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< 11.2 - The Ghost Monument
11.4 - Arachnids in the UK >

11.3 - Rosa

Rating Votes
10
20%
12
9
26%
16
8
21%
13
7
20%
12
6
3%
2
5
3%
2
4
5%
3
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2
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1
2%
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Average Rating
8.0
Votes
61
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Writer:

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Reviewed By: PilordeReview Date: 12/17/18 8:22 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is it. Most of the episodes of the season are good, but this one is one of the few that really shines on it's own.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
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Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 11/23/18 1:51 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

My rating: 8.5/10

This story has imperfections which I will discuss but also has a lot of positives but there is a lot of nonsense being talked about this series of Doctor Who in 2018 claiming it has gone mad with political correctness. This episode is one at which that is levelled although on the other side there is a lot of praise for this episode. I feel that division in society is as bad as ever with political situations around the world featuring a lot of extremism and hatred. This episode does feature a focus on similar divisions and hatred occurring in 1950s and 1960s USA but how is that supposed to be political correctness? It is social comment and using a story to talk about issues affecting some of the audience. I suggest people calling it political correctness makes it look like they have bias and prejudices of a not very pleasant kind because is equality between races political correctness or just basic human decency? Surely every single person should feel not judging by somebody's colour or race is necessary in order to be a decent person and to have a decent society. It is not political correctness to raise this issue in times where hatred and division is very apparent. It is the same as classic Doctor Who constantly bringing up issues of ecology/people damaging the environment or antiwar/antifascist themes or allegories about the exploitation of workers.

What is true is that writing of stories tackling issues needs to be done well just like any other story and there are a few bits of dialogue in this and subsequent episodes which are a bit clumsily written and directed. In any scene involving any social issues those clumsy moments get jumped on for sounding preachy but really it is just bits of less successful execution of script and/or direction. In this episode there are bits of clumsy presentation but there are also scenes written and directed very well and some very powerful scenes. Rosa Parks herself is brilliantly represented and well acted and the Doctor and her friends are mostly good with only occasional lapses where dialogue feels unnatural. Bradley Walsh as Graham continues to do a superb job. In terms of writing you have to remember they have to make this family friendly which sometimes compromises the writing a bit.

Production values in series 11 are the best in Doctor Who history and the period setting is convincing, atmospheric and beautiful to look at. The music is also great although the use of a modern song instead of a period one for the dramatic climactic scene on the bus was not what I would have chosen and I would not have replaced the end title music with it either. It did not ruin the episode for me though.

Despite the clumsy moments I did find this story moving and interesting and feel it was an excellent concept to visit this event. The villain and his motives are not all that well presented though. I am not sure Krasco convinces as a far future white supremacist murderer. It is true, sadly, that such people might still exist in far future but his thinking, his plan and his characterisation could have been presented in a better, more believable way. I would have preferred him to be a modern day or near future white supremacist who got his hands on some alien time travel technology or used an alien race somehow to take him there to alter history. This being said, it was not clearly illogical or bad it was just the least well done part of an overall high quality episode.

Doctor Who, and indeed science fiction as a whole, has always brought issues of the day up by highlighting those issues in a fictional, futuristic or historical setting. Perhaps people who do not like this happening in this series are actually reacting because it is highlighting things that they think and suggests they are wrong? Anyway, this was a very enjoyable, sometimes moving and well produced episode communicating very big issues in a family friendly way. It works very well as an educational historical in the tradition of original 1963-1966 Doctor Who. It also works as pure entertainment even though it has some imperfections.
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Reviewed By: HoovianReview Date: 11/6/18 5:48 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A very emotional story, ti really got me at the end. My only problem is I don't think the villain was handled quite correctly.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 10/26/18 4:25 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

In all honesty, "Rosa" as an idea and an episode had me a little worried going in. Tackling such a topic as the story of Rosa Parks on screen especially in such a similarly explosive time in history didn't seem like the smartest of ideas especially with New Who's less than stellar take on some aspects of history. The nature of the story was also concerning to me in that it was not going to be a pure historical as I was hoping it would be. Thus, I was honestly expecting this third episode to bomb and bomb hard. But much to my surprise, "Rosa" turned out to be a powerful if flawed story with a great leading performance and a strong message behind it a la "Vincent and the Doctor". While its flaws are much more noticeable and it doesn't quite reach the soaring heights that 'Vincent' did, it still felt genuine and didn't pull too many of its punches with what it was trying to get across. Playing off as a retread of "The Time Meddler" from the First Doctor era, the Doctor and team have been pulled into Montgomery, Alabama of the 1950's in order to stop a racist alien murderer from subtly altering the course of history and preventing Rosa Parks' famous stand on a bus in 1955. It sounds a little nerve-wrecking on paper but the story's script written by the first non-white author of the show's history Malorie Blackman treats the event, people, and time mostly with the respect and gravitas it deserves. Make no mistake; this is a deeply uncomfortable story and the way it nails the reality of the racism of the day is frankly chilling. It doesn't pull any punches whatsoever especially in how it applies to the two companions Ryan and Yazmin who are both directly and deeply affected by the times and the people in the story. I liked how both get time alone with Rosa herself and have to deal with the troubling politics of the era in their own ways. But the story also gives plenty for Whittaker and Walsh to do and both the Doctor and Graham get some powerful lines and moments especially in how both are involved in the titular bus moment. However the main hero of the story as it should be as Rosa herself played amazingly by Vinette Robinson. She felt completely natural and more importantly utterly real and it's one of the strongest historical performances we've ever had on the show. The good majority of the focus is on her through the story and her big moment at the end is very powerful and well-earned ranking up there with some of the best the show has to offer. In terms of the sci-fi elements that I was so worried, they are frankly very subdued. There is an asshole alien villain of course and if I had to pick the biggest flaw with the story, it would be him. I get the point of what the writers were trying to accomplish here and I'm glad he was motivated by something that tied directly back to the theme and the point of the episode. But we know next to nothing about him, he never truly stands out as a force to be reckoned with as a threat, and feels like he's only there to be a catalyst for the plot. He's handled pretty directly and somewhat haphazardly by the team in the end in a way that I'm concerned wouldn't have flown with the Doctor's character. But honestly it doesn't take away from the bigger moments and those minimized elements work a lot better than anything bigger could have done. It may not be a pure historical but this is the closest that Doctor Who has felt in a long while focusing on the important history and keeping anything bug-eyed or extraneous to a minimum. Minus a few other rough patches and the less than stellar villain, "Rosa" is one of the best and most powerful episodes the show has delivered. It's one where the more I think about it, the more I realize how important it is. This is Doctor Who at its most mature confronting issues head-on in a very powerful way and succeeding with great performances and strong moments that need to be seen and remembered in an increasingly divided world.

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