Is it me, or do the Thirteenth Doctor’s holiday specials have really high body counts?
So, here I am, in the homestretch for this Doctor’s adventures (there’s only like seven or eight episodes left on HBO Max right now), and it’s time for another holiday special. Looks like New Year’s again. The Doctor is still in a Judoon prison, but not for long as Captain Jack Harkness got himself arrested just so he could bust the Doctor out with his own future tech. One trip to the TARDIS later, and it’s back to the fam. Yaz has been using the other TARDIS to look for clues, Ryan and Graham have worried about her, and the Doctor doesn’t realize right away that she was gone, their time, ten months.
Meanwhile, another Jack (Robertson) is working with a crooked government minster (soon to be Prime Minister) and a fairly innocent tech start-up guy to build these police drones based on this armor that appeared in the previous New Year. So, yes, they are mass-producing Daleks to use as police drones, but there was just enough Dalek DNA inside to clone the organic parts, and yeah, there are a whole lot of these Daleks running around exterminating everyone in their path including the fairly innocent tech start-up guy and that new prime minister.
Robertson, he survives the special. He even gets knighted in the end. There’s probably a message in there about how the rich and powerful get away with far too much.
As it is, this was a fun and lively adventure, all the death notwithstanding, Captain Jack makes for a good temporary companion, and the Doctor realizes the way to stop these new Daleks is to call in other Daleks. Robertson’s Daleks, for lack of a better term, have some human DNA in them, and the Dalek Inquisition (or whatever they’re called) don’t care much for impurities. Plus, the classic Daleks are quite a bit tougher and don’t mind ignoring humans to exterminate the impure Daleks. From there, notwithstanding Robertson’s self-centered interference, the Doctor can make the Dalek Inquisitors go away by tricking them into the back-up TARDIS in an attempt to exterminate her, only to have set that thing into basically destroying itself with the Daleks all inside.
But the thing I wanted to talk about most here isn’t any of that stuff. It was a good adventure, but the final moments had Ryan deciding he doesn’t want to travel with the Doctor anymore. This was a bit of a long time coming as Ryan had shown concern that this was where his life was, and he saw that he was missing people back home. Graham decides to stay with Ryan, and the Doctor gifts the pair of them with psychic paper so that they can travel the world and investigate the weird things in the world…after Ryan learns to ride a bike, to the general approval of his grandmother’s ghost from the looks of things.
Now, the episode does have a moment where Captain Jack basically sees in Yaz that yearning to be with the Doctor. Is it romantic? I kinda hope not as far too many of the Doctor’s female companions seem to at least briefly fall in love with him, or in this case her. But Yaz has always been the least interesting of the three. Graham was the funny one, the one who made the sorts of comments most companions seem to know better than to do. Ryan was a bit adventurous, but still loyal to his friends and family once he let them in, and the character arc between the two was Ryan’s learning to accept Graham as his granddad. Likewise, Ryan had to reconnect with his estranged father. He did that, even referencing as much in this episode. Graham in his own way had to move on from Grace’s death. I’ll probably miss these two, but it does give Yaz more of a time to shine.
But since there are so few episodes left, I’m taking a short break from the TV show to cover a couple other things. That doesn’t mean abandoning the Thirteenth Doctor, but…well, you’ll see, hypothetical reader.