This week’s episode went for the creep factor as it brought to life a fear for many people with its “monster of the week” angle. After giving us a couple of gut-wrenching episodes in a row, the series had us channeling our inner Ron Weasley as The Doctor and her friends took on some deadly spiders.
Joining us as part of the cast during the episode was none other than Mr. Big himself from Sex and the City, Chris Noth, which was quite the revelation and interesting casting choice. Not to mention, after being kind of dragged along, The Doctor’s companions finally make a choice as to whether they want to continue to be a part of the adventures or stay home for good.
Gather ’round and let us discuss “Arachnids in the UK.”
Home Sweet Home: After finally having returned to Sheffield (I guess maybe the sixteenth time or so was the charm?), the Doctor meets up with Yasmin’s family alongside Ryan. As for Graham, he returns home for the first time since Grace’s death (insert sadness). As Yasmin heads off to meet with her mother, Najia, the Doctor and Ryan meet Dr. Jade McIntyre, a specialist in spiders (shudders), trying to find out what happened to a colleague living next door. Because you know, spiders and disappearances are never a good thing. Much to their horror and surprise, the group finds out McIntyre’s colleague was attacked by a giant spider, raising questions on its origin.
An Eight Legged Problem: The group is later joined by Graham, who also has found another giant spider in his house. The group also learns that McIntyre is investigating bizarre behavior patterns emerging in local spider ecosystems, after recently suspending experiments with spiders. As it turns out, the pattern of spider abnormalities is linked to a luxury hotel complex that Yasmin’s mother worked at, until being fired by its American owner, Jack Robertson.
The Secret of the Ooze: After getting to the hotel, it comes to light that Robertson’s bodyguard and his personal assistant were recently attacked and taken away. The Doctor and her friends also learn that Robertson’s hotel was built over a series of abandoned mine tunnels that had been used as a dumping ground for industrial waste. McIntyre, upon learning of the company that handled the disposal of her laboratory’s waste, realizes the spiders were the offspring of a specimen used in an experiment, which was discarded on the belief it was dead. The Doctor comes to the conclusion that the toxicity of the waste mutated the specimen as a direct result, and the spiders used the tunnels to move around the city (raise your hand if you’ll never look at sewers or tunnels the same way).
Now Can We Panic?: Armed with this knowledge, the group comes up with a plan. Using a panic room Robertson built into the hotel, Ryan attracts the baby spiders into it with music, so they can be killed humanely. As for the mama spider, the rest of the group go to confront the queen spider in the hotel’s ballroom. Sadly though, the Doctor realizes she is dying because her huge size is becoming too much for its body to handle. Unfortunately though before she can assure that it dies a humane death, Robertson shoots it with his bodyguard’s gun, killing it much to her disgust.
To Travel Or Not Travel: With the spider problem resolved, Ryan, Yasmin, and Graham marinate on whether to return to their normal lives. However, they decide seeing the universe would be preferable to what they must cope with, and opt to travel with the Doctor in the TARDIS.
This week’s episode, while quite the departure from the emotionally heavy ones we’ve received so far this season, definitely had us questioning humanity as far as we treat those who are not quite human. The addition of Chris Noth as the somewhat villain of the episode was a nice touch and made for yet another enjoyable episode for this season.
Check out the promo for next week’s episode below!
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