Summary: Can the Doctor even with the help of the Ghost foil this years Christmas invasion?
Plot: 25 years ago the Doctor accidentally gives a young kid superpowers. decades later while investigating Harmony Sholes a mysterious hero known as the Ghost saves him Nardole and a reporter Lucy Fletcher saves them. Will the doctor be able to not only unravel the mystery of the stealth invasion by Harmony Sholes and solve the personal problems of the now grown up Grant behind the cape?
Writing: Moffat writes a spectacular semi sequel to the Husbands of River song bring back Nardole and throwing in elements of super hero movies in the past. He is best when he embraces the fun side of Doctor who and with this one he is really at his best. The inclusion of Nardole as a companion, one who after River Song finds the Doctor almost anti-climatic is a stroke of genius. The story is less about the invasion than about the relationships and that’s good but the fact that it watches like an old Douglas Adams episode is even better..
Acting: Matt Lucas’ Nardole is an excellent companion for the Doctor adding comedy & the advantages of someone not overawed by it all. (His disease gives him an alien vibe which also works to his advantage) Both Justin Chapwin as the Ghost and Charity Wakefield as Lucy do well. The villains played Adetomiwa Edun & Aleksandar Jovanovic are adequate but it’s Chapwin’s mix of Michael Keaton and Chris Reeve that does the trick. Also a shout out to young Logan Hoffman and Daniel Lorente as kid and teen Grant
Memorable Moments: But Lois Lane doesn’t , Sign of a pro, Naked Hell, I’m live, I ruled I love buttons , Ruled firmly but wisely, How come our side never gets plans like that?
Doctor Who Flashbacks: The 24 years , NYC time issues his fault, the open head villains
Oddities: I understand how River Song knew how to fly the Tardis but how did Nardole know it? Furthermore if those heads open up does that mean those brains open up too since that’s the spot where they reside? If there was a question of the Ghost being real why is he on TV pushing smoke detectors? Since the bad guys kept the brains of those they took over it’s logical that they can be re transplanted. Why is the Doctor not doing this?
Pet Peeves: If only Davros knew that all he needed to get the Doctor to talk was an annoying squeak toy
Given the angle of his fall how did the Doctor catch the ledge?
Young Grant: What are you doing?
The Doctor: [swing back and forth upside down in front of his 60th floor window] I was setting a trap.
Young Grant: A trap?
The Doctor: On your roof.
Young Grant: What happened?
The Doctor: I tried it out.
Young Grant: How?
The Doctor: Accidentally.
The Doctor: Why did they call him Spider-Man? Don’t they like him?
Young Grant: He was bitten by a radioactive spider, and guess what happened?
The Doctor: Radiation poisoning, I should think.
Young Grant: No, he got special powers.
The Doctor: What, vomiting, hair loss and death? Fat lot of use
The Doctor: [To Lucy who is eavesdropping on the bad guys inside the Harmony Sholes building who just noticed him behind her] It’s okay. I’m an intruder too. Yeah, I brought snacks. Mark of a pro. Keep listening.
The Doctor: (handing Jennifer over) You’re her nanny?
Grant: Yeah, her nanny. You got a problem with that?
The Doctor: No, no, it’s just, well, okay, so you are a superhero and a nanny?
Grant: Well, you’ve got to make a buck somehow. I mean, you don’t get paid for saving people.
Nardole: Oh, you don’t have to tell us. Here you go, nice and warm. And tasty: Ooo, elephant.
Grant: It’s fine. It’s a long-range baby-monitor. I can get back to this apartment quicker than most people can get to their kids’ bedrooms.
The Doctor: Grant, Grant, this is insane. Look, I’m me, the Doctor, and even I think this is insane.
The Doctor: You’re not looking at anyone. Are you shy now? Is that floor really interesting?
Teen Grant: I’m not shy. I just can’t stop it.
The Doctor: Can’t stop what?
Teen Grant: The X-Ray Vision
The Doctor: Oh.
Teen Grant: I’m in hell. Naked hell. I just can’t look at people.
The Doctor: It’s the gemstone, responding to…puberty.
Nardole: Oh, Tokyo branch.
The Doctor: Yep.
Nardole: A bit empty, isn’t it?
The Doctor: Yes, I created a distraction. I flooded downstairs with Pokémon.
Nardole: What’s plan B?
The Doctor: I have no idea, but it’s going to be a very big relief when I think of it.
Nardole: You are completely out of your mind!
The Doctor: How is that news to anyone?
Nardole: I know you miss her, but couldn’t you just write a poem?
Nardole: Her name was River Song. They were together for a while and they were very happy. And then she died, a long time ago, in a library.
Grant: Are you sure he’s going to be all right?
Nardole: Hmm. He’s the Doctor. He’s very brave and he’s very silly and I think, for a time, he’s going to be very sad. But I promise, in the end, he’ll be all right. I’ll make sure of it. Bye!
Final Verdict: 5 stars My type of story. Could have fit right into the Tom Baker era
Ranking of Season: 1st of 1
Being the only episode of the year make it easy but if it had been in last season I would have ranked it 2nd or 3rd at the absolute worst.
Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 4th Some might object to me ranking it so high but it has everything possible to appeal to me, A Tom Baker type script, comedy, no gratuitous killing of characters that we like, a clear hero and villain and a comic book motif. In short this is Doctor Who not only as it once was but as it should be. This is a children’s show that adults can enjoy instead of a children show pushing adult themes, more please.
1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
5th. The Girl who Died
6th. The Witch’s Familiar
7th. Hell Bent
8th. Mummy on the Orient Express
9th. Face the Raven
10th. Into the Dalek