Cult TV

Review- Doctor Who Season 11 Ep. 4: Arachnids in the UK

In 1974 the BBC aired Jon Pertwee’s last ‘Who’ story the fun, but flawed ‘Planet of the Spiders’. Now infamous for its dodgy special effects (spider on a stick anyone?) it’s also famous for introducing the term ‘regeneration’ to the series. Jump into your ‘TARDIS’ to 2018 and it’s time for another spider based ‘Doctor Who’ story, I just hope the effects are better.

Last week ‘Doctor Who’ grew up. The episode ‘Rosa’ saw the series tackle the Civil Rights movement with grace and respect it deserved. If last week was ‘Doctor Who’ growing up, this week saw it enter its mid-life crisis with style.

As almost a relieve from last week’s heavy subject matter we were treated to a fun filled horror episode (just in time for Halloween to). ‘Doctor Who’ has always done horror well, usually it’s with a creepy atmosphere; here they just went for the jump scares and my were they effective. A few were as effective as the jump scares in the much lauded ‘The Haunting of Hill House’.

Of course this is a story about giant spiders, so it’s hard to take it too seriously. The surprising thing was how you were made to feel empathy for these creatures. Confused, scared, and desperately trying to adhere to their nature. As a previous ‘Doctor’ once said ‘very few things in the universe are evil, most are just hungry’ (sorry I’ve more than likely quoted this wrong).

Here Jodie had fun with the material given to her. A smart, confident and energetic energetic performance that made me smile whenever she was on screen. This week the ‘Daily Mail’ ran an article where it announced the majority or ‘Whovian’s’ were fed up with Jodie and the BBC’s PC agenda. Whilst I admit there is a minority who still aren’t enjoying having a female ‘Doctor’ the majority of the responses from fans have been overwhelmingly positive. Also I’m not going to be lectured by a newspaper that counts down when underage female celebrities are going to turn 16 (the legal age of consent in the UK). Part of their complaint was the only ‘token white male’ (sic) was a cancer survivor, how’s that being PC?

Speaking of which, who’d of thought that Bradley Walsh could give such an emotional performance. He never overplayed the emotions as he imagined conversations with his recently deceased wife ‘Grace’. His character ‘Graham’ is definitely the surprise package of this series, fingers crossed for a grumpy old man style spin-off.

 So a fun filled romp of an episode full of laughs and scares. Wonderfully performed by all involved being directed with obvious love for the material by Sallie Aprahamian. So far I’m loving this series, this ‘Doctor’ and this ‘Graham’.

Rated out of 10: 8

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