Doctor Who recap: Season 11, Episode 2, “The Ghost Monument,” Aired Oct. 14, 2018
The excitement from last week’s premiere is still strong at the beginning of episode two. We got a brand-new opening with fresh audio and graphics. The audio reminds me a bit of the theme from the show’s classic run. And the new time vortex is trippy. I love it!
“The Ghost Monument” kept the action going from precisely where we left off last week. The soon-to-be TARDIS team got scooped up by some spaceships, and the disorientation and confusion were so real. That beginning was proper exciting, and the rest of the episode didn’t disappoint. Let’s jump in!
Desolation is the closest translation found to the misplaced planet’s name. The planet was “created cruel.” The water is dangerous, and the atmosphere is toxic. There are no signs of life on the planet, and there are robot snipers. To make things worse, The Doctor couldn’t make sense of the planet, even with the help of her sonic screwdriver. There was a constant sense of impending trouble as the gang made their way across the planet. Now that’s what I call successful television.
Battle of the backstories
Those spaceship pilots – Epzo and Angstrom – were racing for an insane amount of alien currency. The two were the last of thousands of competitors in that relay. In this stage, they had to cross the cruel terrain of Desolation to the Ghost Monument. The loser would be stuck on Desolation.
In a sad storytime, Epzo told the travelers about the time his mother taught him that he couldn’t trust anyone. In addition, Angstrom revealed that she was participating in the race to save her family from a systematic cleansing underway by the Stenza. Heavy stuff.
The Doctor, Ryan, Graham, and Yasmin got stranded on Desolation with the racers but were not eligible to join the race. They invited themselves onto Epzo and Angstrom’s journey, forcing the two to work together to progress and eventually share a dual victory. As always, The Doctor teaches the hostile aliens that working together makes them stronger.
From the very beginning of the episode, The Doctor did what The Doctor always does. First, she crash-landed a ship to save everyone on it. Then, she inserted herself into the business of others but managed to change their lives because of it. She repeatedly used brains rather than guns. Also, she spent most of the hour trying to figure out what was going on. And yet, everyone followed her around even though she was clueless. Somehow, she cleverly figured things out in the nick of time and saved her traveling companions. Just a normal episode of Doctor Who.
“Come to Daddy – I mean, Mummy”
So it turns out the Ghost Monument is the TARDIS. All seemed lost at the race’s finish line when the TARDIS was nowhere in sight. But after almost giving up, the new TARDIS materialized. Both the exterior and the interior of the ship have gotten makeovers. I have to agree with Ryan – it’s “proper awesome.”
Much to my delight, it looks like The Doctor is going to mess with history next week. The team travels back in time to make sure the timeline stays intact, specifically surrounding Rosa Parks. I can’t wait to see what goes wrong and how The Doctor goes about setting things right. See you next Sunday night!
What did you think of “The Ghost Monument”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!
Doctor Who airs Sunday nights on BBC America at 8/7c.