2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
"The S-ura-ng-a Conundrum?"
"Thw Su-rain-ga Conundrum?"
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 = 3
Arachnids in the UK = 3