Thoughts on Doctor Who: Arachnids in the UK

Warning: Contains spoilers, and elements not suitable for those with arachnophobia. Like, well… me. DAMMIT, DOCTOR WHO!

As is my usual style, I don’t want spoilers for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the episode, so I’ll put in a little spoiler space. In the interests of staying thematically appropriate for jump scares…

  • That was… uncomfortable watching. I was curious to see how they’d follow up last week’s excellent Rosa, and the concept of Spiders had me thinking all sorts of thoughts, mostly around the classic Planet of the Spiders.
  • Watching Bluey on ABC HD right before Doctor Who is downright weird. OK, maybe that’s a very specific, ABC only problem, but still… watching a small blue dog pretend to repair an imaginary car is quite out there. Possibly even a good antidote to the fact that I want to hide UNDER the sofa right now. Except that there are probably spiders under there.
  • Still loving that theme tune and intro. I hope it’s not just me.
  • Having said that, I’m not a big fan of that new time vortex. Too disco.
  • Jodie’s energetic performance is engaging, but at times it almost shifts into, well… this guy:
  • Having been concerned about the 3 companions setup, this week’s episode did even more to create actual living, breathing characters, especially for Graham, whose journey of grief is being very delicately handled. I don’t have any other frame of reference for Bradley Walsh, but he’s doing good work here.
  • I can’t be the only Australian who saw the spiders and thought “Oh, that’s just a huntsman”… can I? (Yes, I’m still creeped out by them, but still)
  • The inclusion of Chris Noth didn’t do that much for me, what with the total zero care I have for Sex & The City, but I get that he’s a “name”. I was a bit surprised that The Doctor didn’t go all Harriet Jones on him to scupper his US presidential bid. All that pantomime villain work… and he gets away with it? I did rather like the “you’re that bloke” bit, though.
  • I was wrong. This wasn’t Planet of the Spiders. It was in fact The Green Death
  • Also, EDF, EDF!
  • Spiders are into Grime. That I did not quite see coming. Somehow, it worked without feeling too silly.
  • Lovely showing of the Doctor’s compassionate approach. But I still hate spiders.
  • GO AWAY WITH YOUR DAMNED ROVE MCMANUS INTRUSIONS ABC!
  • (it was at least quick this week)

Next week: The Tsuranga Conundrum. Anyone else thinking “Leela from Futurama”? Just me?

2 thought on “Thoughts on Doctor Who: Arachnids in the UK”

  1. Katie Powell

    Agree with the parallels with The Green Death, with a link to Planet of the Spiders. The third Doctor goes to Metebelis to get the blue stone during The Green Death serial if I recall correctly. The blue stone is the Doctor’s engagement/wedding gift to Jo. Skip to Planet of the Spiders, when the blue stone is returned to the Doctor, who faces large spiders angry about the removal of the stone.
    I’m loving Jodie’s Doctor and the continued aspect of social awkwardness seen in other Doctors.
    Graham is my favourite of the companions at the moment. His description of dealing with grief rings so true.
    As for Chris Noth, I watched him in the early episodes of The Good Wife, more than I saw him in any season of Sex & The City. He was an ambitious politician in The Good Wife as well.
    I’m waiting for the inevitable comment on the forums about this being an episode typical of `lefty’ BBC, for bleeding-heart liberals. Yes, yes it is and I’m fine with that.

    Reply
  2. Jez

    Yes, as an Australian (well, passport, Lamington and native bush acquired), I was indeed thinking that I’ve had bigger spiders crawl onto my head while driving around Sydney. And not being spider-phobic, unalarmed at all by any of it. Felt like a non-episode; my favourite bit was the presumed Sex Pistols reference in the title. (Only after some time did I relate the episode title Rosa to E01 ‘Rose’. I’m so slow.) Green Death, yes I suppose, but no Afghan coat and high boots? The times they…
    Enjoying your analyses. Haven’t yet experienced Bluey as I can’t wait till broadcast time and slam on the iView soon as I get through the door on Monday. If I squint a bit, it looks quite HD.

    Reply

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