Doctor Who – Series 11, Episode 5: “The Tsuranga Conundrum”

  • Thirteen has been a pretty friendly, cheerful and purely heroic Doctor thus far, but it’s good how this episode shows she’s still not perfect, with Astos pointing out how selfish she’s being for wanting to turn the hospital ship around.
  • Considering how feared it’s supposed to be, the Pting doesn’t exactly have a intimidating design. It would be quite cute and cuddly if it wasn’t trying to bite everything in sight. Maybe that’s the point, as the Doctor eventually deduces that it’s not malevolent, just hungry.
  • Good job of piling on the pressure: as if the indestructible alien destroying the ship isn’t bad enough, let’s throw a bomb in there too!
  • I wasn’t sure of the purposes of all the side characters at first, but there ends up being some sort of character arc and meaningful role in the story for everybody, even if it’s just an emotional one for Yoss the pregnant man.
  • As for the human members of Team TARDIS, I like how our knowledge of them is being built upon episode by episode. It’s good how the scene between Ryan and Yasmin, when Ryan explains about his mostly absent dad, ties into him calming Yoss’s fears about fatherhood later on.
  • I like the Doctor’s enthusiastic explanation of the antimatter drive (“the iPhone version of CERN”), and I also love this line from Graham on watching Call The Midwife: “While you’ve been mucking around on YouTube, I’ve been learning useful life skills!”
  • Next episode is set in India! This should be good.

We’re halfway through this series, and it’s been remarkably stable so far in terms of quality. Nothing spectacular, but every episode has been either good or very good, if a little preachy at times. This one was certainly better than most of the adventures confined to the samey environment of a space station. It has a lot to work with – from the main plot, to the quieter emotional scenes, to the large number of characters and their different arcs – but it all fits together very well without feeling jarring or swollen. Rating: 4/5.


About Richard Southworth

Hi, my name's Richard. I've been blogging since January 2014, and I like to talk about all sorts of things: book reviews, film reviews, writing, science, history, or sometimes just sharing miscellaneous thoughts. Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you! I have a main blog at, and a blog focussed on nature at
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2 Responses to Doctor Who – Series 11, Episode 5: “The Tsuranga Conundrum”

  1. P.J. says:

    This episode was basically fine, I thought. Nothing brilliant, but not bad either. I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode, though. It’ll be the first episode of the series not written or co-written by Chris Chibnall, so it should make for a welcome change.

    Liked by 1 person

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