Take your dog for a walk

The following contains spoilers for “Empire of Death.”

Empire of the Dead is a typical Russell T. Davies series finale: It’s bombastic, intense, and completely uninterested in resolving its own story. The episode bounces around in due time and climaxes with an arresting visual of the little substance. Because what Davies is indeed The scenes after that and the very brief moment where Ruby Sunday drinks coffee are interesting.

Bad Wolf / BBC Studios

at the end”ruby legend sunday,” The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and (classic series co-star) Mel (Bonnie Langford) face Sutekin’s minion (Susan Twist). Sutex starts spewing the dust of death, and whoever the dust cloud touches turns into a pile of dust themselves. The Doctor and Mel top a cloud on Mel’s scooter in an action sequence that feels like it ate up most of the episode’s budget.

The pair return to UNIT HQ to reunite with Ruby in the time window. Sutex’s dog form still holds the TARDIS as a prized possession and destroys the rest of the UNION staff, including Kate (Gemma Redgrave), Rose (Yasmin Finney) and Morris (Lenny Rush). (Three deaths you just know it won’t last more than half an hour.)

Sutex explains to the Doctor that he was attached to the TARDIS (at some point) and followed the Doctor every step of his journey. On every planet the Doctor landed on, he planted a Susan Twist character there, each one reaching out to both set a trap for the Doctor and sprinkle Sutech’s killing dust. And he used the TARDIS’s perception filter to hide what he was doing. Did you know that the filter works at a distance?

The Doctor, Ruby and Mel put it in the memory window TARDIS, which turns out to be the Memory TARDIS (just a regular TARDIS). It was a small, bejeweled set from the 60th Anniversary frame series , where classic series actors introduce classic series episodes to new viewers. During the flight, the trio see what Sutex has done to the universe, making it cold and empty, giving Ncuti Gatwa a chance to scream her frustration into the literal void.

Discovering the identity of Ruby Sunday’s mother is crucial now, especially given Sutex’s interest in the answer. The trio takes the Memory TARDIS on a final journey into a dystopian future, as pictured. This is where the evil Prime Minister Roger ap Gwillam introduced compulsory DNA testing to ensure that the UK was a racially pure nation. (Yes, a little good.) But it would also give the Doctor a chance to determine who Ruby’s mother was from the notes.

After the information appears on the screen, they are all taken back to UNIT HQ in 2024 by an equally curious Sutek. Sutekh uses her powers to knock the Doctor down and threatens his life unless Ruby shares the information contained in the gizmo she’s holding. But as he approaches the dog, he breaks the screen with the information on it and ties a clever piece of string around Sutex’s collar to trap him.

The Doctor then whistles for the TARDIS to return to him, where he and Ruby clip the other end of the lead to the console and dematerialize. They then take this giant, evil alien dog for a ride through the time vortex, which brings everyone back to life. Try not to think too much about it and enjoy the compelling image of the TARDIS dragging a giant evil dog through beautiful CGI.

Then there’s some talk about the Doctor being an assassin to stop Sutex from being killed. He throws Sutekh into the vortex. I’m not sure why it’s more successful now considering it did it last time, but like I said, the sequence was never the focus of the episode.

At UNIT HQ, with everyone revived and eating pizza, they manage to track down Ruby’s mother. She got pregnant at 15 and gave her daughter away to escape the reprisals of some evil stepfather who might harm the child. However, she never tried to track down her daughter after that, nor did she even tell the child’s father that she had a baby. As for why Sutex is interested in Ruby’s mother, the Doctor says that’s why people invested time and emotion in him. It’s like Davies insulting the audience for focusing on the questions he himself included in the series for this purpose.

While I can see what Davies is trying to say, it’s not like he’s playing fair here – with a neon sign telling Ruby he’s important. We don’t know why he can bend reality to his will or make it snow every time he thinks about being abandoned. We’re obsessed with this question, not because we impose meaning on meaningless things, but because the show and its characters impose meaning on them.

The Doctor and Ruby stop outside a coffee shop where Ruby’s mother is sitting, drinking and looking at her phone. The doctor suggests that his mother is not interested in making a connection because she never cared enough to look for him. But Ruby is undeterred and walks in, orders a coffee and sits down on the big bench in front of her mother so she looks up when the waiter calls her name.

From there we see that Sundays are ripe. But despite all the wonders of the universe the Doctor wants to see, this seemingly joyous meeting is not one of them, choosing to leave Ruby there. He says that they will meet again, but considering that he left his grandson, he will forget all about her.

And so the TARDIS departs for pastures new.

Bad Wolf / BBC Studios

I don’t think Empire of the Dead paid off the previous episodes with any degree of satisfaction, but I never expected it to. Davies’ modus operandi is to ignore storytelling mechanics and brief moments that touch on character drama in favor of vibes. All the giant dog in space is weightless compared to the scene where Ruby sits in front of her mother. It’s ironic that we should have left it all out there — the anticipation of whether or not he’ll talk would have been a better use of the show’s time than most of what happened last week.

But the ending made me wonder who in this world gets the privilege of a happy ending. Davis nearly died of a drug overdose in the mid-90s, and then lost her partner to a brain tumor in 2018. He is a cynical, nihilistic writer who feels that humanity has only escaped the worst forms of fascism once or twice. Still, it’s rare for him to play a minor note at the end of an episode Doctor Who.

No companion leaves the Doctor without a parting gift big enough to soothe the pain of parting. In fact, on two separate occasions, a fellow gets his own personal clone of David Tennant. Here, does Ruby get a happy ending by reuniting with her mother, or does she become the most forgiving mother? He never looked for his daughter, never tried to heal the brokenness, but here she was welcomed with love.

In fact, this episode raises a lot of questions for me, including whether it’s okay for people who leave you to live their lives with the comfort of moving on. And what about the weird twist where the Doctor kills Sutex but allows his resurrection wave to revive planets full of evil beings? After all, Telos, one of the Cybermen’s hangouts, is checked out as a saved location. Maybe it’s better to remember that sometimes you need to turn off your brain and just feel Doctor Who. We will meet privately on the holiday.

Mrs. Flood Corner

Dressed as a glam rock Mary Poppins, Mrs. Flood breaks the fourth wall at the end of the episode and leaves Sutek. He tells the audience that the end of the Doctor is near and he’s happy with the idea, adding to the idea that he’s playing a long-running villain. The obvious guesses — given that Mrs. Flood is played by a woman — would be a future incarnation of Missy or Rani. ok?

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *