This isn’t so much a review as a collection of disorganised rambling thoughts. I can only assume Chris Chibnall would approve.

The current showrunner of Doctor Who appears to be incapable of structuring a story. The companions are once again shunted off into a side quest which is boring on its face (running away from Cybermen, hiding from Cybermen, mysteriously not being shot dead by Cybermen). The Doctor is completely passive throughout. Absurd plot elements such as a so-called “death particle” are introduced arbitrarily, their abilities never defined, and then they are written out when convenient.

The current showrunner of Doctor Who appears to be allergic to drama. If we absolutely have to disinter the foundations of the central character and make what was once so appealing – those lovely mysterious origins – so much more prosaic and dull, then could we not at least find some way to do it which has a bit more power to it than the Doctor being shown a slide show? And how does the Doctor escape from her confinement? She plays herself a clip compilation of old episodes of Doctor Who. Does she literally fanwank herself out of jail??

The current showrunner of Doctor Who has decided to have three companions and has forgotten why. I don’t think we even see Ryan back on Earth. Why should we bother? He’s a nothing character. A space where a person might be.

The current showrunner of Doctor Who is impervious to the dramatic possibilities of his own ideas. Committing, for whatever boneheaded reason to putting a piece of the Doctor’s DNA inside every Time Lord, he then continues to write a story in which there’s a piece of Time Lord in every Cyberman, but the implications of this are never addressed because let’s just blow them all up instead. Not by the Doctor though, ugh, yuck, violence. Let’s have someone else do it instead. Hurrah. I love happy endings. Never cowardly or cruel! Run away and have them all blown up by someone else. Look for a third way? Why bother?

And the stupidity mounts up and up and up. Two of the companions and some other people I couldn’t give a shit about are trapped on an impossibly vast Cyber battle cruiser. Some of the Cybermen have been activated to go and kill humans on the planet below. How many? Not sure. What about the rest? Never specified.

The humans have been detected by Cyber technology so they need to hide – and quick. Luckily, they come up with a plan to very slowly and laboriously dismantle the dormant Cybermen they happen to be standing next to. Hide all the (apparently odourless) body parts they’ve had to scoop out from the inside. Then climb inside the suits – what do you know, they’re all a perfect fit – and stand and wait for Ashad the hero Cyberman to do his rounds. On the countless floors of this enormous ship, WHICH HAS SENSORS TO DETECT HUMANS, he finally wanders into the bit where the humans actually are, potters around a bit sniffing the Cybermen and then just leaves. Phew. Now our plucky humans can escape to the planet’s surface. Not before, that would have been silly. How do they get there? Never specified.

This, for one reviewer, was the highlight of the episode.

And I could go on, and on, and on. Try as I might, I can’t bring myself to care about the Doctor’s previous lives. Clearly the interesting version of the Doctor is the one who decided to steal a TARDIS and go on the run. Previous versions apparently just obediently did what they were programmed to do by a higher power – you know the way The Doctor never would. In fact, the insight which allows the Whittaker Doctor to get her shit together and dive back into the fray (for all the good that does) is that her past doesn’t define her. How can it? Her memory of being all those other incarnations has been wiped. So, it hasn’t changed her at all, then? And all that build up was for… nothing, I guess. Why should we care? Why should she care? Why should anyone care about all this bullshit?

It hasn’t “broken the show”, because it’s all just demented fan theory nonsense that doesn’t mean anything either while it’s on, or for the future of the programme, or its past. But I guess at least we know where Chris Chibnall stands on the Morbius Faces Debate now. Next year – the UNIT DATING REVELATION THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING. “Doctor, every calendar you thought you knew, was a lie.” Etc, etc. Continued on page 94.

And I’m sorry Sasha, but I’m really bored of this performance now. Third time out, there’s no gas left in the tank. While Michelle Gomez’s Missy revealed layer after layer in writing and performance, this time around, the actor repeats the same pop-eyed ranting and the writer just turns the character into his own personal avatar. “You miserable fans! Quake in fear as I threaten the very nature of your realities! Ha ha ha!” He’s so keen to make the Master the hero of the story (he does have agency after all, which is more than can be said for any other character) that he has him in two places at once. Heaven forbid that the Doctor should be allowed to investigate her own back-story.

And like all good writers, with two charismatic mega-villains, facing off against each other, he just unceremoniously writes one out in a flat second when he’s run out of ideas. Ashad, the paranoid Cyberman, brilliantly played by Patrick O’Kane, reduced to a magic mega bomb to end the story with.

It’s all so stupid and pointless, that it’s barely worthwhile trying to summon up the energy to point out all the plot holes. How did the Master find Gallifrey? Never explained. How did he manage to get past their defences and kill everyone? Never explained. How does this enable him to discover the Doctor’s boring origin story? Never explained. Why are portions of Gallifrey’s darkest secret which must never be revealed to anyone because… reasons… redacted and others not? Never explained. Why is Ruth Martin swanning around as the Doctor when Brendan has no idea who he is? Never explained. Why is Brendan’s magic power to survive death by shooting and falling unscathed, when the whole point of this stupid backstory is that what makes Time Lords special is regeneration? Why did they call themselves Time Lords when they gave themselves regeneration not Time Travel? If there are countless previous incarnations of the Doctor running around the Universe, why have our Doctor and them never crossed paths before? Why does Ko Sharmus even have a bomb which can only be detonated manually? Who would make such a thing? Who would buy it? Why is the TARDIS suddenly so vulnerable to incursion? How can the Judoon suddenly identify their quarry on sight? Are we meant to be pleased that the current showrunner remembers how funny it was when an earlier showrunner had the Doctor repeatedly say “What?” during an end-of-season cliffhanger?

This is not so much a story, it’s a mad Whovian ranting his idiotic fan fiction in your face for an hour.

And that’s who’s running Doctor Who now.

Jesus suffering Christ.

Anyway, I hear Star Trek: Picard is good.

So, what did I think... oh for fuck's sake, I can't even...
Doctor Who Series 12 Overview