why they are hiding, or who is looking for them.
That hardly maters, though, because when we do find out who the person in hiding is, it is so worth it. The person hiding is a version of the Doctor, and not just any version of the Doctor, a black female version of the Doctor. That’s right, the show just made history by casting its first black Doctor.
A Message from the Author
I write sci-fi novels that belong to a series called Dark Galaxy, which starts with Galaxy Dog:
What starts as an ordinary invasion of an alien planet brings to light an ancient archeological site of huge importance. A young man called Knave makes a life-changing discovery there and rises from a lowly position as an infantry trooper to become a player among the powers of the galaxy.
The entire series is available to buy from Amazon.
Jo Martin plays a former (or maybe later) incarnation of the Time Lord in a very welcome development for this sci-fi series. I will add the slight caveat that it looks like this new version of the Doctor could come from some kind of alternate dimension, which leaves moot whether she really counts, but the fact still stands that for first time in the sci-fi drama’s history, some version of the character is being played by a black actor.
The episode was written by Vinay Patel, who has earned the right to do this pivotal episode in a fascinating story arc after writing episode six of season eleventh, Demons of the Punjab. It was highly praised by both fans and critics alike, and I enjoyed it a lot. It is great to see the show bringing back good writers and giving them important and interesting things to do.
Although. Like I said, this was an episode that didn’t have much in the way of a story at all. It was all Doctor Who lore, and I found it fascinating. Without some menace to deal with, there wasn’t the usual breathless running around that plagues most episodes, and the characters had time to breathe, talk and learn things about each other. And a lot of what they learned was cryptic hints about what is happening on Galifrey.
The show looked back at what has already happened in this season, while more firmly setting up what is to come. Most of the required exposition was provided by Captain Jack Harkness, who returns (after over a decade after he last appeared in the series) to warn the Doctor about the ‘Lone Cyberman’. Jack Harkness is an immortal Time Agent, and Ryan immediately decides he’s cheesy but okay. That seems a very good way to sum up this character. A little of him goes a long way, though I guess he will be back before the end of the season. Jack’s return is sure to make a splash with fans, with readers recently voting him the character they’d most like to see return.
This was a great episode, once again going back to the things that make Doctor Who what it is. Continuity with previous eras is what this new version seems to be about, and in that vein, the show gave us a wonderful version of the classic white, futuristic version of the TARDIS control room. It looked absolutely amazing, with classic wall disks and gleaming white combined with computer display information walls. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this version of the control room. I am used to the current steampunk cathedral version of the control room, and I do like it, but the shining white one looks great.
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