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< 11.4 - Arachnids in the UK
11.6 - Demons of the Punjab >

11.5 - The Tsuranga Conundrum

Rating Votes
10
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9
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8
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4
7
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10
6
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32%
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Average Rating
5.5
Votes
34
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Latest Community Reviews

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User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
4
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6
Replay Rating:
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Reviewed By: XxDachshundxX Review Date: 11/6/18 7:06 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

"The S-ura-ng-a Conundrum?"
"Thw Su-rain-ga Conundrum?"
"The Sur-sir-sar..."

I've changed my mind. I was so excited for Series 11, for the Jodie Whittaker Years, for the Chibnall era, but now I'm not so sure. This episode follows the trend of really not being good at all.
Well, it's basically an eighties romp on a spacecraft. Something like Four to Doomsday or Terror of the Vervoids. But unlike those episodes, this one has no cheap charm to them. The set designer is obviously taking things way too seriously and the sets just look - soulless. For a hospital ship, it's just too symmetrical and flat. Where are the bottles of Aqium hand sanitiser and plants in the corridors, or paintings or screens with entertainment, or even the other patient's belongings? That leads me to another point I want to raise - were there really only two patients onboard ship? Astos talked of many patients, yet we only saw a couple! Again, more show don't tell issues Chibnall! It wouldn't be hard to just hire a few cheap fanboy extras!
The characters here are flat as hell. I commented in my The Woman Who Fell To Earth review that the supporting characters this season are very dimensional - and that trend hasn't continued. No, the characters here are so one dimensional that we can't even empathise with them. The Doctor is great, she's the real good thing this series, but my god, Yasmine is such a wet blanket. We're halfway through the series and all she's done is stand in Ryan's shadow mirroring him! Mandip Gill plays her perfectly, and if she was written better she would be one of my favourite companions. I feel that Ryan's character has never been pinned down properly. Is he angsty and messed up about his mother and Grace's death, or is he 'cool' and'funky'? He's so inconsistently written that he reminds me of C'rizz from Big Finish.
I must comment here, while Brett Goldstein and Suzanne Packer were average in this episode, Lois Chimimba could not act. She stood parallel to the wall, bulged her eyes, barely moved her lips and emotionlessly repeated dialogue. It felt so fake. But then again, I suppose there are a lot of people who just stand around parallel to walls, bulging their eyes, barely moving their lips and emotionlessly speaking like their words are pre-written.
The plot is extremely shallow and cliched to an extent. Nothing really happens and then nothing really happens. But the villain was so uncredible. I saw people praise the Pting as being cute and cuddly - I thought it was disgustingly ugly. And aaaagggaaain, it fell into 'monsters who aren't aaaall bad'. I wish we got something actually scary, because so far this series, nothing has scared me. Actually no, that's a lie. I've been absolutely fricken terrified because I wanted so bad for this series to be good and so far it's been pretty bad!!

Here's my ranking for the first half of the series:
Rosa = 10
The Woman Who Fell To Earth = 7
The Ghost Monument = 5
The Tsuranga Conundrum = 4
Arachnids in the UK = 3
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
9
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No
Reviewed By: HoovianReview Date: 11/6/18 5:47 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The first 'meh' episode of the Chibnall era. There were some nice bits, but it all seemed a bit derivative and messy. My main complaint was that the physics about antimatter isn't properly explained. The android character seemed redundant and would not have been missed. The monster was OK, but nothing memorable. I feel it could have benefited from another ten minutes, it felt rushed and crowded, the character and narrative and setting were not well developed enough.
Alright, but not memorable or rewatchable.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 11/6/18 4:18 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A base under siege story with an underlying message of hope and Stitch as the main villain? That's definitely something I can get into. After being caught in the explosion of a sonic mine scavenging for parts, the TARDIS team are brought onto a hospital ship headed to a medical space station. Injured, weary, and seperated from the TARDIS, all the crew wants to do is make it back to their ship. However, when a prominent alien threat sneaks its way on board, it's up to the Doctor and team to stop the metal-munching alien and save the ship and its patients. Out of all of the episodes Series 11 has delivered, 'Conundrum' is the one that's felt most like traditional Doctor Who thus far. It follows many of the tropes of some of the Second Doctor's tried and true formula of base-under-siege standard even as it plays with some fun little twists and character building moments. It also happens to be one of the best looking episodes in the New Series thus far as the sets and special effects are absolutely stellar in this story. You can very much tell that the series is finally either working with a higher budget or knowing what to do with what it has because the outer space shots and the alien look pretty damn stellar. The cast is also pretty good too with this story and that includes a very likable side cast. Jodie Whittaker continues to reach new heights as 13 and this episode showcases her best performance as the Doctor yet. I love her speeches on hope, her persistent in the face of danger despite her injuries, and even having her own moments of drama as she realizes that even she can be selfish sometimes with her travels. Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole continue to be fabulous as usual getting plenty of smaller moments with themselves and as a pair as they are forced into helping a young man give birth (yes you heard that right). There is a strong brother and sister combination that are a nice touch and both the med techs on the ship are very decent characters. The one who does sort of feel like she got the shaft again was Mandip Gill's Yaz as it doesn't feel like she got too much to do other than just help on the sidelines. But knowing that her character is going to get a bit more to do next episode helped in assuaging that for me. There are some problems in this story that do keep it from being stellar. For one, some of the plot contrivances do seem a bit more forced and prominent. One of the characters' medical condition involving adrenaline to the heart felt particular hamstrung and some of the plot beats you can see coming a mile away given the format. The alien itself is also built up as threatening but I like everyone else couldn't help but see Stitch (from Disney's "Lilo and Stitch") with it and thus a lot of the threat was taken away for me. With only the Tzimsha and maybe the spiders from the last episode as decent villains, I do feel like I'm starting to miss some of the titular Who baddies like the Daleks, Cybermen, etc. in giving this Doctor a proper threat. But we've still got half a season to go and so maybe something will pop up. All in all, I liked "The Tsuranga Conundrum", better than 'Arachnids' and even 'Ghost Monument' in fact. It doesn't come quite up to the levels of 'Rosa' or 'Woman Who Fell To Earth' but it's still a decent bit of sci-fi drama that feels like Who at it's better moments.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
1
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NR
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1
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4
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: WhoFan1908Review Date: 11/6/18 1:02 pm
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Laughably embarrassing tale residing amongst dross of the mid-80’s which Chibnall had publicly lambasted. The side cast (Astos notably) farcical. Pregnant man and CBBC villain, joke. Above all unfollowable technobabble bestowed me to my Phone within 10 minutes, never watching this again.