Fugitive of the Judoon
Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, Neil Strike, Rita Arya, Paul Kasey, Michael Begley, and Jo Martin
Writers: Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall
Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens, Radford Neville, and Nikki Wilson
Composer: Segun Akinola
Director: Nida Manzoor
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.
Ruth and Lee Clayton are a married couple trying to get by in Gloucester, getting ready to celebrate the former’s birthday. However, quite unexpectedly, the fearsome police-for-hire, the Judoon, have reigned terror on the town, in pursuit of a fugitive. As the Doctor and her friends come to intervene and stop the space rhinos from causing any more harm, a staggering series of questions begins to overtake all of them, with even more shocking answers. Meanwhile, someone is in a desperate search for the Doctor, with a dire warning of things to come. Who is the true fugitive of the Judoon, and who hired the brutal police force in the first place? And who exactly is looking for the Doctor?
Now that we’re at the half-way point, I can safely say that Series 12 has been a massive overall improvement over Series 11. While one episode in particular was sort of half-baked, the majority of what we’ve seen so far has been outright brilliant, and has shaped up this era as being one of the most intriguing and risky to date. I do tend to over exaggerate a tiny bit after my first reactions, and I’m doing my best to contain myself, but I don’t think I can. Tonight’s episode is not only one of the best of Whittaker’s run, but one of the most important, shell-shocking, and game-changing episodes of the entire show. The sentiment from the Master is definitely true, as everything we think we know might very well be a lie.
Jodie Whittaker continues to outdo herself, week after week, peeling back more and more of the Doctor’s layers. Something I desperately wanted to see more of last series was her darker side coming out, and while I definitely understood why they didn’t show it much, it was an itch I definitely wanted scratched. So far, Series 12 has given me just that, and this episode is no exception whatsoever. We get to see her put in more than a few tough spots, and venting her frustrations towards her companions. It’s created this new air of tension between the TARDIS Team, and one thing’s for certain, it’s only gonna escalate before the end of this series.
The companions, while not as pivotal to the main plot as they were last week, have definitely gained a considerable amount of development. While I can’t say much in terms of what they do or where they go in this story, they all definitely gain some more insight into exactly who the Doctor is, and I can’t wait to see where that all leads. The side characters as well were absolutely brilliant for the most part, with one in particular standing out amongst the rest, for reasons I can’t say. All I’ll mention is that through them, something truly jaw-dropping and mind-blowing is presented into this universe, and while I don’t want to get ahead of myself in terms of what the explanation is, I’m having a lot of fun guessing and theorizing as to where they fit in this jigsaw puzzle of a franchise.
Seeing the Judoon finally return to the forefront after so long was more than exciting to see, and I’m so happy they finally feel threatening once again as adversaries to the Doctor. Patel and Chibnall weaved them into this story beautifully, and I’m definitely wondering when they’re gonna pop up next. This episode’s story is so enriching and well-paced, with the two writers using their strengths in order to craft something truly exciting. They kicked this series’ plot into full-force, and I’m genuinely excited to see where it all leads. While many people will more than likely be confused, or even angered by some creative choices, the game has been changed forever, and Chibnall shows no signs of stopping in bending and breaking the rules.
Overall, this half-way point for Series 12 has elevated the era in a way none of us could’ve imagined. Every character is being tested in some way or another, and the crossroads they’re heading towards is starting to appear over the horizon. With this episode being beautifully directed by Manzoor, and bombastically scored by Akinola, I can definitely say that without a doubt, this is going to be one for the ages. Hopefully, with enough focus and direction, the momentum can carry through the rest of this series, and give this arc a satisfying conclusion.