Jodie Whittaker’s tenure as the Doctor is almost at an end, and with another New Year’s Day Special, Eve of the Daleks instead of Revolution, I have to wonder if this enemy will ever cease to amaze? Nearly every appearance manages to upgrade them somehow, and that’s when I watch Doctor Who.
The previous year’s holiday episode was good, because John Barrowman returned as Captain Jack Harkness. Flux was a season I more or less ignored. If all the seasons of the Doctor Who had to be ranked, I’d have to say this latest is not in any top ten. That season is more about bringing back the classic enemies and giving them a chance to shine one more time.
In what we get with this special is an intro many can relate–two folks tired of the humdrum and ho-hum of the holidays. Nick (Adjani Salmon) is the optimist, and it’s obvious he has a thing for Sarah (Aisling Bea)–a detail not fully played up. She’s a receptionist willing to take the seasonal hours to keep the storage operation going to which this man is visiting. What happens is a visit from a different type of Krampus with no sense of time. It’s out to deliver coal to this pair and a soon to appear Time Lord.
After the events of the last season, the TARDIS needs a purge of its systems. The Doctor, Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) are wanting some R&R, but instead land at Sarah’s place of employment. But there seems to be more than meets the eye when Yaz reveals her thoughts to her friend about her feelings about the Doctor. Apparently, NYE is a time for people to say how much they care for each other; when only a few episodes are left for this incarnation, it looks like I’ll have to tune in to see whether the two truly become something. It’s doubtful those will carry forward to whoever takes on the role of our favourite Time Lord next.
This one off has all the makings of showing just how dangerous a pair of Daleks are than just one. The story has the feel of Terminator mixed up with Edge of Tomorrow. The fact everyone gets placed into a time loop and has to deal with the rolling machines of terror is a simple enough plot. Their eventual escape rings in the new year.
I still have to wonder about the broader implications. Just how does one put a stop to a Time Lord? Apparently it’s by putting them into a prison where time can be frozen.