Synopsis and Context
The Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and friends will kick-start 2022 with an action-packed spectacular episode set to air on BBC One on New Year’s Day.
The festive special will feature guest stars Aisling Bea (This Way Up, Living With Yourself, Quiz), Adjani Salmon (Dreaming Whilst Black, Enterprice) and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted, Shameless).
Sarah (Aisling Bea) owns and runs ELF storage, and Nick (Adjani Salmon) is a customer who visits his unit every year on New Year’s Eve. This year, however, their night turns out to be a little different than planned…
The festive episode is the first of three Doctor Who Specials airing in 2022. The second Special airs in Spring and Jodie’s final feature-length Special (in where the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate), will transmit in Autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.
Unusually, I didn’t go into this one with an optimistic air. Why? The very disappointing finalé of Flux back in December led me to believe this one was going to be a bit of a dud too! With only two further ‘Specials’ to air before both Jodie Whittaker and Showrunner, Chris Chibnall ‘move on’, the clock is ticking for a satisfactory end to their tenure.
Given that the Daleks have pretty much been ‘done to death’ over the years, I’m also not sure there’s much left to tell! But wait! Take a closer look at the photo above (nerd alert!) and note the slightly different look to its armaments…
…Apparently, this is an ‘Executioner Dalek’. Guess what their specialism is?? 🙄
Off we go…
7pm! It’s an hour-long episode tonight! – that’s longer than usual. Hope it’s a good use of the extra time! 👍
Loved the premise: a sort of ‘Groundhog Day‘ but with a twist. So, what was it like? First up, it was a semi-humourous tale (not usually my favourite narrative style, but it worked well in tonight’s episode). We had a reference to a previous – very recent – past episode which will have placated a few die-hard fans!
For once, unlike previous outings, there was the right character count – giving each a significant input into the overall narrative. Triumphal announcement around 44 minutes in closely followed by a mushy-equivalent two minutes later! Not sure the latter will go down well with some fans! – let’s see what’s said online tomorrow! 😯
Boring or what? Not a bit of it!! The episode was chock-a-block full of tense moments and even by the final act, it all looked a bit hopeless for our heroes. It kept my attention right up to the credits!
My worry about just another Dalek story was unwarranted – and what they lacked in sheer numbers, was made up for in their context.
JW’s interpretation of the role has never, in my view, been something I warmed to… except for tonight, where I felt she had finally nailed it! 😀 Finally!!!
If I have one criticism, it was that the solution was all wrapped up a bit too quickly and conveniently for me – but that seems to have become a trademark of the Chris Chibnall era.
In closing, I’d say it was one of those rare Who episodes that probably worked for Who die-hards, casual viewers and even those who stumbled across this episode by mistake!
Go watch! (even if it’s only to find out why it’s called “ELF Storage”)? 😯😯
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