VIE-CAP: The Ghost Monument

Having survived their encounter with Tzim’Sha – contender for leader of the alien Stenza race – in last week’s series opening episode, the intrepid quartet find themselves suspended in space until they are scooped up in pairs by Angstrom and Epzo, contestants in what has the potential to be a galactic, malevolent, fight to the pain version of The Amazing Race. But this Doctor will have none of that. We’re stronger together, she stresses. I will get all of you off of this planet.

The Doctor deduces, correctly, that the end point of the game – the ghost monument of the episode’s title – will be her TARDIS. Getting there, however, remains no easy feat. Graham and Ryan still can’t come to terms with each other, let alone their shared loss. The new sonic screwdriver does most of the legwork, and if it keeps on going like that it may as well have its own mention in the credits. We have holograms, and floaty fabric-like things that aim to suffocate the unwary that have some sort of connection with – ta da! – the Stenza! I had rather been hoping to never see Tzim’Sha or his like in future episodes, but we can’t have everything, can we?

Nothing on this hostile planet is safe to touch or consume. I’ve often wondered what the Doctor and companion(s) do for food, but if you’ve kept up with the online outtakes from the episode, you already know that all they need to do is wait for the TARDIS to offer custard creams from a dispenser.

As for the regenerated TARDIS, Thirteen breaks with her previous incarnations when she takes in its new interior and exclaims how much she likes it. I was quite fond of Twelve’s TARDIS interior, personally, with its walls of books and a built-in liquor cabinet, but perhaps I ought to spend more time looking at hers before making a final judgment.

Next week: Re-righting her story: Rosa Parks, in the Montgomery, Alabama of 1955.

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