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THE DEVIL’S CHORD: FOUR DUD BEATLES AND A MUSIC (UN) MAESTRO -Benedict’s take

If there’s one thing Doctor Who isn’t, it’s a musical.


‘The Devil’s Chord’ mixes together an over-the-top music number and dance sequence, a crescendo of extravagant visuals, a rootless voicing style of a plot, and an operatic-esque type of villain who has neither the tempo to be taken seriously, nor the harmony to be at all interesting. With four imitation style casting choices for The Beatles, who hardly appear, The Devil’s Chord fails to deliver the punch that was so immensely promised; but there are some shining glimmers of harmony, under the discordant scales.


The episode is fun, the show is really getting back to basics, and the two leads love being with each other. Hopefully, viewers will also enjoy the ascending bond that both characters develop for each other. But the story is clunky, and at times atonal and voiceless. Just why is music so important to human survival? The scale of the concept is striking the right chords, but the episode descends into a series of flat notes when trying to answer this question.

The episode recalls the famous ‘Pyramids of Mars’ where Ruby gazes upon the Earth as a pile of rubble, obliterated, and ‘The Devil’s Chord’ should prove stimulating (and perhaps informative) for new fans, and reassuring for old fans who will appreciate the references to Doctor Who history and to see the Doctor and his companion return to his humble, and sometimes pushing-the-boundaries roots.


Definitely a good thing is the lack of filler content, and the episode sets up the series on a string of notes that could eventually ascend to a promising and worthwhile final act.

‘The Devil’s Chord’ is no smash hit instalment, but it is fun, and at times clever. For me though the final cadence of the episode is best forgotten.

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