Doctor Who – New Year’s Day Special 2019: “Resolution”

  • Following our expository introduction, we open in the middle of a ‘romantic comedy’ moment between Lin and Mitch, which makes it pretty obvious that something bad’s about to happen to one or both of them. At least they’re both still alive by the end of the episode, which is more than I expected.
  • That’s a nice little shot of Team TARDIS all watching the cosmic fireworks together.
  • So Sheffield has replaced London and Cardiff as the centre of weird activity in Britain now?
  • Lin, the presumably well-educated archaeologist, upon seeing a horrifying squid-like creature on a wall in a sewer, decides to go right up to it and touch it. Okay.
  • Yep, Chris Chibnall brings back the Daleks for this New Year’s special – and after a whole season of no classic Doctor Who monsters whatsoever, it actually feels quite nice to see them again. Maybe they should continue to use the classic monsters sparingly for a few seasons.
  • The Dalek’s possession of Lin feels like a blatant rip-off of Venom (and it takes a hint from Terminator 2 as well by stealing a police car and uniform), but it still works pretty well; this Dalek is a competent enemy, has a little more personality than the average member of its kind, and puts poor Lin through a lot of torment.
  • The scenes with Ryan’s dad Aaron are interesting in their own way, as we learn a little more about both Ryan and Graham, and Aaron tries to explain away his actions without really defending them. On the other hand, these scenes feel out of place as they contrast too much with everything else that’s going on.
  • I think one slight issue with Team TARDIS is that while Graham, Ryan and Yasmin work well with each other and the Doctor, they don’t have specialised roles – they all just apply themselves to whatever is required, which makes them a bit interchangeable when the action kicks off.
  • Apparently UNIT has been suspended due to “financial disputes” and “funding withdrawal by international partners“. In other words, it’s been killed by Brexit. In fact, I was surprised that none of the characters went so far as to use the B-word. As much as I sympathise, this is the sort of reference to an agenda that I can understand people complaining about – something that’s just a little too pointed. The same goes for the completely random scene later on, when a family reacts with horror at the thought of having a conversation when their Wi-Fi and Netflix go down.
  • I quite like the junkyard Dalek’s look. As new Dalek designs go, it’s certainly much better than Moffat’s colour-coded ones.
  • And so the Dalek is defeated, first by some manhandling reminscent of the classic series, and then by the power of love!
  • The Doctor will return” – yeah, in over a year’s time. How come they could make a 13-episode series every year in the Russell T Davies era, but apparently that’s too much for the BBC now?

I really enjoyed this special; as much as I enjoyed Series 11 and how its style differed from the Davies and Moffat eras, it was still nice to get a simple, exciting adventure with a classic monster again. Rating: 4/5.

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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 https://velociraptor256.wordpress.com, and a blog focussed on nature at http://richardsnatureblog.wordpress.com.
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3 Responses to Doctor Who – New Year’s Day Special 2019: “Resolution”

  1. Burrunjor says:

    I saw this one and I didn’t like it. It didn’t even feel like a Dalek story. A Dalek possessing someone so for most of the episode its just a human shooting people?, A Dalek laughing? Also the junkyard Dalek looked awful.

    Jodie isn’t up to it acting wise IMO. Leaving aside all of the ridiculous SJW nonsense, she’s a charisma vaccum whose idea of quirky is to pull silly faces.

    Also yes killing off UNIT for the sake of a cheap stab at BREXIT was utterly unforgivable. WTF what about Kate and Osgood? What about the Zygon peace treaty? Also what about Torchwood? Is Jack not available.

    I’m done with New Who for good now.

    Like

  2. “Oh, you’re good, Ryan’s dad. You’re almost making up for your parenting deficit”. Never change, Doctor. 🙂

    This was a fun capper to the season, and in several ways it was more entertaining than the actual finale (let’s be honest, the Daleks, as overused as they can be, are way more interesting than Tim Shaw). Thirteen and her friends continue to grow on me more and more with each episode and it was nice to see their group dynamics at work in this episode, like Graham getting salty with the Doctor for leaving him behind, or the Doctor being frostier than usual towards Ryan’s father on Ryan’s behalf, or the team splitting up tasks between them to cover as much as ground as possible. Chris Chibnall promised there would be no returning monsters this season and he sneakily managed to keep that promised while also be a tad dishonest – it all depends on whether you consider the specials to count as part of their respective seasons. In any case, it felt good to have a character study of the Daleks again since the last one was way back in Series 8 (“The Magician’s Apprentice” was more of a Davros episode).

    With that much having been said, this special kind of cemented it for me that Yaz was one person in the TARDIS too many this season. The Doctor is the Doctor, she does clever things, leads the group and solves problems. Ryan and Graham have been given nearly all the character drama this season involving Grace’s death and Ryan’s issues with father figures. But what about Yaz? She’s given two traits early on – her frustration with her career and her frustration with her family – and both of them are dropped mid-season after “The Demons Of Punab”. She has no personal stakes at all in the season finale and the holiday special, and for most of this season, she’s basically just been there for emotional support. I doubt anyone wants Yaz to be the third wheel, but she’s so far behind the other leads when it comes to character development, it’s not even funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it too. I definitely agree about Yaz, though – she can’t help but feel set apart from Ryan and Graham as they’re the ones who have a significant pre-existing relationship, and if anyone gets stuck without much to do in an episode, it’s usually her. Hopefully they can work on this in the next season.

      Liked by 1 person

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