TV Review: Doctor Who Series 11, Episode 10. “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos.”

Doctor Who finales usually have a lot of hype around them, it’s the culmination of the series and the stakes are usually high and the consequences are grave. It would be fair to say that this series has been quite different to those that came before, every episode is standalone and we’ve had no real story arc either, which is unique for Series 11. But what’s the result? The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos is a decent episode, but in my opinion, it didn’t really feel like a finale.

The main gist of this episode is that The Doctor and the team respond to a distress signal, which leads to them the returning Stenza, “Tim Shaw”, who has aligned himself with a powerful race called the Ux to destroy the planet and get his revenge on The Doctor for what happened in the first episode of this series. To it’s credit, the stakes have been raised by Chibnall for this finale and there were moments where it did feel like old “Modern-Who”, in a series that has been plagued by talk of being “politically correct” and “strong on the messages” it was refreshing to just have a good old-fashioned story which seemed to primarily focus on the threat and how our heroes would defeat it. My problem mainly was that, for anyone who read my Episode 1 review, I wasn’t a huge fan of Tim Shaw as a villain so I didn’t really care for him, I also felt that he was actually quite irrelevant in the grander scheme of things and was only brought back to give Graham some more character development and to (hopefully) bring an end to his grieving arc.

Once again, I feel like the same old problems affected this episode, mainly the overcrowding which, yet again, reduced The Doctor to a side character for a decent portion of the story. She certainly got her heroic moment at the end (which made me wish we had seen more of this over the duration of the series) but for the most part she was just used as a needs to give the audience that ever-so annoying “Chibnall exposition”, which was prominent here again and I feel it achieves nothing but confusion, we don’t need every minute detail explained to us, it does nothing but detract from the overall story and often takes the audience out of the moment, every time I hear another “exposition monologue” I lose interest, and it’s happened way too much this year.

I do feel like the writing over this series has really failed Jodie Whittaker and it becomes more frustrating each week to see, as I can tell that there is a good Doctor in there somewhere, but over 10 episodes I don’t think she’s still been given the chance to thrive and show audiences how good she really could be. As for Team TARDIS, I did mention it in Episode 9, but I am confident in saying now that I only really care for Graham, and as far as I’m concerned I wouldn’t be too bothered if the other two left the show!

I don’t really have much more to say about this episode, the stakes were a bit higher to give us that “finale feel” but for the most part, it just felt like another episode to me and it lacked that epic atmosphere that we’ve had in previous series. The cast were solid, although I feel like they wasted the talents of Mark Addy, however that’s the consequence of having such a large cast to juggle each week. However, it was a pretty solid story, not bad by any stretch, and arguably one of the better episodes in Series 11. Obviously, we still have the New Years Day special, I’m not quite sure if that is intended to be the finale or if it will be treated as another standalone thing. All I know is, they’re bringing back an old favourite, and to quote the slogan at the beginning of the series when it was being promoted: It’s about time.

Bring on NYD, bring on The Daleks.

I give The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos a 7/10.  

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