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By BENEDICT C T JACKSON, author of a continuing series of DOCTOR WHO guides covering, so far, the William Hartnell, Jon Pertwee and Sylvester McCoy Years (See PROJECTS on this website), with an imminent guide on David Tennant’s tenure; all available on Amazon Kindle in book/ download form.

A new series of Doctor Who has arrived with Ncuti Gatwa comfortably gilding in as the Fifteenth Doctor, and what better ways to kick his travels off having The Doctor babysit super intelligent, talking babies and running away from a fairytale bogeyman.

On paper the episode’s premise is sound, making for a cutesy, cuddly, sometimes cringeworthy watch, and the series seems to be regenerating itself (literally), with many past references to eras long since passed. There are references to the butterfly effect (Martha asked the same question in The Shakespeare Code way back in 2007), and The Doctor, once again, according to the unseen and unwritten codes of conduct, must inform his companion (and viewers) that he is the last of the Time Lords. It’s down to Earth basics that have been witnessed, watched, and wrenched out time and time again; but the episode is not just a continuity laden tale, improvement are on the rise, but there’s still a long way to go.

Doctor Who is meant to be fun, straightforward, scary and above all family friendly. Space Babies nails everything on the head, but the baby overload, a lack of resolution, some redundant material, and a totally predictable plot twist withhold the episode reaching its fully potential. There’s also a lot of crying, snot and gross out baby humour to get through; but sit down, buckle the buggie seat belt, and be ready for a classic fairytale-esque narrative that at least tries to be creative. An improved chemistry between The Doctor and Ruby is also a welcomed hug of relief; how the show has missed the point of the companion in the past years; comedic personalities do not work, down-to-earth human characters work, and not some woke personality to please the ‘masses’.

On a side note, many critics and fans described the episode as ‘woke’, a fair assumption? Perhaps not. Dig a little deeper into the festering diaper of criticism the show has received, and something far more profound can be found. Lead actor Ncuti Gatwa is Rwandan by birth, and a comment about unwanted refugees is mentioned, a little coincidental perhaps; but a show that has the nerve to criticise and critique a matter which has been blown into a universal nonsensical problem certainly deserves the right to be heard. It’s not the first time Doctor Who has dabbled in such issues, and hopefully not the last. Russell T Davies, please return to your Doctor Who roots and all will be well.

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