Jodie Whittaker

DOCTOR WHO – S11 – EP. 7 REVIEW – KERBLAM (2018)

DOCTOR WHO – S11 – EP. 7 REVIEW – KERBLAM (2018)

Directed by: Jennifer Perrott

Written by: Pete McTighe

Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Lee Mack, Callum Dixon, Claudia Jessie etc.

Produced by: Nikki Wilson

Executive producer(s): Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens, Sam Hoyle

Composer: Segun Akinola

**MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

Kerblam

After the moving emotion and historical power of last week’s episode, this week the Doctor was back to the future and in outer space. Following a delivery from the Kerblam shopping emporium the Tardis crew receive a message pleading for help. Quicker than you can say Amazon, the team are soon undercover at the space factory trying to find out what’s going on at Kerblam.

It’s a pacey episode with some excellent one-liners and a pretty involving plot. The writer Peter Tighe manages to cram in some corporate sabotage, a romance plot and creepy androids – called TeamMates – reminiscent of the electric cab drivers from Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall (1990). It also features some excellent guest appearances from comedian Lee Mack and Julie Hesmondhalgh who stand-out in their under-written roles. Aside from a couple of wonky narrative moments and dodgy CGI conveyor belt chase the episode was very enjoyable.

Mandip Gill

In terms of subtext there were some interesting points to be made about online shopping empires and the idea that machines are making human beings redundant. However, this wasn’t laboured but successfully integrated into the humorous and, at times, suspenseful story. Indeed, this felt more like one of the lighter Matt Smith or David Tennant episodes in terms of wit, action and theme. My main issue now with the series is that the Doctor’s characterisation is not as interesting as previous ones.

It is now the seventh week for Jodie Whittaker’s tenure and in each episode I have really wanted her to stamp her acting authority on the role. She is a great actor but perhaps some of the directing is failing to make the most of her ability. The show is entertaining enough but it does feel too dramatically lightweight in terms of Whittaker’s performance at times. Of course, I am still really enjoying the show but at present the Doctor is more of a cypher rather than a rounded character. Jodie Whittaker is carrying the episodes brilliantly but there’s got to be more weight and intensity for me.

Mark: 8 out of 11

6 thoughts on “DOCTOR WHO – S11 – EP. 7 REVIEW – KERBLAM (2018)”

  1. Okay, I liked this one even more than the previous one. The dialogue flowed way better, they gave everyone something useful to do, there were some genuinely funny moments, and for once it really felt like a Doctor Who episode. Still not too sold on The Doctor’s morality, though haha; a couple of episodes ago she said that they can’t kill robots, but now she blows up millions, including a man, even though it wasn’t really necessary to do so? They also wrapped things up way too quickly for my liking and the green screen effects in the warehouse, as you mentioned, were even bad for Doctor Who standards haha. I’m looking forward to the next one tomorrow!

      1. Hopefully tonight’s one :). She really deserves a “Heaven Sent” type episode where we get to know her a lot better. I feel like the writers can do a lot of interesting things with her.

    1. I’ve enjoyed the show as a whole although it seems lighter and less intense compared to prior seasons. Having said that there are some very emotional episodes such as: Rosa and Demons in the Punjab. Jodie Whittaker is carrying the episodes positively enough but yet to stamp her individuality on the role as yet. I’d be interested to know your thoughts when you catch up with it.

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