Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
I greatly enjoyed ‘Part Two’ of ‘Spyfall’ in Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’! I found it a satisfying conclusion to an exciting ‘masterful’ adventure with the Thirteenth Doctor. Yeah, it’s one of those episodes that needs to be seen more than once, but for the most part I was able to follow through what was happening.
The second episode resolves the cliffhanger by having the Doctor save Graham, Ryan and Yaz’s lives on the plane. Don’t worry! It gets explained later on in the episode. It’s another timey-wimey thing, but it was easier to follow especially as the Doctor sent a message to her friends on the crashing plane.
Meanwhile with the Doctor, she’s trapped inside what turns out to be the Kasaavin’s dimension (that’s the white ghost-light figures from ‘Part One’). I wondered how the Doctor was going to get out of this strange ‘wood between the worlds’ place she was in. She was starting to talk to herself by that point! 😀
Eventually, the Doctor meets a 19th century woman – Sylvie Briggs as Ada. I was surprised to see Ada in this dimension with the Doctor. I wondered how she got there. She sort-of explains to the Doctor that she had been brought to the dimension by one of the aliens. I wonder if there is a prequel to this.
Eventually, the Doctor and Ada return to the 19th century where they end up in an invention exhibition in 1834. I did wonder if it was the Great Exhibition of 1851 as I’ve heard that mentioned often enough like in ‘Time-Flight’ and I have heard it depicted in the Big Finish audio tale ‘Other Lives’.
I’m surprised Chris Chibnall didn’t go down that route of setting the 19th century scenes during the Great Exhibition. Anyway, as the Doctor familiarises herself with the 1834 invention exhibition she’s in, she gradually discovers Ada is Ada Lovelace who happens to be a really important historical person.
She happens to be with Mark Dexter as Charles Babbage. I’m mentioning these names to you because I’ve noticed Chris Chibnall happens to have a habit of introducing historical figures for educational purposes in his ‘Doctor Who’ episodes. This I approve of. It was nice to find out these people first time.
Eventually, the Master appears at the invention exhibition once he discovers the Doctor’s escaped from her imprisonment in the Kasaasvin’s dimension. Just to be straight to the point, in my humble opinion, the Doctor and Master scenes are the best part of the story. I honestly love the Doctor/Master scenes.
Seeing Sacha Dhawan’s Master and Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor together was thrilling. Sacha Dhawan goes full-on evil whilst Jodie Whittaker does her best to be serious in tackling the menace she never thought she’d see again in her old friend. It’s a very convincing relationship than the Doctor and Missy.
Yeah I know I’ve bragged about it in my Series 10 reviews, but I honestly never got the confrontation that was there between Missy and the Twelfth Doctor. Seeing the Thirteenth Doctor and the new Master battling wits against each other was far enjoyable than how it was between Twelve and Missy.
I agree, it does seem strange that Sacha Dhawan’s Master seems to have gone bad to full evil if he came after Missy who was trying to redeem herself in Series 10. But honestly, this might have to do with what happened when she/he returned to Gallifrey afterwards, but we’ll get back to that later on.
Anyway, after the Doctor, Ada and Charles Babbage manage to escape the Master, the Doctor summons a Kasaavin with her sonic screwdriver on a figurine in the hope of transporting to the 21st century. Ada accompanies her, much against the Doctor’s intentions. 😀 They both end up in Paris 1943!
Wait a minute! Paris 1943! Oh dear! The Doctor’s gone into ‘Allo, ‘Allo’ territory! Very soon, she’ll meet up with René Artois and the French Resistance led by Michelle. Let’s hope she doesn’t run into Herr Flick of the Gestapo as well as the other Nazis. 😀 Just kidding. That doesn’t happen in the episode.
The Doctor and Ada do however meet up with a British spy in Paris during 1943 and this happens to be Aurora Marion as Noor Inayat Khan. She happens to be an important figure in Earth’s history too as well as Ada Lovelace. The Doctor utilises Ada and Khan’s help to find a way to defeat the Master. 🙂
I must also point out that Chris Chibnall’s ‘Doctor Who’ episodes involving history so far with Jodie Whittaker have featured important women in Earth’s history. I don’t object to this. So long as the women in history were real people back then, that’s fine. But it does seem to be a reoccurring pattern.
Sacha Dhawan’s Master also follows the Doctor to Nazi-occupied France as he dresses up in a Nazi uniform too. Seeing Sacha Dhawan as a Nazi was very disturbing. I know it’s something the Master would wear and he is a ‘master of disguise’ of course. But still, it’s very disturbing to see Sacha in that!
I enjoyed the confrontation scene between the Master and the Doctor when they’re on top of the Eiffel Tower. A ‘City of Death’ reference could’ve been included instead of a ‘Logopolis’ one. 😀 The Master reveals something to the Doctor about Gallifrey, whilst she’s using wits against him. More later!
