Spoiler-Free Doctor Who, Season 10, Episode 5, “Oxygen”:
After giving a lecture about how the vacuum of space can kill you, the Doctor takes Bill to visit the vacuum of space. On this future space station, space suits are killing people. But you need to wear a space suit to have an oxygen supply. And the Doctor lost his sonic screwdriver. Also, Nardole keeps complaining that the Doctor isn’t supposed to leave Earth. And there’s a blue person.
Ugh. This season has been good so far. But this episode… maybe it just had too many moving parts.
The blue person made them bring up racism. I get that it’s good to talk about it, but the season with Martha didn’t make as big a deal about skin color as this season. The Whoniverse is supposed to be too big to worry about these social problems; sexuality is never EVER questioned, but they need to pause to discuss racism on a show where even human is optional?
Nardole didn’t serve much purpose. Sometimes he was funny, but mostly he was just there to say “Season-Long Mystery, Remember? We can’t tell anyone what it is, but we can’t let anyone forget that it’s there!”
Bill conveniently gets the space suit that breaks down at the most inconvenient times. And the other space suits have confusing powers. They can’t enter a certain room, but they can hear people whispering on the other side of it. They can magnetically steal a sonic screwdriver but not a gun, apparently. And they’re capable of electrocuting their occupants for some reason but not *spoilers*; seriously, why build a space suit death trap that also provides oxygen? It doesn’t make sense.
Oxygen supply is measured in breaths, rather than time, because when you’re freaked out you use oxygen faster. But no one in the episode dies from running out of their oxygen supply. So why point that out, except for added realism?
And on top of all that, the Doctor is *spoilers.* Too many moving parts.
If Jamie Matheson had used considerably less moving parts…and made the major threat less disappointing…yeah, no, then there wouldn’t have been anything to speak of in this episode. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship had many moving parts, and that was excellent. Jamie Matheson wrote Flatline, and that was excellent. Why couldn’t this one be excellent?
3/10 radio voices called… Velma. Ooh. Scary.
Did anyone like this episode more than I did? Let’s Connect!