Honestly, I have nothing to say here. Let’s mind wipe this, shall we? We’re just going to move on to….

OK. Wait. Actually, Orphan 55 had some gorgeous science fiction elements that perfectly service the story. For example, fakcation? Awesome. Biodomes. Hopper viruses. Proper scary monsters. The set design easily transported us to another planet. The cast gave us the strong, confident acting we take for granted with Doctor Who. The plot held my interest and I fell for all the twists.

And that opening scene with Ryan, The Doc and the hopper virus? Hysterical. Best slapstick we’ve had since the kitchen scene in The Eleventh Hour.

Should have been a no-brainer, good, stand alone episode.

Except it wasn’t.

Inconsistent characterizations undermine this story, distracting from the other strong elements so significantly that it felt like a donut to me, looks good on the outside, until you find an empty hole in the middle. (Not to trash donuts. I love donuts.)

For example, The Doctor left the door between the surface and the underground tunnel OPEN. What?! They’re all running from monsters and she leave the f’ing door open?

Speaking of everyone running, what possessed them all to go? How does that make any sense in the story? Risking everyone’s life in the unbreathable atmosphere with scary-ass monsters?

I could go on and on. Many already have. Maybe the problems came in the editing process. Did we lose the connecting scenes that explain why every character acted as if they had never landed on an alien planet and got into trouble before?

Unlike much of fandom, I appreciated The Doctor’s final admonishtion about the environment. Heavy-handed it may have been, but what will it take before we do what needs to be done to prevent the collapse of the global ecosystem? We blew past subtlety in the 70’s. If it takes an anvil dropping on our heads, count me in.


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