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02 January 2019 @ 08:18 pm
Arachnids in the UK  
At the time of watching, I felt that Arachnids in the UK, while not in the same league as Rosa, was preserving a general upward trend in the quality of the stories in series 11. I now feel like I'd like to revist both it and The Woman who Fell to Earth since I'm not sure it would stand up terribly well back to back with the latter.

While Arachnids has better narrative drive, certainly than The Ghost Monument, like The Ghost Monument it just seems to stop at the end of its allotted 50 minutes. The situation is apparently contained and we can infer that something is done about the baby spiders in the panic room, but a little bit more would have been welcome. Allowing Chris Noth's Robertson to leave apparently scot free is another odd choice. While it could be argued this is a case of the Doctor choosing not to interfere with a more systemic problem, the man has clearly broken a number of laws (including waving a gun at a police officer - even if she hadn't identified herself as such) and, as many people have pointed out, would it really have hurt to have had a newspaper headline, or throwaway comment, that he was now being investigated by the authorities?

Where the series set up as a whole is reminiscent of the early Davison years, and its historical reminiscent of early Hartnell, Arachnids invokes late Pertwee with its giant spiders and environmentalist underpinnings. That said, it didn't feel much like a Pertwee story to me. Robertson wasn't a consistent enough antagonist and the spiders not really enough of a threat. As in The Ghost Monument the presentation here of the Doctor's anti-gun stance seems more hypocritical than usual - allowing creatures to die of suffocation or, we infer, starvation in preference to killing them directly.

Yaz and her family were fun, though even with their foregrounding here, she continues to feel oddly underdeveloped.

I enjoyed it at the time but in retrospect Arachnids in the UK feels like an oddly unsatisfactory tale.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/537854.html.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on January 2nd, 2019 10:18 pm (UTC)
I suspect I would also revise my opinion downwards on a second viewing. I'm not sure if I've said here that too many of the stories here seem like filler episodes: not bad, but needing something stronger to support them. It obviously didn't become obvious until the end of the season that the epic stories weren't coming and I think I would revise my opinion of some of the earlier stories as a result. The obvious parallel is seasons 18 and 19, both of which start with some fairly small scale stories, but suddenly increase in scope in the last two stories of the season (I'm guessing the Blu Ray release schedule is probably coincidence...).
louisedennis: Who:Thirteenlouisedennis on January 5th, 2019 12:10 pm (UTC)
Weirdly I think this had more going for it in general idea than a lot of filler episodes have had but I think it fluffed the landing (or rather the ending, I suppose)