The Ghost Monument
Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, Shaun Dooley, Susan Lynch, and Art Malik
Writer: Chris Chibnall
Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens, and Nikki Wilson
Composer: Segun Akinola
Director: Mark Tonderai
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.
The Doctor has screwed up, and now she and her new friends are stranded on a planet called Desolation, where everything seems to be out to kill them. After meeting up with two travelers named Epzo and Angstrom, they all agree to work together to make it to an object known as the Ghost monument. If they succeed, they get to go home, however, only one of the travelers may leave. Can they all make it before time runs out? And why is it not safe to travel at night?
This series of Doctor Who has been shaping up to be something really special, as last week’s episode demonstrated clearly. I’m very delighted to say that The Ghost Monument only strengthens that mold, and shows exactly why this new direction is so fascinating. Chris Chibnall continues to be stellar as the show runner, his greatest strengths catering to writing strong characters who have equally strong connections with one another. Mark Tonderai’s directing is also magnificent, as there are a few rotating shots done in one take, which are visually impressive, and fully immerse you into the situation
Jodie Whittaker continues to beautifully settle into her role as the Doctor, and what I’ve loved seeing in this episode is her taking command of a situation. With each new Doctor, I love seeing them getting thrust into a tight spot and needing to take charge of things, and Jodie here is no exception. We get to see more of her Doctor’s intellect and personality, and surprisingly, even some inner demons (which may or may not come back to haunt her). She continues to shine and prove herself, and I don’t see any signs of stopping for her.
The companions continue to shine as well, and while Yaz doesn’t get much development here, there’s lots of it for Graham and Ryan. Watching their relationship grow is incredibly moving and heartfelt, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. The side characters in this episode are phenomenal and well-developed as well. They’re funny, engaging, an never feel like dead weight, and in a Doctor Who story, what more could you ask for?
Overall, this episode is an incredibly fun, engaging, and heartfelt adventure for the new crew of Who. Most everyone gets the amount of shine they deserve, and there are definitely some good plot developments starting. I absolutely look forward to next week’s episode, and I can’t wait to see what Chibnall has in store for us for the rest of the series.
WARNING: I’m about to discuss the spoilers for The Ghost Monument, if you haven’t seen the episode, stop reading here!
I couldn’t finish this review without discussing two major things: the new titles and the new TARDIS interior. First off, the new titles and theme tune are absolutely beautiful, bringing back that ethereal and other-worldly atmosphere from the classic Doctor Who titles. Segun Akinola has reworked the classic version of the theme into something entirely new, and one I’ll definitely recognize as Thirteen’s theme tune.
As for the TARDIS interior, it is just gorgeous, as well as highly creative. The crystalline and hexagonal aesthetics work like a charm, and the color scheme definitely give me vibes of the Eighth Doctor’s interior, as well as the Ninth and Tenth Doctor’s. I can’t wait to see more of it, as well as what it can do, as this new era progresses. Chibnall and Whittaker have my attention locked down, and I can’t wait for the rest of the ride.