Tv show, doctor who, mystery, sci fi, zombies, space travel

Doctor Who S10E05 "Oxygen"

Doctor Who S10E05 "Oxygen"

Season 10 has been something of a soft reboot for the show and over the last few episodes, it feels like something has changed. The writing time behind the first 4 episodes has all been sharpened. Humour and horror have been blended somewhat seamlessly. Yet a show that was born in the sci-fi and space genre has had little of either. Well, this episode plans to right that. But would the trailer from last week, that promised us zombies in space deliver?

Well, the short answer to that questions is best summed up by a talking dog with a catchphrase "oh yes". While last week got my full marks for acting, mainly this week, has to get it for an across the board reason. But I will get to all that in time. So what is this episode all about?

This episode sees Bill, The Doctor and finally Nardole travel into space to a distress signal in the distant future, Where breathing cost credits in space and with space suits and a space station in peril the stakes have never been higher for the Doctor and his companions. The Doctor and his friends quickly find that when they get there the crew have succumbed to a tragic fate. As someone with better wording than me describes it, It highlights "the vile side of capitalism in a humorous and yet terrifying way." And the fact that "Doctor Who just made a huge social statement"

The highlights? Well, I have to say that seeing Matt Lucas getting an outing was my highlight and my MVP of the week. I wanted to see more of him and I got my wish and even better, He was not just relegated to comedy moments. He had to show concern for the Doctors whimsical attitude towards his promise and to the vault. Still wondering what's in there? Matt does shine at the comedy moments as well but it was soo nice to see him spread his wings. Long may this continue and by the looks of the next trailer, it will. The makeup on their animated crew in their suits looks almost as good as The Walking Dead and brings up a question. Was this episode kid friendly? I hope so and yet I hope not. Because nightmares are part of the thrill of this show. Remember the days when we hid behind the sofa as the Daleks came on? The humor came thick and fast from the rest of the cast but this was to counter the rather scary and even graphic nature of this episode. Bill struggling to breathe not once but twice and crying for her mother was a nice touch.

So what didn’t work this week? Well, it's hard to say what didn’t work as I enjoyed it all. I think the actions and hostile nature of one of the crew members, was a little jarring to me. Even if she was meant to be afraid for her life. I found myself rooting for her death a little but she did have a redeeming moment so I can't really fault that.

Did you spot the easter eggs and hidden references this week? They came in thick and fast, the nod to Star Trek at the start and subtle reminder of a classic Star Trek villain in the Borg in the way reanimated dead people both looked and moved and the brief scene outside of the space station were almost lifted right out of Star Trek First Contact. But the nods to movies and shows didn’t end there. Hal got a subtle nod with the red dot on the suits. And Doctor Who continues to do more to remind us of its own past. With the photos from the first episode appearing again and the use of the yellow yo-yo, was a nod to Tom Baker's fourth Doctor. Maybe eagle-eyed people saw more.

All in all, this was another excellent episode, everything came together like a beautiful tapestry on the walls of a great castle. And with 5 episodes into the season, it is starting to take shape and characters are starting to fill out and become interesting. The next episode promise to be unique, with the Doctor being blind and the return of Michelle Gomez as Missy. I know where I will be next Saturday night. With a cuppa in one hand and the remote in the other.

10/10 Stars


Graham Leslie