Nearly at the beginning of this season, having worked my way backwards, I ask: was there any fallout from the events of The Ghost Monument? Stunningly, the answer is no. And I don’t mean that in jest. The events surround a race and the winner of the race gets a prize. The Doctor convinces her companions to work together and keeps everyone alive. The two “cannon fodder” companions get the reward they wanted and the Doctor and company get the TARDIS. No long term issues from this. Seemingly!
While Chris Chibnall may have actually succeeded in telling a story that did not show damage created by the Doctor’s involvement, it does show us that the Doctor doesn’t try to fix things. Ilin is the organizer of the race and he is clearly a powerful man. He can dispose of people like any good mob boss. Move over Tony Soprano! Epzo and Angstrom claim joint victory which Ilin is dismayed about; what is the likelihood that those two will be alive when Ilin takes them off world? What is likely to happen is that Ilin, unhappy with seeing both contestants survive, will force them to make one final choice and Epzo, being far less morally centered, will kill a stunned Angstrom who actually admired the idea of being a team. Ilin will go on being the ruthless pig that he was and the Doctor will go on wandering the universe, oblivious to what happened. I can hear Capaldi’s Doctor, morally outraged, warning Ilin against any double crossing. “I will stop you! I will stop all of you!” Not so under Chibnall’s writing.
And then there are the Remnants. (I truly appreciate aliens who make our lives easier! I encountered aliens last week that looked like gloves. Luckily, they were called The Fingers.) These rags know things. They know about the timeless child. Ooooh, ominous. Except… no. My niece was being recorded singing a song, Hop Little Bunny, and mid-song, she stops and say “no!”, and the song was done! It’s an adorable video, and my niece is insanely cute. Hearing her stop mid-stride is what one should expect of a 2 year old. Chris Chibnall, writer of Broadchurch, a show all about bad choices and the ramifications of said choices, has totally ignored the dramatic content that was being laid out in this story. The Remnants are still on that planet. Who knows what they are really all about; I mean, from any logical standpoint, there’s no development potential for them, but they made a heck of a creepy enemy for the Doctor. He just stopped developing the idea mid-stride.
And that says nothing of the robots that can be EMP’d, only to get back up again. I’m talking about the robots that trained the Stormtroopers in Star Wars. When Ryan, a kid with Dyspraxia, can out shoot them, you know they’re related to Stormtroopers! And that’s the problem with the entire season of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor. Ask yourselves, does the Doctor stop Ilin, the Remnant or the Stormtrooper-trainers? No! ML