Spent the afternoon finishing up Whittaker's first season. Well, at least the main season as I have to wait until the library opens tomorrow before I can grab my requested copy of Resolution.
Kerblam! - This is such a fun episode. It may not be as deep as Demons, but I love that it mocks the joke that is Amazon and how little companies care about actual people as employees. Unfortunately, the resolution to the plot kind of falls apart when it is revealed to have been masterminded a man-child.
The Witchfinders - This one started off quite interesting, but it too dropped the ball in the end as the whole thing collapses when the Witchfinder "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" is turned into a mud monster. Alan Cummings was great as James though I highly doubt he was anywhere near remotely accurate to that dbag. I did love the Doctor complaining about how no one would be questioning her had she remained a man. Too bad we didn't get more of that throughout the entire season.
It Takes You Away - I enjoyed this one a lot more than I did the first time, as it does have some legitimate moments of suspense. I also gotta love the bit when Graham pulls out a sandwhich from his coat and explains why he now carries one around at all times. The fake universe was an enticing concept until it turned into a frog because then all I wanted to hear it say was either "Bud-wei-ser" or "This is the stairway to heaven." The father was a bum though. I get lamenting the death of your wife, but ditching your blind daughter to live in an alternate world. Such bullshit! Oh, but most importantly, why did NO ONE flinch when the Doctor mentioned there was going to be a war with sheep?
I want to know more about that story.
The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos - Oh god, Tim Shaw the Tooth Fairy is back. Not only that, but this has got to be hands down the worst season finale in the entire modern run. It was just a basic run of the mill episode that had no ties to anything else that occurred throughout the rest of the season outside of the premier. It didn't feel like a finale at all. I can't say I'm surprised since Chibnall has no idea how to write an ending for jack squatt, but still, a season finale is supposed to feel epic and grandiose. I'm not saying the Earth needs to be in peril, but I should feel like the entire season mattered. However, it didn't. Why not have all of the villains who just got carted away team up? Have the dude who was funding the race from Ghost Monument gather Tim Shaw, the white supremacist dude from Rosa, the mud monsters, and a pissed off relative of the janitor from Kerblam! all to exact vengeance on the Doctor for ruining their lives/plans? That would have been way better than this piitful excuse that had no payoff for the entire season whatsoever. Of course, it also doesn't help that this finale was so rushed. It should have been a 2 parter.
Speaking of which, this season lacked that entirely. It was one of the biggest downfalls to Smith's final season, and it also effected this one. Then again, at least Smith's final season had some sort of continuously plot going on. This might as well just have been deemed The Specials Season 2 with how unrelated everything was.
And then there was the lack of character development for the companions not named Yaz. There were some moments between Graham and Ryan, but nothing remotely deep.
Fortunately, I will say I did enjoy this season a lot more than I did the first time, so that's a plus (the lack of commercials helped). Whittaker did a great job with what she had to work with and I hope they finally figure out what to do with her in the next season. There were a lot of good ideas implanted, but several of them were either poorly executed or just left underdeveloped. Some other things I want to see in the next season include Jack Harkness and Vastra returning (imagine Jenny getting jealous of the Doctor now being a woman), some competent villains that actually have a conclusion to their plots, better development for Graham and Ryan and more development for Yaz, and a finale that feels like the viewer is being rewarded for watching the entire season.
I know I haven't watched Resolution yet (does it count as S11 or S12?), but my rankings for the 10 episodes are as follows:
1. Demons of the Punjab
4. The Ghost Monument
5. It Takes You Away
6. The Witchfinders
7. The Woman Who Fell to Earth
8. The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos
9. Arachnids in the UK
10. The Tsuranga Conundrum