Sometimes something is just terrible or just ok. When you analyse these things you sit there and think ‘yeah that’s why’. Orphan 55 was ok, but for the life of me I’m not sure why.
There was so much of Orphan 55 to like, but it was like ordering a pizza from a kebab shop; it’s ok, but you’d probably not have one again.
Ed Hime’s script seemed decent enough. The premise was promising and the twists, whilst not as shocking as the arrival of the Master in Spyfall, were decent. For some reason it just didn’t ping like it should, leaving the episodes message lost in indifference. This could be as the ‘problem whilst on a break’ shtick is well worn in modern Who (episodes such as Midnight, & Mummy on the Orient Express spring to mind)
The supporting cast were good. Amy Booth-Steel as Barf, sorry I mean Hyph3n (got a Spaceballs reference in) was fun. Young Lewin Lloyd, recently seen in His Dark Materials, performance seemed effortless. Yet despite the best efforts of the cast no character really stood out for the right reasons. In fact the annoying pronunciation of Benni by veteran actor Julia Foster was what ended up sticking in the mind. Someone in preproduction should have stopped her.
New monsters the Dreg’s were scary and had an interesting back story. Unfortunately their similarity to the Weevil’s from Torchwood was a little distracting.
The elements were there and with the current fires in Australia this could have been a classic, but the episode has ended up being a missed opportunity. Also, for my own sanity, please someone beg Julia Foster to never say the name Benni again.
Marks out of 10: 6