Should escapist sci-fi like Doctor Who tackle social and political issues? Classic Who never preached to us, did it? Except maybe may the first Doctor’s story The Daleks which tackled war, racism, and radiation poisoning; the Troughton era The War Games which spoke of societies obligation to others; Pertwee’s Inferno touched on environmentalism; number fours Genesis of the Daleks moral philosophy and genocide; Davison’s fan favourite episode The Caves if Androzani big pharmaceutical companies; sevens Battlefield modern warfare; eights whole Ace story arc touched on social care; the list could go on. So in 2020 should the Doctor still do the same or is it pure sci-fi escapism?
Praxeus saw Doctor Who tackle the world wide plastic pollution crisis. An alien bacterium that feeds off the plastic in our oceans and what we’ve ingested into our own bodies starts to infect people around the globe. Queue an episode full of science with a message at the end.
I personally love a science based episode, although they can have a habit of getting too bogged down in the actual scientific process. Here writers Peter McTighe and Chris Chibnall got the balance almost perfect. The other danger in science based episodes is the reliance on exposition and here the writers got it slightly off kilter. There was just too much explanation sometimes.
As with all the seasons episodes there was some strong support. Matthew McNulty was gave a great performance as Adam Lang, although former companion will be turning in his grave after seeing his rescue towards the end of the episode.
It was also interesting to see the first signs of real friction between the Doctor and her current companions. Especially Yas, I feel there could be a twist to come with those two.
Whatever I write though my review can never be better than my friends seven year old daughter; who a few hours after watching Praxeus came downstairs to announce to her parents it had made her too frightened to sleep. Isn’t that what Doctor Who has always been about?
To answer my question in 2020 should Doctor Who tackle social and political issues, yes who else is there to.
Marks out of 10: 8