It’s time now to talk about Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan and Mandip Gill as Yaz in the episode. I enjoyed the journey they had whilst they’re separated from the Doctor. I admit the Doctor’s journey was more interesting than theirs, but it was great seeing how they work as a unit without her.
The three companions tackle Lenny Henry as Daniel Barton’s side of the evil operation. Daniel Barton seems to be really against humanity in this story when he uses the VOR search engine system and the Kasaavin to steal people’s life-force and rewrite their DNA. I wish Stephen Fry’s C was still alive in this!
I enjoyed it when Bradley Walsh’s Graham used his spy-like shoes to fire lasers at people who were trying to capture them. It’s just so funny, especially when he doesn’t know how they work. Any scene featuring Bradley Walsh as Graham in ‘Doctor Who’ is brilliant. I look forward to more in Series 12. 😀
Tosin Cole is equally great as Ryan. I liked it when he discovered how to safely land the crashing plane according to the Doctor’s message. Ryan also stamps on his, Graham and Yaz’s mobile phones when they’re being hunted by Barton. He did let slip his, Graham and Yaz’s plans to their enemy though. (?!)
Mandip Gill is equally good as Yaz. She gets concerned for her family once she, Graham and Ryan are being hunted. She does phone up her sister Sonya in order to provide a distraction for the ‘men in black’ chasing after them. It was tense when Yaz’s life-force was to be sucked, but she was alright in the end!
I did find it tense when Yaz’s family including Shobna Gulati as Najia, Ravin J Ganatra as Hakim and Bhavnisha Parmar as Sonya were about to have their life-force sucked out and their DNA rewritten as part of the Master’s plans. It was good to see how Yaz’s family would be affected by this world disaster.
There is a scene between Graham, Ryan and Yaz where they have a respite in a warehouse and they talk about who the Doctor is. I like that scene! It establishes that they don’t know much about the Doctor in spite of the travels they’ve had with her. They want to know who she is next time they meet.
The Doctor manages to strand the Master after stealing his TARDIS. The Master is forced to live through the 20th century before getting to ‘Part Two’ of this story in the present day. How he didn’t tamper with history is unexplained, but then Big Finish can solve the answers to all those questions. 🙂
Eventually, the Doctor manages to defeat the Master and send him trapped in the Kasaavin’s dimension, with Ava Lovelace and Noor Inayat Khan’s help. Barton manages to escape though (I wonder where he’ll go next). The Doctor also goes to save her three friends’ lives on that plane earlier.
The Doctor also wipes the memories of Ava and Noor to prevent them knowing too much information about the future in the travels they had with her. Just before the Doctor returns to her friends, she decides to go and visit Gallifrey, trapped in its bubble, to find out whether the Master did tell the truth about it.
And it turns out he was. Gallifrey is now decimated. Wow! The Doctor freezing Gallifrey in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ didn’t do much good in the end, did it? I wonder what happened since the events of ‘Hell Bent’. Actually; now I come to think of it, did Clara ever return to Gallifrey like she said she would?
(clears throat) Anyway, the Doctor, upset that Gallifrey’s destroyed, receives a holographic message from the Master in the TARDIS. It turns out the Master was the one responsible for destroying Gallifrey. He reiterates to her that everything they’ve been told by the Time Lords were based on a lie.
It connects to the Timeless Child that was mentioned back in ‘The Ghost Monument’ episode. I was wondering when that was coming back into the series again. The seed has been sown in connecting the Doctor’s past as it hints at a darker side to her ‘thirteenth’ persona. The Master refuses to share more.
I felt it when the Doctor let out her anger at one point following the Master’s message, throwing her sonic screwdriver about in the TARDIS. I’ve no idea what this Timeless Child is about and what was meant by the Master’s message to the Doctor! I’m nervous! I’m a little excited by this but also nervous.
Later on, once the Doctor’s picked up her three friends, they ask her right out who she is and where she comes from. The Doctor eventually reveals to them that she’s from Gallifrey and that she can regenerate. Yaz asks if they can visit Gallifrey. The Doctor refuses to the request, saying ‘another time’.
It was tense to see the Doctor become sullen and somewhat moodier compared to the happy, go-lucky self she seems to be letting off so far in the series. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the rest of the series. It seems that this Timeless Child business is far more serious than any of us can realise.
Overall, ‘Spyfall’ is a great opening two-parter to Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’. I enjoyed it immensely. It was great to see the Thirteenth Doctor TARDIS team back and I got a thrill seeing Sacha Dhawan as the Master. I can only imagine what’s coming next in Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’. Hopefully it’ll be good.
Next week’s episode is called ‘Orphan 55’ by Ed Hime.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!