Three companions and one Doctor floating aimlessly in space: what could go wrong? Apparently a lot of things, which we quickly found out during the latest episode of Doctor Who. After a fantastic debut last week, the Thirteenth Doctor seems to be hitting her stride and definitely gave us a lot to cheer about during this week’s episode “The Ghost Monument.”
There was a lot of tension in this episode, especially amongst the companions (or best friends, as The Doctor calls them), which really isn’t at all surprising given what went down last week (RIP Grace). Also adding to the craziness was the hunt to figure out what happened to the TARDIS, which was very much missed during the premiere episode.
Gather ’round and let us discuss “The Ghost Monument!”
Major Oops: After accidentally bringing Ryan, Yaz, and Graham with her, The Doctor and the group are split up and are rescued separately by Angstrom and Epzo, the last participants in what appears to be the space version of The Amazing Race mixed with The Hunger Games with a massive cash prize for the winner. The foursome is reunited thankfully after the racers reached the planet the Doctor’s TARDIS is conveniently located, which was apparently moved from its original location (which is why the group ended up floating in space) and turns out to be a mostly dead yet hostile world.
Time For The Rules: Shortly after arriving, the group (including the racers) meet the race’s organizer, Ilin – a former winner of the race via a hologram. Both racers learn that they have one more event in the race to complete, requiring them to reach an object referred to as the Ghost Monument and reaching the finish line before a planet completes its rotation. They also must not kill one another, drink the water, and travel by night for reasons not yet known.
The Ghostly Details: After the racers depart, The Doctor senses there is more to what Ilin is saying and asks Ilin to tell her about the monument, which turns out to be the TARDIS, which has been in mid-phasing due to damage it suffered. After learning this, The Doctor promises to get her new friends home if they help her reach the finish line. Their journey on the planet as they follow the two racers eventually leads them to the ruins of a former civilization, now inhabited by robot snipers, which The Doctor manages to save them from. During this time, the Doctor learns that Angstrom seeks victory to save her family from ethnic cleansing by the Stenza (remember them?) while Epzo seeks the prize to prove himself, having a lack of trust instilled into him by his mother (Harsh).
A Photo Finish: The group also learns while traveling that the Stenza forced the residents into turning the world into a testing site for numerous weapons of mass destruction before they were all killed off by the cloth-based creations known as Remnants which cleared up the wounded and kill targets with fear. The Remnants make their presence known and try to take them out but thankfully, with The Doctor’s help, they are able to overcome them. After battling it out with the Remnants, the group finally make it to the finish line. After getting there, The Doctor is able to talk Angstrom and Epzo to venture into Ilin’s tent together and claim joint victory. Although Ilin is reluctant to agree to this, he relents after Epzo threatens to hunt him down and takes only the pilots off the planet (EXCUSE YOU).
What Now?: Feeling disappointed in herself, The Doctor starts to apologize for failing to uphold her promise. She stops as she is suddenly surprised to hear the TARDIS emerging, and uses her sonic screwdriver to fully materialize it (WELCOME BACK, YOU BIG BEAUTIFUL BLUE BOX). As it turns out, The Doctor is not the only one who has changed as the TARDIS has also undergone a makeover, both externally and internally. Sensing the changes, The Doctor then ends the episode by offering her new friends a trip home as she promised.
Another strong episode so far this season as we get to learn a little bit more about what makes each of the new companions tick and see The Doctor grow more comfortable in her new skin and her new role. Thirteen is refreshingly optimistic about everything, which is very much needed and very much welcomed after the past two series, which were a bit on the dark side.
Check out the promo for next week’s episode below!
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