Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, Lee Mack, Claudia Jessie, Leo Flanagan, Callum Dixon, and Julie Hesmondhalgh
Writer: Pete McTighe
Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens, and Nikki Wilson
Composer: Segun Akinola
Director: Jennifer Perrott
Doctor Who was created by Sydney Newman, and follows the adventures of the time-traveling alien known as the Doctor, along with their companions, as they explore and help the universe.
When the Doctor receives a package from massive space retailer “Kerblam!” reminding her of her past, she and her friends discover a message asking for help. Going undercover as employees, the team tries to look for answers inside the massive warehouse, with the questions piling up the further they explore. As more employees start to go missing, Team TARDIS finds itself staring down a massive conspiracy that could shake Kerblam! to its core. Who exactly is behind it? And what happened to all the missing employees?
If I were to pick one word to describe this episode, it would definitely have to be “bonkers,” and I mean that in the best way possible. Without a doubt, I have to say that Kerblam! is currently my favorite episode of Series 11 so far, and that’s definitely not easy to say. While episodes like Rosa and Demons of the Punjab have great and poignant resonance, it’s Kerblam! that took me to the edge of my wits and threw me for so many loops that I felt legitimately dizzy by the end of it.
Jodie Whittaker hits a dozen home runs again this week and showcases some of her best moments as the Doctor so far in this episode. I don’t want to make a judgment call for the future, but I can definitely see them planting seeds of her darker side, especially when she started telling off Maddox and Slade. I won’t be upset if I’m wrong, but I really hope I’m right, as I’d love to see her go dark at some point, which could really add a whole new layer to her dynamic with her friends.
Speaking of her friends, they all continue to be phenomenal this week as well, especially since each of them has had proper development up to this point. While this episode doesn’t particularly focus on any of them specifically, I think it’s safe to say that it shines a light on how they work together as a cohesive team with the Doctor, which is more than important to establish. If this is the cast we’re gonna have for the next three to five years, I will have absolutely no complaints whatsoever, as I love each and every one of them.
The side characters this episode especially surprised me, as I only expected maybe one or two of them to stand out. It’s not too often when the whole cast of an hour-long episode shines equally, so it’s definitely nice to see it happen here. They gave us enough to be invested in each of them, and that’s a huge testament to the writing quality of this episode. I really hope Pete McTighe will be able to write even more episodes for Series 12, because he made such a unique, thrilling, and surprising story in this episode, and I’d love to see if he had more where that came from.
If Rosa is a new classic in terms of drama, then Kerblam! is a new classic in terms of high-stakes adventure. Aside from one or two moments that fell a tiny bit flat, this episode was ingenious from start to finish, with a twist that is incredibly clever in hindsight. Everyone involved did a fantastic job, and I look forward to seeing what the last three episodes, as well as the New Year’s Day Special, have to bring to the TARDIS console!