If there’s one thing the first series of Broadchurch showed us, it’s that Chris Chibnall is good at mystery story-arcs. So, to see the latest episode of Doctor Who goto the mystery-arc well isn’t necessarily a bad thing as far as this fan is concerned.
With a couple of new mystery threads in play, the rest of this season and this era could play out in a variety of ways. Of course, I wouldn’t be a fan of the Sylvester McCoy era if I didn’t point out that the return of an old friend with broad hints didn’t feel a lot like a page out of a certain scene in “Silver Nemesis” in which it’s pointed out the Doctor isn’t necessarily who we think he is.
Interesting that “Fugitive of the Judoon” would remind me of hints that there’s more to the Doctor than meets the eye, ala “Silver Nemesis.” And since I ate up those revelations in “Silver Nemesis,” you know I ate them up like a spoon here.
Even bringing back Captain Jack Harkness for so not-so-subtle foreshadowing didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong — I still think Jack as a character has been a diminishing returns thing since the end of series one. But getting to see his reaction to a female Doctor and then bringing in some “beware the lone Cybermen” foreshadowing was certainly appreciated. It also gives me hope that this series is actually building toward something.
Of course, it helps that Chibnell is borrowing heavily from two of the better elements built-in by Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat — the chameleon arch and the Doctor having part of his/her history that he/she doesn’t acknowledge. I figured the silver box would be some type of talisman similar to the fob-watch in “Human Nature” and “Family of Blood,” so it was nice to see Chibnall throw a curve and connect it to the lighthouse.
I have a feeling that we’ll find out that this new version of the Doctor, played by Jo Martin is the timeless child before this series is all said and done. It certainly felt like Chibnall was trying to set up something here by making Martin’s version enough like the Doctor to feel like she is the Doctor, but still have enough that doesn’t feel right to make us question who she really might be or is.
I suppose we can’t dismiss that this is somehow an elaborate trap set up by the Master as well, possibly to get his revenge on Gallifrey and/or the Doctor.
And suddenly for the first time in the Chibnall era, I find myself intrigued by seeing where all of this goes.
Interesting that an episode with the Judoon in the title and they end up feeling a bit like an afterthought after the revelations of the second half. But, for that first half, they were effective, if a bit of a blunt weapon to get the ball moving.