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TV ReviewsDoctor Who Season 11 Episode 11: Resolution Review

Doctor Who typically releases their holiday special on Christmas, but it seems with the series not returning until 2020 that the showrunners wanted to have at least one story in 2019 so we got to ring in the New Year with this return to a more classic Who adventure.

Synopsis: As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth? (IMDB)

Writer: Chris Chibnall

Directors: Jamie Childs and Wayne Yip

Rating: TV-PG

Running Time: 45mins

“Resolution” starts off with the Battle of Britain where an unnatural foe was vanquished and their body was scattered to the far reaches of the Earth. Well two of them as the final piece didn’t make it to the final resting place as the custodian carrying it was killed and it just so happens that his body was recently excavated uncovering the first piece of this monstrous being. While the archaeologists banter over their New Year’s kiss, the alien body, placed under a UV light, signals the other pieces and they transport themselves back to each other reforming into the Doctor’s biggest nemesis: the Dalek.

As the archaeologists notice the piece missing, Lin decides to search around the site. Upon finding it, her curiosity gets the better of her and she approaches the squid-like creature. Lucky for Mitch, the Doctor and her companions have arrived to save the day! Lin returns and brings them to the site of the squid, but it has disappeared causing some concern amongst the companions. They escort the archaeologists out of the site while setting up a quarantine, but Lin seems to be acting a bit strange.

Back at Graham’s house, the team goes about setting their trap to catch the beast when an unexpected face arrives: Ryan’s father Aaron. As Graham has a serious conversation with Aaron, Lin returns home to find the squid has latched itself onto her piloting her body. The Doctor puts the squid’s DNA into the TARDIS and discovers it is what she feared. A Dalek has made its way to Earth and its true purpose is to send a signal to Dalek HQ to send their fleet and destroy the planet.

The Dalek takes control and brings Lin on a hunt to find Dalek technology around Britain, rebuild its Armour and call the mothership and proves that it will do anything to stop whoever gets in its way. Meanwhile, Yaz and the Doctor pick up Mitch to ask him more about the excavation and he tells them the story of the Battle of Britain and the Order of the Custodians. They learn that Lin has been hosted by the Dalek and they have to find her, but things get worse when they discover the Dalek is the much stronger Recon soldier version.

To diffuse the tension of world destruction, the story shifts to the complicated relationship between Aaron and his family. He tries to reconcile with Ryan, but he wants nothing to do with the deadbeat dad that avoided his mother’s funeral and for good reason. Aaron is a remorseful guy, but he’s selfish and won’t hesitate to drop people for his own gain causing continued family problems for Ryan and Graham.

Back to the Dalek, the Doctor receives a call from it as they proclaim the Earth is now under the control of the Daleks. She distracts the Dalek with her fancy tech skills long enough to reboot the system and bring them to Lin leaving Graham and Aaron in his house. Graham grabs a box of Grace’s stuff to show it’s actually a bunch of Aaron’s stuff showing she never forgot about him.

The Doctor decides it is time to call in some backup in her allies at UNIT, but thanks to Brexit, their funding has been cut and they’ve been subsequently shut down so it’s time for plan B. Lin is brought to a metal yard to build the Dalek a suit, but as it starts to weaken she fights back. The Doctor and her companions arrive to find Lin detached from her Dalek host, but with it still on the loose she opts to confront her greatest enemy alone.

She is confronted by a redesigned, steampunk Dalek who discovers who she is and engages in a fight before escaping to call in the fleet. They quickly follow in pursuit, stopping to pick up Graham and Aaron along the way, where the Dalek is attacking a military base. That’s just a quick stop along the way to its final destination: Britain’s biggest government communications facility. They arrive and with the help of Aaron’s engineering background, they create a makeshift heater to melt the Dalek’s armor. Unfortunately that isn’t the end.

The Dalek takes control of Aaron’s body and forces the Doctor to send its communication to the fleet, but the Doctor has a trick up her sleeve. She brings them to a star in supernova and opens the door, attempting to rip the Dalek off of Aaron; but when he’s almost torn from the ship, Ryan manages to grab him and the Dalek is thrown into the star. The episode ends as the companions part ways with Aaron and the archaeologists as they start on their adventure to everywhere.

Questions

  • Will Ryan, Yaz and Graham be the Doctor’s companions come 2020?
  • What other classic Who creatures may return in future episodes?
  • How long will Jodie Whitaker’s Doctor survive and will she have a foe bigger than the Daleks?
  • Is Ryan’s dad Aaron going to become a recurring character?

Overall, this was a great New Years episode. This season was said to push away from iconic villains of the Doctor to focus on new and exciting ones. While they never really lived up to the hype, this episode falls outside the realm of this season and therefore all classic creatures are fair game so it’s able to bring back one of the Doctor’s deadliest foes. The redesign of the Daleks infused with some thrilling horror elements make for the most Doctor Who episode since Jodie Whitaker took over. This pairs nicely with a tightly-packed, well-written script that has the explosive adventure and dramatic moments indicative of strong stories in this series. This is the season finale that we deserve and hopefully Whitaker has found her stride for the Doctor’s next adventures.

Score: 7.5/10

What did you think of “Resolution”? Was this the season finale you hoped for? Let me know in the comments below!

If you liked this, check out my other reviews here and my website! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.

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