REVIEW: Doctor Who S11E2 – The Ghost Monument

Doctor Who S11E2 is called “The Ghost Monument” and picks up immediately where the premiere left off. Despite initial suspicions, our crew isn’t stranded in space for long. They’re picked up and accidentally separated by two aliens who happen to be the finalists for a space race!

THE THEME SONG

We didn’t get a chance to see the full version of the opening sequence in the first episode but we do here.

THE RALLY RACE

The Rally was created by a hologram (as far as we know) named Ilin (Art Malik). 4,000 entered. Only 2 are left. They meet him in a tent after both spaceships crash on an alien planet called Desolation. Their goal was to cross 97 planets and get through 209 terrains. They start off with nothing and have to barter for anything they need thereafter. It’s the ultimate test of survival.

The prize transport off the planet and 3.2 Trillion Krin. We don’t get a currency conversion to the British pound, but it’s enough to know that whoever wins will be secured for a while. Epzo (Shaun Dooley) and Angstrom (Susan Lynch) end up being the two finalists.

For the last challenge, they have to make their way to the site of the ghost monument. They have one full solar rotation and one single means of transport to get them across the water. But they have to hurry because the ghost monument only appears every thousand rotations.

THE NEW CHARACTERS

Angstrom: Angstrom is from the planet Albar and picks up Ryan and Graham as her “bonuses.” The Stenza (you read the name right) are systematically cleansing her planet so her family has been separated. She entered the race so she could use the prize money to help rescue and bring them back together. Like Graham, the Stenza killed her significant other too.

Epzo: Epzo is the pilot of the Cerebos and a Muxteran. He picks up the Doctor and Yaz as his “bonuses.” When he was four, his mother told him to climb a tree very high up. She convinced him that she would catch him after he jumped, but moved out of the way as he landed and told him not to trust others afterward. He’s been out for himself ever since. He’s miserable, bitter, and selfish at first, but he compromises.

Ilin: Ilin started the Rally. He’s the one who sets the rules. He warns the contestants not to travel night and disappears after the challenge begins. We don’t see him again until the end of the episode. He stays a hologram the entire time we interact with him.

We’re also introduced to Sniperbots, Robert Guards, and other tools of death on the planet.

A BRAND NEW TARDIS

The Doctor is finally reunited with the TARDIS in this episode! Here’s the latest incarnation.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I love how self-aware, honest, caring, and understanding 13 is. She knows that this is Graham, Ryan, and Yaz’s first time on an alien planet so she makes sure that they know what’s going on (to the best of her ability). Her instructions are clear and simple. They’re not intimidated by her and work together as a team. She’ll also honor previous doctors by saying things like, “At least I have been historically.”

One of my favorite things about this trio is that they look after each other. It’s nice to have that support when you’re in unfamiliar territory. Hopefully Graham and Ryan will get along eventually. Ryan and Yaz’s platonic friendship is precious and needs to be protected.

Doctor Who S11E3 “Rosa” will air on Sunday, October 21, 2018.

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