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< 11.6 - Demons of the Punjab
11.8 - The Witchfinders >

11.7 - Kerblam!

Rating Votes
10
3%
1
9
23%
9
8
40%
16
7
20%
8
6
5%
2
5
0%
0
4
5%
2
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
5%
2
Average Rating
7.4
Votes
40
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: PilordeReview Date: 12/17/18 8:29 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A more "classic" episode, with a murder mystery and the Doctor investigating. The ending surprised me, it was very enjoyable but not memorable.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
1
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Cixelsyd23Review Date: 12/7/18 6:27 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Doctor endorses big corporations that treat employees terribly because she likes getting fancy packages. The villain is the worker. His love interest is fridged and the Doctor barely blinks, despite losing it when someone is mean to the same character earlier in the episode. The Doctor as corporate tool. I’m all for the show doing different things, but this violated the show’s ethos so much, it may be the worst story of the new series.

That’s despite being entertaining and fun for a lot of the episode, mind.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 11/28/18 12:27 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This episode is a fun little adventure where the Doctor receives a call for help from the intergalactic postal service 'Kerblam!' and heads off with her team to investigate. The story features apparently friendly robots who increasingly appear sinister and creepy, two corporate managers whose intentions are called into question and a the TARDIS team interacting with 3 human workers while pretending to be new recruits in an under cover operation. It is a simple story on the face of it but has layers of allegory and a twist which seem to have confused some viewers. For instance I have seen a review claiming that it does not make sense because the robots are killing people but are then revealed to not be the villains. In reality it is clearly explained in the episode that the real villain has been reprogramming robots making them kill for him. The villains motives turn out to be an intention to carry out a terrorist act which he believes is an act of necessary rebellion. It is made clear that it is the Kandokan government policies which he is rebelling against and that the Kerblam! company and its management are not involved, they are just being used by the terrorist to carry out his attack. The plot is indeed logical and makes sense. It also has deep underlying themes about terrorism, about exploitation of workers and about artificial intelligence overtaking human tasks.

I do not think this is the most brilliant script or the most well executed episode as like several other series 11 episodes there are clumsy bits of dialogue but it is a solid, interesting and entertaining episode. The deeper themes are very serious and cannot be dealt with fully in a one off adventure especially in a family show but there are two particularly clear, understandable points being well made which are that exploitation of workers is wrong and that the way to deal with protests and problems is not with violence, particularly indiscriminate terrorist attack. The episode could have been more cleverly structured at times but it was a very decent effort with plenty of good stuff in it.

This was enjoyable to watch, had deeper themes for those who wish to consider them and was well produced. Dialogue, as with a few other episodes this series, could be improved but was reasonable quality.

Overall: 7.5/10
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 11/27/18 3:43 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

"Kerblam!" is a strange little story that sees the Doctor and co. arrives on a warehouse moon owned by a gigantic Amazon-like retailer that sends packages all over the galaxy. They are there to investigate a mysterious help message sent their way through the company and rapidly become involved in the inner workings of the facility while discovering a darker plot under the surface involving the management's creepy smiling robots and the deadliest of devices hiding in plain sight. And I mean literally in plain sight as this episode teaches us as viewers to be afraid of yet another mundane thing we don't think about much and often get enjoyment out of in using it. It's nefariously evil and this story gets all the points in the world for that right out of the gate even if it does leave a small story loophole that I kind of had to ignore in watching it a second time. But even without that killer plot point, "Kerblam!" is still a tightly paced and dark little story with a neat setting and some really well-done plot twists. You think you know exactly where the story is going to go the minute the Doctor gets the message in the TARDIS but then Pete McTighe's script decides to throw several subversions into the mix that keeps you on your toes and turn into a running theme throughout. The villains are not who you think they'll be, the robots are indeed killer but not in the way you'd expect, the management is dickish but doesn't end up being intensely problematic, and again the source of the trouble comes from the smallest of places. We also get plenty of touches back to the past in the smallest of ways in multiple references to past eras of the show including the return of an old friend I wasn't expecting to see again. It really feels like a bit of a return back to the roots of what made the show so good in the New Series and the cast stand up with it admirably. The mains are all fabulous with Jodie's Doctor once again taking the reigns and channeling her Tenth and Eleventh incarnations rather vigorously in places. Her strength continues to show on screen and she gets plenty of opportunities for big confrontations as well as investigative joy. Walsh, Cole, and Gill are all great as usual with all of them getting plenty of smaller moments to enjoy and work with. I really enjoyed the side cast this time though with Julie Hesmondhalgh playing a relations manager genuinely interested in keeping people safe, Claudia Jessie playing a quirky but rather doomed young worker, and Lee Mack playing a disgruntled janitor with a darker secret that ties directly into what's going on. It's not the most interesting of stories at times as a lot of the big moments do come down to plenty of talking and dialogue and some of the bigger effects are not only lackluster but stolen from other pieces of media. When you really get down to it, none of what's here should work as well as it does all pulled together especially with some rather mismatched and conflicting messages shown off by the end. But with the tone and dialogue of the story hinting towards something akin to a B-movie, I don't think this story is trying to be anything more than what it is: 50 minutes of very solid Who fun with plenty of intriguing things to wrap your head around. With that in mind, when "Kerblam!" is firing on all cylinders, it's damn entertaining and makes it far and away one of the best stories of the series so far.