Doctor Who Recap: The Ghost Monument Comes Home To Daddy—Err, Mommy
Thanks to a minor miscalculation, a planet out of orbit, and a glitchy TARDIS, the Doctor and her three new friends wound up floating in space at the end of last week’s episode. But timing is everything and a couple of intergalactic space race competitors happened to be zipping by to rescue the four before landing on an out of orbit planet named Desolation—and boy, does it live up to its name.
The deserted planet boasts flesh-eating microbes, suffocating strips of cloth (that taunt their victims—which is a strange one, even for Doctor Who), and robots that like to use people for target practice.
The race that the Doctor, Yasmin, Ryan, and Graham have crashed has just two contenders left. One is a brave woman trying to save her family from an invasion by the genocidal Stenza (remember tooth-faced Tim Shaw from last week?). The other, Epzo, is a guy who just wants to smoke his fancy cigar in a pile of his winnings. It’s hard to know who to root for. Just kidding. We want the woman, Angstrom, to win.
It turns out that the finish line is the Doctor’s TARDIS, which has been flickering in and out of view in a desolate spot in the middle of the planet’s harsh desert. To get there, the group must cross a deadly, contaminated lake and hole up for the night in some ruins that resemble an abandoned Floridian strip mall (but with fewer guns). Upon their arrival, the bots begin shooting but the Doctor outsmarts them by using an electromagnetic pulse from her sonic. “Brains over bullets,” she says.
As the squad of six are chased through the tunnels below the ruins/mall, they learn more about the planet and the people who once inhabited it: scientists were tortured and held captive there, forced to invent deadly weapons for some unseen overlords (could it be the Stenza?). Using a clever trick that involves Ryan’s knowledge of acetylene and Epzo’s fancy cigar, they escape and head for the spot where the Ghost Monument/TARDIS is said to be.
Having both survived the trial, the two racers disappear with their joint prize and the Doctor and her friends are left standing in the desert with no sign of the TARDIS. In a rare moment of defeat, the Doctor appears to give up…but then we hear that familiar sound and the TARDIS, having undergone a major dimensional-engineering-and-biscuits makeover, shows up to give everyone a lift home…or to somewhere/somewhen else.
5 questions we have about this week’s episode of Doctor Who:
1. Did anyone else notice how the Doctor’s new sonic looks like it was made with the new TARDIS in mind?
2. Who or what is the ‘Timeless Child’ those killer rags were taunting the Doctor about?
3. Are the Stenza behind the deserted planet and the scientist prisoners who once lived and worked there?
4. Will the tooth-obsessed creatures turn out to be the big villains of Doctor Who Season 11?
5. Where to next? Montgomery, Alabama circa 1955. What will the Deep South make of the Doctor?