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"The Ghost Monument" brings new mystery

The Doctor, Ryan, Yaz and Graham find themselves lost in space.
Photo: BBC

Much of Steven Moffat's era Doctor Who was devoted to solving the mystery of the Doctor – why the name, where is Gallifrey – and answers to this central fancy of who is the doctor and what they stand for. Jodie Whittaker's first trip to a strange world gave us back some of these secrets, both for the show and for the doctor.

"The Ghost Monument" is an episode of Doctor Who in which not much has happened. Our new doctor and her new friends, rescued from their upcoming death-in-space cliffhanger from the premiere last week, are swept along in an intergalactic space race with two fierce racers, Angstrom and Epzo. They learn that the ultimate goal of the race, the titular memorial, is nothing more than the disastrous time of the doctor bringing a whole world into and out of existence. Along the way, we learn that Angstrom's people are being purged of an invading alien race, that Epzo is an asshole who has to slowly learn that the whole universe is not out to get him, and the Call of Duty Try as you please, never prepare you for self-healing sniper robots.

I would skip the copy of Black Ops 4 this Christmas, Ryan.
Image: BBC [19659003] That's fine, albeit a bit simple. Angstrom and Epzo in particular serve only as catalysts to remind us that the Doctor will always strive to find a way where everyone wins, relieves conflict and discord with peace and harmony – we learn enough about them, around us to care (or Epzo's case, enough to make us think he's an idiot) but not really enough beyond to really make her feel important to driving the episode. And apart from a few more scenes that focus on Ryan and Graham's still deeply broken relationship to Grace's death, we also do not really spend a lot of time with our new companions as they are dealing with trusting a wife to this wild new thing who has invaded her life.

That leaves much of "The Ghost Monument" based on two things that fortunately make it incredibly good. The first is atmosphere and sound – from the magnificent views of the desolation to the darkly lit tunnels that dig underground the enemy's surface, this episode exudes atmosphere in spades, and it's all shot brilliantly, all a scale of contrast to the relative Intimacy gives the real story. And at the same time, this atmosphere is fueled by the fact that our heroes are not here to save the day, but instead solving a simple secret about slow combustion: why is this cruel and inhospitable planet the way it is? [19659009] Ilin reveals the true identity of the Ghost Monument.

Image: BBC

It is deeply refreshing to get such an episode Doctor Who every now and then, in which not everything burns Not just a planet, but an entire galaxy or the whole universe or the incomprehensible totality of everything and space and time faces the threat of destruction. When the stakes are so high, they constantly lose their effect – but more important is a secret where we can see the other. "The Ghost Monument" Likes Shine: The New Doctor Himself. [19659012] With the post-regenerative pain well and truly out of the way, this episode is where we begin to see Jodie Whittaker Doctor in her element. Like the doctors in front of her, she talks fast, thinks fast, and dances around the screen at a speed of one million miles a minute, in a way that's both effortless and invigorating to an otherwise very slow story. But what is clear here is what seems to drive this doctor more than her previous incarnations, a deep curiosity and curiosity that compels her to take any action.

The Doctor slowly begins to uncover a dark secret in the depths of the devastation.
Image: BBC

The desire to understand and learn is not new to the doctor – after all, they left Gallifrey for just that purpose – but in the last few years of the series, we have behaved a bit too Charm of the doctor who chatters into a scenario and immediately knows everything that is going on (while everyone else in this scenario knows this fact loud and repeated). The Doctor was someone who always had a plan, a trick up his sleeve, an intimate knowledge gained either from the eerie perception or the fact that they had been traveling in space and time over more than a thousand years . To have a doctor who is not so much, and wears her desire to ask so openly and emotionally – her just indignation over the race coordinator Ilin is an intoxicating blend of anger at the injustice of everything and the fact that he simply will not answer her questions – is also refreshing for the show. It centers the Doctor as a less time-traveling all-knowing superhero and more of a wanderlust-driven explorer, chasing the next big secret on the horizon.

And it seems she's coming to hunt some fascinating secrets. The final answers to the secrets of "The Ghost Monument" are less definitive than they initially appear when Team TARDIS 'Path to Desolation's Desolation shows that the once colony-populated world was heavily influenced by the Stenza (the Tim Shaw from Timothy was a test site for horrific weapons research, and if Stenza is important to this season's arc, it makes what you all felt like a forgotten, one-time villain last week even more startling – and it's refreshing a completely new alien-type given is narrative meaning, instead of reaching out to a Doctor Who 's many well-known villains.

Timeless whatnow?
Image: BBC

But the Stenzas Weapons research, in the form of choking, sentimental, psychic rags that give in to fear (in the credits as the survivors, called factual fans), give the doctor another great it solve puzzles, which is more closely associated with it: "The timeless child," a fear of deep and powerful that the new incarnation of the doctor, the knowledge of which was denied by the regeneration process itself. Time will tell how this particular thread evolves, but it seems very appropriate for a doctor who seems to be so driven by their earnest desire to learn to find a fight, to find knowledge that predicts their past you had hidden. A goal to understand the world around them with these fresh new eyes and the inheritance in them.

Maybe it will turn out to be a big revelation threatening the universe. But right now it's a simple secret to solving a search for knowledge – it's pure Doctor Who at its very core. If that's what this new era of the show is all about, jump into this shiny new TARDIS and chase it away. I'm more than happy to be on this kind of ride.

Forward, to new adventures.
Image: BBC

Assorted Musings

  • I do not think I'll get used to Doctor Who for a long time, for lack of a better word cinematic . The new aspect ratio, the cinematography, the lighting, the filming … is what comes close to a "budget"! At some point it will fall at the seams with a questionable monster, but right now I'm glad to be dazzled by science (and a bit of glamor and glamor).
  • It's clear that "The Timeless Child" is going to be a big mystery to the 13th Doctor – but somehow I hope the secret lies more in why this information was hidden from their rejuvenation and not who or what the Fancily MacGuffin is. As recent Doctor Who seasons have made a doctor-related mystery the cornerstone of their bow, they have gone better when it's more of a personal, familiar thing (see: the 12th Doctor who learns his ideals rather than, whatever the plot device is, to wave away some drama (see: Clara exists as one thing, rather than an actual person for her debut season).
  • I'm very excited for the next week's Rosa Park's historic episode, if only because the next time the trailer makes it look that way, Yaz will be a little bit more in the limelight. Ryan and Graham, and their family connection, have played a major role this season, but Yaz still feels unexplored and more of a third wheel for the group.
  • So, new titles and the theme of melody in their right place, last but not least! It was very strange to get them just last week's premiere, but they are here and pretty damn good. This bassline is a sound system that weakens the intensity.
  • I love the new, less sleek, more organic console space of the TARDIS, but it's very illumined – almost like the console room of the 9th Doctor era It took regeneration to learn how to light installed. I know that the doctor was never particularly health and safety conscious, but she asks someone to stumble over something they should not do. You may ring these crystals and ask them to shine a little brighter.
  • I love the Custard Cream (Jodie Whittaker's darling, apparently!) Donor, and desperately hope it's a recurring feature. More spaceships are expected to spend snacks in times of crisis.

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