So, we reach the fourth episode of Chris Chibnall’s first series of Doctor Who and his third episode (is that a record for showrunner writing a block of episodes?) Arachnids in the UK. I’ve already mentioned the punk rock title, and I was going to talk about a false departure for the companions, but the BBC has already blown that idea with its trailers. What else is there to say?
Arachnids in the UK thoughts
We know Graham, Ryan and Yaz are signed up for the series, so while the story returns them to Sheffield, it won’t be a departure. It has to look like a departure, so not only must the latest menace be dealt with, but Yaz must seem to be focussing back on her career in the police, and the relationship between Graham and Ryan needs to be on a firmer basis for moving forward.
The clip shows plenty of emotion, and perhaps the Doctor less ready to move on than the others.
Beyond the ‘companions’ layer, we should get plenty of opportunity to understand Yaz, and actor Mandip Gill has been on the BBC a few times (Strictly It Takes Two, and Strictly Come Dancing watching Stacey Dooley). Her family gets fleshed out and I imagine her police connection will come in useful.
Will Grace be a presence by being absent as she was in Rosa? I would imagine so, and the house will be empty without her, motive for Graham and Ryan to welcome more time in the TARDIS.
As to the spiders, I think it will be a chance to bash big business/ DNA engineering and the like. Will it be an alien threat or homegrown? My money’s on greed being at the heart, whichever way the writing goes.
More thoughts in the next few days, after we’ve all seen it!